Disney in Your Yard

photo: HGTV

I have just caught an episode of HGTV’s new series “My Yard Goes Disney,” and I am horrified. I watched as a team of “Imagineers” transformed two adjoining suburban backyards (Grandma lives next door) into a theme park. There’s a giant sorcerer’s hat, an equally giant teapot, a little railroad that winds its way through the property, and immense metal sunflowers with photos on them. These are painted in glaring, comic book colors, and all of them are for two very young children and their parents, who, it seems, spend every waking leisure moment at Disney World.

photo: HGTV

So what’s wrong with that?  I have a huge problem with turning everything into a theme park. I do understand that many of today’s children must be electronically stimulated every waking moment. They can’t even take a road trip without a DVD in the car. But what’s wrong with kids learning about REAL miracles – things like butterflies emerging from cocoons, and seeds sprouting and birds building amazing little nests? Why do they need a fake train when they could just walk around? And why a sorcerer’s hat instead of a tree house? Does everything have to be staged, phony and larger than life?

“It’s a dream come true,” said the mother. “I never ever imagined we’d have a yard this nice.”

Well, Mom, what will you do when your kids get sick of their miniature kingdom? It’ll happen sooner than you think. And what will they have learned from this experience? Nothing about growing their own food – or anything else about gardening, that’s for sure.

photo: HGTV


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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10 Responses to Disney in Your Yard

  1. Wendy says:

    Wow, that’s really something! The photos are really fun to look at a first, but I agree with your perspective. Just yesterday my younger daughter and I walked by a front yard filled with crappy plastic toys and she was like, wooooowww! But the funny thing was, the kids were inside. It’s all pretty cool at first, but doesn’t have a long-lasting appeal.


    • dirtynailz says:

      All it’ll take is one of their friends to say it isn’t cool, and they’ll lose interest immediately. I totally agree, Wendy.


  2. cj wright says:

    When I heard about this show, frankly ~ I wanted to toss my salad. The photos confirm my worst nightmares. It’s just hideous.

    I’m so glad to find that you, too, are horrified and spoke out about it so eloquently, dirtynailz.

    Is HGTV really suggesting that our yards should look like cartoons?


    • dirtynailz says:

      I don’t know what HGTV is thinking these days. It seems they need gimmicks to get people to watch their gardening shows. It’s too bad, because they could serve as a source of good gardening information and techniques, but they’ve chosen to dumb it down instead.


  3. Martha says:

    It’s too bad that we’re moving further and further away from the natural and beautiful miracles of life, the basic, simple pleasures, and relying more and more on gizmos and gadgets. We’re really not doing our kids any favours. They’re all plugged into something or other. And when they’re not, all you can hear them say is “I’m soooo bored”. We didn’t have any electronics when I was growing up, and I don’t remember a single day when we were bored. The world was our playground.


    • dirtynailz says:

      What scares me the most is that the further children are removed from real nature, the less they care about preserving it. I’m with you on boredom. We were never bored outdoors, either.


  4. HerbDoc says:

    There’s no accounting for taste, is there? I pity the neighbors who have to look at that awful display everyday. I almost prefer my next door neighbors’ penchant for collecting junk after seeing this!


  5. MT says:

    Well I guess that television has stooped to an all new low. Hopefully the good news is that this gets the kids out of the house, rather than vegging their way towards obesity.

    I’m with the others, having Halloween displays once a year is plenty for me.


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