This is so damned fabulous, Dennett .
I, myself, have never been anywhere near a Disney Theme Park- neither Land nor World et al. My parents took my brother over Winter break my senior year but I stayed back home in Alaska, because I had to perform with my precision dance team Thanksgiving weekend. Also because, even at 17, I knew I wanted nothing to do with ANY overgrown name-brand amusement park. I love roller coasters, it’s true, but I hate lines. HATE THEM. My only tangential childhood experiences revolved around much smaller outfits (with much better coasters and significantly shorter lines, which I still hated), and our annual State Fair, which I attended first because I performed there (dance or karate), and then because I had children and my ex-husband considered the outing to be mandatory family torture time. We divorced in 2009 and I haven’t been since. I have no regrets.
A few years ago, my kids’ friends seemed to all be spending vacation with Mickey and Donald and the gang, and the kids started an all-out harassment campaign I’m convinced was directly sponsored by Disney. I fought; explained about commercialism and propaganda and crowds and the ratio of time spent in line vs time spent on rides and life-sucking heat stroke but they were unfazed.
One morning, the local comic shop was holding its annual beloved free-comic event. I agreed to shuttle the children down and wasn’t surprised to find a line snaking around and down two city blocks taunting us on arrival, coupled with a parking situation that was going to land us at least a few blocks away from the end of that line.
My evil genius was awakened at that moment. I told the kids that if they could make it through the entire line without a single physical or verbal assault being carried out on another human being; if they could just manage to be kind for THAT LONG, I would start the process of booking us a Disney trip this afternoon. But, if they COULDN’T, they weren’t allowed to ever bring the subject again.
We shook on it.
They both laughed in my face, so sure they were going to nail this. No problem!
I knew that I didn’t have anywhere near enough means to keep my promise if they emerged from this victorious.
I didn’t even flinch.
They lasted exactly 3 minutes and advanced about 10 feet in that time, and no one has mentioned Disney to me since.
A couple of years later they went with their dad and his wife and spent a shitload of THEIR money melting for hours in winding lines of toe-to-toe screaming, miserable kids and homicidal, sweaty parents just to finally board rides so short they barely registered.
They hated it.
I never said “I told you so.”
So, in the name of all that is holy, please keep your torture nightmare chamber of excess, Alaska doesn’t want it here.☺