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Thursday, August 24, 2006
Theme Park Lessons
by Cordeiro

This year's family vacation has taken us south down the Eastern Seaboard to the Plywood (formerly Sunshine) state of Florida. Carved deep in the stone foundations upon which the Cordeiro family is built is written the rule that expressly states that when visiting a state with a Disney theme park is located, patronization thereof is mandatory.

Hence this post (as you will see below) comes to you via the cramped keyboard of a Blackberry. Apologies for spelling and typos in advance.

Disney has been doing theme parks for over a half-century now. All things considered, they do a pretty good job of it. Somehow they manage to convince people to drop a few bills just to get through the gate and then spend hours in line for rides that last less than 15 minutes. Add another bill or two for lunch and dinner and you could easily a large or two by the time you pick up your Mickey ears on the way out.

Much of the Disney parks are built around the movies produced over the past 50 years. One of the most popular rides is the famous Splash Mountain. Nobody comes off that ride dry. As you may or may not be aware, Splash Mountain was inspired by the movie Song of the South. If you haven't seen it, you're not alone. For reasons I won't get into here, Jesse Jackson and company has made sure that nobody will ever see B'rers Bear, Fox, and Rabbit on the screen again, nor will you see Uncle Remus sing Zipadeedoodah. Say what you want about "racial sensitivity", but I think that kind of censorship is wrong.

As much an attraction as are the rides, the people are often far more entertaining. In no other place will you find a more interesting collection of attire and headgear. This brings me to my next point: After years of patronizing theme parks, I've decided to offer some suggedtions on wardrobe choice, since so many of my fellow park users seem to have such a difficult time with this issue. Here are a few pointers:

1. What you have not all of us want to see. This area is most often violated by the female gender, however I have seen some serious transgression on the male side as well. If there's a possibility its a) too short, b) too tight, or c) makes you look fat - it is or does. Guys - leave the tank tops and cutoff shirts for yard work. Showing up in public wearing a "wife-beater" is just bad form.

2. Hats. Let's get serious here. Do you honestly think you'll eve wear the Goofy Top Hat outside the park? You do realize you just plunked down 20 clams for that piece of felt covered styrofoam. Don't say I didn't warn you.

But, what do I know? I've just spent an hour in the searing Florida sun waiting for a 12 minute ride. So, if you'll excuse me, I've got an appointment with Cordeirinho and a parade.

Here endeth the lesson.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

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