In my Grad Nite Repressions

Jim Hill : Hellish behavior mars an evening of Heavenly Music at the Magic Kingdom.

Grad Nite Park Map

Well, they are totally right about the event.  I’ve been to every WDW special event that I know of at least one time, and I’ve never seen the park less enjoyable than during Night of Joy.  People don’t believe me about how Night of Joy is not boring, but rather a huge pain in the ass with a boring soundtrack.  This article is for them.

The author blames this on the WDW admin’s fear of the religious types imposing a Disney Boycott.  I think this is a mistake for a couple reasons.  For one thing, none of the WDW people I have ever talked to or heard from indicated that they saw the slightest decline out of the Southern Baptist boycott mentioned in the article.  And that makes sense, because none of the Southern Baptists I know heeded it at all.  Still, there absolutely is a difference between the security you see on Grad Nite, or Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party (If you want to see how that date can bring out the jerk in people take a trip up I-4 to the Universal Halloween special Event.  Michaele and I used to go to that every year and watch it get worse and worse until we finally gave it up.) despite the fact that you would expect the security problems for both of these events to be worse.

As I mentioned, Grad Nite is much better.  The Author of that article seems to blame it on the different attitude of In-park security.  But, empirically speaking that does not seem right to me.  The security inside the park was never seen by me at all, let alone actively dealing with a problem.  If the difference is security, not those in attendance, then you would see more security as a deterrence, or you would see more security dealing with the problems they did not deal with on N.o.J.  Now, admittedly, the security at the door was tougher for Grad Nite than N.o.J. in my experience, but I went to N.o.J. years earlier.  Since I was at Grad Night I have heard reports of security being even tighter at the Gate, and given that the daily security includes bag checks at the gate, I expect that N.o.J. now does the same weapon checks that GN did.  So why is it so much worse?  I’ve got two reasons.

1. They are repressed religious types; this is what they do and who they are.  It’s the inquisition in micro scale.  It’s the punk version of a Dusty Springfield song.  They spend 364 being locked down tight and this is what it makes them.

2. On grad night you must wear a suit.  As dumb as it sounds I think this makes a massive difference.  At this age most of the guys only wear a suit in situations much more somber than Grad Nite.  Funerals, Church, etc.  The suit is their Pavlovian Bell and they’ve been trained not to act up when there is already a silk noose around their neck.  (No, I haven’t given up my gender equality, but realistically it is the boys who get all rowdy and make a raucous at these things.  It’s not that I think the girls are less mischievous, but rather that they prefer a far less violent kind of mischief.  Believe me – there are pieces of my heart left behind at the Diamond Horseshoe and The Haunted Mansion.)

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