Tuesday, June 26, 2007

not so PC Tuesday

Today I bite the hand that entertains me.

Disneyland is a place that was built for young and old alike to enjoy. It was designed to be a place where you can leave the stresses of the real world behind and enjoy a world of fantasy. There is even a plaque at the berm as you enter the park that states in so many words that Disney wants you to escape the world of today when you enter.
Disneyland was a place where you could escape the worries of today and enter a world of yesterday or tomorrow. A world of adventure or fantasy. A place where these worlds were so encompassing that you could forget the world outside the park.

As you enter the park you travel under the Disneyland Railroad tracks. This railroad circles the park. While it serves the function as a ride and a shortcut to several lands it also serves as a barrier to the outside world. It was built on a 15 (or so) foot high berm in order to block the view of the outside world from people in the park. It was a brilliant idea that brought home Disney's idea of this being a special place unlike any in the world.

That special place is no more.

It is a poorly maintained walmart at best.

Today in Disneyland there are reminders of the outside world everywhere. In fact at times it is as if Disney is telling you to get out.

Problem #1.
While in the park you are repeatedly reminded that there are activities outside of the park. These are all casual mentions but they serve as a reminder that Disney doesn't just want you in the park they want you out. Be it a reminder that you need to visit Downtown Disney and shop or enjoy California Adventure these reminders tell you that there is a world outside and you cant escape it. More reminders...
Images of Mickey thanking a 9/11 firefighter. Now we know this never happened. Mickey never gave a damn about the firefighters. He is not real. But... the firefighter are real. They sacrificed quite a bit for ... well I'm not sure. They continue to suffer with no help from out government and ... why the hell should I be reminded of that while I am in Disneyland?
Abandoned attractions are now being taken over by outside "vendors" who treat the area like swap meets. Seriously. It is happening. Its like they are squatters.

Problem #2
Those special "Lands" are no more.
At one point (BEFORE Eisner or B.E.) When you entered adventureland the merchandise was solely adventure themed. Not any more. Today you can find Goofy hats and Finding Nemo plushies in any damn land. In fact Adventureland seems to be saturated in Pirates Booty. The real Disneyland of yore would have restricted that crap to New Orleans Square where the ride exists. Rides that don't fit into the theme of the area are a problem. Buzz Lightyear has nothing to do with the world of tomorrow nor does a submarine ride about a fish lost in the year 2003. The misadventures of Winnie the Pooh belongs in Fantasyland along with the other dark rides not in "Critter Country" a suburb of New Orleans Square that has only one other ride( based on a film Disney REFUSES to let the public see!)
At the Penny arcade in main street you can still buy candy and now pick up a copy of your favorite soundtrack on cd... just like the old days.
I can only think of two shops that maintain the immersion theme...
That creepy crystal shop in New Orleans square and the coffee place on main street. All the others seem to have cross purposed their merch in order to sell you something you could get at walmart at a better price.

Problem #3
Disney castmembers.
They used to be so nice. Years of renegotiation and dehumanizing (during Eisners time) have run the lifers out of the park and replaced them with morons who are underpaid, under trained and don't give a damn about the park. It is a village of idiots.
Sloppy confrontational goofballs. Oh and another thing... They are called castmembers we are guests. Why? It used to be that they were called castmembers because it was like putting on a show. Keeping the dream alive. Well now there is no dream and there is no show so I'm going to refer to by what they really are. Temporary employees. That is all they are. No one has a job for life at the park anymore. Up until very recent the name badges in the park used to state the temps name and the year they started working for the Disney. Aside from one person who worked in the gallery all name tags showed less than two years work history.
That is for the idiots who work face to face with the public. God knows how little training the folks who maintain the rides have.

Problem #4
Annual passholders.
Each one with a sense of entitlement.

1 comment:

WAT said...

The last time I went to Disneyland must have been in the early 2000s. To hear it is going downhill like this is depressing. Universal Studios went into the dumps years ago.