People Are Losing It Over An Adult Disney Superfan Writing An Op-Ed To Whine That ‘Wokeness Is Ruining The Experience At Disney World’

Jonathan VanBoskerck is not exactly a household name, but on Friday he very quickly, became the most famous Disney Adult in America after a bizarre opinion piece decrying “woke” culture was published in an Orlando newspaper.

The photo, with the man in a Hawaiian-adjacent Disney shirt with Disney trinkets in the background, was enough to grab the attention of plenty of people online. But the column was much more bizarre: the Las Vegas native described his family’s yearly trips to the Florida theme park were being ruined by a “woke scalpel” that was removing parts of his favorite rides and ruining the experience because of cancel culture.

It’s reminiscent of the man who recently went viral for getting arrested at Disney for not adhering to the park’s safety standards amid the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But that reminder of the real world is not the issue for Van Boskerck, it’s that sometimes people who dress up as anthropomorphic dogs and Disney princesses have tattoos and haircuts that were not animated in the 1960s:

Recently, Disney announced that cast members are now permitted to display tattoos, wear inclusive uniforms and display inclusive haircuts. Disney did all of this in the name of allowing cast members to express themselves.

The problem is, I’m not traveling across the country and paying thousands of dollars to watch someone I do not know express themselves. I am there for the immersion and the fantasy, not the reality of a stranger’s self-expression. I do not begrudge these people their individuality and I wish them well in their personal lives, but I do not get to express my individuality at my place of business.

That may seem like a silly thing to get upset about, but it’s really the “woke scalpel” that Disney has taken to its rides and attractions in recent years that’s made him most upset. Essentially, VanBoskerck is really missing all the horny and racist stuff. He complains that Disney is updating its Jungle Cruise ride to take out harmful stereotypes of indigenous people, and lamented the missing scenes, like a guy being boiled alive, from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride they’ve removed over the years:

Pirates used to be one of my favorite attractions. My family would always ride it first on our first day at the Magic Kingdom. Now, we do not even ride it every trip. When my family rides Pirates now, each of the changed scenes takes us out of the illusion because they remind us of reality and the politics that forced the changes.

Disney World is going to lose us as customers if it continues down this path. I do not want to have Disney World taken away from us because Disney cares more about politics than happy guests.

But it’s important to note that, well, what they got rid of was a bizarre sex slave auction from the Pirates ride. If his family is really missing that, well, that’s weird. And the Splash Mountain changes are because of something he himself noted: the ride’s history with the wildly racist and controversial Song of the South. Most of these changes are happening because Disney is phasing out things that don’t seem as acceptable in modern society, sure, but as many noted online it’s also in an effort to make the rides line up with upcoming movies.

Disney is so big and so popular that its park rides have become their own movie franchises, which in turn makes them get retrofit to be advertisements for the movies and shows the theme park attractions have spawned. It’s just business, and honestly it seems like pretty good business to transform Splash Mountain from a fun ride with a fraught history into a fun ride with an animated movie tie-in.

VanBoskerck getting mad about all of this and haphazardly chalking it up to cancel culture is about as lazy as going to the same theme park for the same vacation every year. And the self-described “Christian and a conservative Republican” declaring that Disney’s values don’t add up with his just sort of says a lot about where his head’s at with pretty much everything these days. Which is why there was a LOT of reaction online about how weird all of this was.

A surprising amount of Jurassic Park jokes were made, too.

Even the creator of another animated Disney show, Gravity Falls, got involved.

James Gunn chimed in, too.

His Goodreads profile was apparently found as well and, uh, it’s a lot.

There was also some digging about the expression he does at his job, which is an assistant District Attorney in Las Vegas who tried really hard to execute someone recently.

The lesson here, as always, is to diversify your vacation plans and not build your entire personality out of a corporation that is very much not your friend. Oh, and try not to declare your fondness for animatronic sex slavery in a major metropolitan newspaper.

(Via Orlando Sentinel)