6 Creepy Things You Realize About Disney World Now That You Are Older

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Disney_World_Main_Entrance.png

I recently got back from a 7 day vacation in the Caribbean. I’ll write about that part later, because writing is hard. But since we were leaving from Florida, we made a stop in the Magic Kingdom for a whole day. Yay, I thought. I’ve only been there twice before, the last time being 8 years ago. Going as an adult is still enjoyable, but it’s not quite the magical utopia you remember. Now I’m old enough to realize:

1. It’s Creepily Sterile

Every amusement park I’ve ever been to has always been covered in trash. Candy wrappers, puke, napkins, spilled food, empty lube containers…it’s always everywhere all the time. And there’s one simple reason: it’s impossible to keep that much space clean when you sell the very stuff that gets thrown all over the place in the park. You just cannot hire enough people. I don’t care how many trash barrels you put at every corner and every ride, I guarantee you there will be a pile of shit right next to it. And somebody will put a plastic bottle in the clearly marked paper bin. I’m trying to come up with an appropriate punishment for these violators other than “Merry-Go-Round Castration” but I’m honestly struggling.

Mirror Maze Murder?

At Disney World, not only did I see almost no litter, but I can’t remember seeing anyone picking up any trash, ever. No janitors, no prisoners, no costumed vigilantes. My question is this: Where the hell does it go? Is it like one of those restaurants where after you’re done eating you just push everything onto the floor and it’s absorbed by the carpets and fed to the gnomes or something? It defies physics how thousands of people could consume so much in such a confined space and not leave a mess. Additionally, none of the rides were dirty. I considered licking the safety bar of the space mountain roller coaster, but decided against it because it was moving too fast.

Space Coaster Decapitation? That’s it.

2. It’s Creepily Isolated

When you drive into Disney World, you’re really driving onto the Disney complex, which is just a huge network of highways connecting all of their shit. Not surprisingly, the landscaping is impeccable, but the really weird part is that once you go past the gates, it’s like there is no outside. All of their highway signs point to just Disney stuff.  So if you speed away from Animal Kingdom needing a hospital because you got mauled by an animatronic crocodile, you will end up in EPCOT.

The weirdest incident proving this point happened on the train ride. Not Thunder Mountain, I mean the literal train ride that brings you to a different area of the park (shut up I was tired). For some reason they fill the route up with fake scenes of Native American camps and animals as if to remind visitors what nature used to look like before Mickey civilized the place with magic. Just to be clear, they put up motionless scenes of animals. There are deer that look real, but don’t do anything. And people take pictures of them. So, it was kindof incredible to watch people’s reactions when they noticed a real live squirrel sitting on a fence post eating a nut, facing the train. People went berserk, like “holy fuck NATURE!” They literally gasped at a squirrel. The whole park is built on a fucking swamp, what the hell do you think lives here? It was like they were being conditioned to expect to only ever see fake animals.

Speaking of conditioning:

3. It’s Creepily Controlled:

Have you ever wondered what EPCOT stands for? When I first heard it as a child, I must have realized it was a nonsense word, but I never questioned what it was. To be honest, I don’t think anyone visiting ever has. They could have named the park anything they wanted and people would have showed up.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_child.jpg

“And after Splash Mountain we went to PuppyTortureLand. And after…”

EPCOT stands for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.”
That’s literally what it was supposed to be.  See, before he died Walt Disney envisioned a fabricated Utopian city where corporations could test out ideas for urban living – on actual people who lived there. He chose Florida specifically to build this place alongside the Magic Kingdom. He bought all the land with dummy corporations and petitioned the government to give The Walt Disney Company municipal rights, which would allow him to build anything he wanted. EPCOT was supposed to be Disney’s ultimate vision. Then he died, and the corporation decided they didn’t want to be in the business of running a city, and abandoned the project completely, while still maintaining the land rights. This means, right now, that Disney could build a nuclear power plant inside Cinderella’s castle and it would be perfectly legal. The board of supervisors for the district is full of Disney executives. Who’s gonna complain?

Plus it’s not like Disney keeps this a secret. A model of the original plan is shown on the People Mover in TomorrowLand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EPCOT-model.jpg

And here’s where Daddy works, and where Jimmy’s Daddy works, and where you were born, and where you will live forever.

EPCOT Center was instead converted to a sort of world’s fair. This might clear up some confusion as to why there is a big sciency ball dropped between Mexico and China.

As for the fake utopia? It’s totally goddamn real now. Celebration, Florida is a town located right near the Disney Resort. Going off of Walt’s original vision, it’s completely run by the Disney Corporation. It has it’s own handpicked shops, a huge hospital, and even a fucking public high school. 3,000 people live there, in little villages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OSB_-_Celebration_33.jpg

I would say this looks like something right out of Desperate Housewives. If I had ever watched it.

So, we have a whole town and the entire surrounding area that is literally owed by Disney. If they wanted to, they could build a Chocolate Factory that spews toxic waste all over some Celebration residents’ backyards and no one can do shit about it.

Do the math. There’s nothing to celebrate here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:022306-CelebrationFL11.jpg

Yay! It’s…93% white people.

4. It’s Creepily Staffed

Remember in college going to career fairs and seeing booths from all these different companies desperate for your just-graduated attention (if you haven’t been yet, you will definitely see this)? Remember how Disney was always there touting the Disney College Program? Wow, you get to intern at Disney World, how awesome is that! And you can live there? Sign me the fuck up!

The Disney College Program is one of the largest internship programs in the U.S., employing over 8,000 students per semester. Personally, I think a lot of internships are bullshit, but these students get paid, right? And they do get to live at Disney.

In apartments with 7 other people.

And they pay for housing.

And they basically get paid nothing.

In order to even get into the program, you have to pay $300 in fees. Then $100 per week in housing, docked from your already meager pay. In fact, it’s so meager, that full-time veteran employees have complained that Disney uses college students for cheap labor, paying them half of a regular employee while not giving any benefits. That is atrocious. Disney makes billions of dollars, and they charge college kids a couple hundred bucks in bullshit fees. And if you’re stuck living with the ones who have to dress up as costumed characters? Imagine sleeping near 7 other college kids who all think they are professional actors.

Next stop: The saddest one-man show on Broadway.

Ok, so you paid your dues, and now you finally go to work for Disney. So what exactly do you get to do? Well…anything. They use the college kids as sales people and food vendors, and as mentioned, the costumed characters. And yes, they do get to operate rides.

When we decided to take the tiny raft over to Tom Sawyer Island for some reason (don’t bother, I literally don’t know what that has to do with Disney or what it’s purpose is.) I had a realization. When we got off the boat back on the main shore, there was a girl whose job was to grab the rope from the guy driving the raft, and tie it ashore. Then, once it was safe to dismount, open the gate and let everyone off. That was her entire job.

AND THIS WAS HER INTERNSHIP.

She just tied the raft, every 2 minutes, all day long, in the heat. I looked her straight in the eye, and gave her one of the most sincere thank you’s I had ever given anyone up to that point. For opening the gate for me.

More sincere than the one i gave the Old Hag for not opening her gate for me.

It’s the classic “grass is greener” scenario. Remember when you were a kid and you thought about how cool it would be to live in Florida so you could go to Disney World all the time? Newsflash: you would hate it after the third visit. These college kids probably grew up adoring everything Disney, and jumped at the chance to work there. And I’m guessing after serving their 200th Goofy Burger and coming in contact with their 1000th sweaty tourist, they probably don’t want shit to do with it anymore.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she legitimately enjoyed letting people off the raft. And I get it, somebody has to do these jobs. I’m just saying that if it were me I would drown myself in Pirates of the Caribbean.

5. It’s Creepily Dated

When I went to Magic Kingdom, there were 3 rides I had to go on: Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Space Mountain is insanely fun, even though the line length was double what they wrote on the sign. The Haunted Mansion has a silly-yet-scary vibe to it, and the special effects hold up. (I still can’t figure out how they do the thing where the ghost messes with you in the mirror.) But Pirates? Pirates of the Caribbean is an objectively terrible ride.

There I said it.

Ya, some of the set pieces are neat looking, but they have worse special effects than Sharktopus vs. Supergator. The iconic scene of the pirates and the wenches running around like a cuckoo clock looks so stupid in 2012. Most of the animatronics have gone unchanged since like, 1971, yet there’s a pretty realistic Johnny Depp thrown into some of the scenes. It looked like a real person got lost in a toy store who thinks all of the singing dolls are out to get him.

Seriously, compare those faces.

This would all be pretty forgivable, except the ride feels really short. Then I looked it up and realized why. Apparently the original Disneyland ride is WAY longer. The detailed description talks about at least 5 scenes that I didn’t see, including an entire beginning where you float through Louisiana, an ending in which a bunch of pirates start fighting in an armory, and more scenes in the wrecked ship – all of which are included in the Disneyland video I linked earlier. I don’t remember seeing any of that.  And I wasn’t that drunk.

Where the hell was all this? *burp*

Despite all that, I still felt like I HAD to go on the ride. It was just something you do. And I would do it the hell again, even though I read rumors one time that Disney cast members are forced to pee in the water in some sort of hazing ritual.

Well, since I ranted too long about Pirates, I ran out of time to say what I really wanted to say, which was that it’s creepy how you feel like women suddenly shouldn’t be allowed to vote when you walk down Main Street, and that TomorrowLand looks like what some guy in 1962 thought “tomorrow” would look like, when in reality it’s been “tomorrow” for 5 decades and nothing’s ever looked like that.

Finally,

6. It’s Creepily Affordable

So you’re stuck in the isolated park, and you need to eat. Every other amusement park in the world charges you up the ass for a churro because they know you can’t leave and you biologically have to consume nutrients. It’s supply and demand. Disney’s food prices, though, were…actually pretty good. A soda is like a couple of bucks. An ice cream costs the same down the street from me. The reason it’s creepy is because you know there is some sinister motivation behind this. It’s Disney for fucks sake, they hid penises in the cover art of the Little Mermaid VHS. Something just doesn’t add up.

The penis tower is an extra 400 a night.

But then at the end of the night you realize that you just paid $90 to wait in 3 hours of lines for 5 rides, including one where wading around in urine while you watch male robots sell female robots as sex slaves to other male robots is a normal part of the ride.

– – – – –

Further Reading:

I recommend learning about how Disney controls your nose here and how all the costumed characters share underwear here. Oh and I forgot one more thing: fuck It’s a Small World. I will never go on it, so stop trying to make me.

(top photo source)
Advertisements

13 Responses to 6 Creepy Things You Realize About Disney World Now That You Are Older

  1. Le well informed person says:

    The reason theres no litter is there is tons if secret passages under there, and tons of hidden ways in/out. Janitors pop in and out of them all the time. You never see them, but they take your garbage and throw it away underground.

    Like

  2. Rebecca says:

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the
    eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here
    and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Fantastic work!

    Like

  3. A Disney Loving Cast Member says:

    The college program fees are your first month’s payment and support all of the free events with food and activities that are thrown each month for the kids. They get paid overtime and more than minimum wage. Apartment size is a CHOICE, and you may have only 2 or 3 other people living with you in a full size apartment including laundry, cable, internet, and utilities. It’s a resume builder that can not compare to most other “get coffee for the boss” internships.

    Attractions workers switch positions throughout the rides every thirty minutes or so. Most college program students end up returning to Disney to work full time as leaders and managers. It’s your foot in the door to a company where the possibilities are endless. Also, entertainment cast members DO NOT share underwear. Good try though.

    Like

    • Chris Rio says:

      I’m not sure how objective someone who calls themselves “Disney-loving” is going to be here. That’d be like someone named Dr. James “Hitler-Loving” Livingston writing a World War II textbook, but I’ll bite.

      1) Whatever, you shouldn’t have to pay to work. And I’m willing to bet that the smaller apartment comes with a bigger price tag.

      2) Fine on the rides, but you’re just switching between multiple shitty jobs instead of sticking to one. “Oh thank god I only have 10 more minutes at splash mountain, can’t wait to move to bathroom attendance!”

      3) Ya, the underwear thing totally happened, maybe not to you, but definitely at Disneyland, at least prior to 2001. I don’t know what to tell you, the source is right here:

      http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jun/08/business/fi-7876

      4) Thanks! I do try.

      Like

  4. Patrick Burnett says:

    I expected more research and a more open mind from someone who had written for Cracked. This was “creepily” ignorant and “creepily” opinionated. Answers to all of your “I don’t know but …” statements are readily available, had you bothered.

    For example, Disney grew up in Missouri. Mark Twain grew up in Missouri. Disney said he felt an affinity with Twain and, while building Disneyland for children, wanted to harken back to those innocent days in Missouri. Not that weird, really.

    And hundreds of cast members have blogged about their jobs and the Disney University. It’s not as bad as you think.

    Like

    • Chris Rio says:

      1) I mean this isn’t a school project, it’s just for fun, but for about half the entries I did in fact include multiple links to sources. I can’t find the “I don’t know” statements that you are referencing, but most of time those kinds of things are done for comedic effect. (Like: I don’t know where you learned reading comprehension, but it wasn’t Harvard!)

      2) I have no idea what any of the Mark Twain stuff is about. I actually ctrl-F’ed my own article to make sure I wasn’t crazy and forgot I talked about Mark Twain. Disney building his play land for the kids is like saying Michael Jackson built Neverland for the rides. Plus I’m only talking about D-World, not Land.

      3) Hundreds of people in North Korea bow to Kim Il Sung’s grave. I guess that’s not that weird either.

      Like

      • Patrick Burnett says:

        1. From your article: “When we decided to take the tiny raft over to Tom Sawyer Island for some reason (don’t bother, I literally don’t know what that has to do with Disney or what it’s purpose is.) “. I was telling you what it had to do with Disney. It’s purpose is to give kids a chance to get away from their parents for a bit, run around and feel free, all while being completely surrounded and observed.

        2. Same
        3. What? How do you draw a line from Tom Sawyer’s Island to North Korea? I mean, there really are parallels to be observed, but you skipped over all of them to make a total non sequitur.

        I’m sure you were trying to be funny about the “for the kids” stuff, too, but I just can’t figure out how. The guy was misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic. But, weirdly, he was also goofy for kids and preserving innocence.

        It’s no big deal. I tried reading your stuff and don’t like it as much as I like other stuff. But I didn’t mean to make you all defensive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Chris Rio says:

        Ohhhhh, I couldn’t figure out what that was referencing. Gotcha. Ya now I understand the connection I guess, but I meant it felt insanely out of place to me because I didn’t realize it was only a kid’s playground and there was nothing else there. I mean, in a guide I found online it says “Families can cross the barrel bridge and explore the working water wheel, follow the dirt paths and then rest on benches found scattered throughout.” Wee?

        The North Korea comment was a joke about how just because a lot of people say something doesn’t make it true. It was about your last line about Disney employees who blog about positive experiences.

        I’m sure Disney loved children, but I find it hard to believe that those other negative traits you mentioned could not have influenced his creative decisions. Watch South of the South. Oh wait, you can’t because Disney stopped making copies because it’s too racist. Even though this is the same company who thinks the jive-talking crows in Dumbo don’t cross the line, so take that as what you will.

        Thanks for reading anyway, I was just responding to your comment. Any defense came from the fact that you claim to be an avid Cracked reader but they publish articles making fun of Disney all the freakin time.

        http://www.cracked.com/article_21011_6-things-nobody-tells-you-about-working-at-disney-world.html

        http://www.cracked.com/article_19977_the-5-most-unsettling-disney-theme-park-easter-eggs.html

        Like

  5. amelia says:

    yayyy i live in celebration O-O

    Like

  6. beckster says:

    I LMAO! AT THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE! FREAKING LOVED IT

    Like

  7. Charlie J. D'Angelo says:

    I laugh my ass off…..I know this b/c my family design these interships….email me one day….and I will pull down the curtain and show you the real world of Disney…..its time to tell the truth

    Like

  8. Paul says:

    You’re right, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride was much longer and better back in the day. We went every year from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s and it was always great. Spin the clock forward to 2007 when I took my son to Disney World and I found myself continually apologizing to him for the “updates” they’d made. The worst of which was what they’d done to Pirates. I was angry and at the same time very saddened.
    They also ruined the all bear review as well as several formerly great attractions. The haunted house seemed to move you through quicker and last much less too although I can’t recall any major edits. In addition to all this they turned every square inch of Main Street USA into peddlers stalls removing some cool little exhibits that used to dwell there, like the animatronic owl that gave a short history of animatronics.
    We have not been back to Disneyworld, all my happy memories of the place it once was are crowded by the knowledge of what it has become. My daughter will be the first in the family to have never been taken to Disneyworld.

    Like

  9. i don’t think anyone has every described disneyland AS AFFORDABLE>

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: