Lowcountry Biz Boil for March 7, 2012

Lowcountry Biz Boil Lowcountry Biz Boil
Open that big steamy pot of Lowcountry goodness to read our ideas for thematic rides Disney should consider in light of the post-recession economy, along with the most recent interest in South Carolina’s state snack — the boiled peanut…… and other business briefs, news items and interesting asides from the Business Journal staff. To submit an item, idea or complaint, click here.

Disney, BlueCross dream of a ‘small’ world for all

What’s less fun than walking through an inflatable 20-foot model of a human colon? How about ruining a kid’s trip to Disney World by telling him: “You’re fat, kid, and should be ashamed of yourself.”

There’s probably a bigger way to suck the fun out of childhood than the recent debacle that came from a Disney World and BlueCross BlueShield partnership, but we’re not sure what it could be.

If you haven’t heard, BlueCross partnered with Disney to create an attraction at Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla., called “Habit Heroes.” In this theme park guilt-fest, you are introduced to the characters “Will Power” and “Callie Stenics” who need your help in fighting villains such as the nefarious “Lead Bottom” and the ever present “Snacker.”

lead bottom
Will Power and Callie Stenics take on Lead Bottom during a cut scene from an interactive exhibit produced by Disney World’s Epcot Center and BlueCross BlueShield.

Watch the video if you really want to know more, but the reaction to the attraction was swift and severe enough to shut it down, so you won’t be seeing a Will Power vs. Lead Bottom fight anytime soon. Disney and BlueCross say they are retooling the interactive exhibit after receiving feedback, but there’s no date on when it will reopen.

We know why BCBS is doing this. Fat kids end up being fat adults, who end up costing insurance companies and health care providers a ton of money. We get it, but why is Disney doing this?

Aside from the highly polished Disneyness of it all, it’s just not fun. Also, we didn’t see any celery for sale in that bakery on Disney’s Main Street the last time we paid homage to The Mouse, so they might consider the value of sending a mixed message.

The stories in The Orlando Sentinel did inspire us to consider other thematic rides Disney should consider in light of the post-recession economy.

HMO Land: Where employees are taken on a wild ride from cubicle to cubicle and told they aren’t approved to actually be on the ride even though the checklist they filled out at the beginning of the ride clearly shows they are eligible. You can’t get off of this ride without making 20 phone calls to successfully navigate a humanless menu of items that gets you back to where you started. If you hit “0,” you have to do all 20 again.

Tranche Ranch: On this ride, you must figure out how to effectively divide mortgage-backed securities so no one knows you’re hiding toxic assets in your portfolio. This is more fun than it sounds because you’ll actually be using other people’s money. If you happen to cause a crash, don’t worry, the ride resets faster than a housing bubble.

Furlough Log Roll: You wait in line for two hours to be told you have to wait in line for two more hours and then just as you think the line is about to move, they cut your pay. No it doesn’t make sense. Really.

Mortgage Modification Mountain: In this ride, you have to climb a mountain of paperwork 10 stories high. Just as you get halfway there, someone pops out to tell you you’re on the wrong side of the mountain. Climb down, try again. After about three trips, you get to the top only to find out that your house has been sold while you’ve been doing all that pointless climbing. Guess you’ll be staying in Orlando a little longer.

You guys are nuts

We’re continually amazed at the number of people who are amazed that South Carolina’s state snack — the boiled peanut — exists at all.

Yeah, we know. You either love them or hate them, and that’s fine because we land on the former side of the Mason-Dixon line of boiled peanut culinary love.

Husk Nuts
CNN’s Eatocracy food blog marveled at Charlestonians chowing down on “gussied up” pails of peanuts on the porch of James Beard Award winner Sean Brock’s Husk Restaurant on a recent afternoon.
The most recent interest came from CNN’s Eatocracy food blog, which marveled at Charlestonians chowing down on “gussied up” pails of peanuts on the porch of James Beard Award winner Sean Brock’s Husk Restaurant on a recent afternoon.

Brock’s culinary star rocketed to national prominence when he won a Beard award in 2010. Not just because the dude can cook, but because he cooks using Southern grown ingredients and interprets them in that … Husky way that makes us proud to have those from far off pull up a chair and suddenly realize what most of us have known for a while. Southern food is really good and runs deep in understanding the culture.

Eatocracy’s “Lick the Screen” feature (ick) took it all one step further, however, when it polled readers about their feeling on boiled peanuts. You can click here to read, vote and see the results. The poll questions ranged from “Love them!” to “They sound awful.”

As for us, you might have guessed, we clicked “Love them!” because we surely do indulge. At the end of the post, CNN suggests a canned version of this delicacy. If that’s the only way you can get them, then why not? For some of us, though, canned peanuts, like instant grits, just sound like crazy talk.

If you want to read about cooking, eating and what it means to do them both in the Holy City, check out the March 12 edition of the Business Journal’s print edition. Reporter Lauren Ratcliffe caught up with all four of this year’s James Beard Award nominees from Charleston, including Sean Brock.

People in the News

Randell Stoney
Randell Stoney, a member attorney of Barnwell Whaley Patterson and Helms LLC, has been named an associate with the American Board of Trial Advocates. Stoney focuses his law practice on premises and product liability, construction law and litigation and general liability.

Catch more People in the News each Friday in a special edition of the Daily Journal. Click here to subscribe to the Daily Journal or any of our other most illustrious free email publications.

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Added: 8 Mar 2012

I'm shocked at the question presented here... "Why is Disney doing this?". First, it's clear that Americans are getting fatter and fatter. Visit any grocery store, theme park... Anywhere really, and you wil see people unable to walk more than a football fields length before having to stop and catch their breath, because they are so unhealthy. Epcot is now an has always been about learning new things, the attraction directly across from Habit Heroes is all about using math and science to engineer your own thrill ride. Down the hall, an attraction teaching children to save money by "diversification." Habit Heroes is about overcoming bad habits... Plain and simple, it doesn't focus on kid being fat... The first of three experiences is targeted at "couch potatoes" who stay inside and play video games and watch TV in lieu of going outside to play. The second experience is about choosing health foods (fruits and veggies) instead of unhealthy choices (Hotdogs and French Fries). The final experience is about working out... Adding an exercise routine to your daily plan. At the end of the experience, we see our main character, a little boy who is NOT fat and does not portray any stereotypes, simply get up off the couch and go outside... Moreover, the "villain" that is Leadbottom doesn't magically lose all his weight or pass out, he just goes outside to play with the kid. I think people are being ridiculous over this whole thing, this is a great, fun way to teach kids better habits... If parents choose not to play a part in their kids health, and park them in front of the TV with a sack of fast food all day long, then who better than Disney to step in and find a fun way to get that info across to kids. Someone has to, before they develop Heath issues!

Chris P