Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nat'l Geo: Orlando's Disneyfication

National Geographic: Orlando
Check out this interesting story from National Geographic: The Theme-Parking, Megachurching, Franchising, Exurbing, McMansioning of America -- How Walt Disney Changed Everything. (Don't look at the date or you'll see how far behind I am with my magazine stack.)

Twenty-five years ago, Orlando seemed a safe haven to those seeking to avoid the immigrants pouring into Miami and reshaping life all over the country. "Will the last American to leave please bring the flag?" the saying went. But as the sudden death of the Big 100s [oldies radio station] demonstrated, Miami was a forecast, not an aberration. Today there are about 400,000 Hispanics in the Orlando area—20 percent of its entire population.

...Kissimmee, south of Orlando and just east of Disney World, has gone from being a cowboy town to mostly Hispanic in less than ten years. The tentacles of diversity have penetrated Disney World too. Few tourists realize it, but when their kids hug Goofy and Minnie they might be embracing low-wage workers from places like Sri Lanka and the Dominican Republic.


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