Why the attacks on Disney matter

To defend a corporation expert at placing cute mouse ears on nefarious practices like Disney does puts me in a grotesque position, especially since Disney has bought the Florida legislature on both sides for five decades, which means for a while it endorsed the Don’t Say Gay Bill until its immaculately groomed public image tookContinue reading “Why the attacks on Disney matter”

The authenticity politics of travel

I shouldn’t read comment sections when digesting my food. A casual reader of Dan Saltzstein’s 52 Places Traveler column, I know he approaches adventures from the point of view of an unfazed Manhattanite willing to bend but never break. This week he writes about Disney. Whether visiting Disney Springs with a gradually eroding unease orContinue reading “The authenticity politics of travel”

‘The Florida Project’ an amateurish look at life on the periphery

The initial reviews for The Florida Project suggest a digital sociology experiment rather than a successful narrative film. Watching Sean Baker’s story about scrappy kids and their parents trying to survive in the third-rate motels clustered around Walt Disney World was an enervating experience for me. It should have worked: the material is promising, suggestingContinue reading “‘The Florida Project’ an amateurish look at life on the periphery”

Happy birthday, Epcot

Twentieth century dreams of the future looked an awful lot like shopping centers. Even in 1982 and 1985 we said that EPCOT was a mall: the acres of concrete, horticulture, planters, carpeting; there was even a food court! But the American liberal ethos, bolstered by the dynamic performance of the capitalist system before the VietnamContinue reading “Happy birthday, Epcot”

Scales fall from Disney’s eyes

My oldest niece and I play a game we call Farmer John, involving a Fisher Price barn and action figures, plus two dozen animals. The villain is an alligator, who with his allies Rhino and Brown Bear scheme to break into the barn and steal ducklings, lambs, and calves. Often a deux ex machina namedContinue reading “Scales fall from Disney’s eyes”

A vision of tomorrow…rooted in the past!

Orange plastic flippers. Visiting the Contemporary Resort and carrying those around — that’s what kids did in the seventies. My first memories of Walt Disney World are of a tantrum over a Winnie the Pooh book at the Magic Kingdom, of splashing in the abandoned River Country, and of touring the Contemporary’s historic A-frame structureContinue reading “A vision of tomorrow…rooted in the past!”

There’s something wrong with paradise?

I haven’t admitted this yet, but here goes: I’m a Walt Disney World Resort junkie. Ever since a fluke stay at the once-and-future Polynesian Village Resort Hotel in summer ’87 I’ve kept up with the changing times. I know people obsessed like I’m not. If you’re one of them, and, if you’re like me, hoveringContinue reading “There’s something wrong with paradise?”