There's nothing magical about kids living in Disney's shadow – Orlando Sentinel
Having recently watched the movie “The Florida Project,” I’m haunted by the fact that the reality of the movie is in our collective backyards. Filmed at the Magic Castle Hotel — yes, there really is such a place — the movie centers on a group of children living here full time. The rates are low, not requiring hefty deposits and credit checks. For some, this is the only choice available for a bed, running water and electricity.
They are so close to the famous theme parks, but miles away from ever being able to afford a visit. I wonder if viewers from other states could possibly appreciate this film in the same way as those of us who live down the street from this scenario. Their only brush with this kind of lifestyle is from the restaurant servers and housekeepers who help assure their comfort, while on vacation.
Driving down Interstate 4, past the theme parks, we might see the glitzy, big-brand hotels and fancy Disney signage. However, what we don’t see are the abandoned condos and cheap hotels, whose TripAdvisor rating might not be as savory as those in clear sight. While billions of dollars are flowing all around the area, kids are forced to live like the children in the movie. Perhaps their parents are working in a restaurant or yet another hotel for wages too low to create any savings toward a more-permanent living arrangement.
The Orlando Sentinel headline “Disney says attendance up 6 percent, revenue tops $5B” popped up the day after we saw the movie. The Sentinel reports that Disney claims “a $1.6 billion one-time net tax benefit” from the new tax law, and the company gave 125,000 employees a $1,000 cash bonus. Do the math … I’m not patting Disney