The sense of adventure Is changing to danger The signal has been given

For many, many years, I have wanted to go to Efteling. I have dreamed of going to Efteling. I have hemmed and hawed and dreamy-sighed over every gorgeous POV ride video. This attraction in particular:

After many years and  much difficulty, I finally got my passport in October 2019. Of course, the entire world shut down 3 months later, but I digress.

I know a lot of people just loooooove The Netherlands and think of it as this uwu wonderland, but for many reasons, it's one of those places I have never quite felt safe traveling to. Blackface is part of their Christmas, FFS. 

You can tell it whatever you want. You can call it "overly sensitive" "American" sensibilities (I mean, I prefer to call it "being a decent human being," but whatever!).

On Saturday evening, YouTube was playing on my TV and one of the auto-play videos came up with a vlogger documenting their time at Efetling. It was just going to be background noise. "Noise" is a great way of describing this person's video, as they were incredibly noisy and grating. Their companion was at least entertaining and funny!

Efteling  has a a history of problematic attractions, and has recently removed elements from its hideous "it's a small world" knock off, as well as finally getting rid of one of its most troubling attractions. You can read the official statement about it here in Dutch. You can also read about the change here, and there is a  strong content warning for grotesque anti-Black racism. This attraction was built in 1989, not 1889.

So this vlogger vlogs themselves laughing about this image (which was thankfully blurred), stays in line, rides the attraction (with footage of them laughing about it), and then cuts away to them lecturing US the viewer about how wrong those images are. Holy gaslighting, Batman! (In the auto-play video that followed there after, there was a lot of mental gymnastics and Disney apologist nonsense, complete with more virtue signaling on some of the park changes, that was an instant, "oh fuck this, I think we're done here!" Overall the entire experience, which was originally just supposed to be watching fun Efteling videos left me feeling really yucky, and over all uneasy all around.

I think it speaks to my initial point before: not everyone feels safe in every space, and getting to travel freely without anxiety or fear of certain things is certainly a luxury, in the same way we don't know who we can trust. Least of all people who are going to lecture and gaslight later. Using other people's pain as a clout-chasing flex will never not be creepy!

One day I will go to Efteling. I don't when that will be, especially in light of some of their recent policies. One day, some day I will go. I know that things have been changing for the better there. But what is an uwu magical wonderland for some, is certainly a lot more harrowing for others.

Efteling is so beautiful, and, in many ways, what Disney could have been if they had kept doing what they were doing-- instead all of their attractions have been run into the ground, nothing works, and everything is over-priced. But even in so much beauty, there is such ugliness.

Edit: this vlogger also did some Wild West cosplay BS, but I guess they donated some of their earnings to Native people... when, again, they could have... just.... not... done this. Oh I am DONE here lol 

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