Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Calvin Trillin on Walt Disney World, 1972

In my latest issue of The New Yorker (12-04-06), there is a wonderful reposting of Calvin Trillin's account of his first visit to Walt Disney World in 1972. It had only been open for two weeks but he describes a Disney World very much like the one that remains so successful to this day - lots and lots and lots of smiles, to the point of nausea.

Anyway, the link is here, but in typical New Yorker fashion, it'll probably be a dead link in a week's time. What really made me smile was one passage where he describes his wife's reaction to this theme park dedicated to all things happy. (Hint: It's the reference to hotel workers that resonated with me.)
She did not seem to react well to the ferocious friendliness of the young Disney World employees, particularly when it came in conjunction with the service problems that any tourist operation is bound to have in its first few weeks—problems complicated by the fact that the young people manning, say, the Polynesian Village seemed to owe their cheerfulness partly to not having had enough experience in hotel work to have been turned sullen.


Kat Coble said...

Thanks for this! It's a real treat.

Melissa said...

I work at Opryland, so yeah.