EXPERT TIP: To increase your chances of being picked for these sorts of acts, look like you’re having fun, be energetic, and wear a (what I once thought was ridiculous, but now think is pretty awesome) custom made Disney vacation shirt that matches your party’s attire. If you’re there celebrating a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, or even if it’s just your first time visiting, stop by City Hall in the Magic Kingdom (or the equivalents in the other parks) on your way in and ask for some complimentary buttons to celebrate the occasion. Then, show off those buttons – there’s a REASON they give them to you. The cast members at the park LOVE that stuff and are trained to look for them! Of course, there’s no guarantee that these tactics will help you get selected for audience interaction, but it definitely increases your chances, and, if nothing else, makes for pleasant chit chat with cast members when you are out and about and waiting in lines. Here is an awesome example of what can happen when you “play along.”
The most enjoyable day I’ve had at WDW came at the Magic Kingdom shortly after New Year’s 2013. It was our last day at Disney, we were flying out early the next morning, but after being prepared for one final chilly day, with torrential downpours expected in the afternoon, the storm never materialized. We had sunny skies and warm temperatures all day – easily the best weather we’d EVER had at Disney, so we stretched our day as long as we could.
Right after lunch, we swung through Tomorrowland and stopped into the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. If you haven’t been to the Magic Kingdom and done this, it’s an animated comedy routine that incorporates members of the audience into the bits that they do. One of the running gags of the show is “That Guy,” where they pick (usually) one of the dads out of the audience to be the party pooper of the crowd and continual punchline. You can see where this is headed…
At the Laugh Floor, there’s no volunteer process. They eyeball the audience members for the show as the crowd waits and enters the theater, so again: fun, energetic, crazy shirt, buttons, etc. And, for the Laugh Floor, they’re looking for a good patsy to be “That Guy.” And sure enough, two minutes into the show, they slam the spotlight on me and there I am, up on the big screen, being laughed at by the rest of the crowd, most notably my family sitting right next to me. It’s a blast, you get laughed at a half dozen times, the show runs 15-20 minutes, and it’s over.
UNLESS YOU’RE “THAT GUY!” Because if you’re “That Guy,” the show can continue on ALL day long...
At many of the audience-interactive shows, you’ll receive a trinket, a certificate, or something as a little bonus for being part of the show. As we left the Laugh Floor, a Cast Member found me and gave me a sticker for being a “good sport.” And the sticker, about three inches in diameter, announces “I was THAT GUY” at the Laugh Floor. It’s a sticker, and adults don’t wear stickers, but again, to get a laugh out of the kids, I proudly slapped that sticker on my shirt, as visible as possible, and we went about our way.
Remember, there’s a REASON they give you these things. Little did I know what I had done.
Minutes later, as we go to ride the AstroOrbiter, the Cast Member directing traffic at the elevator spots my identifying sticker and clears some space for us as we walk in: “Everybody, make room for That Guy!” I got a good chuckle out of it, figuring that the crew at the AstroOrbiter is familiar with the Laugh Floor hijinks since the two attractions are within a 45 second walk from one another. But it didn’t stop there. We weren’t anywhere close to being done.
Our party split up, and I took the older kids over to Space Mountain. As we boarded our vehicle, one of the Cast Members checking the restraints pointed out my sticker to the guy handling the loudspeaker, who proceeded to make a huge announcement to the hundreds of people waiting in line behind us: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a celebrity riding with us today. It’s... That Guy!” And then the other Cast members proceeded to boo me. The kids thought this was hilarious! Even after we got off and wandered around the Space Mountain store, the lady at the counter gave me grief, too: “Really? You were That Guy?”
We met back up with the rest of the family at Main Street, as they had staked out a spot for the parade. I was sitting innocently along the side of the street as the parade marched by, and I caught the eye of Cinderella’s stepsisters. They danced their way over to me, with one of them disappointingly sighing to me, “You just had to be THAT GUY, didn’t you?,” as her sister shook her head in disgust behind her. This was high comedy for the family, as I’ve realized that putting that sticker on my shirt may as well have been a neon flashing light over my head saying “Make fun of this idiot for the rest of the day!”
The hits kept coming. We met some of the princesses shortly thereafter at the Town Square Theater. I managed to slip by Snow White and Aurora unscathed, but after getting hugs from our girls, Rapunzel pounced like a cat on a wounded mouse: “Girls, how’s it feel to know your dad’s That Guy?” And that got everyone laughing again. (Side note: Rapunzel was absolutely awesome, the most fun we’ve had at any character meet & greet, by far. She gave our 12 year old son all kinds of trouble, too.)
Apparently, "That Guy" has trouble getting a table on Main Street, too, as the staff at Casey's Corner groaned at the thought of having to serve "That Guy" a hot dog. Even the custodial crew is in on the gag, as a fellow swapping out trash cans outside Casey's Corner stopped us as we left, grabbed a co-worker and dragged him over to me like I was a rock star or something, "Look! It's That Guy!" Even during the nighttime parade, when the streets are dark, one of the dancers managed to spot that darn sticker from about 12 feet away and make a "That Guy" remark as she pranced by. I was under fire for the rest of the night, with even the PhotoPass photographer at the turnstiles catching me for one final dig as we made our way out.
I wish I could be "That Guy" every single time I go back.