For years Walt Disney theme parks have been affectionately cherished by many as the happy place “where dreams come true,” but it would appear that the newly opened Disneyland in Shanghai is a kingdom of nightmares for some visitors who have described it as the “rudest place on earth.”
“How so?” You may well wonder. How can the palace of the mouse and the home of cute be anything other than a magical experience of fluffy lightness and unbearable joy?
Well try this for size. Imagine if your Disney experience was tainted by children urinating in public, perhaps even in the presence of, whisper it, Princess Elsa. And how about if upon walking through those hallowed gates you were poked and prodded, and pushed and shoved like domestic cattle on way to the market?
And just imagine strolling contentedly around Disneyland like a soul who has fallen back in love with the wonder of the world and the magic of make believe, only to be dragged back down to earth with a bump by a wanton piece of vulgar vandalism catching your lazy eye, such as an electrical socket ripped from a wall.
These are not the fevered imaginings of a demented Disney hater, but the tragic experiences of an American-Chinese man called Disney Dwayne, who was visibly distraught in the wake of his two-day visit to the newly opened Shanghai Disneyland.
The Daily Mail reports that Dwayne is a massive fan of all things Disney, and has visited theme parks across the world, but none could quite prepare the Disney aficionado for the “horror” he faced in Shanghai.
Posting a video of his harrowing experience on his YouTube channel, Dwayne admits to enjoying some of his Shanghai adventure, but the general consensus appears to be that the trip was a negative one from the word go.
“One thing you’ve got to get used to is getting pushed and shoved around here in Shanghai, for example, there was a family of 17 that had issues at the gateway and I had to wait there.
“Even though I was next in line they just started pushing past me, then there were people who pretended to be part of that family and they just cut into my queue, it was horrible.”
Worse was to come. It later transpires that during a children’s show, several adults in the audience were standing in the front row with umbrellas unnecessarily opened, which blocked the view for everyone else.
“It’s not hot and it’s not raining, so why are people using umbrellas to block the view.”
Other unpleasantness encountered by Dwayne, included an adult and several children trespassing onto a display area to “trash” the ornaments, and a woman allowing her son to urinate in an ornamental garden instead of taking him to a nearby public convenience.
Dwayne’s negative experience of Shanghai Disneyland isn’t the first time the park has hit the headlines for being somewhat unsavory.
Six weeks before the park even opened, there were torrid tales of badly-behaved tourists discarding bags of litter, urinating on flower beds, trampling plants, and carving graffiti into freshly-painted lamp posts.
One would imagine Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto are all in agreement. Such horror has no place in the enchanted kingdom of Disney and must be ruthlessly stamped out with a great vigilance and even greater action.
Perhaps it’s time to send in one of Disney’s newest acquisitions to sort out the troublemakers – Captain America!
(Photo by Visual China/Getty Images)