“What are the optimal siege tactics for taking Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle?” reads a topic headline on popular question and answer site Quora. It continues, “Cinderella’s Castle is the the worldwide-recognized icon of the Disney empire…. Assuming it were an actual fortress, how would you take it?” A trivial question to some, but one worth seriously considering to over 400 people who have upvoted responses to the strategic inquiry. Sergeant Jon Davis of the U.S. Marine Corps offered the most comprehensive plan of attack entitled “Operation It’s A Small World After All.”
On Quora, this type of question is not abnormal. The site, founded by former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo, promises to deliver expert answers for any question you could dream up. For nearly any question asked, from investment strategies and insider information to best theoretical spaceships and siege tactics, questions are always received by professionals in the relevant fields and answered as effectively as possible. Quora has managed to foster an open meritocracy with strong contributors. Good responses are upvoted to top positions, poor answers are cast to oblivion.
To answer this question, Sergeant Jon Davis pulled a map of the Magic Kindgom and set to creating his four phase plan of attack. Davis went on the assumption that modern technology could be used to take the fortress, but his tactics mostly rely on strategic positioning to overrun Walt’s hideout.
Designed to establish a staging area for troops and resources to gather, phase one scouts out a secure position for the invading force. “This position must be easily accessible, provide cover and concealment for the troops, and give strategic advantage once taken while depriving the enemy of the same,” writes Davis. “For this mission, I choose the area outside the tracks, between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA. Consideration must be taken to ensure we are not spotted by the monorail.”
The second part to Davis’s plan moves two infantry units into Tomorrowland and Main Street USA. The unit at Main Street USA will block the entrance to the park and prevent the castle from calling in reinforcements while also cutting off their supply chain. The Tomorrowland unit’s objective is to secure any buildings and capture any technology in the area. Davis cautions the units to sieze any underground access points and “gas them to prevent surprise attacks from the tunnels.”
In proper military fashion, Main Street USA is renamed Mike Station, and Tomorrowland renamed Tango Base. Securing the two positions is of the utmost importance now. Sniper posts and heavy machine guns are strategically placed. “The weapons should be made to cover key positions likely to receive any counter attack through likely avenues of approach with overlapping fields of fire and pinpoint targeting by the snipers,” writes Davis. The artillery waits in the forest, ready to receive the enemy.
With the proper positions set, it’s now time for the moment of glory—the attack on Cinderella’s stronghold. Because the front of the castle is guarded by a moat and the castle has direct line of sight down the main road back to Mike Station, the infantry unit at Tango Base will attack the castle from the rear. While passing around the castle, Davis introduces a second objective:
While in Fantasyland we will have the opportunity to take down the menace of all parents everywhere. The “It’s a Small World” ride will be within our reach. This isn’t a capture mission like the castle, but one of complete annihilation. Expect heavy casualties as their adorable repetitiveness burns into your skulls like white phosphorous in the jungle. Our sacrifices will be great, but our suffering is in the name of protecting others.
The Killing Blow
With the castle being overwhelmed in the rear, the main force can move from Mike Station to the front of the castle, seize the moat and statue of Walt Disney, and march through the opened gates to victory.
With triumph in hand, Sergeant Jon Davis reminds of one last thing: “honor the fallen.”