PTF is once again tan, rested and ready to gear back up again, having spent a week at my "unofficial retreat" location. Those who know me well will sigh and ask, "what?!?.... Again?"
For those of you who don't know, this serious-minded, furrowed-brow PTFer LOVES to vacation in Walt Disney World.
I know Disney gets a bad rap. Critics will say thyat they sanitize history and reality to suit their economic means. Or that they unnecessarily push the "good triumphing over evil" storyline in their films, making an argument that all obstacles can be overcome. Or perhaps they mention that some Disney employees don't receive living wages.
I've heard it all before, and I don't turn a deaf ear to it. Disney is NOT Utopia - it IS a corporation, and a conglomerate of businesses, and not everything they do is perfect.
I'm going to be the first to admit that. I would counter, however, that Disney is AMAZING when it comes to supporting the arts (both in terms of philanthropy, as well as the practical day-to-day hiring of artists, musicians, actors, dancers and all manner of other artists). Disney has long supported the rights of the gaycommunity (anything that pisses the Southern Baptists off makes me happy)... they take a LOT of very positive steps within their corporation every day.
But let's set even THAT aside for a moment.
The REAL reason why I vacation there has nothing to do with social activism or arts advocacy or anything like that.
It's simply this - Disney GETS it, and they do it right. Period. End of story.
If you've visited a Disney theme park for a single day, then you may not feel as strongly about it. But spend some time on the Disney property - in the hotels, in the restaurants, travelling around from theme park to theme park.
I have yet to see ANY company, large or small, make the efforts that Disney does to ensure that a visit is seamless and perfect.
So, maybe you think I rode Space Mountain 14,356 times while I was there? Guess again. On my Disney vacation, I swam in pristine pools, went boating three times over the course of the week, ate at two five-star restaurants (including a Kobe steak that was probably the most perfect thing I've ever put in my mouth!), danced at clubs, viewed evening fireworks aboard a private cruise for my family, drank too much at several clubs, saw some truly entertaining live shows... oh, and I did manage to make it to the theme parks, as well.
I've been going to Walt Disney World on a regular basis for over eleven years now (my wife and I honeymooned there), and at this point, it's almost as if I DARE them to disappoint me - but they never do.
And one of their biggest secrets? It's the Cast Members. The AMAZING Disney employees who come from all over the world to work in some capacity at Walt Disney World. Truly magnificent service in just about any possible service-oriented position.
I'm not going to drivel on and on about how magnificent Disney is at what they do (though I could).... the main point of this post was simply to say that I was on vacation, and now I'm back.
And so what if Disney creates a little "fantasyland"? Have you SEEN reality lately? It's nice to escape it every now and then.
I could probably create a whole new blog just babbling on about how great Walt Disney World is.... but I'll spare you. Feel free to babble to me if you want to gush over it, though. :)