PeopleOfThePark.com Documents Disneyland's Denizens

[Trendzilla] The OC-based website captures the true, bizarre essence of the people-watching-est place on Earth

The Internet is serious business.

It has given rise to all sorts of weird shit: citizen journalism, Three Wolf Moon shirts, keyboard-playing cats, Perez Hilton. But since it also enables users to hide behind their computer monitors in anonymity, a whole new wave of blogs has started up—ones that make fun of other people.

Not that we’re objecting or anything.

With sites such as PeopleofWalmart.com and LATFH.com (which stands for Look at This Fucking Hipster, of course), more and more blogs are popping up with reader-submitted photos and uh, commentary.

One of the latest is called People of the Park (PeopleOfThePark.com), whose moderators—South Orange County residents A.B. Roth, N. VanDerMere and Raquel, all in their 20s—post reader-submitted and personal snapshots of interesting Disneyland resort patrons. Whether it’s a grown man in a pink-and-lavender button-up with Disney princesses (and sparkles!), a mom with her cheeks hanging out of her cutoffs or a man enjoying his lunch in a restroom stall, it’s all fair game.

The site launched Feb. 3 and has already achieved more than 570,000 page views.

The three say they simply enjoy people-watching at the park. “After a certain point, it started to become a battle of who could spot the guest who was the most over-the-top,” Roth says. “It was kind of on a whim that we decided we should start a blog about it.”

Roth admits the group was inspired by PeopleOfWalmart.com, but that they didn’t set out to be a carbon copy, either.

“You see, the guests who grace the pages of our blog are not making a quick run to a grocery store. They’re visiting a place where they know they’ll be seen by thousands of other people,” explains Roth. “We are flabbergasted at the amount of people who overlook that and think, ‘Meh, this will do’—or, even better, ‘I look great!’”

And I know you’re wondering: Roth, VanDerMere and Raquel are all Annual Passport holders and, yes, even fans of Disneyland. Roth says they actually don’t receive as much hate mail as they expected—“It’s down to a couple per week.” Though the site has been the topic of discussion on several online forums—where it has met with much disapproval—it’s also been the subject of praise on Twitter and such humor sites as CollegeHumor.com.

But the three want to clarify their harmless intentions with PeopleOfthePark.com, stating that the patrons photographed were snapped in a very public place with thousands of people. The site, they say, is for entertainment purposes only. As stated in the site’s FAQ, people who find themselves the subject of a photo and would like it removed can simply contact the site, and it will be deleted.

So what’s next? The sign of success for any website: a potential iPhone app.

vchang@ocweekly.com


This column appeared in print as "Parky People."
 
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