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Disney's Big Bahama Blunder
by: -RoG-

There comes a time in your life when you just have to say, "Screw you people, I'm going to a remote island where there's not another living soul in sight." Actually, I say that just about every day, but the closest thing to an "island" that I ever make it to is my local 7-11 for a Slurpee. Recently, however, I was fortunate enough to take a real vacation down in the Bahamas. Aside from being blasted by unexpected gale force winds, and hearing tales about the rampant inbreeding that takes place in the nearby ManOWar island, it was a great trip.

The one thing I really wanted to see during my stay was the abandoned "Treasure Island" resort that Disney built in Baker's Bay. Known to the locals as the only "Ghost Town" in the Abacos, it used to be a major tourist attraction. Disney's huge cruise liners would actually stop near the island to drop people off for a day o' fun. But being the brilliant masterminds that they are, Disney failed to do their research about the area before they invested over 30 million dollars in the place. See, the water in Baker's Bay was fairly shallow, especially near this particular island on which they built the resort. So, they dredged the area to make it deeper... but they didn't plan on the tides bringing the sand back. It had to keep being re-dredged until eventually Disney just gave up on the whole friggin' thing. It probably didn't help that the island wasn't inhabited so to get people to work there, they had to be taken by a ferry. And if you've ever been to the Bahamas, everyone will tell you that the people there are extremely lazy when it comes to work. Most of the people just work whenever they feel like it. So as you can imagine, getting people to ride 2 hours on a ferry just to work for Disney each day wasn't about to happen. 30 million doubloons down the crapper. Disney... we salute you.

He's got the cutest little dinghy in the Navy...

One of the best things about this particular island is that it's not a part of the regular tours in the Bahamas, and the local ferries won't even take you to it. The only way to get there is by a boat of your own, and even then it's pretty hard to spot. As you can see in the pic above, there's just a small busted up dock sticking out of the island - which is why a lot of people sail right on by the place without even noticing it. So we anchored out about 500 yards and motored the rest of the way in a little dinghy. Something I want to know is why people give names to their boats but not to their dinghies. If I owned that dinghy, I would hoist up a jolly roger flag and give it a name that would strike fear into the hearts of even the most ruthless pirates. You know, something like "The Bastard Barnacle" or "The Jellyfish Rapist" or "Chuggy McDinghy".

JABBER JAW! :O

It really is a beautiful secluded island, and no words I write can possibly do it the same justice that being there and seeing it with your own eyes can. The first thing you see on the island, aside from the tattered docks, is the area in which they held sharks and dolphins for the tourists to see. According to the locals, when Disney abandoned the island, they released the sharks into the local waters. And it's knowing little factoids like that which make riding in a tiny inflatable dinghy all the more exciting... or idiotic.

After many seasons, the grass grew over the credit card reader...

The main entrance to the resort still stands, though it's obvious that a lot of wooden boards have been removed. See, the locals took and/or broke nearly everything on the island after Disney left, and you'll see more of that in the upcoming photos. It was pretty amusing to find a credit card slip copier in a place that was so remote and tropical. It was just sitting there on a nearby bench, but I wasn't about to give a bunch of lizards and hermit crabs my credit card number. Who knows what those things would do with it. Actually, I know exactly what the lizards would do:

Lizards Livin' Large!
[click for a close-up of the Lizard Lodge]

I don't know how many credit card numbers that little bastard lizard stole, but I'm sure it was quite a few. Beachfront property with his own basketball court and a cannon? Goddamnit, he's living the good life while I'm slaving away trying to make ends meet each month! And I'm sure the hermit crabs are no different. Since they travel with their homes on their back, they'd probably just invest in some absurdly fancy schmancy diamond-encrusted shells. Bah!

Hurricane Floyd, you're a big bully >:(

Next up was a large power box that had been stripped bare. When I said the locals took everything, I mean they really took damn near everything. I'm surprised they didn't uproot the thing and haul it off. There was also a lot of weather damage nearby too. This was one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Floyd, so it was pretty crazy seeing all these huge heavy logs that mother nature scattered about as if they were light as feathers.

So where's the entertainment? I paid good money for these seats!

Speaking of mother nature, it was nice to see how the trees were once again growing in the areas that Disney had cleared out. Rows and rows of seats where people once sat and probably watched hilarious acts such as Bob Saget and Carrot Top had now been overgrown by the jungle. But nothing could prepare me for what I found behind the big entertainment stage.

The Toilet Holocaust :(
THE SHATTERED REMAINS OF MANY-A-TOILET!

I swear my heart skipped a beat when I saw the carcasses of these once mighty porcelain gods scattered throughout the bathrooms. What drove these Bahamian madmen to attack the toilets? Perhaps it was some big political outcry that I just didn't understand? Had the locals been oppressed by the evil Disney corporation? Perhaps they felt that these toilets were a close representation of Disney, and therefore, they had to be smashed into a thousand shards. Yes, that must be it! VIVA LA REVOLUTION! DOWN WITH THE OPPRESSIVE TOILETS! WE SHALL POOP WHERE WE PLEASE!!!

COCONUTS? OMGROFLBYOBLOL!

Oh well, even in times of toilet turmoil, it's good to see that some of the locals still had a sense of humor. For a second there, I thought someone actually pooped out a whole coconut. LOL! They almost got me there with that gag! ROFL! Those wacky Bahamians!

Thirsty? Didn't think so...

Not surprised at all, I found that the bar had been completely ransacked. All the alcohol was long gone, with just a few bottles still lying around. What was once a cooler, now looked like either a trashcan or a makeshift urinal. Judging by the smell of it, I'd have to guess the latter.

That fan won't be cooling you off anytime soon...

The ceiling fans at this resort were no strangers to the punishment of the locals either. We saw ceiling fan units all over the place, but I don't recall a single one that had even one blade that hadn't been broken off. Ah well, if you get hot, you can always take a dip in the water. There were also all sorts of decorative nautical items that had been pummeled. As you can see above, it was once a perfectly good boat. Now it's a perfectly good heap o' trash.

Since I was unable to get any service at the bar, I figured I could at least get a little exercise by shooting some hoops at the nearby basketball court. Unfortunately, the "hoop" had been stolen and there were no basketballs in sight. It's a good thing there were coconut trees all over the place. And as we all know, coconuts make superb basketball substitutions.

COCONUTS - YOU KNOW YOU LOVE 'EM

MORE COCONUT HUMOR! GOTTA LOVE IT!

Boats with their guts ripped out. IT WAS A MASSACRE!

Now here's something that really baffled me. There were a bunch of abandoned jet skis and mini-motor boats lying around with their engines completely removed. Why couldn't the locals just leave the engines in 'em and ride off into the sunset?

No paddles to peddle? THIS IS A TRAGEDY!

And look there! A perfectly good paddle boat, discarded in a heap of trash with its paddles removed! It just doesn't make any sense! Were the locals planning on building some freakish paddle-motor hybrid? I hope so, cuz that's the only explanation I could come up with for them taking those parts instead of the whole boats.

Pizza hut? But do they sell pizza?

Moving onward, this hut was probably the most intact thing left on the island. You could even read the old faded "Parasailing" sign atop it. Parasailing was just one of the many attractions that guests of Disney's "Treasure Island" could enjoy. Yep, Parasailing and coconuts.

DISNEY'S EX-BAHAMIAN HEADQUARTERS!

After making further down the path, I came to what was easily the largest of the buildings. This place had to be the main headquarters for the resort... or one hell of a fancy lemonade stand. The floors and surrounding areas were in complete disarray, pieces of glass everywhere, broken boards, and there were even several noticeable spots where people had held campfires. Yep, instead of fetching pieces of wood, they just set the floor itself on fire. Brilliant.

Ooooooooooooooooooo pretty!

The funny thing is, while the ground lay ridden with destruction, the ceilings were quite the opposite - solid oak, beautiful craftsmanship, and not a scratch on 'em. Just walking around the place and looking at the ceilings really helps you understand just how much money Disney blew on the joint. Keep in mind, the entire place looked like these ceilings before the locals pillaged most of it and then Hurricane Floyd gave it a bitchslap for good measure.

Don't you mean a "woody" Bob? Get it? Eh? Eh??? :(

More info than we needed to know, Bob. More info than we needed to know...

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION EVERYWHERE I TURN!

Did I mention that the locals beat the hell out of this place? Well, they did. What little items they didn't take home, they gave one hell of a pounding too. Huge panes of glass were smashed, extremely nice bookshelves were all but torn to shreds, air conditioning ducts had been ripped down from the ceiling and pummeled with coconuts, and strips of insulation had been torn from the walls. The economy was in better shape than this pad.

Where are the crows?

Amazingly enough, there was a decorative crow's nest that hadn't been destroyed. I figured that the locals probably used this so they could throw coconuts down onto the floor from high up to cause more damage. Or maybe they just used it to pounce down on unsuspecting tourists and rob them. Guess it's a good thing they were out to lunch when I was there.

DAMNIT! THE PIRATES BEAT ME TO THE LOOT!

Speaking of being robbed, I found the main safe to the entire resort. It was a mighty Chubb brand safe and it looked as if some pirates had their way with it. Looking back on it, I kind of wish I filled the thing with coconuts and then resealed it. Then sometime in the future someone would find it and spend an eternity trying to open it while expecting to become instantly wealthy... only to find that it was filled with a bunch of goddamned coconuts. Then I would hop down from my crow's nest and shout "You got SERVED!" and run off into the tropical wilderness, never to be seen again.

Well, I can dream...

CLIMB ALL THE WAY UP THERE AND WIN A PRIZE. THE PRIZE OF DEATH.

Here's something that was really disappointing. There was an extremely tall crow's nest outside of the building, but the ladder had been almost completely destroyed so there was no way to get to the top of it without killing myself. But man, the view from up there would've been spectacular. I could have been king of that island had I reached the top. Some day... some day I'll go back there with a ladder and then I will be king!

I do weddings and children's parties. Hire me.

In the meantime, I decided to remain the king of fools by trying out my coconut juggling act on a nearby stage. Even the lizards booed me. What can I say, I can't juggle for shit... but I know you people can't get enough of these precious coconut jokes!

They may take our tiles... but they'll never take our FREEEDOM!!!

After some more exploration, the main kitchen area was found. Unless you're looking to get a tetanus shot, I wouldn't recommend eating off of those rusty surfaces. And here's a perfect example of just how much the locals took from this place. They actually removed large portions of the tiles from the walls and bar tables. The only ones that were left behind were the tiles that had too much dirt and grime on them to be worth salvaging. Tiles must be like cold hard cash in the Bahamas. :o

Free oven anyone?

Deeper into the kitchen we found the huge ovens that had been left behind. Again, many of them had been pulverized by some of the locals, and I was informed that some of the ovens in there could easily go for over 15,000 smackeroos. If only I could fit them into my dinghy, I'd be rich.

And I didn't even have to look for an 'X' that marked the spot.

And finally, I found what I had been looking for my entire life: a real treasure chest. Only problem was, it was completely empty. But guess what? Right around the corner from the treasure chest was something even better...

SMILE! YOU'VE GOT COCONUTS! COCONUTS! COCONUTS!

MORE COCONUTS!

the end.

-RoG-


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