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  • The Devil in Disney May 23, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite , trackback

    A book was recently sent anonymously to Beachcombing named The Dark Side of Disney: Utterly Unauthorised Tips, Tricks and Scams for you WDW Vacation (Leonard Kinsey). Beach cannot really write a review of said work; as he is not an expert in the field. He has very vague memories of Disney World from a childhood visit and most of that involves students dressed as Disney characters with terrifying rictus smiles. But as strangehistory celebrates the  curious this seems the place to signal to readers that a piece of extended writing exists that ‘shines a light into the roachy shadows of Walt Disney World. With 33 years of experience storming the gates of the Magic Castle, Leonard Kinsey has explored every possible option for a low-cost Disney vacation ranging from the immoral to the downright illegal. Packed with all the tips that Disney was hoping you wouldn’t discover, like free parking and bottomless beverage scams, this book also teaches you how to get free airline drink tickets and bar/pool hop around the high end Disney resorts like Hollywood glitterati.’

    Beach, of course, felt morally obliged to hurl the book into the bin when he read this, but was just too intrigued. He decided, in fact, to give the contents a go and things got worse/better from there. And after seeing such titles as ‘How to Find Someone to Have Sex With’, ‘Front of the Line With a Wheelchair’ and ‘Top 5 Best and Worst Places to Get High’ there was no stopping him. Beachcombing has lived a sheltered life as far as sex, wheelchairs and ‘getting high’ (whatever that means) are concerned. But he was fascinated to flick through this pages of thieving wisdom that might have come out of a Victorian rookery, applied strangely to the sterilised, pat world of Brother Bear and the Seven Dwarfs.

    The best part of the book is, at least for Beach, the interview with urban explorer Shane Perez and the description of his ‘trip to Discovery Island, Walt Disney World’s long-abandoned nature park. Discovery Island, located in the heart of Bay Lake, was left to rot years ago when the opening of Animal Kingdom effectively rendered the previously well maintained zoo obsolete. Instead of bulldozing the property, Disney simply decided to leave it as-is and let nature take its course, turning it into an overgrown urban ruin that was an irresistible destination for Shane and his fellow Urban Explorers.’ Memories here of illegal climbing in Cambridge. A highlight within a highlight was Shane and his adventurers bumping into some vultures on Discovery Island…

    Mickey above is clearly not the cover, but then the real thing would get us black listed by google!

    Beach is always on the look out for unusual books: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com This one shocked but did not disappoint him.


    9 June 2012: Invisible writes More on the Darkness of Disney (and remember, Disney was said to have been a member of the FIS): Carl Hiaasen loathes Disney and has shredded the Magic Kingdom in nonfiction (Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World) and hilarious fiction (Native Tongue, set in the seedy “Amazing Kingdom of Thrills”. I took my daughter there when she was about 5 or 6. I don’t know what happy memories she retains of it, but I remember the extreme docility and seriousness of the “guests” as they waited in interminable lines. I remember thinking, “This is how they’ll wait when the boxcars arrive for them.” Penne writes No doubt someone else has sent you this link, but this is a footnote to the Disney post:  Not a Disney fancier myself – I preferred the sheer mindless anarchy of Warner Bros. Thanks Invisible and Penne!