Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Obsessed with All Things Disney Family Can't Get Enough of Mickey

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Obsessed with All Things Disney Family Can't Get Enough of Mickey

Article excerpt

They're up to 7,000 and counting.

There's so much of it that neighbors have dubbed Joe and

Sheri Girouex's brick home in Jacksonville's Holiday Hill

neighborhood the Mouse House.

At Christmastime, they hold a two-day open house that attracts

more than 800 neighbors, friends and coworkers eager to see

their obsession with all things Disney.

"People think it's incredible," Joe Girouex said of their

Disney collection. "But my kids think this is normal."

In the five years since a story on the couple appeared in the

Times-Union, they've been featured on the syndicated TV show,

Entertainment Tonight.

They're in Disney's 25th anniversary special collector's issue.

They've been interviewed by The Miami Herald and The Associated

Press.

Oh, and they've added 3,000 items to their collection and been

given a commemorative button by the Walt Disney Co. proclaiming

them as among the 25 super fans in the world.

They drive to Lake Buena Vista 40 to 50 times a year. So

familiar are they with the Magic Kingdom that they can tell when

a prop has been painted and can take guests through in five

hours.

"We know what to do and when to do it," Sheri Girouex said. "We

know where all the cool spots are, the bathrooms and the rest

areas."

Need a haircut? They walk into the Disney barbershop, and the

quartet greets them by name.

As might be expected, the Girouexs do not support the Southern

Baptist Convention's boycott of Disney. While the couple,

members of the Congregational church, doesn't agree with

everything Disney does, Joe Girouex said it is still the safest

and most enjoyable entertainment mecca around.

Their collection began with a back scratcher that Joe Girouex

bought 15 years ago. It mushroomed after the birth of their son,

John, now 12, a Mickey Mouse fan.

Indeed, you won't find any Mickey-free zones in their house.

It's the one sporting the illuminated Mickey silhouette on the

outside and flying the decorative Mickey flag. Open the door and

you're greeted by a life-sized Mickey in the foyer and the

Girouexs dressed, of course, in clothes sporting the Disney

motif. …

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