It’s safe, very safe, to call Lainey Lui a cynic. She’ll be the first person to tell you that. Among her co-hosts of CTV’s The Social (weekdays, 1 p.m. ET/2 p.m. AT), she readily describes herself as “the selfish one.” And she’s known for slinging pointed — well, okay, mercilessly barbed — observations via her LaineyGossip blog.
And yet, there is a place on this earth — a single slice of real estate — where, Lui says, her snark-factor wanes. It doesn’t disappear; this is still the same person who once called Jennifer Aniston “weak” and “a fraud.” But in this mystical place, Lui’s verbal knives get a little soft around the edges. As if, say, fairy dust had been sprinkled all around them.
“The Disneyland Ferris wheel a brand of terror I’ve never experienced before.”
“Ask me about the Ferris wheel. Ask me about the Ferris wheel!” she says, seated on the brightly carpeted floor of a hallway at the Disneyland Hotel. “The Disneyland Ferris wheel is a brand of terror that I’ve never experienced before…I dare you. I dare you to go on it. Dare you!”
For the first time, the four co-hosts of The Social — Lui, Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst and Traci Melchor, along with digital correspondent Jess Allen–are producing their addictively delicious gab-fest away from Toronto. And they’re doing it at the “happiest place on earth,” Disneyland. Their first dispatch from the iconic southern California resort aired May 21 (watch it here); their second airs today, May 23 (1 p.m ET/2 p.m. AT on CTV), recorded within view of Sleeping Beauty’s storybook-like castle.
During their trip, the women of The Social have eaten everything from corn dogs to five-star ceviche; gone on rides that have sent them reaching for barf bags; taken an exclusive tour of Walt Disney‘s quaint old apartment; shopped for Minnie Mouse-themed jewelry; and sported mouse ears so completely blinged out they’d make Tinkerbell jealous.
What’s it like to watch the women of The Social experience Disneyland? It’s witnessing the personalities of grown women pivot, often, between that of seasoned TV veterans and their four-year-old selves.
“All they want is for you to be happy,” Lui says. “Within these boundaries, the snark [in me] is lessened. Everyone is kind. Everybody’s helpful. Everybody is here to make your experience the most amazing and happy on earth.”
Technically, of course, the women are here to work. The day before the taping, the hosts had their game faces on, sitting through production meetings and running through a full day of rehearsals on Disney’s outdoor stage.
But after a few hours of practising their patter between blasts from the old-timey car horns and well-amplified barbershop quartets on Disney’s Main Street U.S.A., the relentless happiness of the place seeped in once again.
Mickey showed up.
And Donald. And Minnie. And Pluto. All there for a special, VIP photo op, just for the ladies of The Social.
“They’re rock stars,” Melchor says. “Everybody has a memory of Mickey and Minnie. Minnie is my ultimate favourite, but —”
“But we’re gonna fight over Donald Duck,” Loyst cuts in. “He was flirting with me.”
“Oh, no,” Melchor says. “He was flirting with me.”
Princesses for a day
Everyone has a little prince or princess inside of them. (Even Lainey.) We asked the hosts of The Social to consider their co-stars and then name the first Disney princess comes to mind.
Melchor: “Cynthia’s Disney princess is definitely Princess Leia, may the Force be with her all day, every day. Look at her: She’s a brunette. All you have to do is put her hair in twists and she’s got the buns. Flowy, white dress and a lightsaber, and she’s good to go.”
Loyst: “I would go with Cinderella for Traci. Traci is somebody who has made herself into the amazing person that she is today. She is larger than life. She also knows a good heel and she doesn’t mind some sparkle.”
Lui: “Melissa is Snow White. Melissa is our nurturer. We are the dwarves. And Melissa is the one who is taking care of us, looking out for us, but also she’s a leader. She also rides horses and could totally storm a castle.”
Grelo: “I would have to say Sleeping Beauty and here’s why: Lainey, as you know, is very proud of the fact that she is very selfish. She says, “I don’t have the responsibility of having a child.” Sometimes I could imagine that Lainey is Sleeping Beauty on the weekends.”
The Social airs weekdays at 1 p.m. ET/2 p.m. AT on CTV.