The Project on Disney
If everybody at Disney World is enjoying themselves, why is nobody smiling?
Duke University’s Project on Disney sets out to answer this and other questions Mickey would rather leave unanswered, including the risks of being Goofy: “It’s unclear how many of the Disney characters pass out on a given summer day, though everyone is sure that they do. One man reports that during the summer a goodly part of his job is devoted to driving around, retrieving characters where they fall. One day he picked up three at one stop—Donald, Mickey, and Goofy: ‘All of them had passed out within five minutes of each other. They were just lined up on the sidewalk.’ This is in EPCOT which, unlike the Magic Kingdom with its system of underground tunnels, has a backstage behind the façades of the park’s various attractions to which the characters can escape if they have to. If they are in the Magic Kingdom, however, or on a parade float, they must simply ride it out or wait until they’ve recovered enough to walk to a tunnel entrance in costume and under their own steam. This can get a bit dicey. Passing out is sometimes prefaced by (and probably directly caused by) throwing up inside the costumes, which cannot be removed until out of the public view: ‘You’re never to be seen in a costume without your head, ever. It was automatic dismissal. It’s frightening because you can die on your own regurgitation when you can’t keep out of it. I’ll never forget Dumbo—it was coming out of the mouth during the parade. You have a little screen over the mouth. It was horrible. And I made $4.55 an hour.’” NN
Publisher: Duke University
Paperback: 252 pages