Friday, January 7, 2011
Disneyworld (Amusement Park) GUEST REVIEWER MIKE BEYER
Q: What is the last bastion of male white America?
I recently returned home from the clutches of the dreaded beast known only as the family vacation. Looking back, I truly shudder to think about the direction our trip could have taken if we had gone anyplace other than Disneyworld. The Magic Kingdom. Where dreams really do come true. Where the patriarch rules supreme, and comes home after a long day at the office to find a hot dinner waiting for him on the dinner table, cooked by his loving wife, while his kids happily flit about and show him their completed homework. Then they all sit down at the dinner table for a wonderful meal right before an early bedtime. That is...unless "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is showing on ABC Family. (FUN FACT: Did you know that movie was the 5th-highest grossing movie of 1996?)
Disney markets itself as The Happiest Place On Earth. That's no joke. Exhibit A: On New Year's Day at approximately 6:30 a.m., I began to load our family wagon for our trip home after a magical few days of standing in line and eating cheeseburgers. (NOTE TO THOSE ABOUT TO BE MARRIED OR HAVING KIDS: This is what New Year's Eve/New Year's Day becomes.)
On my way back from our car to our Disney hotel, I passed a white, 40-something Disney employee who was emptying one of the 3,873,000 trash bins located on the Disney property. This particular garbage bag was pretty large and unwieldy, and was giving her considerable trouble. She saw me, and her face instantly lit up into a smile.
"Good morning! It's going to be a beautiful day, isn't it?" she chirped happily, dumping the garbage bag into her motorized Disney mini-garbage truck.
"Happy New Year," I mumbled.
"Oh!" A momentary look of fear crossed her face. Fuck! I forgot to wish him Happy New Year! What if this guy is a DISNEY SPY? I will be MURDERED, just like Denise over at Sir Mickey's Hut! She left that that spilled popcorn on the floor for more than 30 seconds, and got an ax buried in her SKULL! FUCK-FUCK-FUCK-
Her Prozac-induced look returned in an instant. "Happy New Year to you as well!"
"Thanks," I waved.
"Have a magical day!"
I really do suspect that all employees are strongly encouraged to take their Disney Happy Pills before beginning work at this 47-mile Plexus Of Dreams. Nearly every employee at Disneyworld is 100% in character. In fact, they are not even referred to as "employees". Instead of signs that read "Employees Only", they read "Cast Members Only". I would estimate that 90% of all Disneyworld cast members are under the influence some kind of Mickey's Happy Medication, which make those 10% all the more jarring.
Exhibit B: We signed our children up for a little Disney Extreme Makeover, which consists of them going into a makeup and hair studio -- then participating in some magical advenures with REAL Disney characters. My 8-year-old son was dressed up as a pirate from Pirates Of The Caribbean, and then was allowed to have a plastic sword fight with JACK SPARROW HIMSELF, in front of hundreds of spectators. The pirate makeup artists, photographer and cashier snarled "ARRGH" with gusto, and my son was properly cowed and impressed.
My 5-year-old daughter was taken to the Bippity Boppity Boutique (located inside Cinderella's Castle), and given the full JonBenet Ramsey treatment by a REAL FAIRY GODMOTHER, complete with hair extensions. Then she was hustled down into the castle for a photo shoot with Cinderella, then hustled upstairs for a magical lunch inside the castle, resplendent with foie gras and ALL THE DISNEY PRINCESSES. But whoever was playing Princess Ariel ("The Little Mermaid"), had skipped her Disney Medication that day. My daughter was struggling with her crown, which was jammed tightly around her skull along with about a pound of hair gel.
"Let's go, YOUR HIGHNESS!" snarled Ariel. Not in character. By now, I am sure she is enjoying her new job -- AS FOOD FOR THE LIONS INSIDE DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM!
There is no smoking at Disneyworld. Wait a minute, I'm sorry. There IS a smoking section at Disneyworld, located conveniently behind a Disney Trash Dumpster near the Disney Janitor's Broom Closet. It measures approximately 2 feet by 2 feet, and you can find at least 35 smokers squeezed comfortably inside this area, enjoying their cancer (All those who step outside this line are tased by Cruella de Ville).
The rides are pretty much what I remember as a child. The Haunted Mansion is a total disappointment, as they have incorporated "The Nightmare Before Christmas" into the ride, and substituted candy canes and Christmas presents for the "ghost" who sits beside you in the haunted chair that you see in the mirror. BOO! "It's A Small World" is as cloying as ever, with Christmas music weaved seamlessly throughout the famous theme song that makes one The Happiest Person In The World. Favorite part of the ride: The Santa figure perusing a gigantic list of names, which started out with the following names: Tyrone, Shawonda, and Raheem. Clearly, this was the "naughty" list.
I'd say more, but my time is limited and my thoughts on Disneyworld could truly fill pages and pages. I should really give two reviews:
FOR CHILDREN: A+++++++
For Adults: B (and a definite F if you are a smoker)