You guys, I think we’re scaring Disney. Sure they act like we’re friends when they invite thousands of us over for the D23 Expo. They even send us Christmas cards and say they miss us when they think we won’t renew our Annual Passports. But now — they’re afraid of us. And they’re avoiding us.
How do I know this? This week, Disney had to release two hefty pieces of news they had to know weren’t going to sit well with the community at large: Aladdin’s departure from Disney California Adventure in favor of Frozen, and the removal of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights to be replaced by… I dunno, Star Wars, probably? As if they had been psyching themselves up all day and crafting the words that would make the hurt a little less painful, Disney dropped the Aladdin news late (like 9 p.m. Pacific) on Wednesday night.
Part of me wonders if they hit the button and braced themselves as if they were cutting a wire on a bomb. Unfortunately for them, it detonated as Twitter erupted with as much outrage as it did snark. Heck, Doobie and I even stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to hash it out in our debate piece (shameless plug).
So when it came time for Disney to announce that this, the 20th year of the Osborne Lights, would be its last, how would they try to bury that juicy piece of disappointment? If you answered “release it at 6 a.m. on September freaking 11th,” you’d be spot on! Yes, without reducing the importance of the date by relating it to this, I think the timing of this announcement is borderline dubious. Couldn’t they have at least acknowledged the significance of the date in a separate post before moving on with business as usual? Or, ya know, waited until Monday?
My beef isn’t so much with the announcements themselves as it is with the timing. I understand that the Disney Parks will grow and change and evolve and yada yada yada. But are Disney fans really that intolerable that they feel the need to send these releases out at odd hours in hopes of reducing blowback? To be honest, it kind of feels like Disney is breaking up with us via text (which is apparently now an acceptable practice for youngsters).
Disney: have some bravery, some dignity, and some confidence. Sure we aren’t going to like everything you do, but step up and tell us to our faces how you feel. Besides, after we yell at you for a few hours and stomp off to our rooms, you know we’ll come cuddle on the couch with you soon enough.
I love you. Let’s never fight again, OK? OK.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV