Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tastefully Offensive

I just spent a day at Epcot. Epcot, for those who don’t know, is an acronym for “Expensive, plodding, Cutesy ot.” Epcot is a Disney park (did I mention I am starting a new usenet group… “alt.disney”? I don’t know if that joke has been made before or if anyone will get it, but either way, I am claiming this material for Spain.) As a Disney park, Epcot is required to extract money from people at a disturbing rate and an alarm sounds if a patron does not spend money for over 45 minutes. Let me reflect on a few of the points today:

1. The weather was cold. Really cold. Like there was an arctic cold front coming in from the south pole of Pluto (no, wait…Neptune). When we got there the only Disney product we wanted was a pair of gloves that didn't look like swollen hands. Maybe a scarf. If I wanted cold, I would have stayed in New Jersey. Sure, there was no snow this morning but my mouse ears turned red and my duck bill was chapped. The park should have lowered the rates to reward those fools who showed up and stayed. That there were later waiting times of up to a 60 minutes was ridiculous. Not only shouldn't the park have made anyone wait on any lines while Goofy-thermia was setting in, but there just weren't enough people in the park to justify those waits.

2. In the past, if you showed up with a medical issue which made it tough for you to get around or wait on line, you got a sort of pass which allowed you to go in a separate line. Not any more. Now, if you show up in a wheelchair with a note from your doctor explaining that you have only 3 hours to live, the park will give you 1 “cut to the front” pass to use once and then say “have fun waiting on line and enjoy the Coffin ride at the end.” It was as the day was, tastefully offensive. Sure, they are trying to be fair to everyone (no doubt, Pass-abuse is rampant amongst the rich and injured, and why would it help someone with no legs to get to the front of the line) but it smacks of insensitivity.

3. If you don’t like rides and motion simulators, spending 90 plus dollars to sit around seems a bit excessive.

4. The best ride was the Starbucks ride. It cost a bit extra, but it was worth it. I went on twice.

OK, so much for the quick reflections. Let me tell you a bit about my day.

It was cold. But I have mentioned that.

Maddie had the line of the day. As we sat around watching people she said “seeing little girls dressed like princesses makes me happy.” Had I said that, I would have been arrested. But when she said, it was just plain lovely. As I said…tastefully offensive.

There was a “test track” ride which involved driving a car. I begged off as I expected to drive a car later in the day. There was a large screen movie and slow motion ride starring Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye when both were 25 years younger and funnier. The performances and the motion movie made me nauseated. I will not make that mistake again. There were some other things but they all seemed to involve my sitting around watching the bags. It is a skill I have developed.

Finally, we made our way towards the crown jewel of Epcot – the pavilions of the countries. I looked forward to the beer and the sun light as I was still cold. Here are some specific reflections (all said in the spirit of tastefully offensive):

1. The goods at the Japan pavilion were made in China.

2. The Japan workers don’t like questions about the comfort women concession stand.

3. The Norway pavilion had a maelstrom but no femaelstrom. I think that is wrong.

4. The kids tried on hats at the China pavilion but I told them not to because they might have rice.

5. I found the entire China pavilion repressing. Did you know that the dishes are made from a ceramic that they call “ceramic”?

6. They don’t like the Falun Gong references.

7. The China pavilion only lets each family bring in 1 girl.

8. I finally bought a beer in the Germany section. I told them they shouldn’t charge me as the beer was reparations.

9. There is a lovely model train next to the Germany pavilion. I think that that is a bad thing.

*I have more Holocaust related jokes but they seem to go beyond “tastefully” and squarely into “just offensive.”

10. There was a mime in the Italy section. When I think Italy, I don’t think mimes. Couldn't they get something more Italian, like a murder?

11. The American pavilion was full of people skipping work and over eating. And there were guests also.

12. I asked the people in the Morocco pavilion for a copy of Othello. They didn’t get it or send me to Italy. It was sad. No one in the American pavilion got it either.

13. The France pavilion was nice but champagne slushies? That seems a bit excessive.

14. Both the UK and Canada have phone booths as central tourist points.

Tastefully offensive.

After the countries of the world we hung out a bit to give me a chance to sit some more. There was a bit of ice cream involved, some phone charging and people watching. It was a blast. Eventually, it was time to get lost as we tried to get home without directions but we found our way back to the park and tried again. A quick stop at the Publix so that we could say hi to everyone and spend some momey, and then we made it back. Tomorrow, I will report on the best places to sit when avoiding doing anything at the Magic Kingdom. I just hope there is a Starbucks ride.

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