Thursday, May 10, 2012

Modern Family's Fantasy Visit to Disneyland

I just finished "Toontown Abbey," the Modern Family episode where the family takes a trim to The Happiest Place on earth. A place I know so well that was depicted in some realistic and unrealistic ways.

I thought this scene was funny, with the visible roped off crowd taking
pictures in the back ground. 
For starters, the episode starts off at the Dunphy's house, with sun flowing in the windows, seeming to be about 9 o'clock. Now, I'm not a Southern California resident, so I don't know how they do it, but I'd expect if you're going to make a day out of a Disneyland trip, you'd leave a little earlier than that. At least I would.

I did appreciate the fodder that went on between Gloria and Jay Pritchett have when Gloria tries to wear high heels to the park. Any frequent visitor knows the feeling of confinement and slight fury that hits when they see a women wearing those uncomfortable shoes for a day at the enormous parks. Since the show is a ABC production, it's nice to know that the owners of the park know its ridiculous too.

When the family gets there, Phil and Luke hit up Indianna Jones first, and are elated when Luke passes the height test, and they gleefully run 10 feet to the end of a 45 minute line. It was a funny gag, and again I appreciated the realistic view of a day at the park it provided. The show didn't have to make anything real, and often didn't, because the episode was a synergistic commercial for the park, more or less.

The unrealistic parts: when Haley's ex-bofriend shows up and turn out to be part of the Dapper Dan's. This kid is like 17,18. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen a Dapper Dan under the age of thirty, nor on a tandem bicycle. Then he shows up in a Little Bear costume, which I have never seen before, and proceeds to talk while in it: one of the biggest no-no's for a character. The show does end up revealing that the kid gets fired. It was another funny gag, but depicted something that just about never happens, and if it does, it's a big deal. Luke, after going on Indianna Jones, suggests going on the Matterhorn, which his dad Phil is ok with, and they run off and end up on Thunder Mountain. The Matterhorn was closed during the filming of the episode. And after they go on Thunder Mountain, Luke decided to go on Space Mountain, across the park from Thunder Mountain. Not the most economical decision, speaking in terms of distance.

Then the family leaves before the sun even sets. Disney is so spectacular when the sun goes down, I don't think a family would take off during daylight. I did appreciate that the family's last stop was "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln," a Disneyland classic, and something I always try to make my last stop in adherence to my family's tradition.

Overall, the episode had some good laughs, and I always love seeing the Happiest Place on Earth, even if it is in a half hour long subtle commercial. They did a good job for the most part of depicting what a real person's experience at the park would be, so kudos to them. But a talking character...I don't know.


  1. I am a long time Disneyland fan, and so when I found out the next episode of “Modern Family” would be donning the park, I was ecstatic, to say the least. It wasn’t that long ago I forgot to set my DVR to record the show, since I’m gone on Wednesday evenings, and I had to go in search of the show. Now I just watch it on Dish Online, the website they put up just shortly after I started working there. Now I just watch it there since I don’t have to worry about setting the timer, or problems when my kids delete it. As far as the realistic part of the show, I don’t think it would be as funny if they made it completely realistic; after all, standing in lines, the hot sun, blisters on your feet etc, is only funny when it happens to someone else.

  2. Next month I'm going to Disneyland (for the first time) and I'm already excited by the research I've done of what to expect. What a great time will it gonna be, I'm sure that kids will love it too. Anyway, don forget to explore Florida Theme Parks.