It's a long process of planning before heading off to the "happiest place on Earth." Save up on money and budget it effectively. Wait until the request to get time off work is approved, book the travel arrangements, buy the tickets, get the matching t-shirts and load the kids into the minivan. After travel, parking, and a hotel that wasn't quite worth the money, The family has finally arrived.
Disney! The Magic Kingdom. House of Mickey Mouse! As everyone launches themselves into lands of wonder and adventure, it’s like all the worries and cares of the “outside world” just float away. Go ahead and scream on the rides, laugh with the characters, and try not to go crazy on the “It’s a Small World" ride.
But wait! Look there! The perfect opportunity for a picture comes up! The day has been absolutely perfect so far, so what could go wrong, right?
Well, it would turn out that a lot of things can go very wrong. Let’s check out 20 times Disney pictures didn’t quite reflect the “magic” that they could've had!
20 I said "cheese," not "screams
Uh oh. This little pumpkin is not having a very good day. No, it’s not because she’s in a tutu. After all, the girl behind her is in an identical outfit and seems to be just fine. At this point, we’re not sure if Tigger just ignored her, or if she found out that The Hall of Presidents is closed for refurbishment. If it were anything serious, we might assume that the other kids would be equally as upset, but no.
We can recognize that the poor boy in the picture looks about as comfortable as being at a friend’s house when they get in a fight with their parents, but the girl in the mouse ears sure looks happy! I must admit, I’m a big fan of both of the smaller girls – just looking on like they’re watching some terrible fail video.
Maybe it’s this: they’ve all just finished their Dole Whips (best thing in the park) and she’s simply having brain freeze, right? Can’t we have a positive outlook on this one? If not, we just have to be satisfied with the fact that this little princess is NOT having a very “Disney” day. Quick, somebody just get her a churro, already!
19 Hungry like the...Mouse?
Here’s a great picture of a sweet little girl who's got the perfect little smile and is obviously the focus of the photographer. She even has cute little curls and a perfect little white hat to complete the ensemble. It would be a perfect photo for the family album, or maybe a photo that can go in that adorable Tinkerbell frame that was just purchased on Main Street!
But in the distance, something lurks. Something hungry. Something that cannot live on cheese and song alone and will stop at nothing until it feeds on unsuspecting young tourists! This infamous monster is known only as…Mickey? Wait, what? On examining this picture, it looks like Mickey is devouring a young child! Strangely enough, it looks like the little girl next to him is trying to get away! Oh the horror! Why, Walt? Why isn't there a meal plan for these characters? Why can’t they be fed before their shift so that they don’t have to resort to going after park guests?
Let’s be real. It's probably only a matter of forced perspective, but we have to admit – it’s a bit disturbing out of context. And Mickey of all characters! I mean, all of us could see Donald resorting to something like this, but not the mouse!
18 Might I suggest... cropping the picture?
Classic picture. Usually, right when you scan your little magic ticket and go through security, you see the famous and beautiful “Flower Mickey Face.” You really can’t miss it, because it kind of forces you to look right at it upon entering the park. Honestly, I've lost count of how many pictures are taken in front of this spot. After all, why rush right into the park and start having fun when we can pause and take this picture? I mean, no one’s excited to start enjoying Disneyland right?
I can only assume that’s what happened to this poor little girl.
There's no way of telling if this girl is just tired and decided to take a nap or if she's actually fallen and the parents haven't actually noticed yet. Plus, planking wasn’t even really popular for that long, so I’m sure this girl is too young to remember that trend. So it had to be impatience. Had to be! “Come on, family, let’s pose here for a quick picture before going in!” “But I want to go in NOW!” “No, honey, stand here and smile…” Then the tantrum started, and let’s face it. The parents had to just shrug it off, and take the picture. After all, it’s probably better to not have the little darling in the photo crying. They just forgot to crop the little one out before posting, though…
17 Sheeee’s, the only ONE!
Cue the music! “The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is I’m the only one!” Remember that little tune? Tigger is one of the bounciest and fun-loving characters around! It just makes sense that everywhere he goes, people have smiles on their faces and are ready to snuggle in close for a picture that’s “funfunfunfunfun!” (Yes, I know the song WAY too well, I get it.)
Well, ALMOST everyone is ready to take a picture with Tigger. The young lady in this picture has one of two problems. She’s either really scared out of her mind of the large, flouncing orange and black-striped character, or she REALLY hates pancakes, and what appears to be…soda for breakfast? Yikes. I’m probably going to go with number one.
Regardless, it does NOT look like she thinks that “Tiggers are wonderful things.” Even though the rest of her family appears to be having a blast, our little friend is probably not going to emerge from her table-cavern. At least not until that monstrosity who’s “top is made out of rubber, and bottom is made out of string” bounces away.
Of course, it's common for younger children to be afraid of mascots and characters, but this is the first time we've seen a child completely hunker down beneath the restaurant table!
16 The Hunchback of NO-you don’t!
Speaking of mascots... The mom in this photo is having a wonderful time around fantasy land, probably waiting in line for one of the incredibly overrated dark rides. Regardless, it’s always a nice time to engage with a character when they come trudging around. After all, kids love to see Mickey. They cheer and clap when Goofy saunters in, and they light up with joy when Pluto pretends to lick them. And, of course, children absolutely LOVE it when the deformed hunchback, Quasimodo, limp-drags his humped form over to them, right?
Especially not this little guy. Just look at that face. No not that one, the kid’s face. That little boy is literally not at all impressed by what he's seeing. He’s wondering how he's supposed to scream “Stranger Danger” when his own mother seems to be subjecting him to the problem. If this small child could talk in full sentences, half of his words would be describing a quick exit strategy to guide them to the Tiki Room as fast as humanly possible. What is probably the funniest part of this picture is how clueless the mother is regarding the panic that is about to erupt from the heart of this little guy!
15 Rat Pack
Oh my. You mean to tell me that Disney can produce thousands of hand-painted cell drawings to create the illusion of full-color in 1937, but they can’t create a Mickey and Minnie that resemble ANYTHING about the cute little characters we see on screen?
This is horrifying! At first, I thought it might be a picture of some wandering ghosts that escaped from the horrors of the Haunted Mansion. Or maybe it was an example of less-successful-fringe characters, like Guido and Marina Ratzoni. But after seeing the anxiety and straight-up disappointment on the boy’s face, I know it can only be an awful attempt at the famous Mouse family.
Sure, there are things that we can all think back on and say, “Wow, they just don't make them like they used to,” or “Boy, those were the GOOD old days, am I right?” But not when it includes these monstrosities. I still find it hard to believe that Walt himself at some point saw those nightmares trouncing around and said, “Yup. We did it. Nailed Mickey and Minnie’s likeness!”
Instead, it was like Walt was out of town and someone said, “Oh no! We forgot to make mascots! Go grab some black turtlenecks and pillowcases and I’ll whip something up.”
14 You bet your Astro-Blaster I’m excited!
Father and son? Uncle and nephew? Someone who couldn't make it into the seat with his family and ended up getting paired with an overly excited stranger? Whatever the pairing, it is very evident that THIS is one of the pictures that will go down in history. Never in history has a more opposite set of reactions been recorded. The adult is literally in a daze, as if trying to calculate just how many hours he had to work at the grief factory to pay for this vacation.
Meanwhile, the kid is so beyond excited that it’s almost like this picture caught him right before his entire head exploded.
Let’s be real. The dad might just be upset that he lost the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster competition to his son. His glory days of racking up scores playing Space Invaders are over, and that his son’s Call of Duty skills proved to be far more superior. The son, excited that he finally beat the old man, is thrilled that this moment will be documented forever. It’s also safe to say that this picture is not prominently featured in the ol’ Disneyland family album once the gang got back home. Dad will keep it, though.
13 Come to this castle often, ladies?
Oh, Mickey. What is happening here? Please tell us that something malfunctioned with those fancy animatronic eyes and they got stuck. Or, better yet, let’s just say that the camera caught the wrong moment when those advanced robot eyelids were actually just blinking.
Please tell us that either of these outcomes is what happened! Because we cannot bear to have our beloved Mickey Mouse giving us some serious “bedroom eyes.” We also can't have Mickey be a progressive mascot who fully supported the legalization of certain substances, and is feeling those effects start to kick in. It would be one thing to have the eye fall out (trust me, there’s a video out there of it happening), but this creepy half-lid action has got to stop!
The major problem with this picture isn't just the eyes, but that they're paired with that awful grin of his! That smile would've been wonderful if those eyes were wide open and if he was singing along to “Zip-a-dee-do-dah.” But half closed with a little grin just spells trouble.
The more I look at it, the more it makes me think of a Muppet. Not Kermit, or delightful Miss Piggy, but one of those weird Muppets that Jim Henson came up with during his weird “Dark Crystal” phase. Mickey, come on! Open those eyes!
12 Just kickin' it with m'dude, Mickey!
This Mickey is having some serious trouble. The Disney breakfast is going so well. The kids are smiling, music is playing, and all of the parents are snapping pictures left and right. Joy is in the air, and everyone knows that as soon as that last pancake is eaten, the families are off to enjoy the rest of the day in the park. That is until little Jenny decides to practice her Muy Thai or her Krav Maga on poor Mickey. The problem is not JUST that Jenny is deciding to kick the beloved character.
The problem is the particular target that she seems to be aiming for.
I mean, it honestly gives another meaning to “Steamboat Willie” if you think about it. And look at poor Mickey! He's trying his best to create some magical combination of hug and block, but he looks as if he's failing terribly in the process. Of course, sensing danger, a mother just offscreen is also yanking her own infant out of the way. She probably saw little Jenny gathering her chi for the massive kick. All that's missing from this pic is one of Jenny’s bullying Cobra-Kai-dojo-sisters crying out, “Yeah, sweep the leg, Jennie! Sweep the leg!”
11 Why did you talk me into this?!
Splash Mountain is a classic ride at Disney. One that's themed with one of the most offensive Disney movies ever released, but still a lot of fun from start to finish. Starting off as a pleasant little dark ride where guests float nonchalantly through a mountain, the ride looks tame enough. Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear are enjoying their little robotic hi jinx as we hum songs like “Laughing Place,” and “How do ya do?”
What could be better? Oh, maybe a slow climb up a mountain? Okay, Okay, we can handle this. Ooh, that song sounded ominous, and there appears to be a warning sign up ahead... Wait, keep my hands and arms inside the log? What for?
The log gets to the top of the mountain, and as it crests... we no longer see the water in front of us. We see sky. Some brave riders’ hands go up and some riders just weren't prepared for this at all. Like this person! When the camera snapped her pic, she was showing signs of terror, anger and a definite future break up.
Not sure why the guy is sitting on his hands, though. Maybe he’s trying to hold in lunch from the Hungry Bear Café.
10 But it’s a Gamecube!
Speaking of Splash Mountain, there used to be a problem. People began realizing that they could tell the exact moment for when the camera would capture the shot of them going over the waterfall. Then, people started posing for the camera. Several pictures had to be erased because some people would flash the camera, make rude gestures and, yes, posing with full gaming systems. Complete with controllers and apparently a fake television. We're not really sure how they somehow smuggled all of this stuff aboard.
But they were able to hold these poses while not showing the panic of going over a huge drop!
It's an impressive feat to not show that you’re scared of cascading over the top, but to hold a pose like this is pretty talented. And I must say, props to making sure that the controllers were plugged in, AND the cable connected to the mock display! I guess you learned something from Disney after all: the devil is in the details, isn’t it? There’s only one problem. It’s a Gamecube, guys. You picked a really goofy system to be forever captured in your jokey Splash Mountain pic! I mean, come on. At least you could have smuggled in a thinner Playstation or something. Plus, faux pas for not having a DISNEY game on the screen!
9 I wanted to ride Pirates!
Last Splash Mountain pic. But this one is a classic. Perhaps this person is just posing for the picture and TRYING to look like they're not panicking with fear. But that’s boring. Here’s what I think really happened...
The family is walking through New Orleans Square. Pirates of the Caribbean is right there. Right there! There’s not even a big line! It’s Margaret’s favorite ride, so she makes the request. “Come on, guys, let’s hit Pirates really quick while the line is short!” A cacophony of negative responses, and someone begins to chant “Splash Mountain…” The rest of the group joins in. But not Margaret.
She is furious. Words are spoken. Threats made. All the way through the Splash Mountain ride, she refuses to speak. They board the log. Her arms cross in frustration. The Disney Cast Member waves goodbye to her as the ride starts. She glares right at them. The moment comes. Everyone is buzzing with anticipation for the big drop. But Margaret refuses to show that she’s having any fun. Not even when the camera flashes. Only when the group goes to to buy the picture do they realize that Margaret’s attitude has ruined it for all of them.
Thanks, Margaret. Fine, we’ll ride Pirates. We’ll just hit Haunted Mansion first…
8 All is not well at Sunshine Tree
At first, I didn’t think that this was from Disney. After all, what even IS that character? It looks like a deranged version of Tweety Bird from the old Looney Tune Cartoons. Then I saw Sunshine Tree Terrace in the background, and realized it was defintiely at Disney World. Another wonderful place to score one of those delicious Dole Whips! However, for this quick little pose, we can see several areas that need a little bit of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust to liven things up a little. Let’s examine. First, I was not aware that the combination of a trucker hat and open shirt was an appropriate combination of attire at ANY park.
He’s probably breaking several rules with his chest hair alone.
Second, the height of the man’s shorts in the background are higher than Space Mountain, Big Thunder, and Matterhorn combined. Finally, the kids look absolutely terrified. So often we see parents smiling, ready for the picture, (although Trucker Hat just looks bored and hot). But the kids are usually another story. That poor girl with pigtails is biting her fingernails in worry, and the look of horror on the baby’s face is pretty classic! If that baby could talk, it’s probably a safe bet that they were really just afraid that Disney had somehow ripped off Tweety Bird and got away with it…
7 NO ONE says “no” to Gaston!
The burly, brawny and brainless hunk of a man from Beauty and the Beast is always a treat to see in the Disney parks. He is a “face” character, and is allowed to speak and interact with the guests. He's always funny, very full of himself, and often challenges guests to push up contests or arm wrestling matches.
He also tends to give the ladies a hard time, since he claims that they all want to marry him just like he did with Belle in the movie. But in this shot, it appears that Gaston is SO vain, that he thinks that EVERYONE should find him attractive. Even the young man standing next to him. In fact, it looks like Gaston is paying more attention to the gentleman than to the lady!
It’s almost like we could re-do the song lyrics from the movie:
“No one’s good as Gaston, he’s a TEN that Gaston,
No one whispers sweet nothings to MEN like Gaston…”
Go ahead, sing it with the tune. It works! After seeing this fail of a picture, I’ll bet that the young lady was even a little jealous that her man got more attention from Gaston than she did.
6 Young Jedis fight dirty…
We’re all aware that Disney has been acquiring several companies over the years, including the Star Wars universe. While some fans have been moaning and crying about their favorite franchise coming into the “House of the Mouse,” many have loved the addition. One of the most fun aspects of Star Wars inside the parks are the “Jedi Training Academy” shows that pick several young people to volunteer as Padawans to be trained by Jedis to fight against the dark side.
It’s a wonderful little show that all the kids love – especially when they get to take on Darth Vader himself!
The Dark Sith Lord comes out and threatens the young ones. Then, with a series of practiced and learned moves called out by the head Jedi, the child usually trades a couple of blows with Darth Vader and pushes him back. It’s great. But some little Jedi get carried away. Like our little guy here. Not only is he “improvising his lightsaber moves,” he’s also going for a very LOW BLOW. Poor Anakin. I can almost hear what the head Jedi is calling out to the boy. “Please, young Padawan, don’t use THAT much force!” We just hope that the actor who played Darth Vader was wearing the appropriate safety gear.
5 Mean Mickey Meme
You’ve heard of fashion police, right? Well, it’s a shame that Disney doesn't employ their own version of that to patrol the parks. No, I’m not just talking about addressing inappropriate shirts and cosplay costumes that make Disney characters turn PG-13. They wouldn’t give out citations, but perhaps little coupons to help encourage fashion rule breakers to replace their clothing with some more appropriate attire.
I’m talking about graphic clothing, and I don’t just mean clothes with pictures on them. This poor lady most likely doesn't realize that wearing her sweater around her waist is causing her more harm than good. Sure, it might be warm out. And tying a sweater around your waist is a lot better than having to carry it around.
What she doesn’t realize is that it kind of looks like Mickey has his head stuck somewhere... uncomfortable. Normally, it would look good when worn normally. Like the mouse got his head thrown through some kind of wall. I’ll bet his cute face even pokes out the other end of the shirt, showing that he’s “breaking through.” From this angle? Mickey’s head is not stuck in a wall. And we’ll just leave it at that.
4 "The angriest place on Earth”
Wait. That’s not right. It’s supposed to be something else, but I can’t quite remember what it is when I look at this picture. I mean, it’s a family, right? They’re at Disney World, yes? They’re in front of the huge Cinderella castle, at least one of them has souvenir ears and it doesn’t even look that crowded! In fact, the weather even looks like it’s cooperating instead of being a thousand degrees in the shade! So what is that phrase? The most frustrated place on Earth? The most attitudes anyone can have on Earth? The most out-of-date sunglasses possible place on Earth...
No, none of those are right.
Oh wait, I know why! It’s supposed to be “The Happiest Place on Earth!” Why did I have so much trouble remembering that while looking at this picture? Maybe it's because this entire family looks like they just finished riding the Autopia cars seventeen times in a row (seriously, why does Disney still HAVE that ride?). Or maybe it’s because they got stuck on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for an hour and a half? It might even be that mom told them that this trip cost so much that it was their birthday and Christmas presents for the next three years? No matter the reason, we need some pixie dust here, stat!
3 The Sorcerer’s Bookie…
There’s just…so much to say here. It’s not really a “mishap” per se, as the family isn’t falling into a fountain. It’s not really a picture mistake because of a bratty kid who’s pouting about dropping their cotton candy.
It’s just a guy. Well, to be fair, it’s a guy in a Mickey Mouse Sorcerer’s Apprentice hat. And he’s wearing the flattest jean shorts I’ve ever seen. And he’s smoking a cigarette in the Magic Kingdom. And he’s counting through his wad of cash.
It almost looks like he’s either a bookie who's taking overs and unders on who's going to finish their rides first. It also looks like he’s selling strollers, counting his profits with only one piece of inventory left to go. He also might be the maintenance staff (as the sign implies) and they all have new uniform requirements.
More than likely, he’s just a dad or possibly a grandpa who's checking his cash to make sure that the family still has enough to get home after buying everyone churros at $4 apiece! I just have to wonder at the photographer. What magic was he or she hoping to capture? The more I look at it, the more I think I’m right. He’s definitely selling strollers.
2 Photobomb #1 – Walk Like an Egyptian
Nothing is more frustrating than having someone photobomb your perfect moment. This first example is classic for several reasons. First, I have to laugh at the young ladies who are trying to take the picture. Rather than patiently waiting for the woman to clear out of the way and then resuming the pose, they look pretty angry. Look at their hands! You can almost hear their entitled whining because someone inconvenienced them for, like, six seconds! Second, I’m enjoying their choice of venue. It’s not like it’s an obvious spot to take a picture.
They’re not posing in front of the Walt Statue, or smiling with Mark Twain behind them.
No, they’re standing in a crowd. You know, where people tend to walk? Third, I have to admit that I feel sorry for the poor photobomber. You can tell that she knows that she made a mistake. And even though she's choosing to do an impression of the “ministry of silly walks,” it looks like she’s trying to clear the area fast. Give her a break! Remember, she’s trying to build memories, too! And she’s even trying to take memories home with her, after all, why else would she be sporting that fanny pack? Come on ladies, give the poor woman some grace and just take a selfie like any other normal person does.
1 Photobomb #2 – Darling, will you…ruin my picture?
“Come on, Tom. Tell me the story again.”
“Okay, okay. So I brought her all the way down Main Street. I got her some candy from her favorite store. We walked hand in hand, and I was so nervous! I knew that she would say ‘yes,’ but I still wasn’t sure. But we love Disney. It’s our favorite place to go! We met here. She first told me that she loved me while we rode the Jungle Boat Cruise.”
“Ok, so then what happened?”
“Well, we got in front of the castle and I had my friend hold my camera. Then I got down on one knee and popped the question right then and there. It was epic! She cried! People even applauded for us and congratulated us. She immediately said yes, and I stood up and we kissed and hugged in front of the best view in the Happiest Place on Earth.”
“Wow, what a magical moment.”
“Oh it was, and I’m so glad we got the perfect picture of it. That memory will stay with me forever. My kids will see the picture and I'll tell them the story. It will be a moment frozen in time that will always remind us of the best day of our lives. I just can’t wait to get the picture back from the developer. It’s going to be perfect!”
Oh, Tom. You poor naive fool. Still, we're happy for you and your fiancée.