While the Spielberg debate rages on in the comments section of the Friday, Feb. 10 post, seguing from Munich to A.I., I’m packing my bags and getting ready to leave Disney World in Orlando, where I’ve spent the past week with my extended family and some good friends. I’ve been to Disney World three times and Disneyland in Anaheim more times than I can remember right now; I never tire of it, and while my experience at the parks is far from uncomplicated (it’s a critical experience just like everything else in my life) it’s not facetious either. My love and fascination for Disney theme parks is obsessive, thorough and sincere. I don’t just go there on vacation, I read books about Disney (the man and the output) and I look for traces of Disney influence throughout the culture, even in places where one might not ordinarily expect to find it. I even used to watch old Wonderful World of Disney episodes on the old Disney Channel series Vault Disney, which ran at 2 a.m. (I’m still annoyed that they canceled the show and replaced it with repeats of their sitcoms; every installment was an electronic time capsule, a snapshot of life between Eisenhower and Clinton.) To spend time at Disney parks is roam inside the American mind, for better or worse. In the near future, expect some posts on the man and the films, as viewed through the peculiar prism of his theme parks.
Matt Zoller Seitz is the founder of The House Next Door.