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ABSTRACT IMPACT: Improved non-biased matching of clinical research professionals to PI needs will accelerate time to active project engagement for new hires. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: An ongoing challenge for HR recruiters when matching applicants to open job positions is the time-consuming screening effort, which relies on imprecise semantic searching. We propose building a precision-based matching tool using Natural Language Processing to automate the accurate and non-biased identification of suitable job candidates. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We conducted 30-45’ interviews with HR administration/recruitment specialists to delineate the recruitment and hiring process used to match CRC resumes to job descriptions (n=7). Next, CRC applicant resumes were evaluated by experts, first by independent review, followed by consensus and assignment of a final rating, 0= not qualified; 1= CRC1; 2= CRC2; 3= CRC3; 4= CRC4. Guidelines evolved after reviewing 6 batches of 50 unique resumes (300 total) and were based on applicant qualifications & experiences by job level, CRC 1-4. Using final guidelines an additional 3,145 resumes were rated. For uniform input into the NLP model, resume formats were converted and text contents extracted into multiple sections, i.e., education, professional experiences, etc. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Guideline development: Rater agreement improved over time with poor agreement when no guidelines were present (.161- Kappa) to good agreement for final guidelines (.608- Kappa). Spearman’s rho correlation between guideline iterations and Kappa is large and positive (rho 0.886) indicating significant rater agreement. NLP Model: Resume to job description matching indicated a third of applications were qualified, a third overqualified, and a third underqualified, suggesting the majority of applicants were unable to identify their ‘best fit’ by job level. Our NLP model matched the candidate resume to CRC level with 73.3% accuracy; and achieved 79.2% accuracy when matching the applicant resume to the CRC job description. Refinement of the NLP Model is ongoing. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: A precision-based NLP matching tool will improve applicant targeting for the hire of great, qualified candidates. Improved applicant to job matching offers several advantages, i.e., reduced bias with greater diversity and inclusion; reduced time-to-hire; ability to anticipate training needs; and a reduced time to active project engagement.
To test the effectiveness of a social network intervention (SNI) to improve children’s healthy drinking behaviours.
A three-arm cluster randomised control trial design was used. In the SNI, a subset of children were selected and trained as ‘influence agents’ to promote water consumption–as an alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB)–among their peers. In the active control condition, all children were simultaneously exposed to the benefits of water consumption. The control condition received no intervention.
Eleven schools in the Netherlands.
Four hundred and fifty-one children (Mage = 10·74, SDage = 0·97; 50·8 % girls).
Structural path models showed that children exposed to the SNI consumed 0·20 less SSB per day compared to those in the control condition (β = 0·25, P = 0·035). There was a trend showing that children exposed to the SNI consumed 0·17 less SSB per day than those in the active control condition (β = 0·20, P = 0·061). No differences were found between conditions for water consumption. However, the moderation effects of descriptive norms (β = –0·12, P = 0·028) and injunctive norms (β = 0·11–0·14, both P = 0·050) indicated that norms are more strongly linked to water consumption in the SNI condition compared to the active control and control conditions.
These findings suggest that a SNI promoting healthy drinking behaviours may prevent children from consuming more SSB. Moreover, for water consumption, the prevailing social norms in the context play an important role in mitigating the effectiveness of the SNI.
Inflammation may contribute to the high prevalence of depressive symptoms seen in lung cancer. “Sickness behavior” is a cluster of symptoms induced by inflammation that are similar but distinct from depressive symptoms. The Sickness Behavior Inventory-Revised (SBI-R) was developed to measure sickness behavior. We hypothesized that the SBI-R would demonstrate adequate psychometric properties in association with inflammation.
Participants with stage IV lung cancer (n = 92) were evaluated for sickness behavior using the SBI-R. Concomitant assessments were made of depression (Patient Hospital Questionniare-9, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP)]. Classical test theory (CTT) was applied and multivariate models were created to explain SBI-R associations with depression and inflammation. Factor Analysis was also used to identify the underlying factor structure of the hypothesized construct of sickness behavior. A longitudinal analysis was conducted for a subset of participants.
The sample mean for the 12-item SBI-R was 8.3 (6.7) with a range from 0 to 33. The SBI-R demonstrated adequate internal consistency with a Cronbach's coefficient of 0.85, which did not increase by more than 0.01 with any single-item removal. This analysis examined factor loadings onto a single factor extracted using the principle components method. Eleven items had factor loadings that exceeded 0.40. SBI-R total scores were significantly correlated with depressive symptoms (r = 0.78, p < 0.001) and CRP (r = 0.47, p < 0.001). Multivariate analyses revealed that inflammation and depressive symptoms explained 67% of SBI-R variance.
Significance of results
The SBI-R demonstrated adequate reliability and construct validity in this patient population with metastatic lung cancer. The observed findings suggest that the SBI-R can meaningfully capture the presence of sickness behavior and may facilitate a greater understanding of inflammatory depression.
Prenatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure is associated with increased risk of hormonally mediated cancers and other medical conditions. We evaluated the association between DES and risk of pancreatic cancer and pancreatic disorders, type 2 diabetes, and gallbladder disease, which may be involved with this malignancy. Our analyses used follow-up data from the US National Cancer Institute DES Combined Cohort Study. Cox proportional hazards models estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for age, sex, cohort, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol for the association between prenatal DES exposure and type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease (mainly cholelithiasis), pancreatic disorders (mainly pancreatitis), and pancreatic cancer among 5667 exposed and 3315 unexposed individuals followed from 1990 to 2017. Standardized incidence rate (SIR) ratios for pancreatic cancer were based on age-, race-, and calendar year-specific general population cancer incidence rates. In women and men combined, the hazards for total pancreatic disorders and pancreatitis were greater in the prenatally DES exposed than the unexposed (HR = 11, 95% CI 2.6–51 and HR = 7.0, 95% CI 1.5–33, respectively). DES was not associated overall with gallbladder disease (HR = 1.2, 95% CI 0.88–1.5) or diabetes (HR = 1.1, 95% CI 0.9–1.2). In women, but not in men, DES exposure was associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with the unexposed (HR: 4.1, 95% CI 0.84–20) or general population (SIR: 1.9, 95% CI 1.0–3.2). Prenatal DES exposure may increase the risk of pancreatic disorders, including pancreatitis in women and men. The data suggested elevated pancreatic cancer risk in DES-exposed women, but not in exposed men.
The aim of this chapter is to examine criminal law as a form of regulation. How and when is it appropriate to use criminal law to produce or inhibit a particular kind of activity? Is criminal law simply one tool among many others that can be used for this purpose, or is it distinctive in some way? What makes a sanction criminal specifically? And if criminal law is distinctive, how do we decide when to deploy it and how do we ensure that it will be successful in achieving the aims we want?
INTRODUCTION: THE GENERAL UK REGULATORY LANDSCAPE
For historical reasons, English law does not draw sharp distinctions between ‘crimes’ and other ‘regulatory offences’. There are commentators who have advocated such a distinction but this approach was rejected by the Law Commission of England and Wales, in a report on Criminal Law in Regulatory Contexts. In doing so, they echoed the words of Glazebrook, that any attempt to make the distinction simply leads to a ‘litany of vague, overlapping criteria’. Instead, the Law Commission focused on the distinction between criminal and civil forms of regulation, where criminal sanctions are those which:
(a). must be pursued through the Crown Court or magistrates’ courts (the standard criminal courts);
(b). must be proved in such a court beyond reasonable doubt to have occurred (the usual standard of proof in criminal cases); and
(c). may (but need not) lead to the court imposing a detrimental, punitive measure on the offender simply because he or she is responsible for the occurrence of the conduct.
In terms of procedure, in some circumstances offences are dealt with by the ordinary courts, having been prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as is normally the case for criminal offences. In other instances the proceedings take place in the ordinary courts, but the prosecution is brought by a specialist regulatory body, although these bodies can also pass the prosecution on to the CPS. And in certain contexts there are individual schemes, specific to a particular activity, such as parking offences and civil penalties created and enforced by the Financial Services Authority which are subject to specially created appeal systems outside the traditional court system.
Background: Certain nursing home (NH) resident care tasks have a higher risk for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) transfer to healthcare personnel (HCP), which can result in transmission to residents if HCPs fail to perform recommended infection prevention practices. However, data on HCP-resident interactions are limited and do not account for intrafacility practice variation. Understanding differences in interactions, by HCP role and unit, is important for informing MDRO prevention strategies in NHs. Methods: In 2019, we conducted serial intercept interviews; each HCP was interviewed 6–7 times for the duration of a unit’s dayshift at 20 NHs in 7 states. The next day, staff on a second unit within the facility were interviewed during the dayshift. HCP on 38 units were interviewed to identify healthcare personnel (HCP)–resident care patterns. All unit staff were eligible for interviews, including certified nursing assistants (CNAs), nurses, physical or occupational therapists, physicians, midlevel practitioners, and respiratory therapists. HCP were asked to list which residents they had cared for (within resident rooms or common areas) since the prior interview. Respondents selected from 14 care tasks. We classified units into 1 of 4 types: long-term, mixed, short stay or rehabilitation, or ventilator or skilled nursing. Interactions were classified based on the risk of HCP contamination after task performance. We compared proportions of interactions associated with each HCP role and performed clustered linear regression to determine the effect of unit type and HCP role on the number of unique task types performed per interaction. Results: Intercept-interviews described 7,050 interactions and 13,843 care tasks. Except in ventilator or skilled nursing units, CNAs have the greatest proportion of care interactions (interfacility range, 50%–60%) (Fig. 1). In ventilator and skilled nursing units, interactions are evenly shared between CNAs and nurses (43% and 47%, respectively). On average, CNAs in ventilator and skilled nursing units perform the most unique task types (2.5 task types per interaction, Fig. 2) compared to other unit types (P < .05). Compared to CNAs, most other HCP types had significantly fewer task types (0.6–1.4 task types per interaction, P < .001). Across all facilities, 45.6% of interactions included tasks that were higher-risk for HCP contamination (eg, transferring, wound and device care, Fig. 3). Conclusions: Focusing infection prevention education efforts on CNAs may be most efficient for preventing MDRO transmission within NH because CNAs have the most HCP–resident interactions and complete more tasks per visit. Studies of HCP-resident interactions are critical to improving understanding of transmission mechanisms as well as target MDRO prevention interventions.
Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant no. U01CK000555-01-00)
Disclosures: Scott Fridkin, consulting fee, vaccine industry (spouse)
Ambulatory healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) occur frequently in children and are associated with morbidity. Less is known about ambulatory HAI costs. This study estimated additional costs associated with pediatric ambulatory central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), and surgical site infections (SSIs) following ambulatory surgery.
Retrospective case-control study.
Four academic medical centers.
Children aged 0–22 years seen between 2010 and 2015 and at risk for HAI as identified by electronic queries.
Chart review adjudicated HAIs. Charges were obtained for patients with HAIs and matched controls 30 days before HAI, on the day of, and 30 days after HAI. Charges were converted to costs and 2015 USD. Mixed-effects linear regression was used to estimate the difference-in-differences of HAI case versus control costs in 2 models: unrecorded charge values considered missing and a sensitivity analysis with unrecorded charge considered $0.
Our search identified 177 patients with ambulatory CLABSIs, 53 with ambulatory CAUTIs, and 26 with SSIs following ambulatory surgery who were matched with 382, 110, and 75 controls, respectively. Additional cost associated with an ambulatory CLABSI was $5,684 (95% confidence interval [CI], $1,005–$10,362) and $6,502 (95% CI, $2,261–$10,744) in the 2 models; cost associated with a CAUTI was $6,660 (95% CI, $1,055, $12,145) and $2,661 (95% CI, −$431 to $5,753); cost associated with an SSI following ambulatory surgery at 1 institution only was $6,370 (95% CI, $4,022–$8,719).
Ambulatory HAI in pediatric patients are associated with significant additional costs. Further work is needed to reduce ambulatory HAIs.
Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) TL1 trainees and KL2 scholars were surveyed to determine the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training and career development. The most negative impact was lack of access to research facilities, clinics, and human subjects, plus for KL2 scholars lack of access to team members and need for homeschooling. TL1 trainees reported having more time to think and write. Common strategies to maintain research productivity involved time management, virtual connections with colleagues, and shifting to research activities not requiring laboratory/clinic settings. Strategies for mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on training and career development are described.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) occur frequently in pediatric inpatients, and they are associated with increased morbidity and cost. Few studies have investigated ambulatory CAUTIs, despite at-risk children utilizing home urinary catheterization. This retrospective cohort and case-control study determined incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of pediatric patients with ambulatory CAUTI.
Broad electronic queries identified potential patients with ambulatory urinary catheters, and direct chart review confirmed catheters and adjudicated whether ambulatory CAUTI occurred. CAUTI definitions included clean intermittent catheterization (CIC). Our matched case-control analysis assessed risk factors.
Five urban, academic medical centers, part of the New York City Clinical Data Research Network.
Potential patients were age <22 years who were seen between October 2010 and September 2015.
In total, 3,598 eligible patients were identified; 359 of these used ambulatory catheterization (representing186,616 ambulatory catheter days). Of these, 63 patients (18%) experienced 95 ambulatory CAUTIs. The overall ambulatory CAUTI incidence was 0.51 infections per 1,000 catheter days (1.35 for indwelling catheters and 0.47 for CIC; incidence rate ratio, 2.88). Patients with nonprivate medical insurance (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–6.3) were significantly more likely to have ambulatory CAUTIs in bivariate models but not multivariable models. Also, 45% of ambulatory CAUTI resulted in hospitalization (median duration, 3 days); 5% resulted in intensive care admission; 47% underwent imaging; and 88% were treated with antibiotics.
Pediatric ambulatory CAUTIs occur in 18% of patients with catheters; they are associated with morbidity and healthcare utilization. Ambulatory indwelling catheter CAUTI incidence exceeded national inpatient incidence. Future quality improvement research to reduce these harmful infections is warranted.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Precision care may engage smokers and providers in treatment but is understudied in the community. We piloted guideline-based care (GBC) alone or with Respiragene, a lung cancer polygenic risk score (PRS, 1-10), or metabolism-informed choice of medication using the nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR). METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Daily smokers (n = 58) with stored biospecimens in the Southern Community Cohort Study were randomized 1:1:1 to GBC, PRS, or NMR, counseled to quit smoking, and co-selected FDA-approved cessation medication (nicotine replacement, varenicline) with a tobacco counselor. In PRS, precision motivational counseling was guided by PRS (i.e., lung cancer risk 10-40-fold that of never-smokers). In NMR, precision medication recommendations consisted of varenicline for faster metabolizers (NMR≥0.31) and nicotine replacement for slow metabolizers (NMR<0.31). Feasibility was defined as achieving at least 50% provider engagement (med prescription) and at least 50% patient engagement (self-reported med use). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Participants were median age 59, 72% female, 81% Black, 60% with incomes <$15,000; median cigarettes/day was 15 (IQR 8-20) and 52% reported time-to-first cigarette <5 minutes, illustrating moderate nicotine dependence. Providers confirmed medication prescriptions for 40% of patients (32% GBC, 50% PRS, 37% NMR) and 83% of patients reported using medication (prescribed or unprescribed) during the study (90% GBC, 80% PRS, 79% NMR). At 6-month follow-up, 27% (n = 15) reported cessation (39% GBC, 16% PRS, 26% NMR). Among persistent smokers, 46% reported smoking at least 50% fewer cigarettes/day compared to baseline (45% GBC, 38% PRS, 57% NMR). Small sample size precluded statistical comparisons. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Precision interventions to quit smoking are feasible for community smokers, who engaged at high rates. However, only 40% of providers supported patients’ quit attempts with medication prescriptions. Future research should test strategies to raise provider engagement in precision smoking treatment. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DESCRIPTION: R.F.T. has consulted for Quinn Emmanual and Apotex on unrelated topics. H.A.T. reported providing input on design for a phase 3 trial of cytisine proposed by Achieve Life Sciences and being a principal investigator of National Institutes of Health–sponsored studies for smoking cessation that include medications donated by the manufacturers. Other authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.
Hurricanes can interrupt communication, exacerbate attrition, and disrupt participant engagement in research. We used text messaging and disaster preparedness protocols to re-establish communication, re-engage participants, and ensure retention in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) self-test study.
Participants were given HIV home test kits to test themselves and/or their non-monogamous sexual partners before intercourse. A daily text message-based short message service computer-assisted self-interview (SMS-CASI) tool reminded them to report 3 variables: (1) anal sex without a condom, (2) knowledge of partners’ testing history, and (3) proof of partners’ testing history. A disaster preparedness protocol was put in place for hurricanes in Puerto Rico. We analyzed 6315 messages from participants (N = 12) active at the time of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Disaster preparedness narratives were assessed.
All participants were able to communicate sexual behavior and HIV testing via SMS-CASI within 30 days following María. Some participants (n = 5, 42%) also communicated questions. Re-engagement within 30 days after the hurricane was 100% (second week/89%, third week/100%). Participant re-engagement ranged from 0–16 days (average = 6.4 days). Retention was 100%.
Daily SMS-CASI and disaster preparedness protocols helped participant engagement and communication after 2 hurricanes. SMS-CASI responses indicated high participant re-engagement, retention, and well-being.
As uncertainty remains about whether clinical response influences cognitive function after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression, we examined the effect of remission status on cognitive function in depressed patients 4 months after a course of ECT.
A secondary analysis was undertaken on participants completing a randomised controlled trial of ketamine augmentation of ECT for depression who were categorised by remission status (MADRS ⩽10 v. >10) 4 months after ECT. Cognition was assessed with self-rated memory and neuropsychological tests of anterograde verbal and visual memory, autobiographical memory, verbal fluency and working memory. Patients were assessed through the study, healthy controls on a single occasion, and compared using analysis of variance.
At 4-month follow-up, remitted patients (N = 18) had a mean MADRS depression score of 3.8 (95% CI 2.2–5.4) compared with 27.2 (23.0–31.5) in non-remitted patients (N = 19), with no significant baseline differences between the two groups. Patients were impaired on all cognitive measures at baseline. There was no deterioration, with some measures improving, 4-months after ECT, at which time remitted patients had significantly improved self-rated memory, anterograde verbal memory and category verbal fluency compared with those remaining depressed. Self-rated memory correlated with category fluency and autobiographical memory at follow-up.
We found no evidence of persistent impairment of cognition after ECT. Achieving remission improved subjective memory and verbal memory recall, but other aspects of cognitive function were not influenced by remission status. Self-rated memory may be useful to monitor the effects of ECT on longer-term memory.
This chapter provides a history of the development and definition of the contemporary theme park, focusing on how Orlando, Florida developed into the world's theme park capital. It also sets out the key areas of literature that the book contributes to, including work on themed space and place, transmediality and convergence, fan spaces and pilgrimage, distinction and cultural value, and self-identity and narrative. The chapter notes that work on fans of specific destinations or places remains scarce, arguing for greater focus on this mode of place-based fandom, as well as proposing a turn towards academic study of the spatial elements of transmediality, and the concept of spatial transmedia.
Keywords: spatial transmedia, place-based fandom, transmedia, fan pilgrimage, fan tourism, theme park history
The theme park has a long history that originates in amusement parks such as Coney Island in the United States and Denmark's Tivoli Gardens in Europe (Weinstein 1992; Davis 1996: Milman 2010; Wood 2017). Theme parks have been seen to differ from the amusement park via their use of ‘areas (i.e., ‘lands’) that focus on telling a story. Their environments include architecture, landscaping, stores, rides and even food to support specific themes’ (Geissler and Rucks 2011, pp. 127–8). It is also generally agreed that theme parks should appeal to the family, have a single admission price, and offer high levels of service, maintenance and cleanliness, and investment (Clave 2007; Geissler and Rucks 2011). They also require ‘some form of ambient entertainment (e.g., costumed characters, strolling musicians) […] [and] enough activities and entertainment to yield an average visitor length of stay of 5 to 7 hours’ (Geissler and Rucks 2011, pp. 127–8). The theme park should also have ‘a thematic identity, feature one or more themed areas, be designed as an enclosed space with guest-controlled access’ and ‘offer some form of entertainment, food services, and merchandise’ (Clave 2007 in Milman 2010, p. 221). Whilst some parks have a single theme (e.g. the LEGOLAND Park in Windsor, England or Parc Asterix in France) others, such as the Disney and Universal parks, offer a range of spaces or ‘lands’ representing a variety of different themes (e.g. the past, the future, fairy tales).
This chapter offers detailed discussion of the transmediality of theme parks and how their narratives and experiences extend across media forms. It takes Disney's Haunted Mansion as an extended case study, a ride which has been turned into a feature film, but has also seen its narrative universe expanded across comics and novelizations, board games, and video games. Despite the fact that the ride lacks a coherent story, fans have demanded a greater narrative to the ride, causing tensions between Disney and its fans. Introducing the concepts of spatial poaching and retrospective transmedia, the chapter focuses on how producers and fans co-construct transmedia narratives through physical spaces, and over extended periods of time.
Having outlined how the contemporary theme park utilizes forms of digital media and new technologies to allow guests to plan their trips in detail and pleasurably anticipate their experiences, as well as the importance of an unofficial participatory culture, this chapter moves onto more detailed discussion of the intersections between such fannish attachments and transmedia narratives. It offers detailed analysis of the transmediality of theme park rides and the ways in which their narratives and experiences extend across media forms, beginning from Henry Jenkins’ definition of transmedia storytelling as ‘integrating multiple texts to create a narrative so large that it cannot be contained within a single medium’ (2006, p.95). As Jenkins notes,
In many ways, theme parks were one of the spaces where transmedia entertainment first emerged […] The practices of theme park designers, thus, paved the way for the special stories we now associate with games or virtual worlds, translating events in the stories into spaces which we can visit. (Jenkins in Lukas 2012, p. 246)
To begin to better understand the links between theme parks, transmediality and fandom, I turn here to an in-depth analysis of one specific ride, Disney's Haunted Mansion. This also allows a response to Rahn's assertion that ‘Disney's films and their effect on children are frequently scrutinized, as are the theme parks themselves, but little detailed attention has been given to individual theme park attractions’ (2011, p. 87). This
This book argues that serious study of theme parks and their adult fans has much to tell us about contemporary transmediality and convergence, themed and immersive spaces, and audience relationships with places of meaning. Considering the duopoly of Disney and Universal in Orlando, the book explores a range of theme park experiences including planning trips, meeting characters, eating and drinking, engaging in practices such as cosplay and re-enactment, and memorializing lost attractions. Highlighting key themes such as immersion, materiality, cultural distinctions, and self-identity, the book argues that theme parks are a crucial site for the exploration of transmediality and the development of paratexts. Proposing the key concepts of spatial transmedia and haptic fandom, the book offers analysis of the intersections between fandom, media texts, and merchandise, as well as fans' own affective and physical responses to visiting the parks.
This chapter considers the development of Disney's MyMagic+ app and the critique that it is an intrusive form of technology that removes spontaneity from visitors’ trips. The chapter also considers how theme park fans can organise and look forward to their visits to the Orlando parks using a range of participatory sites such as social media sites, blogs and, in the case of Disney, the My Magic+ app itself. These acts of planning also serve an affective purpose in allowing fan/visitors the chance to invest in anticipating the physical and emotional experience of the visit itself, and the haptic experience this offers. However, the chapter also bears in mind arguments around fan labour to consider how the participatory work that fans do must be examined alongside debates over consumption, work and branding.
Keywords: Haptic fandom, anticipatory labor, fan labor, branding
The contemporary theme park is very different to the early days of Disneyland and Universal Studios in the 1960s. Such places have changed dramatically in the era of digital media, which allows and encourages participation and engagement with the parks even when visitors are not physically present in them. The development of Disney's MyMagic+ technology, comprising the My Disney Experience (MDE) website and mobile app and the accompanying MagicBands (coloured wristbands which function as a hotel key, a form of payment, an entry ticket to theme parks, a way to use the onsite Disney dining plan, and more), encourages guests to plan their visits in minute detail (Foreman 2014; Carr 2015; Kuang 2015; Huddleston et al 2016). Whilst many fan/visitors have embraced the opportunities afforded by the MyMagic+ system, it has been critiqued for being intrusive and for removing spontaneity from visitors’ Disney trips, and viewed by some critics as a ‘tangible, visible symbols of [guest’s] own complicity’ in systems of unpaid labor (Huddleston et al 2016, p. 230).
Drawing on Anthony Giddens’ idea of ontological security, this chapter considers fan reactions when favourite rides are closed or replaced. First it explores fan responses to the closure of the Maelstrom ride at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Park which was replaced by attractions based on the animated film Frozen and how opposition was linked to the importance of ‘classic attractions’ to the park's history and Disney's brand, and a desire to remain ‘true to’ EPCOT's original emphasis upon education. Second, the chapter looks at how Disney's abandoned River Country Water Park in Florida has offered some of the most detailed instances of fan archiving, curation and discussion online, considering what remembering, representing and discussing the park online offers fans within participatory theme park culture.
Keywords: ontological security, fan remembrance, archives, fan endings
This chapter considers another common element of theme park fandom; fan responses to the closure of favourite attractions or, in some extreme cases, entire parks. Whilst Rahn (2011) has discussed the upgrade of Disney's Snow White ride in relation to changes to the rides’ narrative structure and Olympia Kiriakou (2017) has discussed nostalgia for previous versions of the Disney Parks, little work in theme park, tourism, nor audience studies has explored how fans react when beloved rides are replaced. However, the loss of fannish places is worthy of our attention since such moments enable researchers to ‘examine the role that sites of fan-tourism have on fans’ memory-making processes and the ways in which these processes are affected when these sites close’ (Jones 2017). The closure and replacement of favourite places or attractions is part and parcel of theme park fandom which is
entrenched in a perpetual and oftentimes nerve-wracking sense of physical evolution […] the landscape of Walt Disney World is always changing, and remains unstable and forever ‘incomplete’. Maintenance and building are ongoing processes, and attractions, hotels and entertainment complexes are constantly being built, modified or dismantled. In short, virtually every visit to the World has the potential to be different from the last.
This chapter explores how hierarchies of cultural value operate in relation to theme park merchandise through the example of Disney pin-trading which allows fans to display their fan identities (e.g. preference for certain characters, attractions, or hotels) or presence at particular events (via the acquisition of limited edition event pins). It also explores how theme park fans display their fandom on their bodies via clothing and subversive forms of costuming known as DisneyBounding. The link between clothing and specific sites within the park allows fans to engage in forms of ‘embodied transmedia extension’ since fans can engage in ludic imaginative spaces. The chapter acknowledges how theme park fans enter into acts of commercial exchange whilst also operating their own hierarchies regarding acts of consumption.
Key words: paratextual-spatio play, cosplay, DisneyBounding, embodied transmedia, fan fashion, material culture
One of the key activities undertaken by theme park fans is the purchase and collection of merchandise. As a brand Disney has long been seen to demonstrate ‘a careful integration of entertainment and fun with commodification and consumption’ (Wasko 2001, p. 158) and Universal Studios has certainly followed this pattern with huge profits made from its in-park merchandising of key properties such as Shrek, Despicable Me, SpongeBob SquarePants, Jurassic Park and, via the opening of The Wizarding World
This chapter reiterates how theme parks offer a crucial site for the exploration of transmediality and the development of paratexts, offering an ongoing site for analysis of the intersections between fandom, media texts, and merchandise, as well as fans’ own affective and physical responses to visiting the parks. It highlights the ongoing commercial and economic value of themed spaces and the continuing expansion of such sites around the world. Arguing for a move away from Western-centric views of themed spaces and transmedia theory, the chapter concludes by proposing avenues for the future of studying theme park spaces, their fans, and the ongoing tensions that occur when fans of themed spaces and their intellectual properties come into proximity with one another.
Keywords: transnational theme parks, transnational transmedia, play, anti-fandom, fan labour
Writing in 2000, Constance Balides argues that ‘The theme park often figures as a metaphor for the extensive reach of commerce and for simulation as a general mode of experience’ and that it has come to stand in for ‘the derivative nature of cultural forms’ (2000, p. 140). Now, twenty years later, such views persist in many quarters of contemporary society, as examples such as the Katy Perry video for ‘Oblivia’ and the College Humor video discussed in the Introduction demonstrate. Indeed, as I finished writing this conclusion, debate reared its head online about whether childless ‘millennials’ should be visiting Disney Parks at all. Inspired by a (apparently fake) Facebook post where a disgruntled Disney guest bemoaned ‘It pisses me off TO NO END!!!! When I see CHILDLESS COUPLES AT DISNEYWORLD. People without CHILDREN need to be BANNED!!!! […] I fucking hate childless women with a BURNING PASSION!!!!’, theme park fans online quickly moved to argue against the views being expressed and to defend their right to spend their time (and money) wherever they chose. The story was quickly picked up by The New York Post (Olekinski 2019) and The Guardian in the UK (Mahdawi 2019) with both columnists equally damning those who chose to visit the Parks as ‘weird’ (Oleksinski 2019) or having ‘something very wrong with [them]’ (Mahdawi 2019). Clearly, the cultural derision towards adult theme park guests continues.