The old theme song for the “Disneyland” TV show had a sweet uplifting message: “When you wish upon a star/ Makes no difference who you are/ Your dreams come true.”
Well… your dreams might not come true if the lawyers for Disney Inc. have their way. The powerful media empire is suing the city of Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland, to put a permanent stop to a housing development in the city’s resort district, which is where the giant theme park is located. The corporate lawyers assert that the suit is necessary to protect the domain of Mickey & Goofy from “inappropriate development.”
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What’s the problem? It seems that the proposal to build 1,500 condominiums and apartments includes – gasp! – 225 units for lower-income residents. The amusement corporation is not amused by this development, declaring that such people would be out of place in an area meant for tourists.
Wait a minute, hollered local advocates for affordable housing. Who in the name of Holy Walt Disney do you think works in Disneyland? The people you’re dressing up in costumes, the people selling the tickets and managing the crowds, the people cooking and selling food – the people who make the place work – they get paid low wages by you, and they are the very ones who need low-cost housing near their jobs.
Get out of here, bark the Disney lawyers – we’ve got to make sure that “the vision” of a fantasy world is protected, and that vision definitely does not include having tourists pass a bunch of worker’s apartments when they’re on their merry way to see Cinderella. Besides, Disney Inc. has its own plans to see this 26-acre parcel developed as a nice, upscale, hotel-condominium project. So go away, before we hit you with Cinderella’s mop.
This is Jim Hightower saying… Actually, sirs, you might recall that Cinderella was a low-wage worker. It just shows that Disney’s honchos really do live in a fantasyland.
“Disney Sues Anaheim Over Housing Plan,” The Associated Press, February 27, 2007.
“Disney Sues Anaheim over development,” The Orange County Register, February 27, 2007.
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