Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh, Jesus Christ

Every year (what feels like every 6 weeks) Disney rolls out some harebrained scheme to get more people to go to the parks, and usually they're nothing short of "meh." The harebrained schemes are underwhelming, as if Disney Parks was some kooky sitcom uncle who, in every episode, gets a new idea for a get-rich-quick outfit, and the next 22 minutes are watching nothing but HIJINX. Except here, 22 minutes is about 12 months, and HIJINX are just people face-palming. A few days ago, Disney Parks invited a small group of people (Russian drug czars, I'm told) to New York so they could sit and watch Tom Bergeron - host of "America's Funniest Videos of People Getting Hit in the Balls" - make unfunny jokes about things that have nothing to do with Disney Parks. Speculation was rampant (they were liveblogging the thing, for Christ's sake!), with many people assuming big changes were underway for the parks. Instead, Disney laid down the groundwork for another year of gimmicky bullshit.

The "Let the Memories Begin" campaign is centered around the world's ever-growing need to have literally EVERYTHING shared globally, be it a video of your son's first words, or a picture of a dead hooker new puppy you just adopted. What Disney wants is for you to submit "pictures or videos of never-to-be-forgotten experiences" at the parks, which you can upload to an officially-official website. Then, starting in 2011, Disney will begin taking those pictures and videos and projecting them on Cinderella's Castle in Magic Kingdom, or the "it's a small world" building in Anaheim. Sound cute? Maybe if it's your pictures. But let's review the concept here:

-Disney will be projecting images all over iconic, beautiful pieces of Disney history. Some of it looks cool (as you can see), but imagine the first time you ever saw Cinderella Castle lit up at night. Many, many people won't get to experience that feeling because the castle will be almost completely covered up by distracting animations and pictures, like a giant screensaver. Hopefully, TDO will find a way to make it more of a complement than a distraction, but fingers are merely crossed at this point.

-Disney is going to use your face to promote their parks. If you don't have a problem with that, then fine. It's wholly possible that in the coming months, Disney will start putting your family in commercials for Disney World, and to some folks that's slightly overstepping boundaries. Now I know, if you go out of your way to put your pictures/video on this website, you should be willing to accept any usage Disney wants to get out of it. Once you put it on the internet, it's out there forever. Fine. Whatever. Again, some people may be cool with that. Some people may LOVE that. But I'm more interested in other people - bringing me to point 3...

-Who fucking cares about other people's vacations? Honestly? I think about this from my perspective: Let's say I don't want to put my face or pictures or whatever on this website (I really don't), and I go to Magic Kingdom one day (I hope to soon!). I have no interest in seeing other people's mugs plastered all over Cinderella's Castle. I just don't give a fuck. Also, say I DID post a picture of myself to the website, and it was placed on the Castle. Disney has claimed that somewhere around 5000 pictures will be shown daily as part of the campaign - who says they'll all be decently-sized, or projected for a long enough amount of time to appreciate it? No matter what, it's just dumb to think that the vast majority of people will care about other people's memories. I know it sounds vaguely narcissistic, but it's sadly true. I'm assuming a lot of people will either not care about this or simply bypass the photographers that already routinely hound you when you enter the parks, and it's pretty safe to say those chosen folks won't give a rat's ass about some other family's time on Splash Mountain.

"But wait," you may say, "aren't those the same people who look at videos on YouTube all the time of other people's lives? Isn't that a bit backwards?" Not especially, since those videos and images aren't mundane activities the viewers themselves live everyday. Not everyone routinely feeds carrots to baby hedgehogs or gets hit by a car whilst dancing (although if you did, you live an extraordinary life). No one cares about videos of regular people doing the same shit as them. So, then, why should they care about videos or pictures of people doing things they have done that day/ will do the following day?

Oh, Team Disney Orlando, will you EVER learn, you mischievous scamps?

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