How Disney Killed The Spirit of Adventure

Doug Coupland said, “Adventure without risk is Disneyland.”
I say, Disneyland is risk without Adventure.

 Is Disney the Adventure Killer?

RIP, Death of Adventure, Is Disney the death of adventure, Disney

Disney, Disneyland, and Disney World are some of the most recognized brands and destinations on earth. Disney is the darling of Wall Street and the dream destination of children, parents, families and others throughout the world. The truth however is, Disney is destroying the spirit of adventure just as surely as rust is destroying the Titanic.

Whoooooooooaa, you say. Disney is fairies, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Magic Kingdom, literally heaven on earth, even the “happiest place on earth.”

Disney a $42,278,000,000 Machine

I say Disney is nothing more than a business machine designed to separate you from your money. In 2012 gross revenues for the company were approximately 43 Billion dollars. This machine takes advantage of the naivety of most people by creating a false hope that they might experience some semblance of adventure, when in reality they will never experience anything more than the illusion of adventure of the worst kind.

Have you been to Disneyland or Disney World lately? Those of you that have, likely realize now, that the good time your expected for yourself and your family, one in which you would experience a world of thrills, fun and adventure was a fraud.

The Price of Fake Adventure

Did you know most going to a Disney park will fork out nearly $100 per person per day for tickets, $200+ dollars per day for a mediocre room and an average of $100 per day for food and drinks?

That does not include other in park expenses for souvenirs etc. of about another $75+ per day and out of park expenses of $75+ per day. With airfare of approximately $500 each from most American cities, the grand total for a 5 day “Adventure” will be roughly $5,000 for a family of 4. And trust me, that is going “economy” on most things. I have been told it is much more likely that ‘true’ Disney aficionados will spend in the range of $7,500-$10,000 or more for a family of 4 for the pleasure of 5 days in one of the parks.

Hellish, Mind Numbing Crowds

Disney World Crowd, Nightmare at Disney World

And what do you get for your hard earned pay? You get horrendous lines to wait in. You get overpriced barely digestible food and likely you’ll get sick of or sick from the huge, anxious, surly, and generally obnoxious tourists who are there. It’s wall to wall people and it is stroller hell to the max. It really is the poster child for vacations gone bad.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the employees. For the most part the employees are some of the finest most capable, best trained and customer friendly people there are. And even though they are largely paid “slave wages” for the work they do, the employees do a remarkable job considering what they face each day. No matter; good overworked employees are not enough, to overcome the bulging at the seams nightmare in a Disney Park. The result? The more Disney packs in, the more it makes and those who go there suffer the worst of consequences.

Let’s face it, Disney is a business selling an illusion designed to separate you from your money. The marketing of their properties is superb in creating this illusion of fun, excitement and adventure, but the delivery is pathetic joke.

Don’t kid yourself; you will never experience true adventure at a Disney destination. I don’t care how cleverly they disguise the Matterhorn to look like a mountain or how fast the fake cars of Test Track go, it is all a lie as it relates to adventure. Soarin’ is not hang gliding and never will be and Kali River ride does not even remotely resemble a river in the Himalayas.

Is it entertainment? Well maybe. Entertainment is relative to the person who experiences it.  However, I think it is robbery of the highest order for those seeking true adventure.

True Adventure

Zion Narrows, Zion National Park, True Adventure

Zion Narrows, Zion National Park

And what is true adventure? Here is what I think it is. See, “The Spirit of Adventure”.

Adventure is REAL life, not movies, not social media, not video games, not television and certainly not Disney.

It’s living your life in the REAL world, experiencing REAL people, places and things.

Is there a place for the Non-Real, fake “adventures”? Yes, probably, but never kid yourself they are illusions and just as valuable as fool’s gold in the end, it’s not adventure.

Wouldn’t you really rather tell your family, friends, even business associates about your trip to climb Kilimanjaro, about your trip scuba diving in the Caribbean, about your river rafting trip down the Grand Canyon, about the stars at night in Death Valley, about your hike thru the Zion Narrows and any of a 1,000 other REAL adventures you could have rather than tell them you went on a fake adventure? I think I know your answer. If you have been to a Disney park recently, you know the answer for sure.

The Real Thing

So, next time, before you decide to lay out thousands of dollars for an “adventure”, think about it. Coca Cola used to have a slogan “It’s the real thing”. Do you or your family members want to experience the “real thing” or a counterfeit nightmare?

I said in the beginning of this message, Disneyland is risk without adventure.  It’s the risk of not experiencing the real thing. Are you willing to take the risk?

Explore the Adventurous Life – Experience the REAL Thing 

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