Note: This is the article that brought the mighty Disney Corporation to its knees! How? Everyone remembers that in 1994 Disney was planning to build a big, probably very farby, theme park called "Disney's America" to a site in Virginia. Reenactors and preservationists were up in arms since the site was perilously close to the Manassas battlefield park. Clearly, something had to be done. Taking up my legendary poison keyboard, I wrote this scathing article. Just after it ran in the September 1994 Camp Chase Gazette, the Disney executives, seeing as how damage control was now impossible, quit the field and announced the park would not be built after all. So remember, Virginia: You have Jonah Begone to thank for saving you from the Pocahontasization of your history! - Jonah


Disney's Amerika

by Jonah and Honoria Begone

Cartoon by Paul Rogers


Thanks to Jonah's superior skills and knowledge of computer networking, he has been able to hack into the main file server to DisneyNet, the computer network used by the Walt Disney Company. Reprinted below - in the interest of historical preservation - is the planning document for the new "Disney Amerika" park, approved by Disney executives. Obviously, the situation at Haymarket is worse than we thought! Instead of a carefully-researched presentation of real American history reviewed and approved by knowledgeable re-enactor authenticity committees, we're going to get an excruciatingly politically correct, corporate version of American history. Write to your congressman--er, person--today! Don't let your descendants (or your forebears) know you stood idly by while this atrocity was being built!

Disney's Amerika - Vision Statement (Final Draft)

Approved, M. Eisner 5/23/94

Come one, come all to Haymarket, Virginia, land of history, wealthy elitist landowners, narrow-minded small-town rednecks and misguided conservationists. Experience all the majesty, emotion and warmth of AMERIKA, brought to you by the imagineering experts at Walt Disney.

"Gaston's Land of Masculinity": An AudioAnimatronic (tm) Betty Friedan invites guests to discuss how Amerika's history has been corrupted by testosterone-poisoned male stereotypes. Exciting performances of Helen Reddy hits in the Gloria Steinem Auditorium by the Prince Charming Bobbitteers. The shooting gallery (the firearms will be made entirely of orange Day-Glo plastic) features targets representing such Disney reprehensibles as Gaston and the terrible hunters who shot Bambi's mother.

"Differently-Enabled Land": AudioAnimatronic (tm) representations of the Seven Dwarves, Captain Hook and Generals McClellan and Hood describe the many obstacles overcome by persons of short stature and other handicaps.

"Child Labor Land": Cinderella hosts a hands-on educational display of how minor persons supported the morally-questionable war effort of the industrial North during the Civil War. Young guests are invited to roll cartridges for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund.

"The Enchanted Endangered Species Room": Concern for the environment is encouraged by chattering mechanical spotted owls, macaws and bald eagles. [Delete Bald Eagles--they're no longer endangered - M.E.] Sponsored by the Sierra Club.

"It's A Global Village": AudioAnimatronic (tm) Jasmine, Aladdin, and Jungle Book's Mowgli (a kid with an alternative family if there ever was one) present an Omnimax video tour of the nation's various ethnic enclaves, featuring their lifestyles and activities. Note that only positive images will be shown--ethnic gang violence will be scrupulously avoided. Sponsored by 7-Eleven/Southland Corp.

"The Hall of the President": An AudioAnimatronic (tm) President Bill Clinton movingly tells tragic, individual stories of how conventional health care systems fail ordinary Americans while AudioAnimatronic presidents Washington, Lincoln, Eisenhower and Kennedy, standing in the background, nod their heads approvingly. Sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.

"Animal Rights Land": Guests are allowed to pull a twenty-mule team through a simulated desert to illustrate the shameful history of Amerikan animal exploitation. Guests may hear a first animal impressionist of Little Sorrel, who narrates his tale of survival during his arduous and meandering 1862 trek of the Shenandoah Valley. The 3-D, 70mm Dolby presentation of Disney's new feature "101 Pit Bulls - First Bite," in which Cruella deVille repents of her evil fur-loving ways, is also presented.

"The Haunted Amerikan Home": Only the very brave need enter. Radon, lead-based paint, dangerous detergents and cleaning agents, fresh chicken on a wooden cutting board, uncovered electrical outlets and no spout protectors in a slippery porcelain bathtub are featured in this thrill ride. Sponsored by OSHA.

"Denounce Racism Land": An AudioAnimatronic (tm) Abraham Lincoln narrates an historical overview of wrong thinking in Amerika. Includes 24-hour continuous replayings of the instructional "Song of the South," with a Disney representative issuing sincere corporate apologies. In the Beulahland Plantation area, Uncle Remus leads guests in a symbolic burning of Nathan Bedford Forest-theme historical art prints, the charter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and Confederate battle flags. Petitions to remove Confederate soldier statues in nearby Alexandria and elsewhere will be available for signing by guests. Also features school, team, and mascot-renaming contests.

"Revolutionary War Land": Guests will be carefully and securely strapped into their seats as a simulator takes them on a fifteen-minute tour of the Revolution--from Paul Revere's maltreatment of an equine co-inhabiter through the Surrender of Eurocentrics at Yorktown. An AudioAnimatronic (tm) George Washington will explain each and every tactical mistake made by himself and other white male patriarchs, including the Founding Fathers' pesky errors and short-sightedness in writing the Constitution.

"Mexican War Land": An AudioAnimatronic Pancho Villa presents the Disney Company's plans to cede Disneyland back to Mexico, explaining how this is a major first step toward the re-empowerment of Mexico, citing the injustice and tragic results of the 1849 war annexing California from Mexico. Reenactors stage the storming of the Alamo twice daily. Sponsored by Frito-Lay. (Hey, wait a minute. We'd better re-think the part about giving that cash cow over to a third-world country--M.E.)

As the times change, so will Disney's Amerika. History, after all, is both subjective and fluid. It is also essential for every attraction at Disney's Amerika to be non-controversial. Disney's Amerika plans to be on the cutting edge of every new political and historical idea, realizing that the facts are no longer either commonly known by the general public, or even relevant. All attractions are designed to keep that all-important cash flow coming! And if it goes the way of EuroDisney--who cares? This time we've stuck the taxpayers with the bill!

(handwritten signature, "Mike")