Tuesday, January 24, 2006

have a magical day!

I am in Orlando attending a big tradeshow. It's at Disneyworld (land? world? land?) and so it made most sense to stay in a Disney resort close to the hub. Ours is supposedly Caribbean. We are staying in "Jamaica", but that would be minus the Rastafarians, the weed, the poverty and the gun violence. Oh yeah, we are also miles from the ocean.

Everything in Disneylandworldland is semi-real and very very clean. Everything is summarized, neatly, and liberally glosses over the perceived flaws in the original that the summary is imitating.

For example, in regards to the resort, this basically means that you can't walk anywhere in silence because the soundtrack for your Caribbean vacation is piped in through regularly and generously distributed speakers hidden in the shrubs on either side of the roped-in path. Sometimes it is Disney reggae, sometimes it is Disney calypso, sometimes it is an unrelenting singsong of steel drums -- but ALWAYS, whatever it is, it is HAPPY and MAGICAL. It is so happy and magical that it makes me want to eat more hotdogs, funnel cake, soft serve ice cream, buy Mickey Mouse ears, fantasize about being a fairy princess and living in a castle with enchanted candlesticks who will give me footrubs. But more than anything it makes me want to find a working magic wand and BLOW UP THE SPEAKERS.

After a long day of log rides and various minor disappointments (the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride, which I remembered from my childhood, was gone; the food was a horror of carnivorous insanity in the form of "smoked turkey legs" which assaulted the stomach and the bowels; and the desperate families around us were having somehow less "fun" than they'd apparently paid for), I went to lie down on the fake beach and swing in the hammock and look at the stars (all this by a body of water that looks good but that you mustn't swim in).

That's when I realized there ARE no stars in Orlando. There are spotlights that relentlessly zoom and scrape across the evening canopy; and every night there are fireworks.

I have seen a hundred animatronic animals, and one live squirrel.

How do people live here?


At January 25, 2006 9:38 a.m., Blogger The Dude said...

Are you sure the squirrel wasn't a robot?

Reminds me of a Neil Stephenson piece:
" I was in Disney World recently, specifically the part of it called the Magic Kingdom, walking up Main Street USA. This is a perfect gingerbready Victorian small town that culminates in a Disney castle. It was very crowded; we shuffled rather than walked. Directly in front of me was a man with a camcorder. It was one of the new breed of camcorders where instead of peering through a viewfinder you gaze at a flat-panel color screen about the size of a playing card, which televises live coverage of whatever the camcorder is seeing. He was holding the appliance close to his face, so that it obstructed his view. Rather than go see a real small town for free, he had paid money to see a pretend one, and rather than see it with the naked eye he was watching it on television.

And rather than stay home and read a book, I was watching him. "

Great read:

At January 26, 2006 9:15 a.m., Blogger cup a joe said...

Well at least Disney hasn't taken your sense of sarcasm and dripping wit... Now that would be a truly scary ride/park a park that removes ones sense of sarcasm just leaving us with a happy magical feeling...ahhhhhhh


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