If you’ve ever been to Disney World or Disneyland, particularly at a young age, chances are you’ll view any news about the theme parks through a lens of nostalgia.
That was my experience at least, reading about how Disney World will add video games to the wait line for Space Mountain. According to Disney Parks’ official blog, at some point in the line you’ll get to play a 90-second game of defend-the-base, cooperating with 85 fellow parkgoers to deflect asteroids away from a runway.
It’s not clear how the game is played. From the photo, it looks like there’s a very simple controller you use, maybe to fire away at the incoming space rocks. There’s a 90-second interval between each game, allowing people to shuffle along once they’re done playing, and the game is supposedly tied into a larger story related to Space Mountain, as if you need narrative when you’re hurling down a steel track at 25 miles per hour.
I could wax nostalgic about all sorts of Disney stuff at this point, but for the sake of staying relevant to Technologizer, I just want to fondly remember Crazy Larry, the spaceship salesman who appeared on “SMTV” from the mid 1990s until 2005. SMTV was a video, sponsored by FedEx, that played throughout the Space Mountain line, and Crazy Larry (see 1:10 in this video) was clearly a sendup of Crazy Eddie, the electronics retailer that went belly up in 1989.
Even though I couldn’t have been more than 6 years old when Jerry Carroll did his Crazy Eddie bit on TV, I immediately made the connection with Crazy Larry. The Crazy Eddie commercials left that much of an impression on my young mind. Shady business practices aside, the store’s management knew how to pitch electronics.