Posted on July 19, 2008

In order to increase traffic to my blog, I have decided to discretely place various popular search terms within the text of my blog. My hope is that my blog will rise in search engine results whilst you, the reader, barely notice (Britney Spears) a thing.

I hadn’t planned on writing a blog for a little while (Barack Obama) since I did not have any topics that I felt were (boobies) blog-worthy. However, this evening as I read pre-bedtime books to my kids, I realized that I (how to remove gum from hair) have been harboring disdain for a specific company. I felt it would be cathartic to release those feelings in a (what is the capital and gross domestic product of the nation of Zimbabwe) blog.

I know this will surprise and more than likely upset quite a few people (except those of you who read the subject line I guess), but the company my ire is directed towards is Disney. I know that I am not alone in these feelings. For many years feminists have decried the lessons the Disney’ princess movies teach little girls: that they will be rescued from life’s troubles by a knight in shining armor…or, as in Disney’s case, generally a singing prince in pastel leggings. Now, that may not be the right message to send little girls, but I can’t blame Disney alone for that when other items like Barbie, Bratz, and Girl Scouts of America are teaching messages that are just as detrimental. I can blame Disney for the message they teach our young boys.

Granted, there are few “prince charmings” out there for little girls to find, but I’d be willing to bet there are far fewer princesses in the Disney mold for boys to find. For example, how many women do you know who wake up in the morning singing to the birds and rodents who have been watching them sleep (Cinderella)? Or, where is the woman who stops into random houses to tidy up in the owners’ absence (Snow White)? Most disturbing of all, I fear boys will waste entire lifetimes looking for their one true love who has somehow developed invisible gills with which to extract water from oxygen (Ariel – she is a double-offender, what with her ability to talk under water without the bubbly sound I always end up making…the one no amount of yelling can overcome).

The frustrating part is these princesses are only vehicles to move glitter-coated merchandise and bring in visitors to their theme parks. I, for one, used to LOVE Disneyland. However, I’ve noticed the magical-quotient of the rides is inversely proportionate to the size of the crowds in recent years. My family used to go in October and we would virtually own the park. Nowadays, you need a Fastpass just to use the bathroom. At least I get to pay hundreds of dollars on food/admissions/locker rental to experience the Disney magic (and by “magic” I mean claustrophobia and wallet-empty-itis).

For those have you who have never been, the park is neatly divided to several themed areas, or “lands” with corresponding rides (and vendors). For example, there is (somewhere to sit in the shade is my) Fantasy land, where you can relive some of Disney’s most favorite movies thanks to the magic of 1950’s posterboard and black light technology. There is also (trying to push a stroller through thousands of people navigating a path the width of a window ledge is an excruciating) Adventure land. My favorite has always been (I wish I didn’t have to come back) Tomorrow land.

Now, I know it is probably unfair of me to be so harsh. I do understand that I am not the park’s target demographic. Judging by the makeup of guests at the park (most of whom I’ve made it to second base with due to the overcrowding of the narrow paths), the target is middle-aged Asian men. I have to believe that children are probably a target as well as cartoons abound.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, there are some attractions that I really do enjoy. For example, I LOVE Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Tiki Room (what? The tune is catchy!). Unfortunately, my experience on those rides only takes up about 12 minutes of the 5 days one must spend at Disneyland in order to experience all the park has to offer.

All that being said, I do look forward to seeing my children experience Disneyland the next time we go. I have a feeling watching their eyes light up will make the entire experience worthwhile. In fact, I anticipate getting so caught up in the moment that I splurge on $8 churros for the entire family.

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