Love captured in the land of forever after
Oliver Smith is perplexed by claims about the romantic virtues of a theme park.
isney World named the most romantic place in the world to propose.’’ Of all the dubious claims to have found their way into our inbox, this one surely takes the biscuit.
The perfect place to ask your loved one to spend the rest of their life with you is not the Taj Mahal. It’s not the Spanish Steps. It’s not even the Eiffel Tower. It’s Disney World. The sprawling Florida theme park that teems with screaming children, grown men dressed as animals, and rampant consumerism. A land of long queues, greasy burger restaurants and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
What kind of person thinks it’s ‘‘romantic’’ to pop the question there – with Goofy, Donald Duck and a clutch of obese American families gawping at the spectacle?
We’ll return to that, but first let’s see how this surprising conclusion was reached.
Disney World topped a list of 10 destinations, and some of the others were equally bizarre. Times Square, a busy junction filled with neon advertising, came in at number two, Disneyland Paris came fifth, followed closely by Universal Studios. So two of the 10 most ‘‘romantic places in the world to propose’’ are theme parks in Florida?
Our scepticism reached incalculable heights when we found the source of the press release: an online ticket specialist called FloridaTix.com.
‘‘[We] analysed* wedding proposals posted on YouTube since its launch in 2005,’’ the company claimed.
Under the asterisk, it elaborates (slightly): ‘‘FloridaTix analysed the data of all YouTube video proposals that have taken place at each destination.’’
A spokesman confirmed that a total of 15 attractions were included in the study. Discovery Cove Orlando, by the way, was one of those that missed out on the top 10.
So essentially it drew up a list of 15 sites, apparently at random (but including three which it sells tickets to visit), and searched YouTube for proposal videos. Using this highly scientific method, it was able to deduce that Disney World is ‘‘the most romantic place in the world to propose’’. What a stretch. More accurate would be: ‘‘Attraction with the most proposal-related YouTube results of the 15 places we’d already chosen’’.
Flawed research aside, the press release begs another question – why are so many people (at least 60,000 in 10 years, allegedly) proposing at Disney World? Do some couples really think it is a romantic holiday destination?
The official website would also suggest so – it even has a ‘‘True Love’’ section.
‘‘Celebrate your love with the princess or prince charming who gave you the gift of ‘happily ever after’,’’ it says, sickeningly. ‘‘Set an enchanting stage for a proposal, honeymoon, anniversary or a romantic getaway’’.
Forget Venice, Paris or some Pacific Ocean atoll – itwould seem that there are people out there who associate romance with Mickey Mouse.
Some get married there, too. You can purchase special hats for the occasion:
‘‘Congratulations to the happy couple! To celebrate, pick up the new groom and bride ear hats available at The Chapeau at Magic Kingdom Park and other merchandise locations throughout the resort. The bride hat includes a crown and veil and the groom hat is a mini tuxedo complete with bow tie!’’ Heaven’s above.
If anything, all this simply confirms that Disney World must be one of the least romantic places in the world to propose.
If it’s favoured by those who pop the question in public, on video, and then post it on to YouTube, then count us out.
Fantasyland: Is Disney World really the place to pop the question?