I took this picture at the photo wall outside Disneyland California Adventure’s California Screamin’ roller coaster: A woman elbowed her way to the front so she could snap an iPhone picture of the one she’s featured in, the one she wouldn’t be buying from Disneyland. And she wasn’t alone. Almost every member of the throng of people exiting Space Mountain or limping off Tower of Terror was doing the same.
Maybe some were snapping shots as a way to remember the code number in the upper left corner, so they could later pay $16.95 for the commemorative version — but I doubt it. It’s not like the official version, blurred by the speed of the roller coaster, is especially high quality. Most of us are just happy to have survived the ride and a want a photographic memory of the fear-contorted look on our face.
Given how rarely the forces behind Disneyland pass up an opportunity to maximize revenue ($35 t-shirts, $25 per kid for PB&J pizza breakfast at Goofy’s Diner, $6 for a cardboard tube in which to carry your caricature portraits, etc) — and given that Steve Jobs himself was once a board member and the company’s largest shareholder — it surprises me that omnipresent digital photography is getting the better of them. They’ll find a way to get an extra 17 bucks from me next time, I’m sure, but for now I’ll put this one on the refrigerator and enjoy its free-ness.