Essay / Uncategorized

Church Rides at Disneyland

John Mark Reynolds, 2005.

Disneyland Rides by Religious Tradition

In order to lighten the national mood, or do my part in it, I have decided to do some research on which Disneyland rides should be favored by various Christian religious groups. Following hours of field study and reading, the following list is correct to the best of my knowledge. I have given only a brief reason for each of my choices. Rest assured a book could have been written. (In fact, some Radical Orthodox theologian is free to use this as the basis for his/her seminary dissertation “Constantine, Milbank, and Walt: A Biblical Purging of the Hegemony of the Neo-Platonic Disney Ride in the Imagination of the Late Twentieth Century Evangelical with Special References to Ordination of Womyn and the Oppression of the Animals.”)

Ride for All Calvinists: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. No matter what you do, you end up in Hell. It is reported that some elect riders end up in Club 33 at the end. The rest of us have no way to confirm this.

Presbyterian Secondary Ride: Indiana Jones Adventure. In which you discover that no matter what you do, you look in the eyes of the idol. This leads you through hundreds of pre-programmed variations that feel free, but are not. At the end of the ride you discovery you can have wealth, worldly wisdom, or eternal life. You cannot have more than one. The ride decides. There are frequent splits in the ride track.

Lutheran Ride: Splash Mountain. A ride in which you begin wondering what can be so frightening in this particular ride, slowly see your own character leading straight to a fearful doom, but then discover that a terrifying plunge leads straight to your Laughing Place. All of this happens without you ever moving as you are carried along by the Water of the ride. 

Anglican Ride: Alice in Wonderland. It is an English ride after all and that is always cool. Follow a questionable character down a theological hole on an aging ride system and end in post-modern confusion. Did I mention it is English?

Episcopal Church USA Secondary Ride: Mad Tea Party. It will be fun to spin in circles until everyone gets sick!

Continuing Anglican Secondary Ride: Frontierland Shootin’ Exhibition. Having already paid once for your ticket, you get to pay again in order to take shots at pesky varmints that never seem to go away.

General Dispensationalist Ride: Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey. In which you travel by foot through a series of discrete rooms each of which builds up to and naturally leads to the next. At times one wonders if the ride is not a bit unsophisticated for modern tastes, but there are so many delightful details that one soon forgets this fear. In the End, it culminates when some guests are taken away to Meet Mickey. As a result throughout the ride one is aware and eagerly anticipates a great future work for the original Disney character.

Evangelical Feminist Ride: Peter Pan’s Flight. A popular ride with long lines in which all the men are children or child-like, this ride begins in a full nursery, heads whimsically over the edge into Darkness following a charming if irrational leader, thus leaving the nursery empty.

Baptist Ride: Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. In which we discover that one can only become a Real Boy by giving up smoking, pool playing, and drinking.

Southern Baptist Secondary Ride: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Where it is proved once and for all that nobody understands the Southern point of view, but where our Heritage is appreciated, the sound is very good, and the message even better.

Catholic Ride: It’s a Small World. People from all nations gather together. The guest travels in one very stable boat, carried along by very pure Water, but the music in the ride is very annoying.

Vatican II Catholic Secondary Ride: All of Disney’s California Adventure. See it is like this: the old Park is just not cool anymore. It is hard to get teenagers to go. If we build a new park and leave out all the old characters, then we will be cool. Kids will love us. The fact that no one comes at the moment to the new park is not the fault of the new park but of the old park. Maybe we should close the old park?

Latin Mass Secondary Ride: Davey Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. This ride is not fun. In fact, it is hard work. Who expects a ride to be fun? Hard work is no more than park goers have always done. It was good enough for Walt. They don’t build rides like this anymore.

Orthodox Ride: Jungle Cruise. An original Disney ride often overlooked due to its flashier neighbors, it contains the best script in the park which can cause you to further appreciate classic animatronics and overlook residually offensive items because of the ride’s age.

Russian Orthodox Secondary Ride: Pirates of the Caribbean. The most creative ride in the park and it was built by Walt! It is therefore old, beautiful, but full of disreputable characters you should not like but often do.

Greek Orthodox Secondary Ride: Storybook Land Canal Boats. This is a place that contains the best of all the other lands where one admires the age of the ride, the perfect preservation of the parts, its beauty, but secretly wonders if it is not just a bit slow.

Antiochian Orthodox Secondary Ride: Gadget’s Go Coaster. The best roller coaster in the park for its size, but that means it is pretty small.

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