Friday, April 18, 2008

The Disney View Of History?

Recently, I read a book about Walt Disney World that contained a chapter criticizing what it called “The Disney View of History”

If you have ever encountered this way of thinking before, then you’ll understand what I’m trying to say here.

This purist author takes issue with the way Disney chooses to select, omit, or mix pieces of history, particularly America History. I mean, who cares if you're in “the happiest place on earth” you have to include the dark side of history along with the good.

To quote this author I include the following statements.

Main Street USA should have a worn and lived in look. It should “not” be pristine with fresh paint on every building and manicured trees. Instead the buildings should have a weathered lived in look, with a dirt road down the middle.

In the American Adventure Pavillion we should not be subjected to racial interaction.

Clearly we should understand that people of different color could never have gotten along together. How could Disney portray such fiction? Give me a break, are we to believe that all of our ancestors where nothing but evil hate mongers?
Now, before I get too far, let me say this. Every nation has some not so rosy moments in it’s past and present to be certain. All events, whether good or bad shape that nation.
It’s true in our personal lives also. Sad and bad times are a part of our character. They can wear you down, but, you should grow stronger and become better for it.
Disney chooses to portray our cultural heritage in a hopeful light with dreams of a great big beautiful tomorrow.

Disney certainly has the right to show what it feels are memorable points in our history as well as the other countries that it chooses to represent in areas of it’s parks such as World Showcase.

When I go to a theme park, any theme park for that matter, I want to be entertained. I want to have fun. I want, (pause for effect) to forget the outside world and enjoy the experience! This is especially true when visiting a Disney park.

I do not go to the parks to critique and analyze it’s attractions for historical accuracy.

It goes without saying, you just can’t please some people. I once read a hotel review on from a guy staying offsite near Disneyland. He complained that the hotel did not have an indoor pool. Hello…. California, duh, what an idiot.

Walt said it himself at the opening of Disneyland “To all who come to this happy place welcome”. He said it right there. Disney’s parks are meant to be a place of fantasy, an escape from the day to day routine. Welcome, come on in, set you cares aside for awhile and enjoy yourselves.

So who is it that gets and understands this?
It’s people like the Disney podcasters and those who download and listen to their shows each week. Thankfully, it’s also the majority of park visitors.

Now, while I truly would like to see everyone who travels to the parks have a great time. I wouldn’t mind tapping some sour apple on the shoulder and asking them to go back to their hotel room and let me have their place in the queue line.

Before I close, lets visit Walt's boyhood hometown of Marceline Mo. Imagine seeing with me, Cinderella's castle rising above his hometown Main Street.

And yes Deb I did this one, Click on it for a larger view.


MikeF. said...

Jeff All I can say is AMEN BROTHER! Love the pic.

Biblioadonis aka George said...

So...I am very curious.

What was the book?

caballerofan said...


Inside Disney published by "ding" The Unofficial Guide.
Authored by Eve Zibart.

At only 170 pages it actually offers a great look into how WDW came to be and is maintained.

It is really only her critical view of Disney's representation of history that stuck a negative chord with me.

It is found it the chapter entitled America's Adventures In Wonderland.

Rae! said...

I have read a couple of books that all they do is poo poo Walt.
That women has a closed mind. Really she isn't getting it.
Our last rip we were in the middle there were just standing and looking at everything and this family walked by,the boy said lets ride Peter Pan the Mom said ok and the Dad said no. You don't need to ride this nazi corporate corrupted ride.The kid started to cry, the parents began to argue and I was not a nice person at that point.
I said out loud if you don't get it leave and let the others enjoy themselves.People like that don't need to be in WDW, he probably was forced to go in a bad mood but he could have kept his mouth shut.
I don't want ot know what goes on behind the scenes when I am there I am there to have a good time and forget about work for a while.

Biblioadonis aka George said...


Here, here!

I agree with your sentiments exactly. what's better? A hot, crowded day at WDW or a day at work?

I wonder why that guy was even at WDW...

Rae! said...

Jeff check out my video!!!!

DebWDW said...

Another cool pic! When I go to WDW, I want to escape reality. I want it to be a fake utopia, not the real world.