Yes, it is true.
I have been accused of being a curmudgeon.
As described by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “a person (especially an old man) who is easily annoyed or angered and who often complains.”
Reading this space on occasion, I can understand how someone could form such an opinion. Yes, I tend to take issues in simple black and white. As a photographer, I shot a lot of black and white film while everyone else was taking color slides.
Yet, when it comes to a number of issues, I do see things pretty much one way or another. I have never been wishy-washy in my personal opinions. If that makes me a curmudgeon, so be it.
“You kids stay off my lawn!”
In my defense, I do manage to espouse positions that may be in opposition to some of the more vocal folks out in the blogosphere. For example, I do not believe Disneyland was ever meant to be preserved in amber; never changing, always as it was during what ever period you personally think of as the golden years. I have looked forward, as have many of you dear readers, to many of the plans announced by the company. And I have also been disappointed when things turned out less than advertised, such as Disney’s California Adventure version 1.0.
I also tend to understand that the business of the Disney company is to part us from as much of our disposable income as we will give them. You name it, they got it and we want it. “Shut up and take our money!” is more than just a meme. It is the truth.
However, over the last five years or so, I have dialed back by own needs to toward that goal. I no longer must have every pin the company makes, nor collect every diecast toy made for the Cars franchise. Yes, I have more than a few of both. Along with a bunch of other items, all collected with memories to go along with all of it. And despite appearances to the contrary, I do not visit Anaheim every chance I get. My last Disneyland visit was in May for an anniversary party of friends. Honestly, I do not know when my next visit will be. Would I turn down a free trip? Absolutely not. And yes, I do enter the Diamond Days weekly drawing for the 60th anniversary. It would be a real treat to win one of those overnight stays in the Dream Suite. Another one to cross off on the bucket list. Wonder if I can finagle a visit to Walt’s apartment at the same time…
Do I have a crystal ball to peak into the future of the Disney company? No, I do not. No more than anyone else out and about. What I do have is a bit more of an understanding about the hospitality and entertainment industry. The ugly truth remains. We have the money and companies like Disney want it. And they will continue to do whatever they can to get us to give it to them.
But we cannot forget. Fans like us? We are the cream. Yes, every cent we are willing to spend, the company is happy to take. But the real choice customers continue to be that mythical family spending the rare time visiting and staying at a hotel on-property or nearby. Their multi-day stay is what the dream is all about. You cannot dispel that truth.
And curmudgeons, we just keep at it. Grouse as we will. D23 expo just goes to show how much the company really likes us. As much as it annoys us to admit that.
So, I guess I can admit to being guilty on some level, but not on all of them.
I throw myself on the mercy of the court.
Jesters and all…