I met Kyle through one of my best friends, who works with Kyle on a Disney podcast called The Disneyland Gazette. Kyle was kind enough to be the first person to officially review my own book on both the Gazette and LaughingPlace.com. While I was participating in an interview for the Gazette with Kyle, I learned more about his book The E-Ticket Life. I was definitely excited to read it myself, and jumped on the opportunity to finally meet Kyle in person at the D23 Expo and purchase a signed copy.
I didn’t actually get around to reading Kyle’s book until a month or so after D23, but I was immediately hooked. Each chapter is a personal anecdote about Kyle’s experience either in Disneyland or somehow related to Disney. He’ll take you through his journeys from Florida to Tokyo, with some stops in between. Kyle includes some of his personal life and lessons woven through his adventures, such as what it’s like to travel to a foreign country on your own, or how you can find a little bit of Disney in unexpected places.
One aspect in particular that I really enjoyed throughout Kyle’s book was reading his Disney experiences through the eyes of a true Disney fan and Annual Passholder. Before I became a cast member, I didn’t travel to Disney as frequently as I do now. Actually, I had only been to Disneyland maybe four or five times and Walt Disney World once before I got a job in Florida. I only know what it’s like to work and play in the parks together, not only see Disney as a place to frequent only for fun on a regular basis. I’ve always wondered what it was like for Annual Passholders to go to Disneyland as often as Kyle did and not grow tiresome of the place (people wonder the same thing about cast members, but that’s a different story).
There was one chapter in particular that really resonated with me. Kyle explains “The Disney Bubble,” which is basically the overall feeling you experience when attending a Disney park. You’re completely unaware of the outside world and simply enjoying the atmosphere and magic within the resort. If you attend as frequently as Kyle or I do, sometimes this “bubble” can pop, leaving you rather uninspired or possibly have a feeling that you’ve “lost the magic.”
Kyle makes an excellent point about being a Disney local or regular: You need to explore outside of the Disney parks to “keep the magic alive.” Disney fans use the parks as an escape from reality, but if you’re in the parks too often…they become your reality. The outside world and problems will follow you inside the parks of you don’t handle them in the “real world” before stepping foot inside your escape. Kyle explains an important lesson perfectly, that I feel more Disney locals need to take to heart:
“I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting to live near the parks and visit often; I’m just saying that you shouldn’t define yourself by your fandom.”
This is something I’ve tried to explain to people who ask if I ever grow tired of going to Disney all the time. My answer is always plain and simple: I don’t allow myself to get to that point. If you maintain a healthy balance and attend the parks with a purpose (whether as small as grabbing lunch and people watching to as large as an all-day Disney excursion), you’ll most likely avoid popping the bubble that keeps Disney’s essence everyone knows and loves.
Along with Kyle’s fun and interesting anecdotes, I have to commend his writing. He’s fluid, professional, and tastefully adds his own personality and humor all throughout his story. If you’re a Disney buff, cast member, or simply want to learn about a young man’s journey traveling across (and out of) the country, I definitely recommend giving The E-Ticket Life a read.