There are things I could do to make Your Souvenir Guide more popular. No, no, you don’t need to spare my feelings; I know that no one is reading this. Even the sub-culture of Disney theme park geeks (er, “enthusiasts”) at which this editorial is squarely aimed rarely interacts with Your Souvenir Guide, even when I say something pointlessly inflammatory. (The Disney Cruise Line is floating bullshit.) There are myriad ways to promote a blog, and I should be doing them. I should create a YSG page on Facebook. I should post more often than bi-annually. And I should optimize this content for maximum exposure in search engine results.
This latter process is called “search-engine optimization”—SEO for short—and it’s killing English as you know it. I don’t fully understand SEO, but I do know that it requires the writer to use keywords in places that keywords wouldn’t usually go. If you want people to find your unofficial Disneyland theme park blog, you need to use that phrase as often as possible. Under the terms of SEO, the new headline for this entry would be:
Unofficial Disneyland theme park blog: Disney applies SEO practices to its theme parks
I’d need to put “unofficial Disneyland theme park blog” in the first sentence of the piece, as well. SEO isn’t an art, it’s a science, and not even a noble science, like distilling gin or playing “Angry Birds.” SEO is rude, crude and in yo’ face. And I’m far behind the times in not adopting it, seeing as Disney has been using something like to name all its new attractions over the past few years.
Consider. Until recently, Disney could name its attractions however it wanted, without regard for the thematic source; a dark ride based on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? could be called Roger Rabbit’s Toon Car Spin, and a dark ride based on a Toy Story character could be called Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. It was enough to use the name of the character in the attraction name; the kids could figure out the rest.
Recently, though, Disney has been leaving nothing to chance. They’ve begun to stick the name of the source material right at the front of the attraction name. If they feel there’s more to be said—if “Monsters Inc.” doesn’t fully describe the experience of an attraction—they add a clumsy subtitle.
Toy Story Midway Mania
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue!
Now, I’m just a freelance journalist untrained in the Imagineering arts, but it seems to me that with but a couple of exceptions, very few of those names make sense if you haven’t seen the movies they’re based on. (Believe it or not, there are still people on this planet who have never seen a Pixar film. Yeah. I know, right?) I could get worked up about this, or I could offer my help — and that’s what I intend to do, right now. I won’t tell Disney how to fix these attraction names to make them more attractive to the ear, but I will optimize every other attraction in the Parks so these new attractions don’t stand out as much. Here’s are a few examples of the SEO modifications I’ve conceived thus far:
Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs Scary Adventures
Finding Nemo: Themed Science Exhibit with Aquarium
Star Wars The Clone Wars Episode 3.5: Star Tours 2
Song of the South Splash Mountain (please visit NAACP.com)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Captain Jack Sparrow Shows Up Three Times
Toy Story: Toy Story Midway Mania!
Next week, I’ll explain how every bathroom at Disney’s theme parks could be improved with the addition of character photo locations. I swear, this stuff comes to me in dreams.