I often wonder why the world can’t look and operate a lot more like Disney.
Daren and I are have been talking a bit this past week about the mixed reactions we get from family, coworkers and friends when they find out we are going to Disney. It shouldn’t be a destination that elicits so many strong feelings, but for some reason it is. There are lovers and there are haters. I’ve yet to encounter many in between. As Daren said- if we said “We are going to Paris”, almost no one would light up like a Christmas Tree and declare their devotion to the place, nor would they proceed to let us know how much they can’t stand the city. It would be something in between without such a strong reaction.
When it comes to Disney, I’m on the lover side. I first went in Jan 1987, almost 32 years ago. Between Disney World and Disneyland I have been there about 20 times and hey- I’m still going!
I kind of get the hater side too. The main reason that folks aren’t Disney fans that I hear most of all is that it is a lot of money to see and experience things that are not even real. True, I almost can’t argue with that. However there is a truly good business and perhaps even governmental lesson to learn in this argument as well as the ability to experience the world without leaving the country or breaking the bank.
Daren and I balance plenty of travel to other destinations and I feel I can in some way put it in perspective- at least from my vantage point.
Yes it’s absolutely an artificial environment. But many people are frightened to travel too far or cannot afford to have experiences any other way. Perhaps going on a boat scares the living pants off of you. Or you never met anyone from China and had what appears to be an exotic and foreign-looking ritual explained for the first time. Or traveling to Africa on a safari is too expensive. But a boat ride seems ok in a controlled environment in Disney which may lead the frightened individual to love it so much they are inspired to try the real thing. And when having no choice but to follow your friends or family to the Chinese theater dispels your previous notions about something you saw… you are left to realize their culture is not so different than yours and we as humans are more similar than not. And what better way to experience a safari or surfing lesson without the hassle of going to an exotic locale? Perhaps you learn that surfing isn’t your shtick and reconsider the trip to Tahiti or wherever the worlds best waves are supposed to be.
Additionally, why can’t we create a world that is similar to Disney? Minus the rides and experiences that would be too difficult to create of course!
It’s fake because Disney takes pride in everything; In Every Last Detail. It’s clean. The administration is constantly looking to make things more efficient and pleasing to their customers- and does!
There is ample public transportation and opportunities to walk to your destination. Every flower bed is pristine. The streets, walkways, railings, parking lots- everything is shiny and kept in good, working and aesthetically pleasing condition. The employees are all nice to the guests- every place you go!
When each area is designed, it is designed with efficiency for staff, guests, people movement, product movement and the environment in mind.
Why can’t our local towns and streets and even homes be like that?
Why can’t we employ more folks in our towns to care for public parks, trails, transport, flowers, trash, fix curbs, keep walkways clear/painted/free from breakage, to direct traffic even simple traffic (not just at major walkways during key school hours) and to greet others AND take pride in this?
Taking it even further- why couldn’t we expect service with a smile, someone attempting to make our experience special, and someone dressed for the part they are being paid for? And for a living wage (not declaring Disney does that… but they are not employing towns either and this is really a whole other topic).
Taking it even further, would it be completely insane to employ or mildly compensate our own local citizens to showcase their unique talents at places where we are stuck on lines, are in traffic or just have high levels of pedestrians meandering by? – be it singing, dancing, playing an instrument, demonstrating a cool hobby, making us laugh, or sharing a part of their culture…
Couldn’t we improve public transportation? Create more places to walk and keep healthy? Re-engineer towns to flow more efficiently for their staff, citizens, traffic and take advantage of the natural environment?
Couldn’t we keep our own lawns and homes clean and well manicured? Many other countries have zoning and aesthetic laws- not so dissimilar to Nantucket. These places look great and feel great because the cities, towns and people in the community do not allow their citizens to let their property go to pot.
Couldn’t we be nice to one another? When we are in contact with anyone other than ourselves attempt to “be on stage” and treat them with love and respect?
It would be hard to do, but not impossible. It’s only impossible if it’s never an expectation or ideal.
It might be “Fake”, but it’s inspirational and an example in a microcosm of a world that is possible. One of the reasons I love Disney. It inspires me to leave the world a better place than I found it. I’m only one person, but it doesn’t mean I can’t do small things with great love.
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