11 February 2014

Just Push Play

It seems like there have been a lot of goodbyes in Walt Disney World recently. In particular goodbyes to things that may not seem like the biggest and best parts of Walt Disney World, but certainly parts that have comprised the heart and soul of the resort for a long time. A while back it was Sid Cahuenga’s and, as we learned over the weekend, today it is PUSH.

On Sunday Walt Disney World released information to Cast Members that the contract for PUSH had expired and that there were not currently any plans to bring a similar form of entertainment to Tomorrowland. Could this be contract strategy, similar to the almost constant battles between cable providers and various channels? Absolutely, and we may see PUSH return soon. Of course, it could also be a done deal and PUSH has taken his last photograph and had his last conversation with guests.

PUSH has been such an intricate piece of the Magic Kingdom fabric for a long time. He has been involved in video podcasts, countless family photographs, and special events, up to and including proposals and weddings. Once guests have had a single interaction with PUSH, they will dedicate prime park-going time, valuable vacation currency, to searching out the serenading and occasionally, well, pushy conversational trash receptacle. That’s what you call an impression, folks.

We may forget, between the character interactions and masterful architecture as storytelling device, that Walt Disney World is a business. At some point there is a bottom line, and PUSH and his operator may have finally found theirs. That doesn’t mean that we have to happy about it.

The parks were always meant to be a continually evolving environment. Musical acts and stage shows have come and gone with regularity over the years, just as attractions have adapted and/or been replaced. PUSH has played an important role in the entertaining of guests in Tomorrowland for several years, but perhaps he has taken his final bow, err… roll in the parks.

I’m not going to gripe about PUSH leaving, and I’m not going to gnash my teeth about the continuing changes seen throughout Walt Disney World in recent years. What I will do is find a corner of my heart and mind to tuck away my many interactions with PUSH. You were a smile inducing bucket of trash, and I wouldn’t trade a single encounter with you for the world. Thank you, PUSH! You will be missed.

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