Content warning: your theme park characters will change.
Here we are knee deep in a stay at home world, trying to put together fun academic activities for the kids that do not involve math. Our match the lids game with all the household plastic containers is wearing thin.
In a ray of sunshine for the Sunshine State, our major theme parks are preparing rules and regulations for that front seat on the roller coaster. Disney’s Fantasyland goes head to mouse eared head with Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure as they play the re-open game.
It may be the biggest changes at Disney since Goofy saw an orthodontist for his over-bite. Sea World feels that visitors who think they look too dorky in a face mask will now have their seals wear them. The seals don’t like it either. Your character experience at the parks will take on a new look. Kids won’t be able to hug Mickey or Minnie. She’ll wear a 6-foot hoop skirt and he’ll have a scepter with the Disney logo and a low voltage cattle prod mounted on the business end. Be glad it’s not Disney Paris. They had to remind Goofy to put out the cigarette while meeting with children, Minnie’s fishnet stockings were causing dirty old men to hit on her and there are too many hairy dogs in the restaurants.
Be glad you’re not going to the newly opened Disney-like Russian theme park on the outskirts of Moscow. A spokes-puppet for Putin opined “now we’re able to enjoy all the perks of the west. The park will be open, yet subversive. All-inclusive yet discriminatory and all the vodka you can drink with a 3-day pass.”
One of the more popular rides for tourists will be the open-air ride Forever Frozen. You’re crammed into a small cart with 20 others giving you a realistic experience of the average Russian life in an unheated apartment. The Country Bear Vodka Jamboree (No ticket for this ride) You sit around and drink vodka all day with the bears. Mad Russian Hatter’s Party will feature an animatronic Putin look-A-like who will tell you what to do where to go and who to associate with while in the park. You’ll pay dearly for the ‘privilege’
Splash Mountain (Over 21) The log flume rides on a river of vodka and beet juice so you’ll be a little tipsy when you exit. Your head is then covered and you’re thrown into a car which speeds away from the park. They don’t bring you back for 3 years or until the ransom is paid. The Last Adventure of Winnie the Pooh. You’ll laugh along with Winnie the Pooh until he meets an inglorious end at a butcher shop in a Moscow suburb and appears next as the main course for some middle level apparatchiks on holiday. Peter Pan’s Flight to Freedom. This ride will never be open.
Back home, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Little Mermaid’s Ariel, Disney’s fairy princesses, will play a major role in the opening. They’ll be taking temperature checks of guests and staff throughout the park. The Seven Dwarfs will enjoy an oversized part as they float around with small bottles of hand sanitizer for children and anyone under 4 feet tall. ‘Doc’ one of Snow White’s more famous little people will be on hand to answer questions about the contagion from interested families. In an attempt to make the information interesting, his answers will include minutia about the dwarfs and who is really buried in Snow White’s Castle. Sound good?
OK, we’re going! Let’s get prepared for the trip, and the answer is yes, bring your own toilet paper. As you know, hotels have industrial grade TP and having ‘Prince Charmin’ embossed on the roll doesn’t help. Pack your own masks, gloves and plastic sheeting and don’t forget the duct tape! You’ll be driving alongside people who have also been cooped up and need a getaway as much as you. Keep it to 90MPH will you?
News flash: In a cost cutting move due to closure and lack of revenue, Disney is subcontracting its costumed characters and replacing them with day workers.
Some of the jobs were given to immigrants on H1-B visas brought in by an outsourcing firm in India. As part of the program, Minnie and Mickey Mouse were told to prep their replacements, a short couple from Sri Lanka. They’ll teach the difficult job of meeting the public with a limited vocabulary and a maximum amount of hand and body gestures. “Our communication is a combination of sign language and our knowledge of how some Italian Americans speak solely with their hands.” said Mickey. “It works until someone gets offended by a stray finger.” A representative stated “The public will not know the difference unless someone slips up and utters something in Tamil from under their mask”
A despondent out-of-work Jim Furbish, formerly Chip of Chip and Dale said “Disney made us add a non-compete clause too. It was ridiculous! How much outside work is there for a Chipmunk? None! They played the I’m the human around here card. Too bad we can’t speak out in public. We’d have a lot to say. No one knows how hard this work is. I can cook hot dogs in my costume. No, not cook them as the character; this costume is so hot I could cook them up inside the suit. As a nod to the real world, Donald Duck is still not wearing pants!