A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (Boston), my bosses at bostonherald.com sent me to Disney World for an assignment and it was my first (and hopefully last) encounter with Mouse Culture. You can read the original post here.
Diary of a Misanthrope at Disney
After speaking with the front desk to find out if my room is ready, I am told to have a “magical day.”
Decide to start a running fanny-pack count.
Call off fanny-pack count because I can’t count that high.
We are at the new “Wishes” fireworks show. The name “Wishes” reminds me of the dumbest senior quote to ever grace the pages of my high school yearbook: “if wishes were horses, dreamers would ride.” If wishes were tequila, I’d have a much better disposition.
Summer Media Preview at MGM:
While wandering around the park, I find a street modeled after New York City. I propose a Boston-themed street with potholes, triple-parked cars and the occasional shooting of a teenager at the T-station.
If it were really the “happiest place on earth” there’d be fewer kids and more dogs.
I dig the show tunes.
Sneak Preview at Saratoga Springs Resort (opening later this month):
The newest resort is called Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, based on Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The resort’s motto is “Health, History and Horses.”
Let’s see. “Health.” Okay, there is a spa. That could be construed as healthy. “History.” If you consider a fake reproduction of upstate New York circa 1870 in the middle of 2004 central Florida historical, then yes, there is history. “Horses.” Hmmm. No horses. No horse races. No betting. They should at least throw in an OTB.
Saratoga Springs Performance Center:
We are gathered for a “surprise announcement” via a live feed from Disneyland in California.
To celebrate Disneyland’s 50th anniversary (for some reason called “The Happiest Homecoming on Earth”), Disney World will import attractions from other Disney parks.
From Tokyo, they will introduce a show called “Cinderellabration,” a story featuring Cinderella and the other Disney princesses. Euro-Disney will contribute its “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show,” which consists of a bunch of cars going really fast and crashing. I suggest they combine the two and call it the “The Last Days of Princess Di.”
Art Linkletter, who is 93, appears on stage in California to tell a rambling story about Walt Disney and his God complex…I mean his “vision.” If they wheel out Christopher Reeve, I’m leaving.
Reminiscent of the Daniel Pearl hostage video, Captain Tom (of Disney Cruise Lines), surrounded by “crew members” in gold mouse ears, announces the inauguration of west coast cruises.
Back at my hotel:
My faith in (in)humanity is restored. Today on Oprah: that guy in Syracuse who locked women in his basement dungeon.
The local T.V. station shows a hilarious commercial for something called “Granny Nannies.”
Item in the news: For the second day in a row, a local high school is under lockdown because someone brought in a weapon.
By the pool, there’s a man in a Speedo eating a banana. I don’t know why I think that’s funny.
At an International Media event, we get a VIP viewing of the Siege of Fallujah, I mean, the “Illuminations” fireworks show.
At Epcot, you can safely say, “I see London, I see France…” and not have to finish the sentence with “underpants.”
I’ve seen two couples (so far) wearing Mickey/Minnie wedding attire, which consists of white mouse ears with an attached veil (for her), and a top hat (for him). This makes me very sad.
Made-up, but possibly true, statistic: Per square foot, there are more strollers here than anywhere else in the world.
T-shirt slogan: “Life is good, Eternal Life is better.”
Behind the scenes, Animal Kingdom employees ride around the park on blue Schwinns.
I saw a huge container with the sign: “Manure Only.”
The animals are housed in giant buildings with signs that say “Elephant/Building 15” and “White Rhino/Building 16.” I wonder if they have to pass drug tests.
One of the employees working at Tusker House Restaurant looks just like the “O-Face Guy” from Office Space.
The Tree of Life is fake.
There are entirely too many people here.
Chef Mickey’s at The Contemporary Resort:
As I am surrounded by approximately one million children all hopped up on candy and Mickey Mouse, I wonder idly about the alcoholism rate among Disney employees.
Speaking of Mickey, I don’t like his attitude. The scene at Chef Mickey’s was just like the show “The Restaurant,” where everyone is all, “Where’s Rocco, where’s Rocco?” Like Rocco, Mickey sashays in when he feels like it and expects everyone to make a big deal over him. Whatever.
Overheard: “Connor! Don’t grab his tail!”
Grand Gatherings Fireworks Cruise:
We are in a boat, in the middle of the Seven Seas Lagoon, where we are watching the “Electrical Water Pageant.” Imagine your neighbor’s light-sculpture Christmas decorations, but instead of reindeer, it’s dolphins and fish and alligators. Then it turns patriotic with stars and stripes and flags, which totally reminds me of “Red, White and Blaine!” from the movie “Waiting for Guffman.”
Christopher Guest needs to make a movie about theme parks.
The “Wishes” fireworks display. Again. By this point I’m wishing, fervently, that the boat would capsize.
On the airplane:
To the parents of the child who screamed at the top of his lungs from North Carolina to Logan Airport: please don’t fly ever again.
So there you have it. 2004’s unhappiest person on earth visited the “happiest” place on earth and lived to tell about it. (You can read the fruits of my Disney labors here if you’re so inclined.)
Do you have a terrifying vacation story?
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
What is this? Back in the day, I had a blog. It’s long been abandoned, but I think the world deserves to hear my wisdom anew. I was also a lot crankier back then, so if you have a moment, why not go back in time and give 2005 Kate a hug.
This was one of my earliest posts.