ACCORDING TO inside reports, on a family trip to Disneyland, Christina Aguilera let her rage genie out of the bottle and called the big mouse on campus — Mickey himself — an “asshole” after he declined to take a picture with her. Critiques of her diva behavior are predictably clogging the blogosphere, but I just don’t have it in me. Maybe it’s because ‘Dirrty’ will always have a special place in my heart as the inspiration behind my questionable elementary-era ripped jeans phase. Or maybe it’s because the magic kingdom is actually the worst. Here’s why:
The Meandering Human-Snakes of Despair We Call Lines
Maybe it’s the eerie 1984-esque enforced orderliness, a deep-seated internal despondency over the futility of our own impatience, or the kid who is significantly less cute than her parents think she is belting out “Let It Go” for the twenty-third time. But there’s something about waiting in line that brings out everyone’s inner crazy (which is something that Disneyland enthusiasts have a lot more of on reserve than average). Waiting in line, under the best of circumstances, reduces vast swaths of humanity to a herd of cattle headed to slaughter. Waiting in line for It’s a Small World is a special breed of torture. Rest assured — moving only half an inch every hour, flanked by sweaty heifers in Mickey Mouse ears isn’t all for naught! The three minutes of nightmarish, politically-incorrect dancing dolls will make it all worthwhile.
I Don’t Know What’s Wrong with Kids Today
Children are a lot like whiskey. Fun in small doses, nauseating in excess, and downright dangerous when mixed with sugary substances. And I’m fairly certain that Disneyland was originally named “Sugary Substance Land” but Walt thought that didn’t roll off the tongue quite as well. In any case, the lineup of super-sweet treats beckoning seductively at every corner is a veritable red light district for the under-ten set. Like tiny liberated businessmen on a trip to Amsterdam they swagger from stall to stall with sticky fingers and wild eyes, equal parts hypnotized and entitled, scarcely noticing who they vomit on in their path.
Anthropomorphic Monstrosities Hunting You Down For Hugs
When you first encounter Minnie or Goofy in all their plastic-eyed splendor, you experience that unmistakable, unsettling sucker-punch of emotion usually reserved for the victims of flash-mob wedding proposals: a surge of knee-jerk revulsion followed quickly with sympathy. And then you realize your pity is entirely misplaced, that for the man behind the mask/enormous plush mouse head, this is the big time. He’s made it. Playing a character is the magna cum laude of Disney College (yes, that’s a real place) and the hard-earned payoff of years of blood, sweat, and popcorn sweeping as a uniformed peon. Your interaction with this stranger is, for you, an awkward obstacle on your way to lunch. For them, it’s the pinnacle of everything they’ve been working towards. No pressure though!
Oh, Wow! Some Wrought Iron and a Mediocore Jazz Combo! I Must be in New Orleans!
Perhaps the most bizarre thing about Disneyland (aside from the Enchanted Tiki Room) is the unnaturally cheerful and misguided commitment to transporting its visitors to Somewhere Else. Adventureland! Fantasyland! France! All crammed into a single 160-acre overgrown parking lot. News flash — this morning we were on an ordinary street in LA, and now we’re in an alternate universe where employees are contractually obligated to keep their nails shorter than an eraser. I think it’s safe to say we’re Somewhere Else, alright. No artificial ambiance necessary. Although the wise-cracking, generally hungover jungle cruise guides and their sidekicks, the ill-tempered mechanical hippos, do a pretty solid Africa impression.
A Rabidly Loyal Fanbase That Surpasses Any Other (Particularly in the Goofy Hat Department)
Some people camp out for midnight releases or gnash their teeth over a botched touchdown. Disney fans take things a kooky step further by aligning themselves with a multi-national, mega-corporation. And Disneyland is their Mecca. The devoted flock there at ritualistic intervals, each weekend for the lucky locals, bi-annually for those making the pilgrimage from Indiana (which seems like a place that would have a particularly high concentration of Disney fanatics.) They celebrate holidays there, get married there, some even arrange to have their ashes scattered there. Haunted Mansion, indeed!
So let’s give Christina a break. If we haven’t dropped a few choice four-letter words on Mickey & Co ourselves, it’s only because our mouths were too full of astronomically-overpriced mouse-ear shaped snacks. Ask yourself: If this were really the happiest place on Earth would the churros cost $6.50? I rest my case.