Monday, February 04, 2008


I’m glad to be home….sort of. It’s not that I’m not happy to be here in the land of good coffee and bad traffic. It’s just that it is a bit difficult to compare this to my last two weeks in the World of the Mouse. And it was a different world. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had this experience, but let me just tell you that you haven’t really experienced the Magic of the Mouse until you’ve gone to his place in central Florida. The, wedged into the middle of, Anaheim version isn’t the same. Disneyland is a great diversion, but I’m telling you Disney World is truly an experience. I would never recommend it though during Summer or Spring breaks. Then it’s merely sweat, exhaustion, frustration, crying (probably yours), and just about everything that is wrong with mankind, along with a very large price tag. Who would pay for that? I’m referring instead to an offseason, beautiful weather, less crowds, shorter lines, experience of the off season. What really interests me is that I ultimately paid less for a better experience. I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the American consumer.
I know that there’s some who will read this and dig in with an indignant attitude. You would never stoop so low to be seduced by the great capitalist, elitist, extremist and whatever –ist I’ve forgotten to mention, mob mentality that would invest so poorly and superficially in such a frivolous waste of time. Whatever…. I’ll be considered guilty as charged. I consider it a tremendous investment into one of the greatest psychological and sociological experiments ever undertaken in the history of man. I challenge any individual with an ounce of concern for humanity to experience the magic that happens there and not be amazed at how people are affected and influenced and directed and otherwise coerced into taking part in exercises that defy explanation.
Here’s just one illustration of what I’m referring to. When one thinks about Disney, the first thing that usually comes to mind (outside of expense) is “lines”. I witnessed people of ever tongue, tribe, and nation, as well as EVERY economic means, pay big money to stand in long lines. The lines are legendary. Waiting in lines go against every fabric of the American being, and yet people will invest life savings to do so, perhaps waiting hours for a 3 minute experience. What student of humanity cannot be impressed by their ability to do that?
After having spent 10 days this trip and a number of days during my lifetime I can tell you this. Their secret is in the details. While I was there I purchased a book about the life of the great visionary who originated all of this. He has a remarkable story really and through it all and in the creation of these other world experiences that he inspired, the secret is in the details. It is the details that turn a wait into an experience. You don’t merely wait for an hour for a 3 minute ride. The 3 minute ride is just the culmination of an hour long experience. The details are in the wait themselves. Every ride is a virtual Hollywood set with things to see and touch and smell and hear. The ride is just the dessert at the end of the meal. When I go to Six Flags Over Whatever, all I get is a high price tag, long lines, and a 3 minute ride. On a busy day, maybe a grand total of 30 minutes on rides can be accomplished along with 10 hours of standing in line. With the Mouse, I get hours of experience to go with the rides.
All was not utopia though in the land of details. I did find one glaring detail that was omitted…. Decent coffee. In my personally biased opinion, good coffee is almost a deal breaker. Being as the Mouse has never really been to Seattle, they have this odd idea that Nescafe makes coffee and that it is worthy of being marketed as their official substitute for real coffee. Actually I honestly believe that they think that it is coffee. Even in Animal Kingdom, at the little quaint African coffee hut, Nescafe was being offered. I doubt any self respecting African would try to pass this stuff off as being grown on their continent. I intend to write a “strongly worded letter to the company”. Good coffee is an essential detail. For good coffee, I am happy to be home.

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