When my wife and I went backpacking around Europe 10 years ago, we made a vow to each other. After seeing the stunningly blue waters off Greece, the paragliders sailing through the Austrian Alps, the idyllic countryside of Slovenia, we said, “Never will we take our children to Disney World. Why would you need something so manufactured when you have the real world?”
It’s 10 years later. And I left for Disney World on Thursday. The thing I didn’t understand, which, now that I have three boys, I know in my bones is this: You can’t see Buzz Lightyear while backpacking.
Oh well, Walt! You win.
But as a data scientist at a tech company, I have to admit, I’m geeking out over the technology. Disney World is like a petri dish for advanced analytic techniques because the hotels and parks are all tied together in one large, heavily controlled environment. If you ever wanted to star in The Truman Show, a trip to Disney is the next best thing — it feels like a centrally planned North Korea only with more fun, less torture and the same amount of artifice.