Saturday, February 19, 2005

Amateur Disneyworld reports are accidentally illuminating

Well, congratulate me - I just spent the morning reading a dozen amateur travelogues concerning Disneyworld, posted by the always-bubbling members of, a popular clearinghouse for Disney rumors and discussions. And why did I read a dozen amateur travelogues concerning Disneyworld this morning? Er, because it's cold here in Chicago, and I'm broke, and really had nothing better to do with my time, sadly enough.

The fascinating thing about these travelogues, I think, is how each of them describes in almost magical terms these deeply unique experiences the traveler had...which happens to be, for the most part, word-for-word copies of what each of the other travelers are saying in their own reports. It's amazing, I think, how Disney has managed to pull this off - to run what is perhaps the most automated, no-surprise vacation resort in human experience, yet have most of their customers walk away raving about the unique, personalized experience they had. Say what you will, but Disney is still the undisputed king of delivering magical experiences, which is what's made Disneyworld what it is, and such a continually surreal place, and a place still obsessively loved by tens of thousands. You know, even if none of them can admit that all those other visitors are having essentially the same experience as them, no matter how many identical travelogues are posted to a page.