Dec. 18, 2071
ORLANDO–At a press conference held late Tuesday to formally announce Cuba’s acquisition of The Walt Disney Company, officials from the Cuban Bureau of Recreation unveiled plans to redevelop Disney properties worldwide. “Disney’s entertainment properties are an ideal fit for us,” noted Cuban Executive Director of Learning Environments Minerva Perez. “This acquisition supplies us with the infrastructure that will enable us to leverage our ideological advantages and get our message out globally.”
Asked about the acquisition, Disney Chairman and CEO Increase Matthews pointed to a “Cuban tradition of tourism and showmanship very familiar to all of us here at Disney,” and declared confidently that, “with the infusion of Cuba’s fresh blood and capital,” the “spirit of Disney will live on into the 22nd century.”
The once powerful entertainment giant’s stock hit an historic low of $.53 in April as attendance at its parks plummeted following public release of FBI crime statistics covering the Orlando and Anaheim properties. “It’s sad to say, but the Disney parks have actually become fairly dangerous,” explains FBI Crime Trends Division spokesman Jerome Hoyle. “Gangs of street kids and mid-life nostalgia vandals roam the grounds. Security is lax because of budget cuts, and they’re desperate enough for gate revenues that they’ve done little to discourage ‘wilding Wednesdays.’ The revenue-boosting liquor concession has only added to the problem.”
Many analysts attribute the decline in Disney’s fortunes to the company’s failure to secure immemorial intellectual property rights in its stock characters, including “Mickey Mouse,” “Donald Duck,” and “Goofy.” Accused of price gouging in merchandise-starved developing markets, Disney late last year lost its twelve-year battle with the WIPO and was forced to dedicate the characters to public use. “That was a huge blow,” notes Jupiter analyst Marie Cacke. “Disney’s character-branded merchandise revenues crashed as everybody and their uncle crowded into the market for Mickey t-shirts. From there, things at Disney spiraled out of control even quicker than most of us expected.”
Cuba’s plans for the Disney parks are extensive, and include the development of free, park-wide healthcare, co-operative ownership of individual rides and attractions, and emancipation of the bioengineered characters that roam the grounds. The country also plans extensive revision of the “theme” of the parks. Cuba’s Perez explains: “Traditionally, the Disney parks have been distorted monuments to industrial capitalism, its ‘Frontierland’ colonial past and its ‘Tommorrowland’ future. We’re planning a more well-rounded vision, including a newly designed ‘the people’s land,’ and a special new ride: ‘Indiana Jones and the Sweatshop of Doom.'”
In an irony lost on few, Cuba is funding the Disney acquisition with revenues generated by worldwide sales of its popular Fidel-branded merchandise. Iconic images of Cuba’s former president, including Fidel watches, t-shirts, and key chains, are expected to be available in Disney stores by month’s end. Cuban officials are reported to have contacted topiary experts throughout the world concerning the best shrubs to plant in the shape of the beloved Castro.