This is what happens to your brain when you read Dennis Miller before and after a trip to WDW. As always, it helps to imagine Miller delivering this material.
PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE HANDRAILS
I just got back from Walt Disney World, and I think it was a pretty successful trip, because I was there 52 hours and was able to spend nearly 8 of those hours in the theme parks themselves, and over 40 minutes actually experiencing the attractions.
Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but over the past decade, the park has become complex enough to give Stephen Hawkings the night sweats--growing so rapidly that the already-challenged staff is stretched thinner than those translucent slices of bread in Mickey and the Beanstalk. Somebody needs to point out to Michael Eisner that uncontrolled growths that choke off vital systems are called cancerous tumors, and right now Disney World is starting to look like the Elephant Man after two months at a nudist colony in Chernobyl.
One of Disney's best kept secrets is they don't want you to get in the parks anyway. They have devised an elaborate system of buses, trams, boats and roads designed specifically to quadruple the amount of time it takes to get from point A to point B. This gives the park manager time to change the rules for admission as you travel between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.
Seriously, the process for actually entering the parks couldn't be more overwrought if it was designed by Ken Starr on a grant from Universal Studios. And if you want to use an annual pass, be prepared to undergo a technological nightmare of finger scanning, hand stamping and dental record matching that would qualify you for access to the Pentagon. If O.J. had gone to Disney World after the murder, they would've collected enough evidence to convince a jury of deaf mutes hand-picked by Al Sharpton.
The most popular ride in the park seems to be Mr. Toad's Needlessly Confusing Drive. Lately, driving through the Massive Kingdom has become more difficult than navigating your way to the ladies' room through a sold-out concert crowd of 14 year old Spice Girls fans hopped up on Jolt Cola and Cookie Dough Ice Cream. Ulysses would've driven around the compound for a few days and then said, screw it, I'm going back to the Isle of the Cyclops for a well-deserved rest. The access roads have been under construction longer than Michael Jackson's profile, and I think I know why: When Disney-MGM was completed a decade ago, the construction crews couldn't figure out how to get out of there either and for the past few years they've been living out of their trucks and desperately trying to build a road back to the real world.
Of course, if you don't want to drive this oversize recreation of the board from The Game Of Life, you can always use Disney's bus transportation system. As long as you don't mind boarding a vehicle that's more densely packed and foul smelling than Rush Limbaugh's lower intestine after a Pat Robertson Pork-n-Sauerkraut Fund Raising Buffet.
Even inside the parks, the seemingly simple procedure of lining people up and getting them into rides has become insanely difficult, apparently because "please keep moving" translates into most languages as "Now would be a good time to huddle together and argue about the map". Now I know that WDW attracts people from all over the world, and I don't expect them to all learn English just to make my visit easier. The solution might be to teach the few english-speaking guests how to say, in Brazilian, "My name is Mickey Disney and if you don't control your satan-child and stop elbowing me in the ribs, I'll have Goofy toss you out of Tower of Terror!".
What is needed here are instructions that cross the language barrier and can be clearly understood by all. The jerky tourist bear in Country Bear Jamboree is a step in the right direction, but if they really want to get the message across, how about a bear that attacks and devours an animatronic audience member that used a flash camera?
The language barrier is actually less troubling than the Common Sense barrier. Apparently the laws of physics vary from region to region, because I can't think of another reason you should have to explain to an adult that their Free-With-Purchase-Of-Marlboros-Disposable-Garfield-Camera won't take good pictures of the laser show no matter how big the flashbulb is. So do us all a favor, if you are planning on visiting the parks, please bear in mind the following immutable laws of civilized behavior:
- If you do not know where your children are, they are bothering somebody else.
- You may run through the park only if being chased by a large predator.
- Even though you cannot see them without turning around, there are people behind you. There are also people in front of you, and no matter how hard you throw yourselves at them, you will not pass through them.
- Before you choose your clothing for your visit, please consider the fact that you are going out in public where there are lots of cameras and easily frightened children.
- "Please move all the way to the end of the row" means you too, butthead.
Okay, I know I sound like the eighth dwarf, Cranky, but I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way; most of the people at The Happiest Place On Earth don't look very damn happy. By midday, most of the parents are staggering around like pasty-faced extras in a Touchstone remake of Night Of The Living Dead. In fact, I think that's where the idea for Turkey Legs came from: "That's not bad, but they'd look more like the flesh-eating zombies if they were gnawing on bloody stumps the size of their forearms." Of course, that's just my opinion--I could be wrong.
© Tom Stazer 1999
all text & images ©1999 by Tom Stazer
No reproduction allowed without consent of Tom Stazer
Like this'll stop you thieving cyber-weasels.