From CP&DR's Morris Newman:
Personally, I think there's a way for Disney to make lemonade out of the lemons of this dispute over housing near Disneyland in Anaheim. Given that affordable housing is a clearly one-way ticket to blight and criminality -- at least according to some critics in Anaheim -- Disney should capitalize on the setting, and "theme" its third gate as "Disney's Urban Adventure."
The Walt Disney Company and its travails in Anaheim. Disney's California Adventure, a theme park that lives across the street from Disneyland, has gathered more dust than a broken set of Bancroft's History in a Salvation Army store.
Adding further dismay to the Chief Private Benefactor of Anaheim is the proposal by SunCal, a local home builder, to erect 1,500 housing units across the street from the future site of Disney's third gate (i.e. themed attraction.) Disney has objected strongly to the SunCal development, because housing is out of place in a world-class resort like the Magic Kingdom.Making SunCal's housing proposal even worse, in the eyes of opponents, is the proposed existence of 225 units of affordable housing. (TelePrompTer: Start shrieking.)
In the eyes of some people, affordable housing means slums, gang violence and discordant signage. Witness this characterization in the Los Angeles Times: "Disney and tourism officials are concerned that the more than $6 billion in public and private funds poured into the resort district over the last 13 years would be wasted if the area returns to its past, marked by seedy motels, tacky shops and neon signs."
In other words, housing equals seedy motels. Who, I wonder, who was the source of this characterization? Please be aware that the land in question is currently a trailer park.
Really, creating Disney's Urban Adventure as Disneyland's third gate solves all these problems!
The inner-city-like conditions created by the new housing development can be "re-purposed" as an attraction for suburban youth, who are the largest consumers of hiphop recordings, tee-shirts, and grills (i.e. bling for teeth.)
Here's a clip from our marketing video (please keep in mind that in Disney parlance, customers are "guests" and employees are "performers.")
Suburban Teenage Disney Guest: "Dude, I'm so looking for authenticity!"
Urban Contemporary Disney Performer: "Well, this ain't the Gap, Daddy-Mac. Like some champagne?"
STG: "Hey, I'd love some!"
Urban Contemporary Disney Performer: "Then buy your own, b***h. This s**t is expensive."
Goofy's Crack House and Ho Alley will recreate South Central as heartwarmingly as Disneyland's Main Street replicated the Midwest town center.
Suburban Teenage Disney Guest: "I can't believe how real this all seems! Look at this poorly maintained houses, and the unemployed people, sitting listlessly on the front stoops, seething with impotence and resentment. Say, sir, you know where I can buy a rock and hook up with a home girl?"
Stoop-sitting performer: "Can't properly say. Australia, maybe?"
Donald's Check Cashing Stand will dispense souvenirs and trinkets, albeit at a healthy mark-up.
Suburban Teenage Guest, perspiring heavily: "You've got to cash this check, no matter how high the interest! I've got to feed my habit!"
Disney Performer: "I know, I know, those pumpkin Frappaccinos are addictive."
In Minnie's Justice System, guests will be handcuffed to hospital beds, as they glide one-by-one through the Courthouse, the Slammer, Parole, and Unemployment (with Pregnancy and Substance Abuse leaping out of the shadows to scare them.)
Suburban Teenage Male: "I can really say that we have experienced what only can be described as the underbelly of urban life!"
Suburban Teenage Female: "I wish we had some affordable housing in our affluent community, so we could go slumming like this more often." (With her one free hand, she waves hello to a performer from Pluto's Bail Bonds.) "Hey One Leg P! What's goin' down?"
One Leg P (formerly known as Pluto) wearing Armani shades and a diamond studded choke collar: "Oh, you know, the usual--home invasion, car jacking, leaving' babies in the dumpster—that kind of stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary."
Suburban Teenage Female: "Awesome! I mean, I'm down with it."
Teenage Male: "Man, these low- and moderate-income folks sure know how to live! To think that people in Anaheim tried to stop this place from being built! Is that whack, or what? That would have prevented us from being exposed to the genuine life style of everyone in America who makes less than $140,000 a year!"
Suburban Teenage Female: "Omigod, I have to get out of here, and fast! I'm in trouble!"
Suburban Teenage Male: "You mean you're…?"
Suburban Teenage Female: "Yes! I've broken a nail on this stupid ride!" (Weeps.) "Take me home, Tyler!"
Suburban Teenage Male: "You're on your own, Tiffany. After this, I'm never going back to Disney's California Adventure!"