This is going to be a very interesting, probably rambly, post about strategies to make Disney friends to go to the parks with. I’ve had both good and bad experiences with this, so hopefully this post can stay on the positive side!
The first tip I’d recommend is leaving a few comments here and there on posts from people you think you’d click with. For example, if there is this person who seems super fun and nice, and you have the same interests, and you think you guys would get along so well… leave a nice comment on their next Instagram picture! Or reply to their next tweet! This way you can get a feel for how friendly and outgoing they are and what they’re like interaction-wise. There are tons of times where I thought a person I saw online would be super friendly and was completely blown off when I tried to interact with them. A lot of times, how they are online can be a sign to how they would be in real life. Now, this theory isn’t always true. There are a lot of people who just don’t have time to sit around and respond to comments all day, or they may like your comment and forget to respond to you (happens to me ALL THE TIME). That leads me to my next point…
…If you see someone in person you know from the internet, go up and say hello! I’m laughing as I’m writing this because this is something I NEVER do. If I see someone I know in the parks, my instinct is to run away as fast as possible. That’s because my first priority when I’m at Disney is to lay low and get the shots I need. However, if you’re specifically looking to make friends, the best way to find out if there is potential for friendship with someone is to go up to them and say hi. Now even though I said *I* personally don’t go up to people and say hi, that doesn’t mean I shy away when other people come up to me. I LOVE MEETING PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW ME. It is my favorite thing in the world. I will follow you back on the spot and we will automatically be best friends because that’s just the way my brain works. This has gone off topic but yes, don’t be shy in putting yourself out there and saying what’s up! If they brush you off, then you can just unfollow and move on (also has happened to me before).
Another great tip for meeting new people if you don’t necessarily go to the parks that often is Facebook groups! I know there are ones with tens of thousands of members; that’s not really what I’m talking about here. In my opinion, those ones are far too intimidating and fights break out about the silliest things. My all time favorite group for making friends is Disney Colors. This one is for photographers, but even if you’re not that in to photography I’d highly encourage you to join. Everyone in that group is super helpful and nice, and ALWAYS willing to meet up and say hi. Joining smaller Disney Facebook groups is super helpful to make friends where the pressure of being with them IRL doesn’t exist (yet). Many times they will have specific meet ups dedicated to meeting people from that group and it’s a great way to meet people in a low pressure situation.
Now my last tip has to do less with making friends at Disney and more with keeping them. I debated including this in this post, but I think it’s something to keep in mind. I would suggest to keep the friendships you make as park-based as possible, at least for a little while. The reason I say this is because Disney is a happy place, neutral territory so to speak, and a place where everyone is usually in their element. Now, once the friendship has flourished and you’re sure it’s solid, sure, go out to other places. But in my experience, if most of the interactions you have with Disney friends is in the Disney parks, it leads to a lot smoother sailing because odds are most of your interactions will maintain that positivity and magic you can only find in the parks. It’s hard to tell what a person will be like when they’re not in the Disney bubble, especially if you only know them from conversations on the Internet. Don’t get me wrong; parks friends are some of the best friends ever. However, I have seen many Disney friendships go sour because things start getting too personal instead of being focused on having a good time. And Lord knows many of us do not need that extra stress in our lives.
I hope this post was at least a little helpful; I tried my best going off of my experience with making my own Disney friends! If you have any more tips, definitely let me know on Twitter or in the comments!