Selfie; Disneyland Style

Selfie; Disneyland Style

We went to Disneyland Paris last week and it was a wonderful week but very, very busy. People everywhere, constant queues, more people and more queues. In many ways it is fascinating as it is a truly multinational experience as you are surrounded by people all talking a variety of different languages and for the children in particular, they found it interesting to hear so many different languages during the week.

The languages may be different but not thing that all of these people have in common is the selfie. I don’t think I have ever seen so many people taking selfies. It is quite incredible. Family selfies, couple selfies and individual selfies wherever you go. Long gone are the simple photographs of the Disney sights, if you’re not in the photo, it isn’t worth taking.

The Disneyland castle is selfie central where hundreds of selfie enthusiasts can be seen trying to catch that perfect shot of themselves with the castle in the background. Later on at closing when the Disney Dreams lights up the castle with an extraordinary lights and firework show, the selfie obsessed are there again trying to get themselves with the animations lighting them up from behind. Then there were the the selfie next to the ride shots, selfie in the queue for the ride shots, the selfie on the ride shots and that all important selfie after the ride shot.  Does it ever end?

Meeting the characters is an all important part of the ‘Disney experience’ and we certainly queued for  several hours during the week to meet our favourites.  The selfie rears its self-obsessed head again, not content with official photos, photos with each member of the family individually and then in different combinations, quite a few went in for the selfie at the end.

I watched a number of people with amazement as they took selfie after selfie with different facial expressions, hairstyles and angles.  I feel quite old saying this but I did wonder what on earth some of them were doing.  What is wrong with just taking a photo of something?  Is a normal photo just not the done thing any more?

So why have we become so obsessed with selfies? I have seen some Instagram accounts which are pretty much filled with the same face over and over again in different settings.  Why?  What is that all about? Are we bringing a generation of people into the world who will just take endless photos of themselves? I can just see it; my life in selfies, the day I left school face, my new job face, yes that was my baby but you can’t quite see him in the selfie face.  That was my wedding day selfie, didn’t my face look amazing?

One thing that I was quite relieved about was the selfie stick ban.  I have been to a couple of theme parks this year and whilst I have been vaguely amused by some parents both armed with selfie sticks taking the same footage of their children at the same time, I have also nearly had my head knocked off by an overzealous parent who was more concerned about filming their child than the well-being of any innocent bystander and with the crowds at Disneyland, I can see that too many of those things could be dangerous.

I’m sure that my selfie aversion is also partly due to the fact that I don’t like photos of me.  I have tentatively tried a couple of selfies but to be honest, I usually look like Jabba the Hut only with more chins or a cut the top of my head off, so I won’t be getting into the whole selfie thing very soon.  I shall stick to my boring family photos and my Disneyland castle photos are just fine thank you very much, without my Jabba chins ruining them.

Disneyland Paris Castle



  1. August 19, 2015 / 7:35 am

    Love this! Where did the obsession come from? We last went to Disneyland three or four years ago and the word ‘selfie’ hadn’t been invented. People just didn’t take photos of themselves. Now it’s constant. My boys’ IG feeds are full of photos of themselves and they had to get a selfie with every Shaun the Sheep we saw! Like you, I’m not keen. The amount of concentration it takes me to actually take a selfie means I always look grumpy – hold the phone in the right place, press the button AND smile? Impossible!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Cheltenham half marathon 2015: The end of the roadMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      August 21, 2015 / 6:20 pm

      Oh yes the whole getting the right angle is far too hard for me, I can’t do it. I chuckle when I look at some IG feeds of younger people I know ( that makes me sound ancient but you know what I mean) because it is entirely made up of the same face in slightly different locations and pulling different expressions, I just can’t see the point

  2. August 19, 2015 / 8:25 am

    I’m not good with these either, yet everywhere I go, people are taking them! And yes, the stick can be a dangerous thing in a busy area, I can see why they’d ban them there. I tend to think photos look better without me in them, so stick to being behind the camera!
    The Reading Residence recently posted…Summer Learning with Reading EggsMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      August 21, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      Yes I think that is my problem too, I am far happier behind the camera, I should try and get in more photos really but I don’t think it will ever be in selfies

  3. August 19, 2015 / 11:03 am

    Haha, love this post! The word selfie is actually an Australian word (they love their abbreviations), but selfies have been around since the beginning of photography (there’s a very famous photo of five men in NYC in the 1920’s holding the huge camera to get a selfie of all of them – you can see more here), and in fact, selfies have basically been around for hundreds of years in the form of artists self portraits. Photography-wise people have always taken selfies, just not as much because they used to be a difficult (and expensive if it went wrong) thing to do. With the rise in front facing screens on phones and cameras it’s just made it much much easier.

    Honestly though I think people just naturally take ‘selfies’ because they have such a fascination with seeing how they change over time. Often when you take photos you’re not in them, you usually take photos of things or pretty landscapes or other people that you’re with. Taking selfies is a way to capture your face at the moment in time with something, without having to awkwardly ask someone to take one for you, and maybe in the future you’ll look back and laugh (or cry) at how much you’ve changed. I actually recently found a photo on an old SD card from ten years ago, when I was 13, and it was a selfie. It made me laugh so much that even ten years ago I was taking selfies, and it was so weird putting it next to a recent one and seeing how much I’d changed in that time.

    I should so write an essay on selfies 😉 hehe

    C x
    Catherine recently posted…Cocktails at The Mandarin Oriental, Paris.My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      August 21, 2015 / 6:18 pm

      Wow you are the expert on selfies! Thank you for your comment, I hadn’t really thought about the evolution of the selfie before but what you say makes sense. I do understand why people take selfies and I can see that people want to keep a record of themselves over time, I just felt at Disney that it was a little over the top. You so should write an essay, maybe even a book!

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