Saturday April 14th 2018
It was another good weather day with high temperatures in the 80s, but the weather front crossing the country will be here tomorrow. The TV weather talkers are already warning of the potential for severe weather Sunday afternoon.
I didn’t leave the campground today. I focused on relaxation by reading and watching TV. The pictures in this blog entry are from yesterday’s visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I also want to share some of my observations from yesterday’s visit to he park. Be warned that I may end up on a small soapbox, so feel free to look at the pictures and skip the speech.
A number of things have changed at the Magic Kingdom since my last visit in December of 2016. The first thing is a much needed change to the traffic pattern at the parking toll booth. People staying at the hotels and campground around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon no longer have to pass through the tollbooth. They are also working on bridges and overpasses to allow traffic from the hotels to avoid the crowds in the parking area. While this is a good thing, navigating the construction leaving the park at night was a challenge.
The next thing you notice is a change in security. All security used to be at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Security is now across the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Ticket and Transportation area. You need to pass through a bag check and metal detector before boarding the Monorail or ferry for the Magic Kingdom. Going through the metal detector now seems mandatory. If you are arriving at the Magic Kingdom by bus or launch you still need to pass through security at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. I don’t now if this change was driven by a security concern, a crowd management concern or both, but it makes sense. Visible Disney security at Epcot was a little tighter, but the Animal Kingdom seemed to be the same as my last visit.
Another place that uniformed Disney security was present that I have not seen before was at the Hall of Presidents. There were two uniformed security officers inside the auditorium. There was not a similar security presence at the American Adventure in Epcot. I’m guessing this was because of the controversy surrounding our current president. As is custom sitting president’s animatronic version is now the last President to speak. He doesn’t say anything controversial, nor does it look much like the President.
I don’t know what to think about the changes to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The scenario used to be a pirate battle, followed by the pirates dividing up the loot from their raid. One element of that was auctioning off the women captives. The final scene showed the women winning out by chasing the men around the house with brooms and rolling pins. To be more politically correct they now auction off chickens and the women are no longer in chains. In fact one womam is a pirate with a speaking role and is heavily armed. The next scene is still the women chasing the men.
They have traded a degree of historical accuracy for a story that doesn’t upset a portion of the viewing audience. I understand this is entertainment not a history lesson, but does that mean we should change all of the literature in the world that includes similar story lines. The next step after literature is the historical record in non fiction works. Worst of all the story in this entertainment ride is now disconnected. If I’d never seen the older versions all I’d be asking is “Why do the women chase the men with rolling pins in the next scene?”
Similarly, I guess that no one has protested the shooting gallery attraction in Frontier Land yet. How quickly will Disney remove that once the protests start? Is Buzz Light Year’s Space Ranger Spin next? It contains shooting lasers at targets as one of its prime elements. I think they should just plaster warnings everywhere that the content of this ride may contain Socially or Politically incorrect content. Don’t participate if you are concerned. That’s what they did to mitigate the dangers associated with Alligators. Anywhere there is water Disney has put up signs warning about Alligators and Snakes.
My bottom line is that these issues are all important. I’m just not sure making changes at a theme park are appropriate responses to bigger problems.