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Opinion

Old Disney World magic flakes off like fairy dust

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March 27, 2008

Frolicking around sunny Orlando, Fla., over spring break brought back childhood memories of going to Disney World and having my picture taken with Snow White and Goofy.

Those were the days when Disney World wasn’t just an amusement park cheese fest, but a place where it seemed that all your dreams would come true. Disney’s motto “Where dreams come true,” proves that they know just how to market themselves to kids.

I didn’t actually go to Disney World during this last trip; it really doesn’t mean much to me anymore. It’s just an overpriced, fakey cartoon park.

It’s easy to look at this national landmark with disgust as you get older, to forget the good times spent there and how much it meant to you when you were little. It is a place that represents a stage of innocence and wonder in our lives, a time when meeting our favorite Disney characters was the most important obligation and an ice cream cone could cure all of our problems.

It only took a day in Orlando for me to realize that it is a tourist trap that can only truly be enjoyed by young children. Looking back at previous trips as a child, it had seemed like such a magical place; now that I’m older and have to pay for the amusement parks myself, it seems like a Mecca of pricey amusement parks swarming with tourists.

Orlando, itself, is just like Disney World in the way that it is amazing when you’re naive and don’t have to foot the bill, but once the magic wears off, it is revealed as an unreasonably expensive wasteland. No nature. No ocean. No scenic trails. No natural beauty. Just miles of overpopulated tourist destinations.

As much as Disney World has lost its charm for me, I don’t condemn it. For children, it really is a place “where dreams come true.” And if kids can go there and feel that happy, at least for a couple hours, then that’s all right with me. Just don’t expect me to go there again anytime soon.

Natalie Conrad is a junior journalism and marketing communications major and French minor. She enjoys running,reading, writing, playing guitar, and traveling.