Dream Interpreter: Trapped in the Disney Universe

The Journal’s dream interpreter analyzes a dream about false security

Journal File Photo

I’m Meryl Sleep, Queen’s resident dream interpreter. I analyze dreams in an effort to decode the symbols in each Queen’s student’s subconscious. Today’s dream involves cruises, paranoia, and a whole lot of Disney.


I’ve had this dream several times and it’s always the exact same. It starts with me on a Disney cruise. I’m alone and soon realize I’m being chased by an evil figure who works for Disney. I race through a Peter Pan amusement park and hide in the employee dorm rooms. 

I’m hiding on the top of a bunk bed as the evil person bangs on the door. I discover the cruise ship docked and seize the opportunity by climbing out of a window so I can swim to shore. On land, I run to the first shop I see: a clothing store I find out is owned by Disney. I run to the next place, a restaurant. It’s also owned by Disney! I run to a bank, and think to myself, “Finally, a safe haven!” It’s also owned by Disney! I’m utterly terrified as I gather that I’m in a shopping complex owned and controlled entirely by Disney.

Dear Dreamer,

While often frustrating, reoccurring dreams are an important line of communication with your subconscious because they continually remind you of something personal you haven’t yet confronted. This type of dream is typically representative of an unresolved thought or emotion.

Since dreams are the brain’s way of processing information received throughout the day, a large part of determining what the content means is identifying what external factors trigger it to occur. What happens throughout your day to incite this dream? Is there something important in your life you’re not addressing?

A couple of symbols stand out in this dream, including Disney and a false sense of safety. 

The word “Disney” itself appears a whopping six times in your dream description, making it the most prominent symbol. First, it’s important to recognize that it’s common for familiar images to appear in dreams, especially those sourced from a television series or movie. These images are visually engaging and their constant exposure often makes them linger in the mind. 

A significant presence from entertainment giant Disney is not necessarily an outrageous inclusion—Disney has probably played a significant role in your life. Was Disney a big part of your childhood? Have you recently watched a Disney movie, or been to a Disney amusement park?

However, it’s important to note that you’re constantly seeking a way out of the Disney nightmare you seem to be trapped in. Disney is usually viewed as a magical, happy world where all characters live fairy tale lives, endings are happy, and villains are held accountable for their actions. Therefore, it can also be viewed as an idealization of the real world, where things are far less guaranteed.

Your sense of terror towards the Disney universe you entered into suggests the environment could be your brain’s way of acknowledging that, while you want a situation to be as good as it looks to other people, it’s actually quite a negative experience for you.

[W]hile you want a situation to be as good as it looks to other people, it’s actually quite a negative experience for you.

The dream explicitly features you experiencing a false sense of safety when you arrive at the bank. Consider the various elements of your life, like school, relationships, or work. Perhaps you’re seeking an escape from an overwhelming or unhealthy situation, but can’t seem to find a way out. 

The idea of you believing you’re safe, as opposed to truly finding safety, suggests you haven’t yet taken action to alleviate the cause of your unhappiness. Remember, it’s important to listen to yourself and take action to protect your best interests.

Sweet Dreams!

—Meryl Sleep

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