Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Au revoir, Balzac!

First Fantasyland, then HISTA, now this?! According to recent reports, the hilarious and adorable Balzac ball kiosks spread throughout Disney World are on their way out. This saddens me, folks! The Balzac stands have become an institution in the parks, not unlike Dole Whips or issues with the Monorail. Honestly, can anyone remember a time they were walking through the parks, enjoying the scenery, and weren't pelted repeatedly in the head and chest with inflatable balls of varying size? It was a magical experience! And of all the cast members trained to essentially perform in their own environments -- the bellhop at Tower of Terror, the Tour Guide on The Great Movie Ride, or even someone performing maintenance around Tomorrowland -- none were better at sucking you into the atmosphere than the Balzac salespeople. Standing around playing with giant balloons required such rapt focus, such attention to detail and nuance that any visitor to the park would immediately be enamored with their plight. And those amazing balls were so vividly designed! With nearly every color imaginable streaked across a single ball, the mere sight of one evoked a Technicolor nightmare - a streaming fury of unabashed contrast emblazoned across a spherical symbol of resistance and power, like a collage of LSD-inspired fireworks thrown onto the heaving shore of our collective subconscious. The only thing that improves this piece of pure art is the word "Balzac" scrawled across the face of the ball, written with sharp, jagged edges, piercing the eyes with a mere glance. The fiery letters burn into the retina like the first time one reads Kerouac, or sees "Citizen Kane." It's a beautiful nightmare, twisted and raw, an orgy of fear and joy and hope and hatred.

I, for one, will miss Balzac and all it brought with it. If we could get something that comes close to filling the void left by these kiosks, we should all consider ourselves incredibly blessed.

My GOD, I want one of these.