Tag Archives: Disney

Nightmare on Main Street

Main Street

By Jack Edwards

Our family had a brilliant idea. We would spend New Year’s Eve at Disneyland watching fireworks explode over the castle. Only, one little problem. Eighty-four thousand, nine-hundred and ninety-six people, people we didn’t even know, and certainly never invited, had the same brilliant idea.

That’s the cut-off. 85,000. This is proof that Disney runs Anaheim like the Mob runs Vegas. Just kidding! The bones in my legs are perfectly fine in their current, unbroken condition! (I’m referring to Disney. Not even the Mob is heartless enough to charge you $5.00 for a small soda.)

In order for 85,000 people to simultaneously experience the Wonder and the Joy that is the “Magic Kingdom,” each of the theme park characters is contractually required to carry at least one guest on his or her back to conserve foot space.  (Snow White is required to carry seven.)

There are only two possible explanations for Anaheim’s Fire Marshal signing off on Disney herding 85,000 victims into this human corral. Either old Walt had some dirt on the fire marshal, or the fire marshal is currently driving around in sparkling new Lamborghini with a bumper sticker that reads: “I brake for Mickey!”

The tragic result of this story, which will soon become ironically, and sadly, apparent, is that our family didn’t even need to suffer this tragedy.

Let me explain. When our family checks into a hotel, we ask for the best view available. Unfortunately, the best view available in our price range is a view of the hotel’s dumpster. Imagine our shock then of getting a room with a panoramic view of the Disneyland castle. We briefly discussed staying in our room to watch the fireworks, but decided that wouldn’t capture the full New Year’s celebration experience. As we soon learned… No, indeed, it would not.

We were warned that Disneyland usually cuts off entry around midday on New Year’s Eve when it reaches capacity. (Did I mention capacity was 85,000?) A Disney representative told us that if we left the park there was no guarantee of being allowed to reenter. This meant we had to head in early in the day, and remain in the park until midnight. If you’re beginning to get the sense that our whole plan was a bad idea, you would be sadly and absolutely correct.

Once in the park, warning signs were everywhere. We were 14 hours from midnight, and people were spreading blankets and staking out territory like it was the Middle East. Those of you familiar with Disney parks know that they have what they call a FASTPASS system with their more popular rides. You can go up to them and get a ticket to return at a later time (usually two or three hours when it’s busy) and then bypass the regular line. We struggled to Space Mountain for a FASTPASS at about 11:40 a.m. Our FASTPASS told us to return for the ride at 10:45 p.m. We were like those buffoons in the horror movie who stumble across a dead body stuffed into a dog house, but instead of fleeing for our lives, we simply shrug our shoulders and go, “Humm, that’s odd. The landlord told us this vacation rental didn’t allow dogs.”

The good news was, the temperature was nearly freezing.

Finally, midnight arrived. You know those pimentos that they shove into an olive? Yeah. We were 85,000 pimentos shoved into a gigantic Disney olive. In the end, the best view I could get was watching the fireworks through the thick branches of a tree on Disneyland’s Main Street. I stood there freezing, longing to be in my warm hotel room gazing out at my customary of the hotel dumpster.

The Win, Win, Win Plan

Final Florida For Sale Sign

By Jack Edwards

I dare to speak for most sensitive Americans when I say that I care deeply about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  But to be completely honest with you, I and my compatriots have absolutely no idea what the fight is about.  Sure, we know they each want the same piece of land, but that’s about it.  And if you asked one of us to find the Gaza Strip on a map, get comfortable.  We’d be frowning, making faces, and running our finger along that map like a rhesus monkey hunting for a tick.  We’d be too afraid to actually put our finger down on a particular spot for fear it might turn out to be Bangkok or maybe even New Jersey.

Frankly, it’s time for someone to stand up and take this Middle Eastern bull by the horns.   I propose that someone be me.  I am uniquely qualified.  I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian, so I don’t have a dog in the fight, and I’ve had a number of people comment on my fair-minded nature.  For example, several times in the past, folks have commented, “Wow, Jack, that’s surprisingly fair of you,” say as I chucked in an extra buck toward the tip after a group dinner.  But above all, I have a secret weapon.  I call it the Win, Win, Win plan.

My plan requires that my fellow Americans exercise a certain degree of self-reflection.  We must first agree on a problem that’s been an elephant in our country’s living room for two hundred years.  That is, of course, the disharmonic outline of our lower “contiguous” states.   It is, how should I put this politely… unkempt.  We have an unsightly peninsula jutting off into the sea on the lower right corner.  This disharmonious land mass is more commonly referred to as Florida.  I’m sure other countries comment on it to each other behind our back.  It’s an odd appendage.  And to anyone with even the most basic understanding of Fung Shui, it is inarguably “out-of-balance.”  From a politic perspective alone, wouldn’t we be better off without it?  The savings in election recounts by itself would pay back 40 percent of the national debt.  And it’s a geographical eyesore – flat as a pancake, and only six inches above sea level.  Al Gore says his global warming program should have it underwater by the end of the year.  It’s high time for us to unload this albatross.  That’s where Israel and Palestine enter the picture.  You got it now.  We’re looking for a buyer.

Here’s the deal.  First, we need to find a couple of really effective time share brokers.  The kind who can really lay on the shellac.  The kind of guys who salivate at convincing granny to liquidate her 401K and slap it down for “four weeks in paradise…forever!”  Then we arrange for both the Israelis and the Palestinians to tour this slab of mud and swamp separately.  We’ll really lay down the baloney.  I’m talkin’ top notch, whirlwind tour.  The parties will, of course, be required to bring along their spouses to ensure that any contract they sign while still under the influence of their post-tour euphoria will be binding.  If they both want it, we’ll flip a coin.  If neither do, then I’ll suggest a coin toss.  Oh, sure, they’ll balk, but we’ll ask the United Nations to do a little arm twisting.  (We all know how persuasive the U.N can be.)  Hey, it’s a fifty-fifty chance their problems are solved and their arch enemies move to the other side of the planet.  Doesn’t get more tempting than that.

Granted, the idea is a little outside of the box, but compare it to what we’ve got now.  Yeah.  Bupkis.  We’re offering prime oceanfront real estate on three sides.  And if the negotiations get tough, we’ll throw in Disney World.  The Disney Corporation has always been public spirited; I’m sure they’ll go along with the idea.  People are getting tired of standing in line for their vacations anyway.

So there you have it.  The Win, Win, Win.  Now, about my commission….

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