Education Matters: Breaking up with Disneyland

July 16, 2010

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

A life-long love affair has officially and finally come to an end. A relationship based on a deep and unqualified affection that began back in 1955 when we were both young, and has lasted for about 40 years, is over — kaput.

The magic is gone and, it pains me to say so, never again to be recaptured. The last slender thread of attachment was severed just last week when my brother and I took our families to Disneyland, the "happiest place on Earth."


Before I proceed with the reasons for my breakup, I must confess that the rest of my family does not share my disdain. In fact, they see me as something of a kill-joy for even suggesting that the "Magical Kingdom" is anything but.

I readily accept their verdict and welcome the punishment — not being invited next year when the family plans its traditional day at the park.

I submit the following bare facts as grounds for the separation: We spent more than $600 for five adults and two children and after nine hours at the place, went on a total of five rides. The majority of the day was spent waiting in lines. We waited to take a bus from a parking lot; we were directed to blocks away from Disneyland.

We spent 45 minutes waiting for one ride that lasted less than two minutes (Peter Pan); we waited an hour and 10 minutes for Space Mountain, 10 of those minutes going nowhere because of "mechanical difficulties."

We waited in line to buy ice cream and popcorn; we even waited in line to get a drink of water (I think they've eliminated a number of water fountains to force visitors to buy bottled water at a price I calculated to be about a dollar a gulp).

For the visitors slogging sheep-like toward the entrance of rides, there are many distractions at Disneyland. But when Snow White greets a line of people waiting for their turn at Pirates of the Caribbean, she's not just being friendly — she's a decoy, as are the happy background voices and music to make the wait more pleasant. And those lines are no ordinary straight-arrow lines either. They're laid out in a back-and-forth pattern so that the next turn is never out of sight, giving the impression that you're making progress.

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