The other day, my dad asked me if I was planning on taking the kids to Disney World. I said no and he asked if it was due to financial or philosophical restraints. I mumbled something about it being very low on a very long list of priorities but I wasn’t philosophically opposed to it. This question stuck with me though. Disney is fun and fun is good, right? Not so fast.
First off, I do not like crowds. I won’t even go to the grocery store on a weekend if I can avoid it. Masses of humanity in a state of nervous excitement make me feel ill at ease in the best of circumstances so imagining myself under the blazing Florida sun jockeying for position in line for Pirates of Caribbean surrounded by sweaty adults and cranky kids most likely wearing mouse ears has a nightmarish quality.
Secondly, Disney is ex-pen-sive y’all! I don’t understand how anyone can afford to go there. Add the specter of exponential debt and life style entitlement floating over the mouse ears and I start to get depressed. In Steven King’s book Insomnia a person’s longevity is represented by a bunch of balloons type thing floating over their heads. The soon to be dead ones had shriveled up, blackened, droopy balloons.
Thirdly, I’m not much of a consumer. Even if I weren't riding the rough and ragged edges of financial disaster, if it isn’t food or a book or a plant, I don’t enjoy buying. You go to Disney and you are their little captive buying machine. I get PO’d at the market when I have to go through the candy isle to checkout or pass shelves full of toys placed strategically near the cereal aisle. I couldn’t spend an entire day allowing my kids to be targeted by marketing. The whole time I’d be wondering where all this crap came from (China) where it was going to be in 30 minutes/6 months (THE DUMP) and I’d be sad about that.
Finally, I’d be thinking about what used to be where Disney World is. No amount of first world fun can justify paving yet another 47 square miles of habitat.
So we have crowds of sweaty adults and cranky kids in a state of nervous excitement jockeying for position under the blazing Florida sun with shriveled up, blackened, droopy debt balloons hovering over their mouse ears having a Wall-E moment as they dance on the graves of the former residents. Fun!
Though somewhere in the bowels of the superstructure some wonderful notions of magic and imagination exist, for me, this has been entirely subsumed in the rapacious money making machine that churns out mindless entertainment and branding thats only intended function is the provocation of material consumption.
I spent Saturday at the Lake with my kids. They dug in the sand and chased the ducks and splashed in the water. We found a dead turkey and lots of cool rocks that look like blue cheese. There wasn’t a single complaint or argument or want the entire 2 hours we were there. They had rosy cheeks and smelled like sunshine when we got home. We were 7 minutes from our house. It cost of us nothing.
Disney is totally off the list.