Slate on Disney

Slate has a five-part travel story on a grown man, no kids, visiting all the parks in Disney World, accompanied with photos.  The visitor is a bit incredulous at the entire thing, and seems a bit perplexed as to why people love it so much.   Being myself a closet Disneyphile, I thought I might try to explain it, risking my street cred in the process.  (If I ever had any to begin with, totally unclear.)

I’ve been to a Disney park a handful of times as an adult, both Florida and California.  I really do prefer Epcot so Florida is a clear winner, although I have never gone to the animal park or the movie one.  I adore Downtown Disney.  I love the shops that they have there and the restaurants and bars.  I love staying in a hotel close enough to wander over for an adult beverage, preferably enjoyed sitting outside.  I love the fact that anything with the Disney brand on it is likely to be clean and well-organized.

My contrast to Disney comes in that I hate Las Vegas.  I know there are many reasons why people like to go there, but I cannot get past the seedy side of it.  For me, Disney parks are like Vegas without the gambling and hookers and filth.  Great people watching, a slice of America that I never otherwise see.  A place where I truly feel like I’ve escaped my real life and my day job, where I know that I’m on vacation because I can go on rides and eat strange things and shop in the souvenir stores.  Ironically, of course, I’m almost always in Disney proximity because I *am* working, my job takes me to conferences and trade-shows that tend to be in places where Disney parks are located.

I do the whole Disney consumer thing.  I buy a shirt, purchase the photograph of myself making a silly face on some ride or another.  And I love every minute of it.

Now where I think the important difference comes in–from what the Slate author was so concerned about–is that I also like to travel to places in the real world.  I love the fact that my job takes me to places far more exotic than Disney World.  I like the gritty reality of trying to navigate in Budapest or Singapore.  But there is a special place in my heart for Disneyworld.  It’s been a few years, and I’m itching to head over on the train to Paris and check out the local flavor.  Of course, I also desperately want to go to Legoland in Windsor.

While on the Disney confessional, I love the princess movies and I watch them often.  I hated the Lion King.  Okay enough.  That’s definitely enough potential humiliation for one day.


2 responses to “Slate on Disney

  1. I hadnt been to a disney park for 11 years until last month and it may seem odd but going there has made me a happy person again. Being there did something to me that gives me hope again

  2. I do need to go back to Disney World/Epcot again just to see what has changed in the last 20 years. No matter how jaded one becomes, if there is any humanity left, how can you not remember how cool it was the first time you took a small child into the fantasy land area? Give me Disney over thrill-rollercoaster stuff any day. But I can do without 2 hour waits in lines.

    I think my favorite part about any Disney location is watching Japanese tourists and elderly Americans. The Japanese have wild shorts and six cameras around their necks, take photos of EVERYTHING. The American men always have shorts and black socks.

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