Humorist James Lileks returns to Walt Disney World and, as usual, he has some unique insights. Here he targets a subset of the typical Disney fan.
Dinner was large. The portions are huge. They might as well put the plate down and say “here’s more than you can possibly eat, and here’s nine potatoes on the side. Would you like another gallon of high fructose corn syrup? Okay, well, don’t forget to leave room for six pies.” There’s something a big sad about seeing childless adult Disney fans, lanyards spattered with pins, eating slabs of prime rib thick as a Tolstoi novel, the chairs about to splinter from their enormous fundaments. On the other hand, what gives them happiness? Food and Disney. This is the happiest place on earth after all – even though there seems to be a subset of Disney nerds who appear immune to the very thing they’ve come to experience. But that’s another story for later.
When the shoe fits. I’m guilty that food and Disney give me happiness (although I’ve given up the pin trading years ago). I certainly hope I don’t fall into the immune category.
On the second day he visited Epcot, the most fair-like of Disney’s parks. But he notices one big difference:
we moved through the security line, checking bags. We were next to a couple of look-away line nudges, the people who move in front of you and pretend they’re not. It was a tie when we got to the desk. I waved them ahead, because that robs them of their sense of victory. That’s one of the things I’ve noticed about this place: unlike the state fair, where people connect with other people in a vague communual sense, it’s every man for himself here. You’re connecting with the Central Myth, the Disney Current that runs through the whole place. It’s generally not shared, but enjoyed in private, or small groups. There are exceptions, as I’ll note.
I have to say that the ability to overcome this feeling that you have to get everything done, every man for themselves, is one of the best parts of being a local. We get the chance to reach out to other guests, sometimes offering advice (how to use fast pass, for instance) or just strike up a conversation with another family while you’re standing in queue. (Toy Story Midway Mania is great for this, btw.)
I look forward to reading the rest of James’ updates.
Previously: Lilek’s visit from May 2007.