smallworldSpeaking of Disneyland, the famed Small World ride will be closed for a while while it’s upgraded. One of the reasons? The boats that take riders on a wonderful voyage through colorful stereotypes of the world are running aground due to payloads of bigger, fatter Americans.

Heavier-than-anticipated loads have been causing the boats to come to a standstill in two different spots, allowing for an extra-long gander at the Canadian Mounties and the Scandinavian geese, said Al Lutz, whose website MiceAge first reported the refurbishment plans.

“If these boats get stuck . . . they have to send someone back in there to lighten the load on the boat,” said Lutz, who has been on the ride when a guest or two was asked to disembark.

“They’ve even built a platform next to that [Mounties] curve because they’ve had so many problems.”

Disneyland plans to add an inch of depth to the water channel and design more-buoyant boats, Lutz said.

According to the article, Disney is also enlarging the costumes of the Cast Members who run the rides due to rising American girth, We’ll give a hell yeah to that. Back in the 90s when we worked at Disney, we were at Disneyland all the time, and the Cast Members tended to be typical youngsters — the biggest appearance problem was acne. When we went back this past summer, we noted many, many larger pirates, mission control specialists and whatever it is that the people who run “Mr. Toad’s Wild RIde” are supposed to be.

But why should that be any surprise, when the US government heartily discourages farmers who grow healthy fruits and vegetables?

The Farm Bill, a massive piece of federal legislation making its way through Congress, governs what children are fed in schools and what food assistance programs can distribute to recipients. The bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy, which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government supports the production of meat and dairy products—the same products that contribute to our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease. Fruit and vegetable farmers, on the other hand, receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies.


  1. People should actually click through to the article and see the Disney explanation for the boat problem, which seems logical and is not the reason the outsider claims (which is not a statement that one is true or false).
    –Nat (who just rode the “It’s A Small World” ride yesterday, taking my just-turned-three year old on it hoping that she would then get the joke about The Phantom Of The Opera not now being able to get the “It’s a Small World” song out of his head — a joke told in former comics artist Adam Rex’s fine, fine children’s book Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. But alas, they’ve already started running the Christmas version, in which the standard song is mixed in with “Jingle Bells”, thus limiting the drilled-it-into-your-head effect.)

  2. The correlation between healthy eating and being fat isn’t that cut and dried. Lots of thin people are eating incredibly unhealthy stuff as well nowadays. How efficient your metabolism is (fat people have hyper-efficient metabolisms, thin people have inefficient ones) also has to do with exercise, genetics, whether or not you’ve ever put your body through a diet plan (most of which not only don’t work but introduce starvation mode into the equation, which screws with metabolism to the point where one actually winds up gaining back more weight in the long run), as well as all the crap which goes into most foods in the US like high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

  3. I second the high fructose corn syrup. It’s ebil and it’s in everything.

    Even corn itself is now sweeter, a byproduct of breeding for a longer shelf life.

    I’ve moved back to LA three years ago and still haven’t been to Disneyland yet. I hear it’s really not the same anymore (in a bad way).