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Now that Disney executives are supposedly running a “woke” company, thanks to the kerfuffle over Florida’s infamous "Don’t Say Gay" law, some conservatives have called for a boycott of all things related to The House of Mouse.
Commentator Candace Owens, who demands a ban, called Disney “child groomers” and “pedophiles” because of the company’s opposition to Florida House Bill 1557, which was signed into law by the governor.
Well, I will certainly look at Mary Poppins in a different light.
Ah, but in a non-Disneyfied world there would be no more CGI-drunk, clanging, endless Marvel movies to endure since they are now owned by the “woke” rodent. “Star Wars,” too. (Farewell, problematic Jar Jar Binks and constipated Kylo Ren). And, drum roll please, so long “Dancing With the Stars,” which should have been named “Hoofing With the Has-Beens” all along.
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Yet keeping kids from watching any Pixar movies, say “Turning Red” or “The Incredibles,” is going to be tough. Same goes for Disney animated musical features such as “Encanto” or “Frozen.”
What parents of young’uns can’t sing every, single, pluperfect lyric of “Let it Go” after hearing it over and over 10,000 times?
Detour at Disney World?
Numero uno on the boycott list, though, is Disney World, easily the state of Florida’s biggest tourist trap. Er, I meant to say tourist destination.
A few years ago, my frazzled friend, Wango, told her young daughter they could not make the car trip 260 miles south to Central Florida because the Disney World theme park burned to the ground. A few days later, the daughter stormed home from elementary school and said, “That’s not true at all, mom. Disney World didn’t go up like a kitchen match. All the kids at school said so. One just got back from Disney World.”
Got to admit, it was a nice try, Wango.
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There are much better reasons to boycott Disney World than getting your panties in a bunch because The House of Mouse supports its gay, lesbian, bi, non-binary, and trans employees.
Now that nearly everyone has decided to ignore the pandemic and is headed back to Florida, why not ban Uncle Walt’s playground for some actual reasons? Such as:
It costs a fortune to buy admission tickets to Disney World. The base price to get in the front gate is $109 for adults and $104 for kids under 10. It cost $3.50 when the park opened in October 1971 (still too expensive if you ask me). Staying the night at the new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel on Disney World grounds starts at $1,209 per guest. (At that price, the room should come with a real Wookiee and Yoda as your personal housekeeper.)
Get ready to wait
The lines for the rides and attractions usually bog down to a crawl at peak park hours. The wait to meet Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theater can drag on for 90 minutes, which must be a joy with toddlers. An official “downloadable” photo of you, your rug rat and the giant rodent will set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of $17. A basic pair of Mickey Mouse ears for your kid’s noggin go for around $15. Uncle Walt’s daycare sure is expensive.
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Those yowling kids
My nephew, when he lived in Orlando, routinely flew as a business passenger as part of his job. He called the incoming and outgoing flights Kindergartens in The Sky. The Orlando-bound rides were packed with over-excited kids on their way to meet The Mouse.
On the way out, the planes were full of sunbaked, dehydrated, ornery brats who didn’t want to leave Orlando. Now imagine they are at the theme park and multiply the din by 100. For added pleasure, toss in meltdowns, tantrums, and angry conversations of one parent blaming the other. The House of Mouse should really post tables of divorce attorneys by the exit.
Welcome to the surface of the sun
The average summer temperature in Orlando is 94 degrees Fahrenheit. I am sure that is a little off. It feels more like 294 degrees.
I dare you to go to Disney World in August. Sizzling pavement. Unrelenting heat. Afternoon downpours. The worst rainstorm I have ever survived in Florida was on Interstate 4 in Orlando during the summer. I have been in car washes with better visibility. That is saying something coming from this fifth generation Floridian.
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Talk about an actual swamp stomp
Face it, visitors are basically walking around in a paved-over Florida swamp. As my staunch conservationist dad in North Florida always said of Disney World: “Why would anyone pay to visit a fake swamp that was built on top of a real swamp? Man can’t improve on nature. That’s hubris.” Disney Springs? Yeah, right.
The clueless crowds
Why do some people feel the need to walk side by side and take up as much room as possible at Disney World? Why do they cluster at the entrance area and block the way into a ride? Why do they breathe down your neck while rubbernecking in line? Why do they yell at their kids in public? Why do they think you want to hear their inane cellphone calls? Why do they not believe in sunblock? Why does everyone look so (expletive) unhappy at The Happiest Place on Earth?
I can easily resist the hassles of Disney World but blocking Disney as a whole won’t be so easy.
Disney World, according to one whack-a-doo conspiracy theory, contains the cryogenically frozen head of creator Walt Disney (1901-1966). It’s stashed away in the labyrinth of secret tunnels beneath the park. One day, Uncle Walt and his noodle will be reunited with a living body.
On that day, I will call Disney a “woke” company.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to solve problems in my “woke” math textbook.
Mark Hinson is a former senior reporter with The Tallahassee Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida, DeSantis, slap 'woke' Disney World? Can ban be selective?