You Aren’t Going to Like This One
Over the years, this site has detailed the sometimes strange, but often times wonderful fluctuating path of Walt Disney World’s stance on how it treats it guests. More specifically, how it handles the day-to-day needs of handicapped or mobility-impaired park-goers.
To be fair, it’s gotten mixed reviews depending on the time of year, the accommodations requested and the people encountered, but I believe that every company struggles with these things to a degree. So a company as massive as Disney should be commended for going out of its way to make you feel as loved as they do (even if you are remortgaging your house to spend a week in the House of Mouse).
Full disclosure here, I’m a child born and raised on a trip to Disney World every single year of my life.
Every. Single. Year.
I drink the Kool-Aid, sing the songs and cry every time I pass under the magnificent colorful arch that tells me I am back in paradise, where my Main Street fantasies are far grander than the 3/4 scale of its whimsical buildings. I love the place.
So it is with an odd sort of discomfort that I read about Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living initiative that started popping up all over my emails and messages (which, incidentally, I pretend come directly from Walt’s cryogenically-frozen head in storage… don’t judge me).
Back in 2010, Disney announced their collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama and Healthy Kids, Healthy Families, when the Magic of Healthy Living launched right out of the gate with few complaints.
On the one hand, I completely understand the desire to get kids running around and eating right while they wait two hours on line for Space Mountain. On the flip side, there’s an embarrassing photo of me gnawing on a massive turkey drumstick and washing it down with a frothy barrel-sized vat of beer in Epcot.
Lately I’ve been seeing news blurbs from the TRYit! campaign which encourages children and their families to venture forth and try new foods and get their asses moving in simple ways. This makes more sense I suppose, if you are aware of how far reaching the arms of the Disney machine stretch. They’ve got their straws in the milkshakes of several massive social media sites, television, radio, a transmitter embedded in your brain (not that last one) and, just like Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Disney drinks your milkshake! Or something like that.
Trust me, Disney is powerful and influential. Like the mafia, except more Jedi mind trickery and less firepower.
Anyway, here’s the kicker. Disney isn’t forcing anyone to eat right. They are simply providing that option for you and clucking disapprovingly like your mom if you don’t choose correctly.
My last visit was months ago, and I will say that our hotel had a food court that provided both luxuriously sinful, as well as healthy and practical, options for everyone. I made sure to pack Disney-bought tangerines, granola bars and waters for the long, hot treks through the theme parks, and balanced that out with inhaling my four-course dinners like a starved caveman during a cold bleak winter.
So, how do you all feel? Do Disney’s attempts at promoting healthy living even make a blip on your radar? Would you risk the wrath of the supposedly-deceased-but-omnipotent Walt (he’s always watching, you know) and bypass all these suggestions? Are the choices something you’re happy about?