Monday, 4 June 2007
Disney's Dream Debased
About 15 years ago I got a proper job and my mum promptly sent her “insurance man” round to see me. Apparently that's what you do when you find yourself with a regular amount of money; you give 80% of it away to big companies.
Basically, I bought a savings scheme just to get rid of the guy. I reckon he’d be sat on the couch right now if I hadn’t ushered him out the door. So every month I have put a smidgeon away in what has been called the “Disney Fund”. At the time, I figured there were four ages of Disneyworld:
1. Being taken by parents as a kid.
2. Working there as a student
3. Taking your own kids
4. Going as a grandparent with grandkids
I also figured that the second two stages might cost a bit of cash. So I saved and didn’t touch.
I’m not going to use the Disney fund for going to Disneyworld.* I have completely and utterly changed my mind. In fact I can barely remember why I wanted to take my kids there in the first place.
I would much rather take the kids somewhere real. I think we’ll go and see actual stuff rather than miniaturised superficial and stereotypical representations of countries (Hello Epcot, Hello Small World), wonky out of date Animatronic shows (That Presidents’ thing in the Magic Kingdom-it’s crap!), and emporiums of overpriced tat.
Mind you, I did have a great time there when I was 21. That’s Item 2 . Except it’s not entirely true; I didn’t actually work at Disneyworld. I merely popped over from my three month stint in New Orleans to take advantage of the fact that a friend , E, was working her summer at Disney in Orlando and could get us in free.
A few things stick in my mind, which is incredible given that we drank like fishes the whole time we were there.
1. E worked in the “Rose and Crown” pub in Epcot and had to dress as a Nell Gwynn character. All the bar maids in the Rose and Crown had to dress like this, as that is what barmaids look like in Merrie Old England, even to this day, apparently. Unlike Nell Gwynn, and despite the 70+ degree heat, the barmaids had to wear full tan tights with gusset, underneath their mid calf length dresses. Never stockings or god forbid, nothing.
Thrush was rife amongst British girls who toiled there. And they were checked every shift by a supervisor to make sure they hadn’t welched on the deal and worn a pair of pop socks. The only time in your life you can ever imagine wanting to wear these hideous garments from the house of Satan.
“Oh yay, kind sir, I dream of a goodly pair of pop socks! For my vag; it itcheth” would be the cry of the Nell Gwynns, for that is how they spake.
2. E had it on good authority that the girl who played Cinderella was a slut.
3. Disney is full of secret underground tunnels and this is where the workings of the whole enterprise are. E could have got sacked for this, but she took us down there. We walked past the costume room and saw all the costumes hung up. People were getting changed into Pinocchio and Mad Hatter suits and the like. I swear to you, I saw Tigger having a fag**. I swear. Head off though; the guy wasn’t inhaling through the Tigger head.
4. Apparently a guy got locked in the Magic Kingdom at night and died whilst E was working there. I’m not suggesting that E was responsible. The guy obviously had a heart attack or something. The whole thing was hushed up by the Evil Guardians of Disney; no-one dies in Walt’s Magical Money Making Machine! They’ve even cryogenically frozen old Walt so that they can revive the old bugger, come the time. But unbeknownst to them an aerial photo had been taken by a tabloid newspaper of the dead body lying on the grass and Goofy poo really hit the fan.
5. You could get a degree from the Disney University. I can only assume this is where the phrase “Mickey Mouse Degree” originally comes from. Now usually applied to Media Studies degrees. Yes, a real degree. Try sticking that on your CV and getting a job, ya loser!
Hey, by the way, Google Blogspot isn’t owned by the Disney corporati------------------------------------------------------(arrrrgggghhh!) ------------------------------------------------------------(#line dead#)
* To my American readers. “Fag” is not a derogative term for a homosexual here in the UK. You do know that, right? I didn’t see any Tigger-on-Piglet bummin’ or nothing….Just making sure. Also while we're at it.....“fanny pack”, what the blazes is that about????
**Yep, it’s now been renamed the Mini Cooper fund.