Monday, January 08, 2007

A Vicious Circle of Marketing

With all due respect to my friends at Walt Disney World, I do not want to encroach upon the property for the remainder of 2007. After two weekends in a row of trying to escape from the "vicious circle of marketing" otherwise known as the main roads that connect all of the Disney attractions, I'm done for the foreseeable future!

We went there the last Saturday of 2006 when someone we know got us into EPCOT for free. That was the easy part.

We paid the price that night when, exhausted from our frolic in the park, we attempted to exit the property the same manner in which we'd entered 10 hours earlier. That's when I realized there was a sign for every other road within miles--as well as every possible Disney attraction and even, I believe, the water treatment plant--but not a single guidepost for our humble toll road. I finally, after soothing words of encouragement from my spouse, selected an alternative route that took longer and cost time...but we were free at last from the force field that seems to entrap unsuspecting passenger cars in the Land of the Mouse.

Then, after my wife ran the Disney Marathon this past Sunday, we attempted to leave the property and get something to eat elsewhere. We were tired--well, she was especially tired after running 26.2 miles--and quite hungry. The kids had been out in the sun and the crowds for several hours. I wanted food, it was two hours past my usual lunchtime, and I was not a pleasant fellow which which to reckon.

This time, remembering our adventure of a week earlier, I opted to pursue the alternative, longer route from the beginning.

I thought I had the Mouse out-witted, but he was plotting my demise long before I arrived. A massive collection of orange cones dotted several key intersections across Mouseland--including the very places I needed to turn so we could make our escape in pursuit of less-expensive culinary delights. I kept seeking further alternative routes, pressing down the accelerator with a little more aggression each time I had to make another turn toward a mystery destination.

And that's when it hit me...the vicious circle.

The Mouse makes the signage along the circle lucid enough if you are going TO one of the attractions, resorts, etc. on Disney property, where there is a strong chance you might spend some money (plus, the All-Seeing Mick-Eye secretly embedded in the MGM Studios water tower tracks your vehicle's every move, while deducting a quarter from your bank account every time you miss your turn and say, "@#$@!@$$@#").

However, if you dare embrace the ambition to LEAVE Disney property, the signs are just vague enough to create those seeds of leave you making wrong turns, circling back again and again...having family team-building sessions--until, tired, demoralized, hungry, naked and powerless, you run out of gas in one of the giant attraction or resort lots and agree to stay the night and purchase a vacation package.

I won't be fooled again. I'll just stay home.

Until someone has free passes; and my mind, like Charlie Brown's when he yet again agrees to kick the football as Lucy holds it, becomes zippidy-do-doo.


At 10:09 PM , Blogger Marcia Ford said...

This would be one of the many reasons why I have avoided Disney property for at least...let's see...four or five years. The only exception was a stay at a Disney resort where I was teaching several writing workshops for the Florida Writers Association annual conference. I thought I was going to lose my mind getting in and out of that place.

I'm sure, absolutely sure, that the main reason they make it so hard is something you mentioned: trying to find a less-expensive place to eat. We become captives in a mousetrap loaded with overpriced cheese.

At 11:03 AM , Blogger Margaret Feinberg said...

That's so true! We've gotten circled and lost leaving and visitng the park, too.


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