The American Theme Park
Exploring Disney World's Consumer Culture
by Ben Whitlock
About the Book
The American Theme Park critically explores the American tourist and consumer culture as it relates to "the happiest place on earth." While not being absorbed into the fantasy of magic and dreams of this corporation, I began studying the people that frequent these locations. Disney's values are worthy at their core, but the habits and mannerisms of its customers have their drawbacks in a contemporary culture of spending. The very idea of selling fantasy has physical and social repercussions for those who purchase it. The contemporary push for healthier foods isn't seen in full effect here; and the shopper's high is induced on every turn and after every ride. Who is to blame? Has the demand for excessive goods and foods driven the park to supply it? Or perhaps the parks are pushing these consumer items onto their guests, artificially creating the demand.
None-the-less, consumers in these parks, as well as other shopping epicenters seem disconnected while shopping, as if they are consumer zombies.