/ Thursday, April 25th, 2013

by Richard Bernato

FarkleFRANCIS: Your Honor, the Plaintiff rests.

JUDGE JULIA: Very well, Mr. Philpot, is the Defense ready?

PHILPOT: Yes we are! Of course, the Defense calls Mr. Fred Farkle.

Fred Farkle rises from his seat, smiles amiably at his family who return the smile and he proceeds to the witness stand.

PHILPOT: Well ,Mr. Farkle, at last.

FARKLE: Excuse me?

PHILPOT: Yes, at last, at last you can explain yourself.

FARKLE: Well, I guess that is true.

PHILPOT: I think it is fair to say that Walt Disney and Walt Disney World are your passion?

FARKLE: Not exactly, my family is my first passion. But yes, you could say that Walt Disney and Walt Disney World are my hobby, although hobby may be too weak a word.

PHILPOT: Meaning?

FARKLE: Stamp collecting, gardening, fitness, scrapbooking–those are what most people call hobby. I’d guess that there are enthusiasts in those fields who might be accused of spending too much time indulging their interests.

PHILPOT: You have certainly been accused of that.

FARKLE: Ah, but here’s the difference: maybe the number one reason I get so invested in Disney World is that I do this FOR my loved ones.

PHILPOT: You invest all this energy because of your family? You plan, some say over-plan, reserve, save, plot touring plans because you love your family so much?

FARKLE (hesitates): Well I don’t want to cast myself as some sort of self-less saint. I DO love and admire so much about Walt Disney World on so many levels. What I’ve been lucky enough to do is to transform my passion to maximize the magic for my family.

PHILPOT: Mr. Farkle, before we come back to your family let’s understand the “on many levels” phrase.

FARKLE: OK, I am 44 years old. I am not some sort of man-boy who wants to get Winnie the Pooh’s autograph at a Character Meet. I am 44 years old. I don’t thrill to the Dumbo ride. I am 44 years old. I don’t try to find every Hidden Mickey on property.

But I did get a tremendous kick when I managed to help my young son get an autograph from Pooh. I thought it was terrific when the touring plan we used from the Unofficial Guide helped us get on the Dumbo ride almost without a wait. I do enjoy pointing out a Hidden Mickey to my kids or to others.

I am an MBA with a specialty in organizational management. I enjoy seeing and being part of the Disney Magic on that level, too. It’s wonderful to see how the Cast Members are trained to and willing go out of their way as routine, to make every visitor feel that magic. It’s wonderful from a systems standpoint to marvel at how Disney plans for attractions to be created by Imagineers and put in place so well. It’s a kick to see how their planning and their creativity come together to create magical experiences for children, youngsters, and for adults too.

Not many businesses can claim the kind of success the Walt Disney Company has had, you know, to maintain its vision, to carry it out, to make it fit together so well.

PHILPOT: Come on Fred, you also like to wave to Mickey, too. Don’t cast yourself as this MBA theoretician.

FARKLE (Smiles): Well, yeah, sure. I didn’t know that was criminal.

PHILPOT: Now let’s get back to family.

FARKLE: Many people who go to Walt Disney World, especially for the first time, are easily overwhelmed. There is so much to see and do. On top of that, coming here with a family can cost a pretty penny. To me, I like to game the system so to speak, by making sure I know so much about the packages, the plans, the costs, the discounts that I can maximize the magic by getting the most for the hard earned money we spend here.

PHILPOT: So the 180 day out reservations, the to – dining – plan – or – not – to – do – dining- plan, the kind of tickets to buy, the best discounts on hotels, the zig-zag and zag and zig attraction plans they all …?

FARKLE: … Maximize the Magic.

PHILPOT: No more questions.

So, what do you think?  Does Fred have a point?  How many of you identify with our defendant?

Rich may be the only blogger who; had an ORIGINAL Davy Crockett coonskin cap (and wishes he still had it); watched Disney’s Wonderful World of Color in black and white; watched the Disneyland opening ceremonies on that same black and white; AND rode the original It’s a Small World in the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. In addition, he is a college professor, and a grandfather of six whom he is thoroughly dis-doctrinating as often as possible.

6 Responses to "Farkle v. Farkle: The Embattled Fred Takes the Stand in His Defense"

  1. Tony E (BacksideOfWater) says:

    There’s a difference between planning and micromanaging. If you plan out every minute of every day you miss out on things like talking to Cast members, listening to the Daper Dans, and other random happenings that don’t appear on the times guide. it’s ok to plan just leave room for the random acts of magic

  2. Lindsey Davis says:

    Mr. Farkle is my long lost twin!!!! His thoughts fit mine word for word. I LOVE this article and make sure my family reads every one so they see there are others out there like me.

  3. Katie T says:

    I lean a little towards Farkle than away from it.

    As for ADRs, they’ve been a boon to my family. I’m the oldest of 5 and as we’re getting older and bringing our significant others, then spouses, and now children in the mix our trips are not getting smaller.

    The real kick in the teeth is that…we actually like each others company. And there isn’t enough of the third generation to warrent splitting up as individual family units (my tot and my sister’s on the way). Even as adults we’d rather cheer as we finally can fill an entire Small World boat rather than some go and some ride something else. If we don’t have SOME kind of plan and some de facto leader, the situation goes downhill real fast.

    It does result in limited random magic because no one wants to hold the others up for too long. But we take our opportunities when we see them. I have video of my husband singing with the Dapper Dans while everyone else took a bathroom break.

    Before the ADR’s we wasted so much time, over an hour sometimes, waiting to sit, together, at a sit down dinner. And back then we were kids with considerably less patience.

  4. RIchard Bernato says:

    Thanks Lindsey!

  5. Yeah, I agree. I might even take this to the next level. My wife calls me a 67 year old Peter Pan. I am honored. I just came back from a trip to Wilderness Lodge. My wife and her girlfriend are going to the Beach Club in September. And we are Both going to Wilderness Lodge in October. We can then discuss and talk about what we did on our previous stays. Ok I have to pack. October is getting close.
    George

  6. Rich Bernato says:

    Love it… We are DVC at WL!

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