Welcome to the very first Happy Cloud Media, LLC, blogpost. In keeping with tradition, we’ll recycle old news first!
In light of Disney acquiring the bulk of 20th Century Fox, (save for Fox “News” Channel, of course), I’d like to re-run something I’d written in 1999 (the overuse of the word “Now” was, I insist, intentional):
Taking Over A Small World
by Mike Watt
I firmly believe that Disney is planning to take over the world.
Don’t laugh. Just think about it. Who out there has ever been to DisneyWorld? Forget Disneyland or that weird French place, I’m talking the Capitol: The Magic Kingdom. And it’s surrounding countries, EPCOT and MGM Studios. Now let’s go over this paranoid theory slowly — and let me remind you that this particular conspiracy was not dreamed up by Oliver Stone, but by forces far more hideous and complex. These particular, world-encompassing ground plans stem from the grave itself!
Now, picture this. You’re on I- whatever, straight out of the Orlando airport, driving along, passing hundreds of billboards, every third one reassuring you that you are still approaching “The Happiest Place on Earth”. The familiar silhouette of spherical ears stares at you from every direction, the signs increasing not only in number, but in size the closer you get to this alien realm. Soon, you’re able to detect the kingdom itself, whether it is the ominous Pastel Palace of Cinderella or else the reflection of the sun off God’s Golfball, Spaceship Earth, which serves as the landmark for EPCOT .
Certain subtle things begin to happen. You’ll notice that the weather is less severe once you reach the boundaries of DisneyWorld — which reach out far beyond the parking lots and entrance gates of the park. If it was raining while you drove in, the rain will lessen almost to a light spring mist, the closer you get — not stop, however; they don’t want to appear too obvious that even the weather obeys their every command. And the insects — the ones that were trying to make off with the smaller children in the airport parking lot — have completely vanished inside the Safe Zone. No insects allowed within park’s gates, unless they’re cute fluffy bumblebees, stingers having been genetically removed.
Now, you’re there. Maybe not at the Palace’s doors, but you’re there. Trust me. Once the Palace can be spotted with the naked eye, you are within park boundaries. Look at the map: you are now no longer in Orlando. IT’S TRUE! This is a fact: DisneyWorld is not part of Orlando, it’s not even officially part of Florida! You have reached the sovereign Magic Kingdom! The music from its unearthly loudspeakers can be heard for miles. Sweetness and light cascading from every pore. It is very possible that Uncle Walt even bought the mineral rights beneath his Pastel Palace, thus actually splitting from the U.S. of
If you’re not quite frightened yet. If the overwhelming “Bibbitty-Bobbetty-Boo”-ness of the place hasn’t yet pervaded your sanity quite yet — in other words, if you haven’t left the safety of your car yet, let me hit you with this tidbit of info: Disney Dollars are recognized as currency in practically every bank in America. And since most international banks can do currency exchanges as well, you could exchange your Disney Dollars, with their happy, multi-colored Mickey’s staring out at you (In Walt We Trust), for practically ANY currency, ANY time, ANY where in the world. Disney Dollars are recognized as legal tender, my friends. They may not work at your local Quicki-Mart, but go down to PNC and ask for your dollar-to-dollar exchange, and they have to give it to you. Any theme park with its own money scares me. This goes way beyond the Chuck E. Cheese tokens, folks!
Now then, you are now, for all intents and purposes, in another country, with its own currency, its own internationally recognized flag (Mickey Mouse can be identified in virtually every country in the world. Try it. Take a picture of Mickey, even his silhouette, to an Australian Aborigine. Bet he launches immediately into a chorus of “It’s a Small World”) , playing host to immigrants all across the world. You find yourself assaulted by a barrage of languages and accents, from Irish to Aztec to Hottentot. If aliens exist on our planet, they have already applied for jobs at Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Signs have been translated into the big three: French, Spanish and German — with still others in Japanese, Russian, Toltec and Egyptian hieroglyphics (complete with Mickey and Donald in the bent arm style made popular by that ancient civilization).
Now, while all three parks, with their Frontierland and Journeys into Imagination and Brown Derbies, offer a variety of life-sized fluffy cartoon characters strolling about (complete with internal employees virtually dead from heat stroke), not to mention animatronic delights on millions of subjects, what they don’t leak to the public is information about their elaborate spy network, their underground weapons plants, and the genetically altered army of Mickey Police who wait at the ready, preparing to take over the world with smiling, happy, maniacal grins. They’re targeting the children, you know. Of course you know.
Amidst the mewling, shrieking infants, dragged to this unholy ground immediately upon emerging from the womb by the happy, joyous parents, ready to thrust their offspring into the arms of any gigantic duck or mutant chipmunk who happens along, without a thought towards who or what might be lurking inside (as if the fact that an actual man-sized mouse would be preferable to a person in a costume). And as the infant, separated from its mother for perhaps the first time in its young life, has a apocalyptic heart attack, the parents smile and take pictures and go “awww”. This, of course, creates an indelible impression on the unconscious mind of the child. He will not consciously remember having been given over to the Army of Mickey, but the impression will be there, waiting to be summoned forth when the Final Musical Light Parade is underway.
You’re laughing now. You’re not taking me seriously. Let me suggest that when you go, you check the plants near your table at the Restaurant of Your Choice, take note of the myriad of loudspeakers piping out Hakuna Matata, and say, in a very loud voice “Mickey is our friend!” Maybe you won’t be the first one against the wall when the revolution comes.
And as a final reminder: the symbol of the MGM studios, with the Muppets held as political prisoners deep within, the very first thing you see when you walk boldly, happily through the gates of the park, is a spire. Atop the spire is a constantly spinning replica of the Earth, its continents in raised relief, painted with bright blues and greens. Atop that ever-spinning Earth is Mickey Mouse, waving happily to all his fans, inviting each and every one in the world to pay fifty bucks apiece to enter the wonderful, magical, Happiest Place on Earth.
 — that song was translated into every known language, by the way. Ride the ride. It will prove it. (A ride, by the way, which is the “kinder ” equivalent to the school meat grinder in Pink Floyd: The Wall!)