Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Spiderman v Mickey

     My family and I went to WaltDisney World last week. We've gone there several times and we've always enjoyed it. One thing we did a little differently this time was spend one day at Universal Studios Orlando because my youngest wanted to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
     We all ended up hating it.
     We found the workers at Universal to be rather rude.
     We bought the Express pass, their version of Disney's FastPass, which was supposed to allow you to go in the shorter line for each ride. Except it didn't work on the best Harry Potter rides.
John: I guess they don't tell you that part when you buy it.
Attendant, quite snippliy: Yes, it did tell you that. And you had to check a box saying you knew that before the machine would spit them out.
John: Well, I didn't by them at the machine, I bought them online...
     When we asked another worker how long the wait was for lunch she basically ignored us. Another, at the front where they were selling the express passes, stood at her kiosk kind of glaring at people daring them to approach her. Everything seemed a little less ... friendly.
     One ride we took was technically fantastic. I don't know the Spiderman universe so I didn't understand it all, but it was 3D and really well done. He saved us from all the villains, and webbed us down from the top of a building and it was lots of fun. Then the ride was over, and and the cars pulled in to the end, and there was a huge sign that sternly warned us the 3D glasses were tracked and monitored, and we needed to be sure to hand over all glasses to an attendant. Really?
     It soured me on the entire ride. The worker collected the glasses as she literally placed a hand on our shoulders to usher us out.
     When we pulled into the Ft Wilderness parking lot at Disney that night, John realized we forgot our parking pass. The worker there just asked for our Magic Band. He scanned it and said, "Welcome home, Mr Towriss."
     OK, it might sound like a bit much, but it felt nice after the day we'd had "elsewhere." I'd always thought the Disney workers were a little too perky, but now I understand.
     It made me think about how we represent Jesus to those around us. How often does one interaction, one word, ruin everything we've done to that point?
     We all know how much our behavior matters to others, how much our actions can trump our words. What I realized from this experience was how much one tiny unpleasant exchange of either word or deed can overpower everything else. That Spiderman ride was superb. It could have made up for a lot. Even that horrible sign at the end could have been forgiven if just one of the attendants at the end of the ride had smiled and said, "Have a nice day," or "Enjoy the rest of your stay here," instead of confiscating my glasses like they were the last bottle of water on the Serengeti.
     So the question I have to ask myself, every day, is: Do I want to be like the friends of Spiderman, or Mickey?

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