Walt Disney World: The Happiest Place on Earth(Almost Always)

My family and I love Disney World. Disney World is awe-inspiring and thought-provoking on many different levels. Our last trip inspired me to create a new marketing slogan for WDW. “Walt Disney World: Where Parents Come to Spank Their Kids in Public.” I’ve never seen more crying kids at any one place than I have at Disney World, the happiest place on Earth. That has more to do with the fact that the kid wants to do what he/she wants to do with no consideration for anyone else than it does with bad parenting, but then again, isn’t that what kids get paid to do? Because moms and dads love WDW too, the child’s selfishness results in a battle of wills between the kids and parents. My kids have probably been spanked more in their four trips to WDW, a total of about twenty-five days, than they have in the rest of the time they weren’t at WDW! Tear-stained faces and snot-bubbles from crying notwithstanding, we still love that place and I can’t imagine letting a year go by without us taking a visit there.

A favorite of ours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris in which you ride in an open air truck through a replica of an African savannah. As is always the case with Disney, they spared no expense in making the landscape incredibly realistic. You’ll see animals native to Africa like lions, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, hippos, wildebeests, zebras, and many others. On our last trip, I happened to see a bird that was very familiar to me. It was a mockingbird. Having never been to Africa, I can’t say with any degree of certainty that mockingbirds don’t live there. My gut feeling is that they probably don’t and that this bird had meandered, perhaps from some lush, green park in Kissimmee with swings and monkey bars and children playing under the watchful eyes of their mothers, into a place he was totally unfamiliar with, with animals he had never seen before. Into Africa of all places! Can’t you imagine what must have been going through his tiny bird mind? “Man! I flew a lot further than I thought! That tailwind was something else!” “I wonder where that cow got that body armor?” “LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT PILE OF DUNG!” “Hey, it’s a big, gray Mr. Snuffleupagus!”

He is a bird though, so maybe he just flew down and landed on the ground and started eating bugs, oblivious to the world around him. I have seen a mocking bird fly into a sliding glass door on numerous occasions so I could be giving the bird more credit than he deserves. I also once saw a guy named Bill, who held down a regular job and knew how to work on cars, walk into a sliding glass door even after he was told by an onlooker that the door was locked, so who really knows? The bird could be smarter than we think.

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