On a recent trip to Disneyland I had the privilege to go on It's A Small world ride. It's been about two years since I've been on this ride and I think that it took about a year and a half to get the song out of my head. Fuck you, you mind fuck of a virus filled catchy tune.
The ride was closed for some time to fix up the ride so that it could accomidate the heavier guest. You see, as a nation we're getting a bit heavier. I'm not going to lie, I've got a bit of a spare tire on my boyish good looks. I'm working on it, sheesh! In any event, Disney had to take measures to compensate for this not so small world after all and dig the trenches to fill it with more water and create boats that would keep buoyant.
So while they were tinkering with the boats they decided to just go the full mile and make changes to whole ride. I'm sure a lot of Disney purist will protest but they went ahead and tossed in a lot of Disney Characters in the mix making it a small world, after all. I'm going to go on record here and will gladly say that I'm not offended by the stupid sequels that Disney seems to produce of all their franchises. Yeah, they can be dumb and do we really need a sequel to some of these films? But hey, it's out there.
Small world is annoying enough and the song will never leave you. I don't think I have enough room in me to care about the characters changing or tossing in product tie ins. Kids are going to love it and want to go on it again and again anyway. It's not like Disney has a track record of keeping things as they originally were made. Need an example?
The Pastoral Symphony utilized delicate color styling to depict a mythical ancient Greek world of centaurs, pegasi, the gods of Mount Olympus, fauns, cupids, and other legendary creatures and characters of classical mythology. It tells the story of the mythological creatures gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus, the god of wine riding his horned donkey, Jacchus, which is interrupted by Zeus, who decides to have a little fun by throwing lightning bolts at the attendees.The more things stay the same, the more things change. Yeah, I know I flipped that saying around. It's true though. There was a time when you couldn't get into Disneyland if you had long hair. It was a crazy time of Love, Peace and being far out, man. Walt wasn't going to have any hippies mess up the joint. It's bad enough that there's construction in California Adventure now in plain sight, just imagine how much breaking of the fourth wall would occur if Walt allowed beatnicks into the joint?
This portion of the film was criticized for brief yet blatant nudity on the part of the female centaurs. Other criticisms center on the racial images of a female centaur servant named Sunflower, who is part African human, part donkey, and two attendants to Bacchus who are part African Amazons, part zebra. The servant has been excised from all prints in circulation since 1969, while the zebra female centaurs have always remained in the film.
Over the weekend was proof that Disney has changed and become more accepting of other cultures. Or at the very least they're accepting of their money. It was Bats Day in the Theme park. What exactly that means is that a thousand or so Goths invaded the Disney parks in their finest black clothing.
Which on a typical SoCal sunny day means that there was a lot of sweaty people in the park. Careful how close you got to the person in front of you while waiting in line. But sure enough, there was folks in elaborate attire that I would never be able to pull off, let alone put on.
Blacker than the blackest black. Darker than the darkest dark. Their souls are as black as the background of Space Mountain. Their minds are as crazy as the track on Thunder Mountain. Their hunger is only quienced when.. they.. eat a tasty churro? The amount of remorse for all those not in black garbs is small.. as small as a small world.. um, I have no idea where I'm going with this. Let's just put it this way, The Haunted Mansion is one popular ride on this day. Good luck trying to get in that line. Let me tell you!
It was really odd seeing the reactions of those who had no idea that it was bats day. Must have been a massive mind trip to see a bunch of gothic kids walking around enjoying the park and getting those fast passes to silly rides. Try explaining to little Timmy why Mickey seemed to have friends from the wrong side of the tracks. Or the common mistake of asking one of the folks in black "What movie are you from?" or "Which Villian are you, can I get a picture?" All things you face while wearing the clothing.
I sort of resent this acceptance of Goths in Disney. For years after Nightmare Before Christmas was released, it was treated poorly by Disney. It was their red headed step child. Only when they started seeing the dollar signs in their eyes did they really embrace the movie. Then again, I may just be the grumpy old man in this situation.
Back to Goths day. I thought the whole thing was grand, if not a little disconnected. No one really batted an eye at each other. Cliques were there in their typical fashion. See, if I'm wearing a comic book t-shirt and I see someone else with one, it's like a little secret society. I give them a head nod and if a conversation is struck, then well, a conversation happens. Have it be about the latest events in whatever issue or something strange. I think it's a good way to see that you have something in common with a complete stranger. Is that so wrong?
I don't think these folks, as anti-social as you would imagine them to be, really needed to live up to that name. Oddly enough, in looking for stock photos of previous bats day pictures I came across this one of two people I actually know.
They're really nice folks. Since I have this soap box to stand on for the moment, I might as well plug their website once again. Gotham Public Works is the name of their group that I seem to at least run into them at con every year. Out of make up, they're just as nice.
Oddly enough I know these two. They're actually pretty cool people.
So yes. Goths day.. Now you may be wondering what I was wearing? Hmm, perhaps that'll best be left untouched. But it goes to show you, no matter how dark you try to front it, there's always that kid in you that is going to love going to Disney land again and again. That is, of course, under the assumption that you aren't some horrible person who just simply hates Disney.
What kind of monster would hate Disney? I'd say you'd have to be a Nazi to hate Disney, but isn't that the rumor about Walt? That and the frozen head thing. I'm sure you heard of that one, thus proving that it really is a small world after all.