It’s been awhile — pretty much since the pilot, to be exact — since I’ve watched ABC’s Black-ish. However, when I heard that the Johnsons would be visiting Walt Disney World for their season three premiere, I knew I was going to have to watch it. After all, the best part of these special episodes is seeing what they get right and, more entertainingly, what they get wrong about the theme park experience. So how did Black-ish‘s trip go?
First, I should probably back up and explain the plot of this episode (which is oddly coded as 304 even though it will air as 301). Basically, Dre decides he and the family deserve a vacation. And where else would a family on ABC go other than The Happiest Place on Earth? However, as Dre points out, this isn’t to be just any regular WDW trip — he’s booked a VIP service to get the whole kin to the front of the lines and enjoying the good life.
Playing their plaid guide is none other than Jim Rash who dorks like me will instantly recognize as Dean Pelton from Community. Rash (playing a Cast Member named Cody) escorts Dre and the kids to wherever they’d like, allowing them to complete all the rides their hearts desire while Pops, Ruby, and Rainbow set off on their own. Eventually, they all meet back up for a heartwarming (but rushed and largely inconsequential) finale.
Alas, the episode feels more like a commercial and/or an excuse for the cast and crew to head to Florida as the plot is thin and not even completely coherent. But rest assured that, by the end of the episode, you’ll know that Soarin’ Around the World and Frozen Ever After are now open in Epcot. To a certain degree, this is to be expected from these types of shows but this one felt especially pointless — although there might be some follow up in subsequent season three episodes so I suppose it’s too early to judge.
As for the screw ups, the biggest sin the show commits is making it seem like getting from Magic Kingdom to Epcot to Animal Kingdom is extremely easy and not at all time consuming. In fact, I’m pretty sure there one scene implied that the family exited Soarin’ and ended up in Storybook Circus. Additionally, since the show shot in the real theme parks over the summer while actual paying guests were present, there are some obvious cheats where the crew built lines where no such lines typically exist. WDW regulars might also pick up a couple of other nitpicky errors, but I’ll let you find those on your own.
However, there was one major thing the show did get right: there’s no reason to visit Hollywood Studios these days. (I kid, I kid.)
Anyway, you can see all of the fun for yourself when Black-ish returns for season three Wednesday, September 21st at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.