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Interesting article on Orlando Tourism on Salon

"Before Sept. 11, residents loved to gripe at the out-of-state visitors clogging Orlando. But then they were gone."

From Matt G
Posted March 11, 2002 at 9:54 AM
"Before Sept. 11, residents loved to gripe at the out-of-state visitors clogging Orlando. But then they were gone."

http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/03/11/orlando/index.html


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted March 12, 2002 at 1:23 PM
Sure, it's interesting. But not all that engaging. I thought it was kind of a hip-shot, clumsily trying to make some of the same points that the Sentinel made in its rather devastating piece a few months ago.

The most interesting statement was "We hate tourists when they're here, but we hate them even more when they aren't." But after writing that, Elizabeth Randall drops the subject, and goes off on a rehash of the Sentinel's series.

I would have loved to see her really explore that point instead.

From James Adams
Posted March 12, 2002 at 1:36 PM
Yeah sure, most of the article was about how Orlando is married to the mouse. That's such old news that there are several books about it.

The idea that the billboards are reflecting (or creating) a culture of tourism-hate is MUCH more interesting. What a fascinating observation! I have always viewed those billboards as reflective of society's increasing interest in "high wire" rides. If one was to adopt a more Freudian view, one would assume that these visions are latent symbols of aggression towards tourists. Freud would probably say that even thrill rides themselves are deep-seeded manifestations of death instincts. I wish the author had explored the idea further. I am not sure I agree with the article but interesting nevertheless.

From Robert Niles
Posted March 12, 2002 at 2:32 PM
Yes, I think many Orlandoans derive schadenfreude from the tourists.

(Schadenfreude is a great German word for 'enjoyment at the troubles of others.' It's the type of word that writers for publications like Salon typically delight in using, so I'm surprised the author didn't use it here. After all, it's pretty much the topic of the piece.)

My question is, who enjoys the greater schadenfreude? Those who live up in Lake Mary and Altamonte, who rarely make their way down to Lake Buena Vista and I-Drive, or the folks who live amongst the tourists and make their living off them?

My opinion: Let's just say that a true sadist ain't gonna miss the opportunity to spend as much time as possible among the suffering.

Gratitude? Schmatitude.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted March 13, 2002 at 7:08 AM
Lisa Simpson: Dad, do you know what Schadenfreude is?

Homer Simpson: No, I do not know what Schadenfreude is. Please tell me, because I'm dying to know.

Lisa: It's a German term for "shameful joy," taking pleasure in the suffering of others.

Homer: Oh, come on, Lisa. I'm just glad to see him fall flat on his butt!


Homer: What's the opposite of that "shameful joy" thing of yours?

Lisa: Sour grapes.

Homer: Boy, those Germans have a word for everything.

(Yes, I know I am a dork. Thanks for asking!)

I thought the article was a bit moronic. First she insults tourists in a horribly unfunny manner, then she whines about them staying away. Then she goes on and gives an example of how little money Orange County receives from the state. Ummm, then the problem isn't with the tourists, but with your government, lamebrain! Later she admits the tourists are coming back, which started happening a whopping two months after the attacks. She doesn't mention, just like Disney doesn't ever mention, that the problems started BEFORE the summer of 2001. Disney hotels were below 50% capacity throughout summer. Then to top it all off, she tries to end the whole thing the way it began by showcasing the differences in advertising methods both before and after the attacks. "Before" are those "thrilling" billboards that line I-4. "After" are those cutesy-poo Park Hopper commercials on television. Problem is, those commercials have been around for about two years. Nothing like a lie, or poor research, to make you not trust a word of the rest of it.

This woman clearly has Schadenfreude out the ying-yang. She hates the tourists when they are there. Hates them when they are gone. Hates her government. Hates DOING anything about her government. Hates the town where she lives. Hates the theme parks that made the town where she lives. Yet, she DID use the phrase "To be fair."

From Robert Niles
Posted March 13, 2002 at 1:25 PM
God, I love a good Simpsons reference....

I've got to get off my butt and go pitch something to Salon about theme parks.

From Tim Hillman
Posted March 13, 2002 at 2:09 PM
Ow! That article is depressing. It's almost as bad as the regular skit on Hee Haw where the cast sings "Gloom, despair, agony on me..." (except that Hee Haw was funny) Does this chick think that she's being sophisticated by being so negative? All she does is demonstrate a profound lack of maturity with her half-defined statements. I also wonder if her comments about the President and the Governor of Florida would be made if democrats were in both positions like they were a few years ago. If so, this article never would have been published in Salon.

My impression of the article is that it is a cheap shot at the locals as well as the tourists. Central Florida has a lot more going for it than the author lets on although to hear her tell it, the place is full of angry, frustrated people. The author should confine her therapy sessions to the psychologist's office and get some Prozac.

From Anonymous
Posted March 14, 2002 at 11:29 AM
Elizabeth Randall is yet another ignorant freelance writer who thinks she speaks for everyone through her work. Get off the cross, Liz, we need the wood!

As a native Orlando resident, I was embarrassed to read the article. Not only does it contain gross exaggerations, but it presents an extremely one-sided view. Most Orlando residents complain about tourists at one time or another, but comments are generally confined to their driving and/or tipping habits. Furthermore, most of us realize the economic benefit provided by the tourists and choose to take the good with the bad. That is, after all, why we choose to remain living here.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted March 15, 2002 at 6:15 AM
But these are words from a woman who clearly doesn't deal with tourists on a daily basis, which makes it worse. Maybe hearing these things from someone who works on International Drive would carry a little weight, but this is clearly written by a woman who goes NOWHERE NEAR tourist central. Plus, her stereotypes aren't really stereotypes. Like tourists not using the correct setting for their camera lens or whatever. (I am NOT going back and reading that article again for the proper quote!) I have never seen a tourist with a camera that had multiple lenses that didn't know what he or she was doing. Now maybe if she said something about allowing the camcorder to stay on auto-focus at night, then she wouldn't come off as such a snobby moron.

From Steve Moore
Posted March 19, 2002 at 5:58 PM
As an English 'Tourist' and five time visitor to Orlando I wish to make the following point.

I was on holiday in Orlando during the terrible events of september and within three days of the Attacks and the subsequent ban on flights, I-Drive started to resemble a ghost town, with no new arrivals many of the Restaurants and other attractions seemed virtually empty. One restaurant owner told me he was working at 25% of normal business level!

All I can say to the whining Journalists who wish the tourists were not there is:

Be very carefull what you wish for as one day you just might get it! What then?

Personally, I think the people of Orlando should be very proud of what they have created, they are some of the friendliest and most genuine people I have ever met.
I look forward to visiting again when finances allow.

Regards

Steve

From Rob Owens
Posted March 20, 2002 at 5:04 AM
I was there too. We went to Universal a couple of days later and there was less than 1000 people there.

I know what you are saying regarding the influence tourism has to the success of the Orlando area and I agree with you but 11/09 also kept the locals and US nationals away.

We were out there with my fiancee's family who are from Georgia and they, like many, were in no mood for fun.

From Anonymous
Posted March 20, 2002 at 7:51 PM
I went To IOA last saturday and almost all the lines were a hour long

From Kevin Baxter
Posted March 21, 2002 at 7:46 AM
Lines have been like that since November. And Orlando is usually a ghost town in November! The parks are back, but they don't want you to know that. They want you to feel sorry for them and visit.

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