Browse > Home /

| Subcribe via RSS

The social Darwinism of Mickey Mouse

By Mark Littlewood
July 22nd, 2009 at 10:06 pm | 4 Comments | Posted in Culture

mickey-mouse1Gone are the old egalitarian days of queueing up on a first come, first served basis. The amusement parks of the 21st century reward those who are agile of both body and mind – and preferably have fatter than average wallets.

A vacation in Orlando doesn’t come cheap and if you’re spending the bulk of your time visiting amusement parks, you want to be sure you’re wasting as little of it as possible in sweltering queues. At the two Universal Studios theme parks, this is simplicity itself. You pay for it. You can buy an Express pass which allows you to jump to the front of the line. Or – as we have done – you can pay premium rates to stay at an on-site hotel and just flash your room key to be waved passed the masses.

Things are different at the Walt Disney World resort. Here visitors can register for Fastpass tickets to avoid lengthy queues and return to their favourite attraction later, within a stipulated one hour long window.  Fastpass tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis.  For the most popular rides, you might face a two hour queue at 11am – or the option of collecting a Fastpass ticket and returning to jump the queue at around 4pm.

But here’s the rub – you can only be in possession of one Fastpass ticket per guest at any given time. So, if you choose to collect a Fastpass ticket for the hugely popular Mount Everest rollercoaster at 11am – with a 4pm return time – you will have to spend the intervening five hours in the regular lines for other rides with everyone else.

The discerning, theme park connoisseur therefore needs a pre-planned but flexible strategy. They need to use the limited tools available to them to maximise time-efficiency. The determination and physical strength to criss-cross acres upon acres of land in the unforgiving Florida heat is also a prerequisite.

So, even in the the magical corner of America that is Mickey Mouse’s cartoon kingdom, the rule of the survival of the fittest prevails. What an amazing country.

Tags: ,