Bruce Garrett Cartoon
The Cartoon Gallery

A Coming Out Story
A Coming Out Story

My Photo Galleries
New and Improved!

Past Web Logs
The Story So Far archives

My Amazon.Com Wish List

My Myspace Profile

Bruce Garrett's Profile
Bruce Garrett's Facebook profile

Blogs I Read!

Wayne Besen

Beyond Ex-Gay
(A Survivor's Community)

Box Turtle Bulletin

Chrome Tuna

Daily Kos

Mike Daisy's Blog

The Disney Blog

Envisioning The American Dream


Ex-Gay Watch


Joe. My. God

Peterson Toscano

Progress City USA



Fear the wrath of Sparky!

Wil Wheaton

Gone But Not Forgotten

The Rittenhouse Review

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site

Great Cartoon Sites!

Howard Cruse Central

Tripping Over You
Tripping Over You


Commando Cody Monthly

Scandinavia And The World

Dope Rider

The World Of Kirk Anderson

Ann Telnaes' Cartoon Site

Bors Blog

John K

Penny Arcade

Other News & Commentary

Lead Stories

Amtrak In The Heartland

Corridor Capital

Railway Age

Maryland Weather Blog

Foot's Forecast

All Facts & Opinions

Baltimore Crime



Page One Q
(GLBT News)

Michelangelo Signorile

The Smirking Chimp

Talking Points Memo

Truth Wins Out

The Raw Story


International News & Views


NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)

Mexico Daily

The Local (Sweden)

News & Views from Germany

Spiegel Online

The Local

Deutsche Welle

Young Germany

Fun Stuff

It's not news. It's FARK

Plan 59

Pleasant Family Shopping

Discount Stores of the 60s


Photos of the Forgotten


Comics With Problems

HMK Mystery Streams

Mercedes Love!

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz TV

Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America

MBCA - Greater Washington Section


Mercedes-Benz Blog

BenzWorld Forum

May 29th, 2023

A Vacation Among Disney People

The workers here (Cast Members, as they’re called) really get into it…

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

May 18th, 2023

Getting Ready For Gay Days…


This happened in Orlando the other day.

It’s just a couple weeks to Gay Days in WDW and this is one reason why I’m going there with my cameras. Mostly I just want to enjoy the parks, and being able, finally, to go whenever I want now that I’m retired. I think I want a Disney weekend…okay, let’s just go…no need anymore to request vacation time… It’s been something I was looking forward to. The park reservation system and the fact that it’s difficult for single diners to make dining reservations at my favorite places made me question if I was ever going back again. But I think I’ve worked through all that now. I have my annual pass again and selling my DVC points gets me back to making stays in the basic and mid tier park resorts where I can make reservations on the fly whenever I want, which is nearly impossible at a DVC resort. So I’m back in my comfort zone there.

But Gay Days this year is a special case given all the hate mongering going on down in Florida. So to have some Mouseketeer fun with all the other red shirts in the parks isn’t just a good time this year, it’s an act of defiance. Yes, we are Disney people too. And I want to show my support for Disney since they’re taken a lot of static for supporting us. But also, I want to document what is happening down there, in my own way, with my own eyes.

(As a side note, I’m working on getting another photo gallery up here of the stuff I took during the Love In Action and the Love Won Out protests.)

Security is something you almost never even see at WDW, except at the park entrances where screenings and bag checks take place. Once inside the park you might think it isn’t even there at all. But I’ve seen it appear…suddenly out of nowhere…once.

It was in front of La Cava del Tequila inside the Mexico pavilion at EPCOT World Showcase. Someone, probably having had a little too much to drink, got upset at the wait to get in (it’s a pretty small bar with only a few tables), and started causing a loud angry scene, and so I was told later got physical with another guest. He was instantly surrounded and spirited offsite.

And it’s easy for their security to come out of nowhere because there are usually dozens of hidden entrance/exits for the cast members to come and go so they can go about their work. Walt Disney wanted all the mechanics of making the parks work kept out of sight so as not to spoil the illusions he was creating. Magic Kingdom is built on top of a network of tunnels, they call them utilidors. And everywhere in the parks are scattered little out of the way doors and passages marked “Cast Members Only”. And the really interesting part of it is nearly none of them are hidden in a way you might expect. Instead, the scenery is such that your eyes are always directed away from where they are.

And according to a certain someone I used to know who worked there, cameras are everywhere.

So I’m hoping that first weekend in June their security is on their top game. I want everyone to have a good time. I will be very satisfied if the only photos I get are of happy Gay Days Mouseketeers. Because that is a message people still need to see as a counterpoint to all the lies that are surely coming before, during and after the event.

As you can see there, outside the parks it’s probably going to be brutal. I may try to get a few shots of it, but I will have to be very Very careful.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

April 20th, 2023


It’s just…amazing…to twitter watch the massive dogpile (of which I was a part) on the Disney website to buy annual passes…some of which are Very Expensive…sprinkled with all the go woke go broke tweets from pudding boy’s fans. Disney sure didn’t go broke today.

And here’s the thing: you buy a pass that means you are going to Disney World at some point. Wherein you will Spend Money. All those new annual passes are ringing the cash registers. Well…or whatever passes for cash registers these days.

I wrote this back in July 2018 as I was renewing my annual pass…

I was having a conversation with a fellow guest at Walt Disney World a few years ago. He was a middle aged man there with his wife and kids and we were sitting at the Tune-In Lounge bar. I must have mentioned something about ticket prices, and how I keep renewing my annual pass simply because the cost of Disney without one is even more hugely expensive. He told me a joke that keeps coming to mind.

“They always talk about magic here,” he said. “You want to know how the magic works? It’s like this. You walk into the park with a hundred dollars in your pocket and maybe you walk back out with five. The magic is they make you want to do it again the next day.”

Universal is running some ads promoting their theme park with the slogan, “It’s more than magic, it’s real.” I’m guessing it’s a sideways slam at their biggest competitor down there, but it has a sad truth to it. Let me say I’ve been to Universal and for a while given my issues with Disney’s handling of tickets and that god awful park reservation system, I was tempted to buy one of their annual passes. Universal is a very good, very entertaining theme park (and it has a Margaritaville!). But the Disney parks still have enough of Walt Disney’s DNA in them that this new slogan of Universal’s kinda works against them by reminding visitors where the magic is. 

That said, be sure to bring money. You will need it. I just saw this morning hundreds if not thousands of people telling Disney to shut up and take their money.


by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

Once A Passholder, Always A Passholder. Sort of.

Back to being an Annual Pass member. Since I sold my DVC points I’d have lost all the perks I used to enjoy without the pass…which I stupidly allowed to expire when they switched to the “Magic Key” thing. The perks being free parking everywhere and discounts on everything including in park hotels. Since I usually drive down the free parking thing is especially valuable to me. So on days when I can’t afford to stay in park I can still get parking.

I never want to wait in a ticket queue like the one I just did ever again! Maybe I’ll tell that story some other day.

The park reservation system is still a hangup, but annual pass holders can make a reservation at any park and then (provided you have park hopper) go to a different one after 2PM. Trick is you Have to go to the one you made a reservation for no later than 11am. But it’s close enough to how it all used to work for me that I can handle it.

Plus I get both water parks and they don’t need reservations.

I’m on retirement income so I probably can’t afford staying in a Disney resort more than once a year. At least not in the nice middle tier resorts like my favorite, Port Orleans Riverside. But there are plenty of nice third party hotels on “hotel row” inside the park that have excellent rates, and with the annual pass parking perk I’m still good. And with the passholder discount their economy resorts might actually look better price wise than hotel row. It’s what I used to do before I became DVC.

DVC was nice for a while, but I’m glad to have it off my back. It just didn’t make enough sense for my income level. And I’m not doing badly at all. And it limited my flexibility in going which was something I was looking forward to in retirement. You just can’t make DVC reservations on a whim. 

Wherever I stay, I am Not spending one thin dime outside of Disney World if I can help it! But I might make an exception to go see classmate Reverend Billy if he’s playing nearby. And a classmate I know who’s living further south, and who must be going nuts with all the bellicose religiosity going on down there.

Definitely doing Disneyland, finally, sometime during my next California trip. There are good hotels in walking distance to the park that aren’t pricey, and a three day park hopper ticket isn’t all that expensive.

Wish they could just expand Disneyland into another Disney World out there, but not being able to expand there is why Walt Disney gobbled up so much of Florida.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Once A Passholder, Always A Passholder. Sort of.

April 11th, 2023

Hello Mr DeSantis, I’m Here For Gay Days.

…and so are hundreds of us. It’s a small world after all!

I saw a few moments ago on Twitter another gay activist (self described) writing that nobody should spend any money at Disney World or in Florida, and that corporate gay allies actually harm progress. I made my case against that claptrap, at least regards Disney, in this blogpost. Pay attention to the last 2 paragraphs. The joy of acceptance and inclusion in those two teenage girls when they saw those Mickey pins Is Progress. As much progress as any of us managed to make for all our activism back in the day. The kids are the future of this country, that great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day, and at that moment those two saw themselves in it. 

They saw themselves accepted and included in the Disney family. And it doesn’t get more all American wholesome than that.

That is how progress is made. That is what Disney is doing for us. That is what DeSantis and the republicans want desperately to put a stop to. That is why they passed Don’t Say Gay.

I can see not spending money elsewhere in Florida, but I will continue to support Disney. The republicans blew a fuse when Disney objected to Don’t Say Gay and after that it was a torrent of hate mongering, directed at Disney, but mostly directed at us. Every filthy lie you ever heard about gay people suddenly came rushing out like a reservoir of bile that had been bottled up just waiting for an excuse to roar out and flood the democratic conversation. Yes, they hate us. Yes, we know. But as I said previously, they can turn Florida into a ghetto of hate but there is a world outside its borders, and it’s a small world after all. And there really is a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day. And we will not be shamed into silence anymore. And neither will our families, our friends, and the companies run by men and women who think progress on human rights isn’t just good for business, but good for the country, good for civilization.

I was regretting I might miss Gay Days again because I thought I really should go and document the goings on especially this year into the DeSantis/republican war on Disney and all things LGBT. Especially Disney since the homophobic rhetoric is that familiar Anita Bryant Save Our Children claptrap and never mind that Walt Disney wanted his parks to be for all ages. I’ve been documenting our struggle with my cameras since I was drafted into it when I came out to myself back in 1971. I felt I should be there in Disney World this year to document whatever the kooks were up to while we were enjoying the parks. But I had plans to spend the summer out in California with my brother, which would have put me on the other side of the country. Then some helpful complications arose.

I am 69, going on 70. I had my last colonoscopy 11 years ago, which gave me a clean bill of health, but now I’m due for another. My GP recommended I use the new Cologuard test but it isn’t perfect. If you pass you still would need one every three years. If you fail maybe you have cancer maybe you don’t but now you need the full up colonoscopy. I failed mine. So I had to schedule one. But nobody could get me scheduled any time before July it seemed. And there was another complication: I am a heart patient. I needed my cardiologist to sign off on my stopping the blood thinners he has me on for the two or three days leading up to the procedure. 

So I had to delay my California trip. eventually I got everything scheduled between my cardiologist and the gastroenterologist, and lo and behold I have a window of opportunity between the two to go back to Disney for Gay Days after all.

I just made reservations to go during Gay Days. I’m staying inside the park again this trip. I have my tickets and park reservations. It’s all set. First thing is I am going to enjoy the parks, enjoy Gay Days (I haven’t been in years and years) and document a lot of happy LGBT folk enjoying the parks and generally having fun. So people can see we are as human as anyone else. Because some people need reminding of that fact. But also, second thing is I am going to keep an eye out for any protests and craziness and document that too with my cameras.

When I get back home I’ll put my photos up here in the gallery. 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Hello Mr DeSantis, I’m Here For Gay Days.

March 25th, 2023

Why I Am Not (totally) Boycotting Florida

Once upon a time not all that long ago, you could not find any merchandise anywhere in any of the Disney parks with anything like the gay pride rainbow on it, let alone the older lambda gay activists used to used as their symbol. Gay Days began in Disneyland back in the 70s as a response to same sex couples being thrown out of the park for dancing along with the rest of the couples. We did a “zap” and hit the dance floor en masse, everyone in on it wearing red shirts so we would know who was there for the zap. It worked, and after that it became a yearly thing that eventually spread to all the parks.

A certain someone who used to work here at Disney World once told me that gay days was one of their biggest yearly money makers. But there was no official recognition. Whenever culture warriors bellyached about it Disney’s response was that they’re in the hospitality business and everyone was welcome.

Back then the closest thing to a pride rainbow you could find around here was a specific Mickey pin with the peace rainbow on it that was close enough that gay visitors would wear it.

That was all there was for us. But in every other way the parks and the cast members made us feel welcome here during gay days. We had private parties at Typhoon Lagoon. We had hotel chains all around the parks vying for our business. Gay Days itself became a business. But coming out and actually acknowledging us was a step too far for corporate.

Then the massacre at the Pulse nightclub happened. It shocked the entire city, and especially the park workers and management. It seemed like everyone here either knew someone who was there that night, or knew someone who knew someone. I’d had a vacation planned for the month after and I saw the lingering shock on everyone’s faces here. And I heard stories. Horrible stories.

That changed things. The very next year they retired the peace rainbow mickey, and actual Pride rainbow merchandise appeared. And it seems that every year they add something new to what they’re calling here the Pride Collection. I especially like my coffee mug at home that says, “Belong, Believe, Be Proud.”


It’s a slogan they’re putting on other items now too.

Disney has taken a lot of grief for speaking out against DeSantis’ Don’t Say Gay law, and it looks very much to me like they are Not backing down and I am not going to walk away from the Parks simply because they are in Florida. And I’m pretty sure the DeSantis crowd remembers the day Pulse happened a little differently than the rest of us do, if at all. I remember some pulpit thumper yapping that he was sorry more of us weren’t killed that day. Given all the vitriol that’s been vented toward us since Disney spoke out I am certain it’ll be lots worse this coming June. There will be demands that the Pride merchandise go away. There will be demands to keep LGBT guests out of the park, or at least toss any of them out for something as simple as holding hands in public. Given the blood thirsty rhetoric coming out of the Florida GOP there could easily be violence. I am tempted to delay my California trip until after Pride just to come down here and document the goings on with my cameras.

So. I can appreciate the position that I shouldn’t be contributing to the Florida economy while the governor and the statehouse are so nail spittingly hostile toward us. But I am standing with Disney, because Disney stood with us, and still is. And if that bothers anyone I am not in the least bit sorry.

Here’s what I saw yesterday while strolling in Hollywood Studio.

A couple teenage girls, vaguely goth-ish, saw this and one of them remarked on how amazing it all felt to her. I saw the look of joy and wonder on her face. She looked like she’d been lifted up like she never had before. I remember how it was for me.

They can turn Florida into a ghetto of hate, but there is a world outside its borders and it’s a small world after all. And there really is a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day. And we will not be shamed into silence anymore.

Belong, Believe, Be Proud.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

March 23rd, 2023

Work In Progress Progressing…

…even while on vacation. Sort-of. What does “vacation” even mean when you’re retired? It means you needed a change of scenery. And I badly needed one. So here I am.

Garrett family of one, all checked in to Port Orleans Riverside. New Orleans slow jazz playing on the room TV.

I could get very used to going back to this way of staying here. This was how I stayed before I bought into DVC. The mid grade resorts are very nice, and being retired I can go whenever the rates go down. I’m only missing the kitchen, but I’ve ways of dealing with that.

Still working on ACOS #36 while here at Disney World. I’ve done this sort of thing many times before and I know exactly what to bring. Here’s the setup I had while I was staying at B.


Got another ACOS #36 strip done just now and posted to my website. That’s three done and three more to go.

I’m not posting a live link to the new episode until it’s all finished and I’m good with what’s out there. But those of you handy with all this Internet Web stuff can figure out what the link will be from how all the others in this project are constructed and see the work in progress as I post new ones if you want.

Think I might take a stroll around the resort now and decompress. Port Orleans Riverside is pretty nice. Going to Epcot later.

I had dinner at the Riviera with some friends from Space Telescope a couple days ago. The restaurant is on the top floor of a really nice DVC hotel and the view from the terrace is spectacular.

I had their signature fish dinner. No photo because I was too busy digging in. It was Wonderful. They took me to the steakhouse at the Yacht Club yesterday.

Not a lot of Pride merchandise here now, but it’s there if you look.

I’m guessing it’s because a lot of space is being taken up by the park celebration of Women’s History Month. And they’re really going all in on it with displays and (of course) merchandise celebrating the women who’ve contributed over the decades to Disney films and park designs. I stop to read all of it and it’s just stunning how much of it there is in Disney history that’s been behind the curtains all these years.

The new Magic Band+ is really something. It pairs with your smartphone and is rechargeable. You can check the battery level and update the software on your smartphone. So it’s not just a simple short range RF device that dispenses a serial number attached to your Disney account anymore, it’s yet another smart device.

Battery charge only lasts three days and they say to keep it on its recharger overnight while in the parks. The original Magic Bands lasted several years but they didn’t do much except dispense a serial number.

Of course making a big display for Women’s History Month isn’t going to make the MAGA morons any happier with Disney and that’s good (we’ve all read about how they’re blaming the failure of Silicon Valley Bank on its “woke” board of directors…right?). I expect the Pride stuff will come back out in June. We’ll see how DeSantis responds. It’s not generally understood how much he backed down from his threat last year to take away Disney’s special improvement district.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Work In Progress Progressing…

March 15th, 2023

Mr Fixit Does Not Give Up Easily

I can be stubborn. And especially when it comes to something like this. A few years ago at the Marketplace Co-op in Disney Springs I saw a display selling customized protective cases for your smartphone. You could get one with all sorts of Disney artwork on it, and you could buy it with your name printed on it. They had a machine that printed them up to order right there. In the display was one of their Disney Pride examples.

You have to appreciate how Disney’s marketing to gay folk makes a kid that came of age when I did feel. Sure it’s commercial, but I was there the month after the Pulse shootings and I saw how shocked everyone down there was. All that down low wink, wink unspoken acceptance of their LGBT guests changed almost overnight. It’s a small world after all.

So the moment I laid eyes on that smartphone case I had to have one.

It’s been on my iPhone Xs for years, but suddenly last December its plastic frame started breaking apart. I was in California and my brother did his best to glue it back together for me. When I got it home the frame simply started breaking apart in other places. I’ve had this experience before with other things made of this hard plastic, and I knew it would only get worse.

Many years ago I bought what was then a very expensive Minolta dImage 7hi. At the time the first affordable digital cameras were coming out and that Minolta had excellent specs. It was a great little camera, I took it with me on a bunch of road trips. But it was made of this same sort of hard plastic that just starts falling apart all of a sudden.

So there was no fixing that smartphone case and I started looking for a replacement. Disney sells a bunch of Pride merchandise including smartphone covers, but the iPhone Xs is so out of date now I couldn’t find another one. I tried looking for something like it from a third party but ran into the same problem.

Apparently the Xs is already vintage. It’s even hard to find generic cases for it, but I figured I’d try one of those and simply move the custom printed back panel to a new case. It took a lot of searching but I finally found a case that had a transparent back cover that I thought would do the trick. But…no. When the case came I discovered that it was so tightly fitted to the phone I couldn’t put the Disney Pride insert into it and close the case around the phone again. It was too thick. And…being made of that same hard plastic, it was also beginning to come apart at the edges.

So I went though the usual period of being distraught and then getting all stubborn. Okay, thinks I…maybe I can scan in the artwork and print it out on a piece of photo inkjet paper.

A little scanning and GIMP-ing and printing, a little X-Acto work (all those years spent as an architectural model maker still come in handy…) I had my new Pride insert. It fit…barely. And what I ended up with was artwork that was actually more vibrant than the plastic insert I got at the Marketplace Co-op.

I ever get a new iPhone I can probably copy the artwork to a new sheet of photo paper and put it into whatever generic transparent case I can find for it. I’m set. Yes, there are other newer designs out there for the new iPhones, but I like this one.


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Mr Fixit Does Not Give Up Easily

November 21st, 2022

To All Who Come To This Happy Place…Go Away…

Like a lot of Disneyphiles, I’m glad Chapek is gone. But digging into it I really doubt Iger is going to reverse any of the obstacles Chapek put up to my enjoying Walt Disney World like I used to, like I was hoping to in my retirement years.

It seems the fact that singles can’t make dining reservations in many of the nicer in park restaurants, the park reservation system, and the god awful new model annual pass system, now called Magic Keys, are parts of a single whole designed to allow management to keep operating costs down by running things with fewer staff.

Initially I was under the impression, like a lot of people, that the park reservation system was for keeping down the crowds. This was a logical conclusion given it was rolled out during the COVID-19 closures. But COVID was a convenient time to implement something I now learn was being planned long before. Management sees it as a way of spreading out attendance and allowing them to keep staffing needs down. The way the Magic Keys work fits into that scheme and even then it looks like they really don’t want to allow anyone to buy new ones because the upper level Keys make it easier to get park reservations. So the Keys have to be limited too.

Story now is for one day new Key purchases were allowed, but you had to get into some sort of digital line to get one and some are saying they waited in excess of 20 hours only to be told the line was closed and no new Keys would be sold. It used to be you just went onto the website and bought an annual pass like you would tickets. No more. Because the entire system is being geared to keeping their operating costs down by keeping the need for staff down.

This is how singles not being able to make dining reservations fits into it. A server can serve a table of two or more, preferably an entire family of four or more. But the same work goes into serving for one and the tab is smaller. So they’re trying to keep single diners out. I’ve written here before about how I’ve talked about that with the Cast Members, none of whom liked the change and all of whom advised me to just make a reservation for two and show up as one. But that’s bullshit.

So I strongly doubt Iger is going to reverse any of that. But it’s what’s keeping me from going back.

My DVC points are still on the market but nobody has bitten yet, probably because interest in making Disney World a yearly or twice yearly thing is waning. What I hate about all this is the MAGA mob is going to say Disney is losing money because of their gay friendly policies. But no. They’re losing money because because they’re making their repeat guests miserable and eventually people stop going.

For most of my life I thoroughly enjoyed myself vacationing at the beach, or on the road. I don’t have to make additional reservations separate from my hotel ones to drive the highways or go to the beach. Usually I don’t have to make any to get a nice meal somewhere. I just show up and ask if it’s okay I sit at the bar. Last year I visited Richmond and found some really nice places to eat and to wander around. I had to buy train tickets and make a hotel reservation. I didn’t have to make a reservation to enter Richmond. Last week I took a brief getaway to Ocean City New Jersey. I just showed up at the Port O Call and asked if they had a room. They did, it was off season so they had plenty. I didn’t have to make a reservation to walk on the boardwalk. I didn’t have to make a reservation to look at the ocean and hear its waves breaking on the shore.

I only started going to Walt Disney World back in 2008, after I discovered my high school crush was working there. He insisted I come down for a visit. “It’s your heritage man…baseball apple pie and Mickey Mouse…what’s wrong with you?” So I went and I’m old enough to remember watching TV when Walt Disney was alive and that first moment I went through the gate at Epcot it all came back to me and I was hooked. If Iger turns it around and I can have the same experience I had before Chapek I reckon I’ll go back again. But I don’t think he can. I’m not even sure he would want to. They’ve baked it all into the system now.

When Walt Disney opened the gates to Disneyland he stepped up to the microphone to dedicate the park. He began by saying, “To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land.” But it isn’t anymore. And especially if you’re single like I am.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on To All Who Come To This Happy Place…Go Away…

September 9th, 2022

Disney Pride

I took my morning walk here in Disney Springs. I wanted to check out the Disney stores here just to see if any Pride stuff was still being sold. I began to wonder if Disney wasn’t pulling back on that a bit after I looked in the pin traders store and didn’t see any rainbows.

I shouldn’t have worried…

There was a Pride Collection stand in the Disney Store, right where everyone could see it, and it had customers. I have a card with money on it from points I’ve accumulated and just now I used up a little over half of my Disney Money. 

That mug especially gets to me. This isn’t cheap marketing. I was here a month after the Pulse murders. I saw the shock in everyone’s faces here and in the surrounding community of Orlando. It changed the mindset here.

Yes we are a market. Disney leaves no money on the table. But what happened at Pulse woke everyone up. 49 dead, 53 wounded. I saw how shocked Orlando was. I saw the shock in the Disney cast members. Some, seeing my rainbow Mickey pin (which back then was the Peace Rainbow, not the Pride rainbow…but it was close enough) had stories they told me about friends and co-workers who were either there that night, or knew someone who was. Everyone seemed shell shocked by it. There’s woke for you. After that, the Pride merchandise began appearing. No more take our money and look the other way. Now we are embraced.

We see you Ron DeSantis. We see you MAGA. Our families see you too. And all our friends. We are embraced. We are family. We Belong. You will never change that.

I was strolling around the Disney Springs Marketplace Co-Op and saw they’re busy with celebrating the Walt Disney World 50th with all sorts of call backs to the 70s. It just brought it all back again…that time in my life. I’d forgotten until I started coming back here again how much Disney’s vision of the future had been wired into me back then.

I complain about the changes going on around here, and Chapek’s seemingly bottomless need to squeeze the guests. But tell you what…as long I can walk into the parks knowing I’m with (mostly) other Disney kids, and it’s still a small world after all, and there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day, I reckon I’ll keep coming back.

My inner Mouseketeer, geeky, socially awkward, gay, knows he belongs here. It’s a small world after all.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Disney Pride

September 4th, 2022

A Change Of Scenery

Vacation” becomes an awkward concept when you’re retired. Isn’t every day a vacation? Kind of? Okay, there is housework to do. Yardwork. Appointments to keep with the doctor, the mechanics. But it isn’t like you’re living to the clock anymore. What “Vacation” becomes instead I think, is Change of Scenery.

And to that effect I and my car (Spirit, the Mercedes-Benz diesel sedan) are boarding the AutoTrain soon for a trip to Florida and Disney World (is it even Walt Disney World anymore?) and a first time visit to Universal. As usual, neighbors and the alarm company will watch the house while I’m away. My new alarm system has cameras inside and out I can monitor remotely, and I can even let a neighbor inside remotely to check on things if that’s necessary. 

I’m trying Universal this next Florida trip since Chapek seems not to want us middle class retirees at Disney World anymore, and single people aren’t allowed to make dinner reservations in a lot of spots I used to love. Universal is smaller and its tickets are about where Disney’s are in terms of price. But they aren’t doing park reservations, they have a bunch of interesting stuff in there, singles can make dining reservations and there is an actual Margaritaville restaurant on the premises. I’ve been to the original Margaritaville in Key West, and the food and drink were very good. Loved the atmosphere, loved the Cheeseburger In Paradise. We’ll see if the one at Universal is as good.

And…if I like it enough they have annual passes that cost and work almost exactly like the old Disney annual passes did. Plus there is also an interesting 1950s themed hotel on premises that I might use for stays when I’m not doing DVC.

And this trip it all fitted together as if by pixie dust and magic. I had to truncate the end of my initial birthday week stay in my DVC room to be back in time for my class reunion. So I added some days at the beginning at a hotel on hotel row near Disney Springs. My two days of Disney park tickets don’t start until I check into my DVC room, so there were several days I was expecting to do nothing except Disney Springs, and maybe the miniature golf spots which are fun. Now I can do a couple days at Universal instead.

I bought two park hopping days at Universal (they only have two parks, three if you count the new water park), and downloaded their app to manage it all, just like I do with the Disney app. Supposedly there are busses that will shuttle you from hotels on hotel row to Universal. Or I can do a Lyft.

I paid for the tickets using my Disney Card. Hahahahaha… They offer me a Universal card I might just get it.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Change Of Scenery

August 12th, 2022

Walt Disney’s Conservatism – Not What The Kook Pews Think

I’m bellyaching about all the ways Chapek is trashing the Disney parks, and remark offhandedly that I’m basically still going for my birthday vacation in part to give the middle finger to DeSatan and all the batshit crazy Florida republicans. A friend remarks that it’s ironic since Walt Disney himself wasn’t very accepting. True enough. While he lived.

Walt Disney died in 1966. Stonewall would not happen for another three years. 

Walt while he lived was no friend of the gay community for sure. He fired Tommy Kirk after he found out Tommy was gay. And there’s a story that occasionally makes the rounds of the time animator Art Babbitt, who did the dancing mushrooms in Fantasia, told Walt he was taking piano lessons to better understand music and Walt snapped at him “What are you some kind of fag or something?” He was probably having a bad day that day. He was known for his temper. And…his cigarette habit.

But something people forget about Disney…yes he was a conservative man, he hated his unions, he was friends with Reagan, Linkletter, that conservative Hollywood gang…but conservatives back then were a much different from the lunatics we have today. And Walt was fairly typical of the breed. He had one foot in Main Street USA, but he had the other in Tomorrowland. He was a man of science, he believed in progress. E.P.C.O.T. was supposed to be his Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.

In all of Disney’s educational nature films, in all of his science films, in his movies, I do not recall Any mention of God. There’s evolution. There’s science and physics. There’s “The American Way”. Yes, they’re all “Family” movies (There’s a story about how appalled he was when Annette started appearing on screen in a bikini in all those teen beach movies). Maybe I just missed a few God references, but that would be because they were never front and center. Science was. The American Way was. Family was. Yes Disney was a conservative, but he was also a man of science. Once upon a time that was unremarkable. And he believed in progress.

And because of that, I think he would, had he lived (which would take a Lot of pixie dust and magic since he’d be well over 100 now) he would have eventually accepted the science that’s been saying since the 1950s that there is nothing wrong with us. I do believe he would have eventually come to see gay people as part of the human family too. Which would be good, because there are much Much worse examples to be setting for gay kids than the ones Disney would.

They say Disney would be appalled at all the Pride merchandise you see now at his Parks. What I think is he’d be spitting nails to see a man like Donald Trump in his Hall Of The Presidents. He’d have closed it down first, and made it like his Lincoln one man show in Disneyland California. If Trump is ever dragged into court over his keeping and probably sharing this country’s nuclear secrets with other countries, we’ll see how they handle that in Florida.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Walt Disney’s Conservatism – Not What The Kook Pews Think

August 11th, 2022

Park Hopper, Water Park Option…Hey, Where’d The Magic Option Go?

Saw the following in my Google News stream, in an article about how Disney isn’t entirely happy with the money its making in the parks. This is about Disneyland but I would hazard a guess it also applies to Disney World…

The Walt Disney Company revenue grew as a whole, but further down in the report, Disney states that the Parks encountered an “unfavorable attendance mix” which it claims is the reason for lower Park ticket profits.

The report claims that per-capita ticket revenue was up due to Genie+ and Lightning Lane but quite offset by actual Disneyland attendance. This is most likely referencing the controversial and hot-button topic of MagicKey renewals, something Disney has remained very quiet on as of late.

If they still had the original Annual Pass system I’d still be a pass holder. But it seems as soon as Chapek got hold of the reins he wanted to eliminate the annual passes, and replace them with something more revenue enhancing. Thus, I wasn’t even alerted to when my pass was to expire. I knew when it was about to expire but I also knew there would be no more annual passes, but this new MagicKey thing which was hideously more expensive for less access than the annual passes were. So I bailed. I think a lot of people did. Now they’re not even for sale anymore, and probably when (if) they ever become available again they’ll be a limited number of them and you and I won’t get a chance to buy one anyway.

So that leaves us with the standard tickets. You buy one of those you are paying the max per day price, and only for the few days that the tickets are good for.

I bought two, thinking (incorrectly) that I’d still visit my favorite restaurants on my birthday week. As it turns out, they don’t let single diners make reservations at those spots anymore, but never mind… I bought two tickets, or rather, one ticket for two days at the parks. But you’re not actually getting two days, you’re getting two days in a five day window. You don’t have to use them on consecutive days, but you have to do the second day no more than four days after you use your first day.

I added the park hopper plus which allows me to hop to another park after 2PM, or visit a water park that day. (only Typhoon Lagoon is currently open), depending on whether or not the park you want to hop to is at capacity. At the moment you only need a park reservation for the first park you enter, not the one you hop to after 2PM, if you can. The water parks don’t need a park reservation currently.

So, two days within five days of each other, park hopper and water park option: grand total is 330 dollars. Well…and 22 cents. And you still need park reservations for whichever two parks you want to visit first on those two days.

I won’t go into how all this is so different, so Constraining, compared to before Chapek took over, but this is what’s being forced on the customers now, who previously had annual passes, or bought tickets as needed, and the uproar online at least is hot and furious.

So the per ticket revenue is down is it? Well I can’t spend any money on dining when I can’t get reservations. And if just getting into a park is this expensive, And complex, it sure isn’t fun anymore either. And that could be a problem.

I remember some years ago, I’m sitting in one of my favorite Disney bars, the Tune-In Lounge in Hollywood Studios. I’m talking to a man seated next to me who is taking a break from the family he’s with and we start talking about the cost of doing Disney. This was before Chapek started jacking up prices on Everything (including the ice machines in some hotels). He says to me…

You know, they talk a lot about magic here. Let me tell you how the magic works. You walk into a park here with maybe 100 dollars in your pocket, and you walk back out with maybe five. The magic is they make you want to do it again the next day.

But that was then. This is now.

I have seen this obsessive focus on profit margin at every little point no matter how trivial drag companies into the gutter. Disney is probably big enough they can survive on media revenue instead of what they used to make in the parks. But the parks used to be their big money makers and they’re not fun anymore, and the magic isn’t what it used to be.

I might not even go back next year. I’m doing it this year in large part to flip the bird at DeSantis and Florida republicans. But if Chapek is going to keep flipping the bird at park goers than why even bother.

But this year anyway, I still want to give some love to my inner Mouseketeer. It’s his birthday after all.




by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

December 12th, 2021

Not Walt Disney World, But Disney World

…as in Disney the big media conglomerate.  I discovered an Epcot parody account on Twitter the other day that’s pretty brutal…

There was a time I would have absolutely hated this. But with all the changes to the parks that have happened in the last few years, and the blatant disrespect I keep seeing for the theming, and for Walt Disney’s vision, I’m kinda enjoying it. There’s the big screen TV they put on the wall in the Belle Vue Lounge, so people could watch their sports broadcasts there? Have I mentioned how much I despise that? The theming is it’s a turn of the 19th century Coney Island boardwalk hotel, and the Belle Vue Lounge was a small out of the way spot where you could relax, enjoy a drink in one of the old fashioned leather chairs, and listen to one of the old radios playing The Green Hornet, Jack Benny, or Studio One. It’s supposed to be from a time before television. But no…some complete moron decided it needed a big screen TV. I suppose because there isn’t a sports bar anywhere nearby…

I think that was when I began to question management’s commitment to the theming of the parks. I forget whether that was before or after they replaced The Writer’s Stop with a Beer Taproom, because Starbucks couldn’t abide the competition for coffee and pastries, and selling alcohol to adults is more important than selling books to kids. And then they replaced the Great Movie Ride with Mickey’s Runaway Railroad. Get me started on the new look of Walt Disney’s cartoon characters…

But I’m been slowly coming to a place of acceptance. It isn’t Walt Disney’s World anymore, it’s Disney World, and Disney isn’t a keeper of the vision. It’s keeper of the media properties.

Yeah, they still do a lot of good things, especially when it comes to treating their LGBT customers like everyone else. Yeah I’ll keep coming back. There is still just enough of Walt in there, and enough fun, to keep me coming back. But not nearly as often. I’m giving up my annual pass. In part it’s because if I only go once a year it isn’t buying me anything my DVC membership isn’t already. But mostly it’s the park reservation system, which completely kills any reason I might otherwise have for having an annual pass, even one of the lesser ones with blackout dates.

Basically it’s too much money and not enough Walt Disney. And it’s mostly a hassle, where before it was mostly fun. I feel like I got in just in time to enjoy the last of what was Walt Disney’s World.

Now I’m kinda enjoying this parody account. It sticks the knife in right where I think it belongs.

And it almost reads like it’s being done by someone who either worked there once, or still is and hates the new management…


Oh…They have one at the Belle Vue Lounge! Turn the volume up if the noise coming from all those old radios is bothering you.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Not Walt Disney World, But Disney World

September 13th, 2021

Walt Disney World In A Time Of Plague And Crazy Republican Governors

I did Epcot this afternoon. I had a reservation at Biergarten for 7:50, and I wanted to sample some favorites at the food and wine festival, and maybe find a few new ones. But it was not to be.

Last time I was here, back in March, masks were still a requirement and the park reservation system kept the numbers inside the parks down. The only sit down restaurants that were open were ones that had enough space inside to keep everyone apart and maintain plenty of air flow. Biergarten’s buffet was closed, the server brought you the food as well as your drinks, and you were only seated with the party you came in. No more Oktoberfest seating. It made for a somewhat less enjoyable time, since my favorite thing about Biergarten was I could meet people and chat, which you normally can’t do at a sit down restaurant. But I felt safe.

This time, almost immediately upon entering Epcot, I started feeling uneasy about the crowds, and the new mask policy. I don’t know what the park reservation system is buying them now, but it doesn’t seem to be about keeping the numbers down inside the parks anymore. Epcot was as packed as I’ve usually seen it on a September day. Maybe Disney has some numbers to show that it really isn’t as packed as usual, but above a certain point it makes very little difference: walking around World Showcase Lagoon what I experienced was the same human swarm I always have. This is made worse by the new mask policy, which is you only have to wear them indoors. This would actually be okay if the numbers inside the park was about half what they’re letting in. The weather was nice and there was a steady breeze, which I think would have kept everyone safe if there weren’t so many of us. I wore my mask the entire time I was inside Epcot.

I got to Biergarten early, and peeked inside to see how they were handling serving now. It was basically back to normal, except maybe they were seating groups at every other table now. Okay…fine. But the buffet was back open and I looked and nobody, Nobody, was wearing their masks or keeping a safe distance from the others in line.

I went to a bench outside of Epcot Germany and gave it some heavy thought. I love Biergarten, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to do Disney very much, if at all, after I retire. This might well be my last Disney trip…or at least to the parks. The ticket prices have gone through the roof, the new annual pass system they’re rolling out is horrible, it looks like they’re keeping the park reservation system going forward, COVID or not, and park hopping is only allowed late in the day, and only if there are still reservation slots available where you want to hop to. This, plus all the obnoxious changes they’ve made to the parks since I started going, changes that break the theming, changes that either erase or disrespect what Walt Disney created, have been driving me to an uncomfortable place: I may not want to come back anymore, because it isn’t what I kept coming here for.

Yes, yes…at first it was I wanted to reconnect with my high school crush…that first beautiful guy who made my heart skip a beat. He was the one who encouraged me to come to Walt Disney World when I told him I wasn’t really all that interested in theme parks.

“Come on man…it’s your Heritage! Baseball, Mom, Apple Pie and Mickey Mouse…what’s wrong with you!”

So I came. And when I walked through the park gates into Epcot that first time, it all came back to me.

And now…it isn’t. Well…sometimes it comes back…but it’s like a fading echo. And the cost of admission keeps going up. It’s too much money, and not enough Walt Disney. And now there’s a deadly virus in the air, and there are simple, straightforward practices for keeping yourself and others safe, and they aren’t being followed. I suppose Disney Corp can point their fingers at the insane Florida governor and his helpful crackpots in the statehouse, but now Florida is leading just about the entire planet in new COVID-19 cases and deaths and the biggest employer in the state could, it seems to me, take a stand and I’m not seeing it happening. In fact, the new Disney World COVID-19 warnings they put at the top of their web pages now, basically, at the very end, places the entire responsibility for guest safety from the plague, on the guests:

COVID-19 Warning

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and Guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. So let’s pack more people into the parks and make wearing masks optional in the crowded walkways. Take your chances guest…and have a Magical Day!

There’s a scene in Die Hard with two FBI agents discussing the casualty rate to expect when taking out the terrorists…

“Figure we take out the terrorists. Lose twenty, twenty-five percent of the hostages, tops.”

“I can live with that.”

And I’m wondering how often a similar discussion has occurred in the boardrooms of America. How many Americans do we lose after opening up the bars and restaurants, beaches and theme parks? Twenty-five percent? Tops? Thirty-five? We can live with that…

I simply refuse to believe Walt Disney would. He’d have figured something out, some way of keeping his guests safe while still allowing them to enjoy the parks…he was an innovator who was always thinking about ways to make his parks and rides better. Before he died he was working on his biggest project yet, his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. I think he would have dived into the problem with gusto. Because it was a problem…something to figure out a solution to. No way would he have simply left his guests, let alone his staff, to fend for themselves in an airborne plague. But it’s not Walt Disney’s World anymore…it’s the Disney Corporation’s World.

I opened my iPhone and started my Disney App…but it was too late to cancel the Biergarten reservation, so I reckon I’ll just be a no show for the first time. I try to cancel when I can’t make it, so they can give my seat to someone else. But given the circumstances would I have been doing anyone any favors…really?

I went back to my DVC room…my lovely one bedroom villa…and got onto the Disney website and cancelled all my other reservations for the trip. You can actually have a very nice time just staying at your DVC resort…because they really are their own self contained resorts too. Saratoga Springs like Boardwalk, has three nice pools, and the small ones aren’t crowded at all. There are lovely, really lovely hiking trails, a nice restaurant, snack bar and small grocery. It really is a great place to just hang out and de-stress and that’s the vacation I’ll have now. I’ll hang out on my private balcony with a drink and a snack tray and watch the beautiful Florida skies.

Maybe going forward I’ll keep my DVC points and just do the villas when I come down here, and play music from the old Disney movies on my iPod, and remember what it was like to watch Walt Disney’s TV show when he was still alive, and there was a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Walt Disney World In A Time Of Plague And Crazy Republican Governors

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories,

What I'm Currently Reading...

What I'm Currently Watching...

What I'm Currently Listening To...

Comic Book I've Read Recently...


This page and all original content copyright © 2022 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to:

This blog is powered by WordPress and is hosted at Winters Web Works, who also did some custom design work (Thanks!). Some embedded content was created with the help of The Gimp. I proof with Google Chrome on either Windows, Linux or MacOS depending on which machine I happen to be running at the time.