I just finished reading David Koenig's "Realityland: True-Life Adventures at Walt Disney World," the latest volume in Koenig's excellent series of behind-the-scenes histories of Disney theme parks that includes Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland
and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland
Koenig reports on the trials and tribulations associated with the launch and operations of Walt Disney World, a property in Florida twice the size of Manhattan, originally slated to hold Walt Disney's mad, magnificent and terrible "Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow." Koenig's extensive interviews with park and company insiders illuminate the heroic efforts and the ridiculous missteps from Disney on the way to building the world's most ambitious constructed environment.
Koenig's history shows us the real people behind the parks, the hand-scrapping union organizers and the shouting, abusive bosses, the innovative thinkers and the soulless corporate drones and raiders. The backstory of Disney World is like no other, because no one ever tried to build something like this before.
Walt Disney died three years before Disney World opened, and the organization spent 20 years treating him like Mao under glass, working only to the dicta that he left behind, treating his opinions as unshakable gospel (all the while conspicuously failing to build the city he'd planned for). By the late eighties, the company had to face the fact that Walt was dead and try to find its own way. The pathos and emotion of this transition really come to the fore in Realityland, which contains numerous passages I found myself reading aloud to friends.
The most fascinating stuff is, of course, the disasters -- and Realityland has them all, the fatalities, robberies, scams, idiocies and diseases. They provide a juicy, gossipy backdrop for the rest of the book, enlivening it.
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail; when all you have is clip art of a hooded hacker figure…
States across America are considering “Right to Repair” legislation that would guarantee your right to choose who fixes your stuff (or to fix it yourself); but they’re fighting stiff headwinds, from the motorcycle makers who claim that fixing your motorcycle should be a crime to Apple, who feel the same way, but about phones.
“Stephen Colbert” is a character that was once played by Stephen Colbert: a right-wing blowhard pundit who called Bill O’Reilly “Papa Bear.” When Colbert took over the Late Show, the “Stephen Colbert” character disappeared (possibly because Viacom claimed the rights to it!), but now and again, he reappears.
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]