Even Worse Than Dilapidated Airports: Our Nation’s Theme Parks Are The Real Dystopian American Vision
July 31, 2021 (4mo ago)

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Last week, Revolver essay made a strong case that airports are the ultimate, hellish symbol of modern America. And they are a worthy contender. But they aren’t the best one. No, the most visceral, immediate way to witness the decay of 2021 America is to set foot into a popular amusement park. From Disney World and Universal Studios to Cedar Point and Six Flags, America’s theme parks may offer charm and exciting thrill rides, but they also offer a stark dystopian vision of how far America is from the great country it once was.

Obesity

Steve Baker (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Sure, there are a lot of fat people in airports. But to stroll through a contemporary American theme park is to witness a blob of humanity in all its greasy, engorged, jiggling horror. 35+ BMI humans waddle about, gorging on funnel cakes, shaved ice, and the bespoke ice cream confabulations that are the typical fare of theme parks. Syrup and sugar coat the face, stick to the fingers, clog the arteries, and bloat the waistline.

In airports, the obese masses at least benefit from air conditioning, but in a theme park on a glorious summer day, their bodies will be coated in a generous lather of sweat, which will soak through their shorts and T-shirts, making them resemble wrappers at the fast food outlets they eat at 2-14 times a week.

Sadly, more than ten percent of Americans have diabetes. Sometimes that figure is hard to believe, but a quick trip to Kings Dominion will immediately convince anyone that ten percent is, if anything, an underestimate.

Maoism

Airports are sterile, boring places. If they’re uninspired, they at least don’t drive home the way America has been gutted by the left’s cultural Maoism. There aren’t many statues to rip down (though exceptions exist), and only a handful are named after American heroes now targeted for cancellation, like Charles Lindbergh or John Wayne.

No such luck at theme parks, which offer a grim, visceral reminder of America’s cultural implosion. For decades, tens of millions of visitors from around the world enjoyed Disney’s Splash Mountain ride, whose theme was based on animated sequences from the 1946 film Song of the South.

No more! The woke battalions have decreed that the theming is racist, and so the ride is getting the 1619 Project treatment. The Song of the South music and characters will be scrapped, and replaced by new themting from the inferior modern Disney film The Princess and the Frog.

And the cultural obliteration doesn’t end with the ride:

[W]hile the actual overhaul of Splash Mountain is likely years away, it seems that both resorts have begun to take steps to remove other Song of the South references from other parts of the parks.

First, it was reported by the OC Register that the music loop at Downtown Disney, the one part of Disneyland Resort that is currently open, had removed “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah” from the playlist. Now, BlogMickey has reported that The Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Day, a game available to play in the Disney Play app at Walt Disney World, has been removed from the app, and even the Disney Parks Blog post announcing the game’s existence has been removed from the web. [CinemaBlend]

Walt Disney was an all-time great American, whose creations were genuine works of art that brought joy to the entire world. Now, right in front of everyone, those works are being thrown into the garbage to appease a Maoist mob.

It’s not just at Disney parks, either. Universal has announced that it is “evaluating” Seuss Landing at its Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando.

The Florida theme park has a Seuss Landing area called “If I Ran the Zoo,” which is the title of one of the books yanked on Tuesday. It also has a gift shop called the Mulberry Street Store as well as a Mulberry Street sign, both nods to another of the six pulled titles, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” “Seuss Landing continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises,” a Universal spokesperson told News 13 in a statement. But, “we’ve removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too,” the company said. [NY Post]

Almost every theme park in America trades on childhood nostalgia. But in 2021 America, that nostalgia can and will be rewritten at any time.

Bloated Prices

As any miserable member of the decaying American middle class knows, everything of real importance in their overcrowded, declining country costs more. Single-family homes, university degrees, childcare, and health insurance have all surged in price. Often, as the price has exploded, quality has fallen. A college degree is essential for most career paths, yet actual colleges teach less than ever, and entire fields like English and anthropology have become embarrassing jokes. In cities like San Francisco, enormously expensive housing is paired with the need to pay for a private school to avoid a calamitous public system. For millions of Americans, the struggle to maintain the middle class trappings they grew up with has become a path to financial destruction.

One of the few goods that has grown in price as quickly as the accoutrements of a middle-class life is a ticket to a Disney theme park. In 1955, a single-day ticket to Disneyland could be had for $1. That’s not a misprint. Sixty-five years ago, it cost only a single dollar (less than $10 today, even after inflation) to get into Disneyland. That doesn’t tell the whole story (visitors also had to buy tickets for individual attractions), but it is inescapably true that visiting a Disney theme park a half-century ago was economical for any middle class family. Even as recently as 2000, a day pass for Disneyland was $43. But just like the cost of attending a southern California college, the price of a Disneyland ticket has grown at three times the rate of inflation, and by last year a single day pass was more than $150.

Disney’s chief rival, Universal Studios, is also charging more than $100 per day for its parks. And all that is before paying the inflated costs for food inside a park.

Prices have grown so preposterously that Disney now offers a payment plan for its passes. Just like a family home or a college degree, a theme park vacation has gone from a manageable expense to an absurd luxury.

Overcrowding

That price increase might be justified if it at least kept demand low enough to make the park experience just as enjoyable as before. But instead, theme parks are packed to the gills, swamped with humanity just like the country that houses them.

America’s most famous theme parks were built for a country that still pleasantly uncrowded. When Disneyland opened in 1955, America’s population was 165 million, exactly half what it is today. California’s population was just 13 million, one-third of today. Since then, while the park has only grown marginally, attendance has exploded. In 1992 11.6 million people visited Disneyland. In 2019, almost 19 million people visited. Magic Kingdom grew from 11.5 million to 20.5 million. The growth is even more jarring at less famous amusement parks. Cedar Point in Ohio first exceeded a million visitors in 1960; in the last year before COVID-19 it cracked 3.6 million. Six Flags over Texas has grown from less than 2 million visitors in the 60s to more than 3 million today.

The bigger crowds mean that, instead of a joyous experience, a visit to a major park during busy season is a miserable one, requiring waits of 45 minutes, an hour, or even longer to go on a single ride (for particularly in-demand attractions, 4-hour waits aren’t unheard of). Of course, America has suffered the same fate. America still may be a massive country, but opportunity is increasingly concentrated in just a few major cities, and effectively unlimited immigration has turned those cities into cramped, sprawling hellscapes. The average one-way commute in America has grown from under 22 minutes in 1980 to more than 27 minutes today. The typical Los Angeles resident spends more than 100 hours a year just being stuck in traffic, on roadways that have hopelessly failed to keep up with the area’s explosive population growth.

The pioneer of 19th Century America spent his life building a vast wilderness into the most powerful and advanced nation in human history. His 21st Century grandson spends his life dying by inches in a three-hour line for Space Mountain.

A Different Set of Rules for the Rich

Of course, if oppressive lines aren’t your jam, there’s an alternative: Just fork over a few thousand dollars to have a better experience. For as little as $425 an hour (minimum seven hours!), you can hire a Disney tour guide to breeze you through all the lines for everyone else, and experience what it’s like to be a megadonor’s child visiting a college campus.

Commercialism

Airports may be commercial hubs, but it’s amusement parks that are meccas of commercialism, the relentless exploitation of every facet of human existence for profit. Whether it’s Walt Disney’s classic films, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or Star Wars, or Harry Potter, or Peanuts, or Dr. Seuss, theme parks have become masters of taking classic (and not so classic) cultural products and mashing them into a refined commercial slurry. Want to build your own “real” lightsaber? It’s just $199.99 at one of Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions. If that’s too pricey, how about a $55 replica wand from Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter? If that’s not good enough, you have more than a hundred alternatives to choose from:

No trinket is too silly to be sold for a 500% markup at a theme park, cashing in on adults’ near-universal nostalgia for the better era known as “the past.”

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Pascal
4 months ago

Lets not forget PEDOPHILIA. From the stripper inspired imagery of Little Mermaid and Pocahantas to the proud grooming traditions of Hannah Montana, Disney has quite boldly inspired the pedos and softened their prey for 30 years, while the parks harbor and protect pervs who fondle under the guise of “bringing magic”.

New Revolver Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Pascal

Wait, is that true? Has there really been abuse at parks? The times I’ve been to WDW they always seemed like well run safe places which would take child safety very seriously. (Admittedly, this was about 28 years ago, so before the decay written of in this article.). If true, I can only sigh with sadness they a place so connected with fun and whimsy could be a place of trauma and abuse. Truly revolting.

New Revolver Reader
4 months ago

Getting rid of the SOTS robotics and clips during Splash Mountain would be a major mistake. It is such a great ride as is.

littlewing
4 months ago

It’s a f

littlewing
4 months ago

It’s a fallen world.

Qnon User
4 months ago

Please visit Silver Dollar City, in Branson, MO. First rate theme park based on 1800s America. Gospel music concerts all year. Christian youth weeks.

daveS
4 months ago
Reply to  Qnon User

do the cold cheese sandwiches still cost $26? Ha ha Ha I’m not sure which one it was but it was off the main Boulevard I had the privilege to see Jesse Coulter and Waylon Jennings in concert! Literally this was in 1994 and we got a paper plate two cheese sandwiches and 2 handfuls of regular lays potato chips… price: $26.00 ha ha

Qnon User
4 months ago
Reply to  daveS

Note, the food is actually quite reasonable! Much better than you would expect at a park. Plus, you can bring your own back pack and food.

August
4 months ago
Reply to  Qnon User

Sounds horrifying…all that evil Christian hate.

Nemesis7
4 months ago

Why do people go to stupid amusement parks? To overpay to stand in eternal lines because you too lazy to take your kids to a real park or camping trip. A park full of creatures with junk being pushed every step of the way is like the first circle of hell

Hol
4 months ago
Reply to  Nemesis7

You can go to Europe for less $$$ and see the real thing.

H1jen1
4 months ago
Reply to  Nemesis7

Because roller coasters are freaking AWESOME for kids AND parents..

American
4 months ago

Another item is that much of the nostalgia has been stripped out of these parks. It’s difficult to imagine the fact real skeletons were used in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction; kids paddled canoes to Tom Sawyer island and fought mock battles from a fully functioning fort; the pirate ship used to actually sail; etc… times a thousand at Disneyland in Anaheim. Or that there was once a free area to Knotts Berry Farm that featured paddleboat rides on a lake, train rides, burro rides, a jungle island, etc… before they turned it all into a parking lot. Or that Magic Mountain once was not a Los Angeles street gang magnet. When I see today’s amusement parks, the thought of canned processed meat being carried along a packing line comes to mind. No thanks, haven’t been to one in almost twenty years and never going back either.

Jeremy
4 months ago
Reply to  American

Funny you mention the gangs invading Magic Mountain…

The dirty secret behind the closing and demolition of Six Flags Astroworld in Houston was directly attributable to the local gangs taking over the park, harrassing normal park patrons (cutting in line and threatening them), and commission of crimes (mainly theft and drug use). But the reason given by Six Flags Corporate and parroted by Houston City Government officials was the mealy-mouthed “old, unprofitable, and not worth trying to fix”. While true to a small degree, they could not state the real reason I cited because it was politically incorrect to do so. See, the gangs in question were mostly POC and they could not allow the truth of “The Color of Crime” to get out, hence another cover-up of the truth.

Joey B
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy

I grew up near MM. My first job in the 80’s as a 15 year old… Instead of Six Flags we called it Six Stabs. Gang fights and stabbings there were common.

Jeremy(@jdawg)
4 months ago

It’s interesting how some parks are doing well but several have closed in recent decades. There are many videos online of people exploring abandoned theme parks. Survival of the fittest, maybe?

Ew tube
4 months ago

Just did 1 week at Disney World. Employee discount, but if I had to pay retail:
5 nights room in themed hotel onsite = $5000.
4 days Park passes 180 x 5 = $900
Uber to and from airport $120
1 Dinner in park each day 5×45 = $300 (tips added) per day X 5 Days = $1500
Merch from Disney Springs =$350
Food from stands in park $150 x 5 = $750

No rental car in the mix, but if there were offsite lodgings it’d be another 500-700.

Total so far = $8,000 ish

What we got:
Funneled straight to the Main room on Starwars mainride, missing the shuttle capture experience.
Funneled past the Mickey and Minnie setup goofy video straight to trains, again missing set up.
Slinky ride120 minutes wait
Tower of terror 120 minutes wait
Avatar river ride 120 minutes wait
Safari 120 minutes wait
Peter Pan 90 minutes wait
Test track 120 minutes wait
Soarin 120 minutes wait
Frozen 120 minutes wait
Yeti Mountain train 120 minutes wait
Mexican restaurant boat shuttle 90 min

We counted on three rides per day.

15 rides into $8000. = per ride $553

Sleep, eat, wait, ride.

No way I’d pay full price. Not a full time Disney employee, but subcontractor with Park discounts.

interesting
4 months ago

When I moved to California my hourly wage was the same as the price of a ticket to Disneyland. And now in 2021 I’m self-employed and the price for a Disneyland ticket is double my shop rate. But there’s no inflation.

littlewing
4 months ago
Reply to  interesting

My son took his daughter to Disneyland maybe 6 yrs ago and he said “It is all Mexican.”

RCA
4 months ago

Disney has been dead a long, long time. Ask yourself who are the globalist clans financing the chaos. Soros, Rothschilds, etc.

Diana Barahona(@diana)
4 months ago

I prefer Revolver to keep exposing political scandals like the DOJ & Democrats planning the Capitol occupation and lay off of the cultural stuff. It’s depressing, focuses hatred on out fellow Americans and accomplishes nothing. There’s a ton of revelations on the election coming from National Audit Watch Channel, Seth Keshel, Dr. Frank and Lady Draza on Telegram. There’s a ton of info about the pandemic deception and vaccinations coming out as well. Culture is drive-by shooting, Revolver — you’re better than that.

G.S. Pallas
4 months ago
Reply to  Diana Barahona

I appreciate the scathing culture pieces about ordinary instances of American decline. The Deep State expose long reads are the meat and potatoes of Revolver, but those take time and a lot of research to prepare (as well as digest), so these are good breathers. It’s also true that there’s just not a lot of news happening right now under the opaque Biden regime, other than the obvious acceleration of coerced vaccination, so more general reflections on the landscape such as this are understandable.

Iimmiesjohn
4 months ago

Do

Hart cellar
4 months ago

Everything sucks

littlewing
4 months ago
Reply to  Hart cellar

Find something that you love.
I have lots of birds in my yard.
I had Robins and one day they all left.
I supported them with water and food when they had babies in the nest.
One evening at dawn one appeared and I said Robinette and he came closer and again.
I said “thank you for coming to say goodbye” and he flew away. I cried on the porch.
I am an animal whisper, they hear me and I love them for their purity.
I have quail on my property, they are heterosexual and racist. They travel in pairs and don’t associate with other birds. They have babies now and several adults guide them from the front and rear to learn to hunt.
Nature so beautiful and pure.

JWS
4 months ago
Reply to  littlewing

Lay off the weed.

littlewing
4 months ago
Reply to  JWS

Thanks, great reminder of why I like animals more than people.
haha

cakeeater
4 months ago
Reply to  littlewing

I live in Phoenix metro and keep a hummingbird feeder filled year round. One of the birds hovered by my kitchen window when I’d failed to refill the feeder. Like some others who commented, I’m glad I got to visit theme parks as a child, taking my child, professionally investing in the stocks of the companies until the early 1990s. I’ve had no reason to destroy my happy memories including paddling the canoe and private tours of the parks to go again. I feel the same about return trips to London and Paris. Nature at its best is better than any theme park.

littlewing
4 months ago

In my next life I will be born very smart and attend some high high falutin university so I can be Darren Beattie’s girlfriend. I will know him when I see him.And usually I don’t like anyone anymore. But I love Darren B.
And I will help him to fight.

RightStuff1944
4 months ago

On the balance, over the past six to eight decades, liberals have run this country into the ground. Political, moral, and physical decay has been steady and insidious. Unless we run the liberals out of Congress and the bureaucracy, we are sunk. All you have to do is to look around, from the local scene to the national scene. Locally, and it is only a hint of what is going on at every level of government, please see the un-fixed potholes. You can expand that to the whole country. Thank a liberal.

littlewing
4 months ago
Reply to  RightStuff1944

Hey listen, I live now in Utah and there is none of that here. The 1960s never happened here because they blocked it. Everyone has 4 kids, there is zero crime, they are all religious and industrious. Most in my neighborhood attended BYU and what they say is “What they teach you there is how to be a good person.”
It is a high trust community with good values.

RightStuff1944
4 months ago
Reply to  littlewing

Thank you. I’m aware of Utah and the generally high standards for behavior. The church should do that for a community.

signcut
4 months ago
Reply to  littlewing

On the other hand, they keep electing Mitt Romney… 😉

littlewing
4 months ago

The reason the French are protesting with all might the vaccine passport is they know it is the road to control and endgame genocide.
Wake up.
It will be never ending booster shots that are going to kill you.

Andrew Smith
4 months ago

Disney is pure cultural cancer. Disgusting and degenerate. I have a local amusement park- one of oldest in the country. Pricey for a season pass but well worth it. No “urban” hordes and no moral filth. I’m not going to tell you the name of the place.

HoulieMon
4 months ago

As a resident of Florida 1 Disney can stuff it 1 They went WOKE ! Now they can go BROKE 1 I for one will NEVER go there ! To dammed expensive also !

Mick
4 months ago

Diabetes: Well, about 30% of Americans are already pre-diabetic, so….

IllinoisCaptive
4 months ago

I went to Cedar Point several years ago and loved it. It was a million times better than Disney or Six Flags.

Haven’t been able to go back since, but would love to know if they, too, have been trampled by the woke brigade.

H1jen1
4 months ago

NOPE. Cedar Point is celebrating its 150 year anniversary and showcases its history all throughout the park. Ud need 2 days to get thru the whole park, and they have reasonably priced 2 day admission packages under $100. If ur into the coasters, they have a fast lane pass that gets you to the front of lines that costs an additional $100/$150, the higher price pass gets you on the 4 best rides on the planet in under 30 minutes (which are ALWAYS 90-180 MINUTE wait times without). Steel Vengeance opened in 2018 and is the BEST RIDE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

Richard Ettinger
4 months ago

Inmates. Asylum.use your own verbs.

NOne
4 months ago

“amusement_parks.What_a_moronic_waste_of_time!

H1jen1
4 months ago

Letting your school aged son use the men’s restroom alone at these amusement parks is actually terrifying…

sutterbean
4 months ago

This all sounds like the author only ever visited the giant amusement conglomerates. Thankfully, there are loads of small, family run operations that are amazing. We took the kids to our annual visit of Knoebels Grove Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA after reading your article. I can confidently say that it doesn’t really resemble what you wrote at all.

Food is good and VERY reasonable. The rides are fun and there is plenty for all- kids, teens and adults. And the wait times will hardly ever get to be even 45 minutes for the most popular at the peak of the season. Best of all- no admission fee. You pay per ride, or buy a ride all day pass.

You should check it out!

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