Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Insanity of the 1996 Walt Disney World Christmas Parade!

There's a part of me that thinks I ought to be doing a trip report or something more substantial like that, but I've been busy with decorating and other Christmassy things. So here's a weird Christmas and Disney related video instead:

I discovered this barrel of insanity some time before we left for our spur-of-the-moment Christmastime in Disney World Round Two trip. It has been argued that the current age of the Disney theme parks is the strangest ever but looking back at 1996, I don't know. Among the stuff I noticed:

* - Is it me or is this actually a document of Jerry Van Dyke gradually losing his mind?

* - I forgot how obnoxious the hype for the live-action remake of "101 Dalmatians" was back then.

* - How would you like to be on the same stage as that terrifying Broadway Lumiere costume?  How would you like to have to WEAR that terrifying Broadway Lumiere costume?

* - J.D. Roth's entire career seems to be floating from random hosting gig to random hosting gig.

* - "Remember the Magic!!!"

There are two major Weird Disney Things that are worth singling out here:

* - Okay, there was one interesting and different thing we did during this latest WDW trip, and that was staying in Saratoga Springs. It is a very very large and sprawling resort with many buildings spread out over a large area. I don't think we would have liked it nearly as much if we were in one of the more remote buildings (we were in Congress Park in a building overlooking the remains of Pleasure Island across the river and within about a twenty-minute walk to the main building.) But our room was huge as far as DVC studios go, the facilities in the resort were all very nice, and it was fun spotting the buildings like the old theater that betrayed the fact that this used to be the Disney Institute.

Generally speaking, if you are walking around in Walt Disney World and you see something very strange that has been there since the mid-80's through mid-90's, you can explain it with two words: Michael Eisner. The story with the Disney Institute is that supposedly Eisner went to a resort in upstate New York once that catered to older adults and during your whole stay there you took classes in various subjects. "I LOVED it," he said upon his return, "I LOVED spending the whole week in classrooms learning how to cook or arrange flowers or whatever! You know what, I WANT that! I WANT that in my park!"

And so the Disney Institute, a resort where you'd stay in and take classes all through your entire stay in Walt Disney World, was built. As you can see in the segment about it in the video, the concept didn't go over as well as Michael Eisner thought it would.

* - Castle. Cake.


If you enjoyed this weird Christmas special from days gone by, I'm planning something big -and probably ill-advised- for next week. Until then, here's the Sketch of the Day with Santas galore!

12.3.12 - Santas Galore

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