Walking around Walt Disney World is like walking through a movie set. This boat sits, like a workboat in use, near the Expedition Everest roller coaster in the Animal Kingdom park.
I don’t know how I’d feel if I were from Tibet or Nepal or Thailand – I might be offended – but there is something cool about walking around a place and feeling like you’re someplace far, far away from the familiar. A little too clean, I suspect, to be authentic. Authentic is not what’s wanted at a Disney theme park. Safe, fun … more real than real. A Baudrillard third order simulation moment, I guess.
I didn’t expect to like DisneyWorld so much. But I made myself go in with an open mind and my visit has left me wanting to learn more about imagineering and their concepts of immersive theatre. Because that’s what they’re doing … with their rides and their parks and their productions, including the parades and firework displays … they create experiences and tell stories.
Of course a lot of it is about marketing and sales – about branding and celebrity. Still, they do it very, very well.
Why am I thinking about Disney now?
Okay – it’s a distraction from preparing for comps – I’ll admit that I’m tired of preparing and just want to do the writing, hand the two essays in, and have preliminary comps recede behind me.
This morning I checked on my website and looked at my work there for the first time since I handed in my eportfolio in November. And I thought about the hundreds of photos I took in Walt Disney World and how another photo gallery would be cool to add. Of course, like everything else, it’ll have to wait now until comps are behind me.
One of the reasons I revisited my website is that I’m disheartened again by the MATX program. I don’t know why going to class last night made me doubt what I’m doing in this program. I know that work is the only cure for doubt. But I know that my “mastery” of the material is thinner than I’d like it to be.
Wonder if I can write about my observations of Disney World and immersive theatre as part of my comps – that’s what I’m most interested in right now and I always write better if I’m really interested in what I’m writing about. My blogging comics paper last semester was way better than my celebrity outlaw paper on Jesse James. I could tell by the way I slogged through the outlaw paper and enjoyed writing the blogging comics paper.
The writing I’m doing in preparation for the comps feels very sloggy. A bad sign. I think I’ll write about Disney and multimedia this afternoon – see where that gets me.