Myth Informed

As you walk beneath Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, if you look closely at the ground, you’ll see a golden spike driven into the concrete. If you stand there long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll hear someone say, “this marks the geographical center of Disneyland when it was first built.” Many casual fans and newcomers may be fascinated with this bit of trivia, but most DisNerds will be biting their tongue, trying to decide if it’s worth the argument to point out the falseness of this statement.

The spike is located at the intersection of the blue and red lines. Does that look geographically centered to you?

A conversation about the man himself, Walt Disney, can take an even more devastating turn. Among many of the uninformed, or more to the point, misinformed, it’s often been stated that Walt was racist, sexist, or anti-semitic. These are fighting words. I had this happen on my personal Facebook page once; I came very close to “unfriending” someone, which is something I never do.

Some fans of Disney, myself included, get rather passionate about certain subjects. There are some bits of misinformation that might seem minor to others, but it’s hard for us to be silent. We have to choose our battles.

When someone tells us they remember in the 60’s during Disneyland fireworks when Tinker Bell would fly down, circle around the castle a couple times and fly back up, do we tell them Tink didn’t have that luxury (she flew straight down a wire), or do we let them cling to their memories?

When someone tells us their favorite Disney movie of all time is Fievel Goes West, are we able to not laugh in their face?

I have to admit, sometimes at Disneyland I overhear people saying things like “I’m not riding the Matterhorn right now. I’ll get fastpasses later,” and while part of me wants to tell them there are no fastpasses in place for the Matterhorn, the other part of me thinks, “Let them learn first hand.” And I keep my mouth shut.

Another reason I keep my mouth shut is the plain and simple fact that I know I’ll probably come across looking like a know-it-all. Maybe I am. No, come to think of it, I KNOW I am. However, I would honestly rather people were uninformed than misinformed. Because when I hear people say things like “You know, Walt built Disneyland around the Swiss Family Treehouse,” I can’t help but think…

….Walt’s cryogenically frozen head must be spinning in his chamber underneath the Pirates of the Caribbean.

5 thoughts on “Myth Informed

  1. AMEN. There’s SO much misinformation out there, but as you said, I have to pick my battles. I tend to only say something if I overhear misinformation that could ruin someone’s day. For instance, if a family is making plans and has the wrong time for the fireworks, then maybe I’ll speak up. But when it comes to history or facts, I tend to just shake my head and move on. It hurts, but most people aren’t ok with someone coming out of nowhere and correcting them.

  2. In my experience, some people get way over offended by being told they are wrong. I had a lady behind me on Haunted Mansion and she was telling her friend that they were going to get FP but they were already “sold out” for the day. So I turned around and very nicely explained that Haunted Mansion only offers FP during the holiday overlay. In which case she told me that I had no idea what I was talking about and that I should mind my own business. After I turned around I heard her call me a b*$%h. So unless someone looks like they want help, I bite my tongue.

  3. Weird that this should come up… Earlier this week a fellow Disnerd coworker and I held our tongues while some of our other coworkers were going on about Disney being a racist and such. The weirdest thing about that one is how often I’ve seen it where the person is corrected on their views and get even more offended, as though they had some kind of vested interest in Disney being a racist. Usually, when I have a negative opinion of someone or something, I’m glad to be corrected with something positive. This leads me to think that some people just use the racism accusation as a justification for not liking Disney rather than a reason for not liking Disney.

    As for the rest. Well obviously the spike isn’t the centre of Disneyland nor is Walt’s head buried under Pirates of the Caribbean. The spike marks where Walt’s head is actually buried, under the castle. People always mix those up.

  4. I’m terrible with this, I tend to jump into random conversations to provide a quick fact here and there. It’s usually welcomed, but I sometimes get the “We didn’t ask YOU” sort of response. I’ve noticed that I get less sass when I’m working though, which is nice. I’m usually just being helpful, but every once in a while I get one of those snarky “Did you know Darth Vader is Luke’s Father? ‘Cause I DID” sort of guests, and I just let them be.

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