Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Stories Matter

The Dark Herald on the decades-long devolution of Disney World into Devil Mouse Trap

It was pretty close to magic.  It wasn’t just the rides, although those were great.  Epcot didn’t exist yet, so WDW was strictly the Magic Kingdom but there was a lot to it.  Animatronics were quite a lot more cool in the seventies.  The 20,000 Leagues Under Sea ride was still running.  And the Carousel of Progress was featuring the “Now is the Time,” song, (which led to me being gaslighted by my own family for years. They had me half convinced that song was a product of my deranged imagination).  The Haunted Mansion was everything a haunted mansion was supposed to be for a little kid.

But like I said, it wasn’t just the rides.

There was something about just walking down Mainstreet USA that made me happy.  The characters on the street like the mayor and the fire chief gave this fake American town quite a bit of depth. Occasionally, some of the townsfolk would suddenly break into a “Hello Dolly” style song and dance number. Even the town suffragette added something fun.  There was a depth to Mainstreet because it was telling a story.

Stories matter. 

He's right. There was something... relaxing... about walking down Mainstreet USA even in Disneyland Paris some 10 years ago. I think it is because it was somehow part of the world that I knew as a child, a bright, cartoon version of that world, to be sure, but one that was familiar somehow, and comforting.

It is the material echo of the world we have lost. And that, of course, is why the Devil Mouse is determined to replace it, in the same way that his master seeks to replace us. 

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Blogger van helsing March 02, 2021 8:08 PM  

its always been there. it wasn't good when walt was alive. it has gone downhill (((forever since))).

Blogger Yukichi Sensei March 02, 2021 8:15 PM  

Our story. Our mythos. It keenly matters.

Prof. Fulton-Brown is doing Gods work with her UAtv series educating on this.

Blogger cavalier973 March 02, 2021 8:19 PM  

DW was awesome in '92. When I went back in '04, I discovered it had been turned into a Disney Store with rides.

Blogger Leverage March 02, 2021 8:23 PM  

I grew up 10 miles away from Disneyland in Anaheim California. I was 7 miles away from the beach. Maybe went to Disneyland 4 times in 20 years and the beach 20 times in 20 years. Every time going to each was genuinely magical. This was the 70's and 80's. The big change I saw when I had a family in the 90's was the demographics had changed significantly. Whites were in the minority. The local LA County Fair at Pomona also was showing a much more diverse crowd in the 70's and 80's. Although the Venue may have tried to be true to it's heritage
for a period of time, it was fighting against a wave of new foreign "guests" that weren't getting the whole deal. For a period of about 25 years Disneyland, the Fair and the Southern California beaches were pretty much heaven on earth. Throw in a depression era Grandmother who grounded you and it was a real life.

Blogger basementhomebrewer March 02, 2021 8:35 PM  

If all the "but its Disney! We can't boycott them!" people keep handing over their money, mainstream USA is going to include a tranny red-light district. Complete with real tranny street walkers that will "entertain" your children, with or without your consent, bigot!

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel March 02, 2021 8:56 PM  

In case you you were wondering how long the Mouse was cavorting with evil/possessed:

At least since 1968.

My apologies for directing you to that Google cesspool.

Blogger D. March 02, 2021 9:12 PM  

"Animatronics were quite a lot more cool in the seventies."

The seventies were a cultural inflection point.

Blogger Brick Hardslab March 02, 2021 9:15 PM  

My boys were Marines we spent a week with them in Disney land. They had a blast. My oldest took a deep breath on main street and said, "It smells like 'happy.'" and it did.

Blogger Doktor Jeep March 02, 2021 9:15 PM  

For a minute o thought that was a description of The Villages.

Blogger Punkindrublik March 02, 2021 9:16 PM  

Let's recap the last 50 years of Mouschwitz...

"It's a Small World", but that's rayciss, if you are white.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 March 02, 2021 9:16 PM  

Disney used to be good. Even as recently as the 90s they could still make a good story, and actually cared about their art. Hell, re-watch early episodes of *Duck Tales* and you'll see what I mean. But everyone who cared and could do something about it is gone.

Blogger Sapper March 02, 2021 9:36 PM  

After my third tour to Iraq in 2009, I took my family for a week to Disney. My kids were in Kindergarten then.... They're in college now and both have said to this day they'd be happy never to return, ever....

Upon return, I banned Disney TV in the house. No more shows constantly streaming strong teenage girls always "rescuing" stupid teenage boys...

It's interesting even now (or I'm more keenly aware of)how I see many of my civilian friends with no kids going there every year as both their favorite AND ONLY place they vacation... I've never understood the appeal...

Blogger tdcommenter March 02, 2021 9:39 PM  

A while ago, a commenter asked if Sesame street was evil. I only thought of the answer after the post was long gone from the front page. In Sesame Street the children are televised, innocuous and normal neighbors like:
- a person who smells like garbage and lives out of a trashcan
- someone big, yellow, and effete
- a big hairy, brown guy who has a happy televised reunion with his family. Hmm, reunion with a family from far away, what current event could that possibly parallel?
- a glutton who messily devours diabetes inducing cookies
- a pair of confirmed bachelors
- long haired hippie

The inspiration for Sesame Street simply came from the major urban center outside the creator's window. This displaced hanging with the Haskells in suburbia or playing with Lassie in the country. Where arethe working adults & families? Nowhere to be seen, so the targeted children of single parent households wouldn't be hurt. Now that Sesame Street & Jerry Springer are the norm, do you like what you see?

Blogger Nostromo March 02, 2021 9:44 PM  

Gotta say, even as a child I disliked Disney World. I wanted to see real animals. Gatorland, Seaworld, even Busch Gardens, were my go to parks. Silver Springs used to be GREAT, until they turned it into every other park in the country.

Blogger Lee March 02, 2021 9:56 PM  

"And that, of course, is why the Devil Mouse is determined to replace it, in the same way that his master seeks to replace us."

With say, a pillow...

Blogger John Rockwell March 02, 2021 10:06 PM  

No matter where it seems SJW's seem to want to infest all narratives.

Devil Mouse was a more institutional centralized form of this. SJW's are more decentralized but still carrying out their Master's Will.

Blogger MJimmy March 02, 2021 10:07 PM  

Children, I want to warn ya
'Cause I been to California
Where Mickey Mouse is such a Demon...

Bow Wow Wow, 1983

Blogger Azimus March 02, 2021 10:39 PM  

If stories didn't matter, the stories of the west wouldn't be under attack.

When you come down to it, what is a culture besides its stories? What are we all, besides our experiences and the stories that come from them?

Blogger ND March 02, 2021 10:57 PM  

I've known adults with that intense LOVE for Disney, too, and it's so bizarre to me.

Blogger CostelloM March 02, 2021 11:02 PM  

I remember when the haunted house first opened and I had never seen a hologram before - that was magic. I haven't been back since. More locally I remember going to Kings Dominion and cycling the coasters all day but now the frequent fights, muggings and diversity has taken all the joy out of any of those parks. I wouldn't go in one without packing and this they don't allow, legally at least.

Blogger Iceeater March 02, 2021 11:32 PM  

The 20,000 leagues was so fake that when u saw your kids were amazed, u knew what a magic place it was.
When the squid attacked the captian told everyone to get their hands off the metal because he was goung to shock the squid. Following the noise and flash of the shock all of us were safe.

Blogger Shimshon March 02, 2021 11:40 PM  

I grew up in the West LA area about 35 minutes by car and was a regular at Disneyland as well as the other big SoCal parks for many years in my youth in the 1970s. I still remember when E-Ticket ride actually meant something, as well trying to figure out what to do with the remaining A- and B-Tickets in my possession at the end of the day.

I was at Disneyworld once in 1982 when I was 15. IIRC Epcot was still under construction and, being quite the geek, I was disappointed to not be able to visit it. What struck me most about Disneyworld at the time was how precise a copy it was of Disneyland, except, having much more land available, more spread out. Everything was exactly the same. But hotter and and more humid in the summer.

In the 1970s and certainly into the 1980s it really was a pretty magical place.

The last time I went before I moved to Israel was in 1989, while still in college, and not much had changed.

I next went when I found myself back in LA for a couple years in 2000 (with children this time), when California Adventure was under development. It was much more expensive as well as much more vibrant. My kids loved it. And despite the vibrancy was still pretty fun. That was the last time I was there. And it was a long time ago.

Blogger Desdichado March 03, 2021 12:02 AM  

cavalier973 wrote:DW was awesome in '92. When I went back in '04, I discovered it had been turned into a Disney Store with rides.
It's true. The downhill slide of the entertainment value of the parks has been rapid and suprisingly recent. Not all that long ago (relatively speaking) they were still (mostly) a fun place to visit. Last time I went was utterly miserable, and I vowed never to return.

Of course, a lot of that was still coasting on inertia from Walt's vision, even decades after he died. But it was inevitable that the inertia would run out, and I'm surprised how quickly it happened.

Blogger Desdichado March 03, 2021 12:04 AM  

MJimmy wrote:Children, I want to warn ya

'Cause I been to California

Where Mickey Mouse is such a Demon...

Bow Wow Wow, 1983

Yes, they certainly knew all about being demons. Was that song on the album with the 15 year old naked girl on the cover?

Blogger pyrrhus March 03, 2021 12:06 AM  

I liked the archaic charm of Disneyland...Disney World always seemed fake...

Blogger carnaby March 03, 2021 12:17 AM  

Consider this:

No test, no faith.

God doesn't need to test us, we need him to test us.

Blogger MJimmy March 03, 2021 12:50 AM  

@24 That was Annabella the singer. I find her quite wholesome regardless of her penchant for disrobing.

Blogger Lazarus March 03, 2021 3:56 AM  

Punkindrublik wrote:Let's recap the last 50 years of Mouschwitz...

"It's a Small World", but that's rayciss, if you are white.

Opened in May 1966. Beginning of the end. I had been there before that, so this installation was jarring. And the song sucked. In retrospect Mid sixties were like the opening of the Gates of Hell. The opening salvo was the 1964 World's Fair.

Blogger rumpole5 March 03, 2021 8:03 AM  

Bingo. I went to the Villages to see a movie some years ago. It really is an imitation of Fantasyland main street - only with oldsters in golf carts zooming about everywhere! The funny thing is, nothing like that ever existed in reality. certainly not in the 1950s and 1960s that I can personally recall.

Blogger Pathfinderlight March 03, 2021 8:58 AM  

No more Lassie or Green Acres like shows directly stems from the 1970 rural purge. That year, (((someone))) declared war on the American people, and the American people lost. Ever since then, their stranglehold over all corporate media has been made more apparent with more egregious behavior every year.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 03, 2021 9:30 AM  

Only reason we ever rode Its a small world after the first abrasive time was it was a chance to cool off in the July heat.

Blogger WildAss Ouellette March 03, 2021 11:22 AM  

Main St is a copy of Fort Collins Colorado which used to make me happy but has been ruined by billionaires and NGOS

Blogger Just So March 03, 2021 11:34 AM  

The Brothers Grimm agree. They wrote them down for a reason.

Blogger tuberman March 03, 2021 11:48 AM  

Most of us growing up in the 50's were too far away from Disney to even fathom taking a trip to see the CA site. Our intro was through movies, cartoons, then "The Mickey Mouse Club." I remember thinking the movies were great, the cartoons were lame compared to "Looney Tunes," and the Mouseketeers were just okay, but a step up the stupid puppet (Howdy Doody), or that horrible Chicago clown show (Bozo).

My opinions I kept to myself as we all grew up in early Housing Project where few had any loose money (except we did get out to make some in the spring and summer). We were mainly blue-collar and a very low sort of middle class, and most came up from the South to get manufacturing jobs. We figured we were common people, and to a large degree ignorant. My family didn't get a small B&W TV until 1957. It was an environment where two kids within a few block area got murdered by other kids, yet my friends and I loved that time. We ignored all the bad and protected each other and played sports and had adventures. That last was our Main Street.

Disney wasn't even a dream for my friends and me... too distant.

Blogger Ahuehuete March 03, 2021 1:28 PM  

Having grown up in SoCal, Disneyland was a big part of my childhood, and it had a huge nostalgia factor in my mind. The last time I visited was 14 years ago. I visited SoCal two years ago. Back during the nostalgia days that would have meant carving out a day to visit Disneyland. But I didn't, and I don't expect to ever go back.

Why should I give my money to people who hate me? As for the nostalgia, it's gone.

Blogger Ahuehuete March 03, 2021 1:34 PM  

"When I went back in '04, I discovered it had been turned into a Disney Store with rides."

I read the other day that Disney wants to charge people 75 smackeroos to enter Disneyland, even though all ride are shutdown, so that they can shop.

Blogger Eli March 03, 2021 2:19 PM  

ArkhavenWorld when?

Blogger OvergrownHobbit March 04, 2021 8:09 AM  

Disneyland Calufoernia really was a wonderful treat. Clean, safe, fun, charming, and patriotic.

Never forget that the SocJus subversives stole this, too.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella March 04, 2021 8:51 AM  

The photos of Main Street look like turn of the century American cities in black and white photos.

Why can't we return? Even the books that remain from that time are charming. Even the prog books from that time are mostly charming.

Blogger Pathfinderlight March 06, 2021 6:26 PM  

It's interesting how every culture in the world deserves to have its cultural treasures preserved...unless that culture happens to be Christian or Western or, God forbid, American.

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