The Disney Diaries #3

Waiting for the flight-sim movie/ride “Soarin'” at Epcot, Kat and I were treated to the worst kids in line, ever ever ever. Picture 11 boys, all alpha males between the ages of 12 and 16, all in town for a baseball tournament, plus two adults who don’t care how much the kids bother everybody else in line. They’re jumping on the railings, they’re yelling that it’s taking too long every five minutes (the posted wait time was 40 minutes), they’re hitting each other and running around. God help me, they’re farting, making each other smell it, and laughing at the top of their lungs. And everything is a competition – one kid’s playing Bubblet on a Palm and another snarls “I got NEXT,” with a ferocity suggesting that his chance to play is his god-given right to finally avenge the death of his family. And when the first kid gets a good score on his first game, he proudly goes to tell one of the adults…who boasts that his own best score is way better.

Giant video walls are activated to let the people waiting in line play cooperative games – digital beach balls get tossed around for a while, then each screen shows a flying bird, and the crowd, through video cameras, alters its path by leaning, as a group, in the direction the bird needs to go. “Let’s make it crash!” yells one of the lads. Nobody in the immediate area wants to play with the brats, so nobody really participates, and the bird gets stuck on the wall, just like the kids wanted. One of the boys turns to me and screams “You guys suck.”

I’m not a violent guy but after enduring 30 minutes in line with this brat, I wanted to deck him right then and there. When I accidentally express this desire verbally, the woman in line next to me offers to help, as he’s the kid that grabbed her ass. Then when the line doen’t move fast enough due to the bird game, they start screaming – screaming – en masse at the people ahead of them to move Move MOVE! The adult guardians are too busy talking about baseball with each other to reprimand any of them.

What bothered me most was that these kids were in town for a team sports tournament. They had ostensibly gotten here through athletic success, yet had no concept of even casual teamwork. What kind of teammate turns to his others and says “You suck” when the team doesn’t work well together? How did you get to any sort of championship in anything? I suddenly found myself really angry not about my own discomfort in line but about the unchecked aggression and ego that was apparently being fostered in these kids. These were already hardcore bullies who were being rewarded for the attitude of “if you want it, you deserve to have it, and probably should have been given it already.” But you’ve heard me bitch about a sense of entitlement before.

Ultimately we got on the ride and I enjoyed it, but it was a video-wall motion simulator, and I had one of the end seats, so the view wasn’t quite as good as it would have been in the middle. I would have liked to go on it again, but oh well. One of the baseball kids did get a sweet spot seat smack in the center. His immediate, loud reaction after the ride concluded?

“That sucked!”

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