Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Age-Old Question

Hey folks...

Tonight while hanging with my sister, who will be 21 next May, a question has arisen, and I am feeling the need to sort out my thoughts.

First, a little background. My dad and step-mom have made a sort of tradition of taking us kids (Yes...I'm 28...shut it.) on special vacations when we turn certain ages. When I turned 18, I went to New York where I saw Chicago, Ragtime, and 1776. A great trip. When I turned 21, they took me on my first trip to Vegas. When my sister turned 18 they took her (and fortunately me as well) to Disney World. So... now the time has come to start thinking about where she's gonna go next year when she turns 21. The de-facto option, and ultimately where she'll go is Vegas. Seems obvious really... I don't blame her. I love Vegas. The parents love Vegas. She's a Vegas type of chick.

Still...that got me thinking... What vacation spot do I like better? Disney World or Las Vegas?

I know that it would seem to be an obvious answer, what with my Mickey Mouse tattoo and my insanely detailed knowledge of everything about and surrouding Disney. Well... granted. I love that fucking place.

That said though... Vegas appeals to my adulty, debaucerous side as much as Disney appeals to my childlike, innocent, idyllic side. So I'm gonna try to do this scientifically...

Orlando is pretty effing hot. Seriously. And it's humid. Las Vegas is pretty effing hot. And it's dry. So, I'd be inclined to say that Vegas wins, because sweating sucks ass, and while you sweat in both places, at least the air isn't working against you in Vegas. BUT... Orlando has days when it's NOT 90 degrees. I've been there in November, December, and January when it's absolutlely beautiful and not sweltering hot. So... DISNEY

Let's face it...both are pretty fucking expensive. Disney gets you on all of the hotels, entry fees, souvenirs, air-fare, and food. Vegas gets you on some of those things, but I'm gonna give the advantage to Vegas here, because while both are pricey, when last I checked, in Disney you don't at least have a shot to bring more money home than you left with. VEGAS

Both have unbelieveable kitch-value attractions. The Magic Kingdom is full of silly, dated attractions that are vaguely racist and offensive. Definitely misogynistic. The Carousel of Progess alone can provide a sarcastic person more material than they'd ever need. Vegas, on the other hand, may actually be the world capital of Kitch. The LIBERACE MUSEUM. Elvis' Wedding Chapel. Sigfried and fucking Roy. Celebutainers.'s the most ridiculous (and awesome) place on earth to see cheesy things that probably were never cool, but definitely aren't cool now. Except that they ARE cool, because of how fucking sqaure they are. Get what I'm saying? VEGAS

People Watching:
This would seem to be a no-brainer, because after-all, Vegas passes out free alcohol in every casino and encourages as many drunk people to walk around in the street as possible at all hours. And yeah...that's fun and all, but let's be honest...I don't really LOVE watching drunk people after like..the first dozen. On the other hand, at Disney you have the wonderful experience of people from every foreign land you can imagine, taking in the wonders of the most homogenized American experience you'll find anywhere. The Latin ladies who are clearly in charge of their macho husbands. The weird Germanic dudes wearing what amount to be not much more than a glorified speedo. The Japanese family eating at the Japanese restaurant in Epcot, and sighing with relief at the first familiar food they'd eaten in a week. The older British couple who appears to be enjoying people watching just as much as you. True, you're unlikely to watch the beautiful Comedia d'ell Arte piece of drama unfold in front of you when the "incognito pimp" tells his "incognito ho" to "make some mo'fucking money" at Disney World, but you're unlikely to see a little child take a sloped corner a little too fast in his wheely shoes and wipe out into a topiary while in Vegas, and that's just something that can't be missed. DISNEY

Founding Visionaries:
Sammie will probably have issue with me not meaning Billy Wilkerson here, but for Vegas, I'm assigning Bugsy Siegal. For Disney..well... Disney obviously. And really that's the crux of the argument here. I realize I'm biased, but I think the most amazing thing about Disney World (Disneyland too) is that it was basically conceived by one dude. Walt Disney. The man single-handedly orchestrated the greatest public entertainment project ever created. He created the Theme Park as we know it today. His parks essentially created 2 major cities. (Anaheim and to a larger degree Orlando). I could go on about his specific ideas about marketing, and tourism, and entertainment for hours, but I won't. Just know that I'll do my best to argue for Bugsy, but he's gonna lose. Bugsy was basically a mobster who came up with a place close enough to Los Angeles to attract all of his rich friends. He didn't invent the idea of Vegas (Wilkerson did, with the legalized gambling and off-track betting), but he did sort of glamorize that, and he paved the way for Trump, and Steve Wynn, and Sheldon Adelson and you gotta hand it to whomever it was. Vegas is pretty fucking amazing. Still... Walt.. DISNEY.

This is a hard one (that's what she said). I think that the majority of people will say Vegas is obviously more re-visitable, and they're probably right. Unless you're an insane person like me, there probably is a limit to the number of times you experience The Great Movie Ride before you know the dialogue and can critique specific performers, and that limit comes long before you can do that. With Vegas, however, things are constantly evolving. New shows, new entertainment, new hotels. And more importantly, there's SO MUCH to do that you probably could take a whole vacation and never leave the Bellagio and have a good time. It's just so fucking big. That does have an appeal. much as it pains me, if I'm looking at it objectively...VEGAS

This one's easy...Vegas has every restaurant that Disney does, and Vegas also has about 40 extremely high-end restaurants that Disney doesn't. There's great food at Disney, especially in the Hotels, but c'mon people... VEGAS

As much as Food was a home run for Vegas, this category might as well have "Disney" engraved into it as part of the question. Like... "The Disney World Memorial Family Friendly Award" or something. Vegas ain't the place for tykes. In fact, one of the bid draws of Vegas is that the kids are typically few. (I venture to say, though, that if the category was about how many kids were conceived, Vegas would kill it.) DISNEY

The Verdict.
In EIGHT categories, we end up tied. I love them both. I would go to both each year if I could. The question really comes down to where I'd go if I could only go to one. And for me... It's Disney. The reason is that for whatever reason, I have this nostalgia about Disney that Vegas will never provide. I'll never forget my first trip there when I was 13 (maybe even a little too old to love it as much as I did). Still my favorite vacation I've ever had. In fact, I think it's safe to say that of the top 5 vacations I've ever had, Disney has 3. Vegas has one. My road trip is probably the other. I have so many fond memories of driving down with my family. Of seeing Epcot (E.P.C.O.T. at the time) for the first time after years of seeing Mickey waving from on top. I mean... The first game of slots I played at Ceasars Palace back in 01 was pretty fucking sweet, and Mystere is still the greatest thing I've ever seen. They just don't have the same profile in my memory.

So I'm glad I did this. It was closer than I thought. Go ahead...commence the mockery.


Samantha said...

I believe you may be the only person that would compare Las Vegas to Disney. In my mind, nothing can beat Las Vegas. Although, I did love Biloxi almost as much as I loved Vegas... but for 2 totally different reasons

Beefy Muchacho said...

You're probably right. I may be the only person to do it. Still, I don't think it's a crazy comparison. Both are outlandish, unrealistic paradises. And I love them both. Vegas actually came a lot closer than I thought it would.