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Home of the the Happiest Places that were on Earth.
"Hello. I'm Kevin Perjurer, and welcome to my new series, Defunctland, where I will be creating my own amusement park from attractions that are no longer operating."
Kevin Perjurer, Defunctland: The History of ExtraTERRORestrial: Alien Encounter
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Defunctland is a YouTube channel and series created in February 2017 by Kevin Perjurer, who makes (mostly) documentary videos on the history of theme park attractions that have closed down or have been completely revamped. The channel also features an increasing number of videos about defunct TV shows, focused primarily on kid's shows from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, under the banner of DefunctTV.

The main Defunctland series is divided into three seasons:

  • Season One: Kevin brings us through the history of various rides, attractions, and even whole parks from Disney and Universal that are no longer there. A lingering story throughout the Disney episodes is that of Michael Eisner's rise to prominence.
  • Season Two: Much of the same as the previous season, only with a focus on international or more local parks, such as Nara Dreamland or Alton Towers, and a lingering storyline primarily about the Disney theme parks and attractions that were created or failed under the stewardship of Michael Eisner, and his downfall as CEO of Disney.
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  • Season Three: A much more historical series about the myriad parks and attractions that contributed to Walt Disney's youth and the road he would go down in order to up-end the entire amusement business in creating Disneyland.

The channel also features podcasts with other YouTubers who specialize in theme parks discussing with Perjurer, interviews of people who conceived or worked on rides and the Debunkedland videos hosted by Noah Randall, who debunks theme parks-related Urban Legends.

For the list of subjects covered on the channel, see the Recap page.


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Defunctland provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Averted. It would seem as if the show changed from a plan to make a Virtual Reality park featuring all the dismantled rides to a simple history series on gone attractions. However, on January 7th, 2021, they released the first part of the VR park, Defunctland VR: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Accidental Pun: During the "Top 10 Forgotten Disneyland Attractions" video, Disney Dan interrupts Kevin to point out a pun on "driving the point home" while discussing AMC's sponsorship of Circarama USA.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Kevin's video about the Handwich is, fittingly, a cooking video.
  • Arc Villain: Though Michael Eisner could in a way be considered this for most of the early episodes, it's the elitist, self-serving Robert Moses who really comes across as the heavy of Season Three, demolishing old Coney Island, planning the disastrous 1964 World's Fair as a self-rehabilitation project and legacy builder, and even potentially having a hand in the downfall of Freedomland U.S.A.
    Kevin: "Robert Moses Park". He liked the name. After all, he was Robert Moses.
  • Artifact Title: The series was originally started with the intention of detailing the history of closed attractions, and while it still does that from time to time, it has since branched off into discussing theme park history overall, such as the unbuilt Disney's America and the initial financial failures of Euro Disneyland (now known as Disneyland Paris) and Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A good number of the attractions covered closed due to being too expensive to maintain despite their popularity.
    • In particular, the Times Square Toys 'R' Us is a stand out example. The store was undoubtably an awesome toy stor, featuring numerous product launch events, fun attractions such as a Ferris Wheel and a robotic T-Rex, in addition to a huge amount of retail space. However, the location and size of the store resulted in enormous rent costs that prevented it from ever turning a profit, which in addition to its failure to rehabilitate the reputation of the Toys 'R' Us brand contributed both the store closing and the company as a whole eventually going under.
  • Author Avatar: Kevin used to use a picture of Brad Pitt to represent himself.
  • Badass Boast: A truly spectacular example from George Tilyou in "The History of Coney Island", after his entire park burned to the ground in 1907. The very next day, he posted a sign outside the wreckage reading thus:
    George Tilyou:I have troubles today that I did not have yesterday; I had troubles yesterday that I have not today. On this site will be erected shortly a bigger, better, greater Steeplechase Park. Admission to the burning ruins: 10 cents.note 
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The video on Club Disney describes how after Discovery Zone filed for bankruptcy, they were bought out by "a powerful rat... named Charles Entertainment Cheese."
      • A similar joke was used for "The Failure of Disney's Arcade Chain, DisneyQuest", which begins by introducing Sega's creation of live amusement centers in the 90's, leading to a partnership with "a familiar entertainment company that starts with a D"... DreamWorks.
      • Finally, the joke would wind up being subverted in "The Curse of Sesame Street" when Kevin mentions that Jim Henson had managed to get someone to accept his pitch for what would eventually become The Muppet Show, a "young, energetic executive at ABC... named Michael Eisner".
    • In the Electric Park episode, he talks about Alligator Joe, a man that created alligator farms all over the United States, and sometimes got inside to wrestle them. He says that Joe died in 1915 after losing a battle... with pneumonia.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "The History of the 1964 New York World's Fair" concludes with resolutions of varying tones: despite growing numbers by the end, the fair had significantly underperformed, and Robert Moses' behavior surrounding the fair firmly cemented his status as an immensely corrupt stain on New York. Walt Disney, meanwhile, found major success through the Disney-run attractions and managed to pave the way for his next contribution to the world, EPCOT... and then he diedinvoked.
  • Black Comedy: Kevin's dry, professional narration occasionally clashes with the occasionally grim or morbid subject matter he sometimes comes across, accentuated by delivering it as bluntly as possible. One example from "Walt Disney's Childhood Amusement Park, Electric Park"...
    Kevin: In the fall of 1895, Ferdinand Heim, a successful businessman and brewer walked into a restaurant in Kansas City. [...] As the 65-year-old Austrian immigrant dined in Kansas City that fall of 1895, his legacy seemed strong and secure. Which was good, because he was about to die.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    • In the re-recorded Superstar Limo video, this is Kevin's reaction to his own question of "So was it as bad as they thought it would be?"
    • invoked The intro to "The History of Journey into Imagination" features a previous interview with Ron Schneider, the actor for Dreamfinder of the original ride. Kevin asks him if even with the current version, the original ride's spirit has been lost, and before he can even finish his question, Ron bluntly states "It's gone. It's completely gone."
  • Bookends: His series tributing Jim Henson started with a short animation of Jim creating Kermit, which ended with the phrase, "Kermit was alive." The last episode ended with a similar animation, and the phrase, "Kermit was alive, and so was Jim Henson."
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In Electric Park, Kevin says that the park became so popular that they frequently got performances from different showmen, like strongmen, magicians, and strongmen magicians.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In the Black Hole video, he says that the guests at Alton Towers in the 1890s could watch fireworks, clowns, and torture devices.
  • Butt-Monkey: Whenever Kevin talks about estimated attendance figures, he uses the same Shutterstock accounting character to represent the figure in charge of said estimation. Said estimate is always wrong.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": In The Failure of Hong Kong Disneyland, following the uncovering of a massive amount of unexploded bombs and artillery shells while dredging the waters of the construction sitenote :
    Kevin: Local bomb experts assured Disney and the workers that bombs that old won't go off, although they did mention that sometimes they do.
  • Call-Forward: In Season 3, which details attractions that lead to the development of the ideas behind Disneyland and the original concept of Epcot; there are references to the techniques, shared concepts, and direct lines of dialogue that would be used in future attractions.
  • The Cameo:
  • The Cat Came Back: Metatextually: The Season 2 finale of Defunctland, "The Failure of Hong Kong Disneyland", centered around Michael Eisner being let go from Disney, more or less ending his narrative in the overall series. And then, during the Sesame Street episode of DefunctTV's Jim Henson miniseries, when talking about Jim's struggles to get The Muppet Show off the ground:
    Kevin: Luckily, Jim would eventually convince one of the suits. A young, energetic executive at ABC, named... Michael Eisner.
  • The Chew Toy: Superstar Limo, a rushed ride so absolutely godawful that Kevin re-recorded his entire episode on it because he hadn't gone into enough detail about why it was so terrible. Whenever Kevin needs to give Michael Eisner's career a swift kick in the pants, expect to see Superstar Limo get a mention.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • His mini-episode on the 'Country Bear Christmas Special', complete with Rhymes on a Dime.
    • Then he made another one the next year centering around Christmas-based theme parks with a hint of noir films mixed in.
  • Cold Ham: Kevin's delivery is utterly deadpan at all times, which creates quite the contrast when paired with the whimsical language he often uses in his narration.
  • The Comically Serious: The subject matter of the videos is generally lighthearted and at times veers into being downright absurd, but Kevin almost never breaks away from delivering his narration as though he were a dry academic.
  • Content Warnings:
    • At the beginning of the video for Mac Tonight, whose image had been appropriated for an alt-right meme "Moon Man", a disclaimer appears saying that the video doesn't promote or condone the racist views espoused by it.
    • The early episode on Disneyland's America Sings contained a warning with a skip point before covering the death of Debbie Stone, and one at the end asking to be respectful of her in the comments.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The finale for Season 2 starts with a series of TV screens showing the openings for all the previous Season 2 episodes. At the end, clips from each episode are also shown.
  • Control Freak: The Craziest Party and Epcot episodes touch on Walt Disney's obsession with personal control, such as his anger towards his employees for attempting to unionize or his attempt at creating a planned community with Epcot.
  • Creator's Apathy: invoked Despite the long list of reasons given by the CEO for Wonderland Sydney's closure, Kevin makes it clear that the real reason for the failure of the park, which was still massively popular and a cultural icon, was because the owners just didn't care.
  • Crossover:
    • Does one with Disney Dan in his video on extinct walk-around characters in Disney World as well as one for now-defunct opening day attractions at Disneyland.
    • He also does one with Park Ride History on Body Wars.
    • He also did part one of a two-part video on Journey into Imagination with Yesterworld.
    • His biggest one comes in the form of his video on Disney's America, which featured Lindsay Ellis, Disney Dan, Bright Sun Filmsnote , Alicia Stella, Podcast: The Ridenote , Yesterworldnote , Quinton Reviews, RobPlays, and Park Ride Historynote 
  • Dark Reprise: In the Adventures Thru Inner Space episode, the cheery "Miracles from Molecules" theme song that backed a showcase of synthetically created consumer products in the attraction is turned into a military marching song playing over a montage of chemical weapons, which the attraction's sponsor Monsanto helped create, being aerially spread over the landscape in The Vietnam War.
  • Deadpan Snarker: During Season 1, Kevin often made snarky jokes in the captions on his videos, as well as in his narration. With the captions no longer appearing from Season 2 onwards, the snarkiness in his narration has been toned down, although it sometimes still appears.
  • Death's Hourglass: Evoked with the Jim Henson retrospective, which repeatedly cuts to a ticking clock (a shot from Henson's short film Time Piece) foreshadowing Henson's premature death. As the day of his death closes in, other shots from Time Piece begin to appear.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • In his video on Superstar Limo, Kevin dryly (and not that unfairly) describes Disney California Adventure as "a California-themed theme park located in the already California-themed California."
    • A similar case happened with the proposed Disney's America, which was far more controversial due to its proposition as a theme park of American history created in close proximity to actual preserved historical grounds. Kevin directly compares "building a park about American history on top of historic ground was akin to building a theme park based on California in California."
  • Disneyland Dad: Both types are discussed in "The History of Beverly Park Kiddieland", which somehow became a local hangout for Disneyland Dads. As divorce rates climbed in the 1970s, a common ruling was that fathers were only given custody/visitation on weekends or even just Sundays; on those weekends, divorced L.A. dads began to frequent the inexpensive and well-established Kiddieland en masse in what Kevin calls "a full-blown daddy epidemic" — some under the compulsion to make the visit fun in some way, others just not sure what else to do with the afternoon. Once there, they could entertain their children, network with other divorced dads, and — being newly single — even attempt to pick up women, although the stigma of visiting clearly embarrassed some men (one father quoted for a Los Angeles Times profile about the influx said, 'don't use my name'). By the admission of founder David Bradley, who had himself recently divorced and remarried in 1970, Kiddieland had become "very much a daddy park".note 
  • Downer Ending:
    • The War for Disney's America ends with the planned park being scuttled, but the land that would have been the park was ultimately turned into a housing development, meaning that the historical sites opponents of the park were trying to preserve were destroyed anyways.
    • Walt Disney spent the last years of his life on a project that wouldn't even leave planning stages before he died, then got unceremoniously canceled by his brother right after, before being revived as an In Name Only theme park... and that was the best thing that could have happened, for if Walt had succeeded at building Epcot like he imagined, at best it would fail, at worst it would ruin his entire legacy and leave people thinking he's an out-of-touch dictator. And what's more, Kevin's final sentences implied that Epcot... and indeed everything Walt did, was an attempt to get back his childhood in Marceline, Missouri.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: At the end of the Action Park episode, he shows off a news report about the ride, which shows one of the newscasters ogling the bikini-clad on-scene reporter and making advances towards her, before the cameraman gets uncomfortable and cuts the feed and his co-host berates him. Kevin typically doesn't speak during ending segments like this, usually meaning to just show off something he didn't have any room for in the main body of the episode, but the lack of comment reads as deafeningly silent contempt.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • invoked Early episodes of the series, everything pre-Back to the Future: The Ride featured Kevin utilizing voice changing software to deepen his already pretty deep voice and notably labeled the series as "The Perj Special Series". This was due to Defunctland starting off as a side project for Kevin's "The Perj" series before quickly eclipsing the main series' popularity and causing the channel to be re-branded to Defunctland.
    • The Pretzel Dark Rides episode stands out for two reasons: it's about a mass-produced model of a ride instead of an individual example, and a number of Pretzel rides are actually still open.
    • Kevin used a cartoony portrait of Brad Pitt as well as his wax figure as avatars in early videos.
    • Season 2 abandons the Framing Device from season 1. It also becomes a straight, though humorous at times, documentary series. The snarky captions have also been completely dropped.
    • DefunctTV initially had each episode end with a specific final shot. note  Starting with the series on Jim Henson, these have been dropped.
  • Executive Meddling: invoked According to Kevin, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss was ultimately moved to Nick Jr. for its second season and Retooled along the lines of a traditional Preschool Show; this also resulted in changes like the Cat in the Hat going from a trickster like his book counterpart was to a kind and excited host and other Dr. Seuss characters being Demoted to Extra.
  • Fake Band: Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story is all about one, a sci-fi rock group called Halyx which performed on the Tomorrowland Space Stage for the summer of 1981.
  • False Utopia: The entire focus of the episode "Walt Disney's City of the Future". E.P.C.O.T.'s design was truly visionary — an unprecedented level of planning towards a futuristic way of life featuring total convenience for all, with a forward-thinking focus on technology and renewable energy sources. It would've also, as Kevin details, been a cross between an inhospitable Tomorrowland showroom and a micromanaging company town: residents would've served as involuntary guinea pigs for testing out the city's innovations and experiments, basic privacy wouldn't have existed due to the entire city being an industrial exhibition, seemingly no thought was afforded to issues like racial discrimination, workers' rights, or criminal justice, children's education curriculums would've been dictated by Walt himself, teenagers would've been endlessly monitored for signs of delinquency, and the concept of retirement didn't exist.note  When the topic of representative government eventually came up, with the lawyers pointing out that permanent residents would want to supersede Disney's absolute authority by voting on how the city was run or by holding elective office, Walt switched to a temporary leasing program to deny them the chance. Not surprisingly, following Walt's death, Roy Sr. would immediately retool his brother's unfeasible ambition and divert all resources towards the planned theme park area, a place that would become known as "Walt Disney World".
  • A Father to His Men: In The Craziest Party, it's stated that Walt Disney tried to be something of a fatherly/uncle-like figure to his employees. However, since his own father was a workaholic who instilled within his children a tireless work ethic and gave praise sparingly, when applied to his own employees this ended up straining relations with them and would eventually give on up on doing this entirely.
  • Follow the Leader: invoked Kevin theorizes that this is what happened with season 2 of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, given its new format made it similar to Bear in the Big Blue House, with a calming host and his small friends whose problems he solved.
  • Framing Device:
    • In Season 1, Kevin's main goal is to assemble a virtual theme park of decommissioned theme park attractions. The Defunctland video series initially acts as his thought process regarding what attractions he finds interesting to talk about and which would be interesting to add to the park. This was abandoned after season 1 and Defunctland became more of a straight, though humorous at times, documentary series.
    • Occasionally used within the episode themselves. The Club Disney video is framed as a 90s sitcom, with a laugh track to boot, while The Demise of Australia's Biggest Theme Park, Wonderland Sydney is framed around the perspective of Maniac, a giant and homicidal crocodile.
  • From Bad to Worse: Kevin's assessment of Eisner's reign during the first half of the Turn of the Millennium.
    Kevin: The development of DisneyQuest was indicative of the state of the company after the tumultuous seven years into Euro Disneyland's opening. And it was a mere preview of the mind-boggling creative choices and shocking business decisions that the next seven years would bring. Their renaissance was over, and Disney was about to enter the 2000s. Buckle up, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Episodes from Season 1 tend to have a lot more snarky quips through captions, though this has been done away with as of Season 2.
  • Gilligan Cut: The CEO of Disneyland Paris/Euro Disneyland, Robert Fitzpatrick, attempted to assuage the French backlash against the park's opening by claiming that they weren't going to do something offensive like have Mickey Mouse dress up in a stereotypical French costume. The video then silently cuts to a photo of Mickey wearing a stereotypical French costume; namely a striped shirt, ascot tie, and beret.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: This is how Kevin describes Michael Eisner's work ethic in the revamped Superstar Limo episode:
    Kevin: Eisner had a simple technique that he often used when he decided on new projects. The technique is known as "jealousy". Whenever Eisner saw another company doing something successfully, he decided that Disney would do the same thing. Moreover, he would take the idea and do basically the same thing in basically the same place. invoked
    • A similar thing was brought up with "The Failure of Disney's Arcade Chain, DisneyQuest", where the desire to venture into its volatile market was not due to any direct competition compromising Disney's success, but likely because Eisner wanted to one-up GameWorks due to its connection to DreamWorks, in turn, because of his personal beef with its co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.
  • Groin Attack: Kevin makes several remarks in the Green Lantern: First Flight episode about how the ride's constant zig-zagging mixed with tight restraints resulted in a "pelvic nightmare," especially after alterations reducing the number of rotations in the ride.
    "The reports of crotch-botches plagued the ride's reputation. The ride was advertised as 'squeezing a lifetime of action into 90 seconds,' but many riders claimed after the change that it only squeezed one's ability to make a life out of them after 90 seconds." [insert screencap of a YouTube comment saying, "I'm not able to have children ever since I rode the Green Lantern"]
  • Heteronormative Crusader: "The History of Disneyland's Teen Nightclub, Videopolis" examines a lot of Disney's history of doing its best to ban "homosexual fast dancing" and keep it that way through legal loopholes, going so far as to allow a gay couple who sued them to dance, but only that couple.
  • Hypocrite: As Kevin cheerfully pointed out, Walt Disney had little room to object to the interoffice romances between the animators and ink-and-paint women when he found his wife, Lillian, in the ink-and-paint department.
  • In the Style of...: "The War on Disney's America" was formatted in a style reminiscent of Ken Burns' The Civil War, complete with describing Disney's business conflict like a military one, and the narrator and guest cast reading historical figures' statements with their best attempt at copying their voices.
  • Leitmotif: Any reference to Cedar Point's 'Disaster Transport' rollercoaster is met with a distinctive "Oh yeaaah!" soundbite, taken from a song from the episode on Disaster Transport itself.
  • Long List: When listing the reasons Sunway Group gave for Wonderland Sydney's closure:
    Kevin: The company's CEO listed the September 11th attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings, the collapse of HIH Insurance, the SARS Virus, the Bird Flu virus, consistent losses during the Asian financial crisis, the collapse of Ansett Australia, the Iraq War, and the 2003 bushfires as the reasoning for the park's closure.
  • Mood Whiplash: One particularly dramatic example in the tag for "The History of Busch Gardens' Swinging Classic, the Big Bad Wolf", which mentioned its sister ride XLR-8 at Astroworld:
    Kevin: I wonder whatever happened to XLR-8...
    [Dramatic shot of empty Astroworld lot]
  • Motor Mouth: Kevin can bring up a lot of facts and details in rapid succession without pausing. Perhaps best illustrated in the video about the history of Captain EO, in which he lists all of the high profile artistic contributions and their major work in a short amount of time, then takes a breath.
  • Not Me This Time: In the Eastern Airlines video, many people were genuinely surprised to learn that none of this had anything to do with usual punching bag, Michael Eisner.
  • Obsessive Hobby Episode: "The History of Mickey Mouse Park" deals with how Walt's nostalgia of his past (which included amusement parks, the wild west, trains) turned into an obsession that eclipsed his animation and film projects that led to the creation of Disneyland.
  • On the Next ______: Season 2 often had tags at the end of the credits hinting at the subject for the next episode.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: In "The War on Disney's America" and getting to the 1994 Senate hearing for and against the park, Kevin describes how the press and public flocked to Capitol Hill expecting "the most exciting Senate Public Lands and National Monuments Subcommittee hearing since its inception." To its credit, it didn't disappoint.
    • Lampshaded when reading a promotional news piece for Green Lantern: First Flight.
    Kevin: It was celebrated as the first-ever "completely vertical-pattern zig-zag roller coaster featuring 360-degree spinning seats" in North America. What took them so long?
  • Pastiche: Animator's Retreat, a song used in both the intro and credits for "The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw", is a nod to late '90s pop-punk from the likes of Sum 41 that tended to show up on college movie soundtracks.
  • Poe's Law: In "The History of Cedar Fair's Berenstain Bear Country," Kevin discusses some of the Berenstains' earlier works for adults, including "Office Lover Boy," a collection of comics showing men behaving extremely inappropriately towards women in the workplace. Kevin describes it as being a hilarious satire of workplace sexism "of the early 1960s and mid-forever".
    Kevin: These books were either gripping satirical on the problematic climate of the corporate workplace, or they weren't, in which case... invoked Wow.
  • Polish the Turd: This is how Kevin characterizes Superstar Limo and its successors. After events beyond their control (the death of Princess Diana) made the original "chased by paparazzi" concept suddenly come off as in extremely bad taste late in development, the designers were stuck trying to get anything usable out of it. Although Michael Eisner loved the new version at first, he eventually realized what a dud it was going to be, and offered two further suggestions to try to save it — get rid of the "DreamJerks" gag that had likely been put in to appeal to his ego, and replace the ride's original framing device featuring himself with the talent agent Swifty La Rue, both of which conveniently removed any of Eisner's visible culpability in the trainwreck. The video also showcases a failed attempt at it from a "cast of The Drew Carey Show goes to Disneyland" special; while Drew himself makes an attempt at feigning excitement, everybody else is increasingly obvious about being unimpressed and after the ride, they walk off without a word.note 
  • Private Eye Monologue: The episode about various Santa Claus and Christmas-themed parks is framed as Kevin giving one as he "investigates" the various parks and what made them so popular (and what made so many of them close down). Complete with Deliberate Monochrome and typing his theories on a typewriter!
  • Reality Is Unrealisticinvoked: Although he meant it in the sense of being a Cash Cow Franchise, a "Defunctland Bear Fact" pops up in "The History of Cedar Fair's Berenstain Bear Country" to confirm that you can literally milk a bear.
  • Replacement Goldfish: In "The History of Mickey Mouse Park", Kevin remarks that after the Disney Strikes ruined the family-like camaraderie Walt Disney had with his employees he began ignoring his animation studio in favor of recreating the tight-knit atmosphere with his team working on Disneyland.
  • Rich Recluse's Realm: One episode discusses a memorable real-life attempt at this in the form of Walt Disney's EPCOT (Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow): towards the end of his life, Disney became obsessed with the creation of a model community that would serve as a showcase for futuristic technology installed in the homes of the residents. He also began fantasizing about the possibility of living in Epcot, even suggesting designs for a park where he and his wife could enjoy the evenings. Unfortunately, he also wanted total executive control over the community, and the showcase aspect would have made it necessary for the residents to be on display at all times and for the company to regularly upgrade the entire city just to stay on the cutting edge — a prohibitively expensive process. In the end, Epcot never got off the drawing board before Walt Disney died of cancer, and if it had, it would have totaled his reputation for all time.
  • Rule of Three: Parodied. The famous one from Beetlejuice is utilized during Kevin's video on Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue as he realizes that he's mentioned the titular character twice before in the series before realizing that he's fallen into the reference and resignedly utters the last "Beetlejuice" to start the video proper.
  • Running Gag:
    • His "the George Lucas everyone loves not the George Lucas everyone hates" line certainly qualifies.
      • Related, but pictures of Lucas (including a few where the focus is on someone else but Lucas appears) are often accompanied by a subtitle describing which "version" of Lucas it is, ranging from "the cocky George Lucas that everybody still loved" to "the George Lucas that was in preproduction for Howard the Duck" to "Oh my god. It's Lucas cleanly shaven."
    • Whenever budget cuts are mentioned, expect to see a picture of Disney's CEO from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, Michael Eisner. Even when it's not in a Disney park or not his fault at all.
    • Whenever a ride gets replaced with a new ride that's particularly screen-heavy, expect "SCREENS!" to show up in the captions.
    • Any time he references estimated attendance figures, he uses the same stock photo to represent the accountant in charge of calculating such figures. Said accountant is always hilariously inaccurate in his predictions.
    • Any time a movie is successful, Kevin launches into a list of increasingly improbable, niche, silly, and all real merchandise, which always ends with "theme park attractions".
    • Noting that defunct roller coasters that were either entirely indoors or had an indoor queue have a bizarre tendency to have their queue buildings turned into haunted houses.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • One of the inside jokes of Superstar Limo, "Please keep your hands, feet and egos in the limo at all times". Cue an annoyed "Ha..." from Kevin.
    • After listing off all the high-profile talent working behind the scenes on Captain Eo, he comments "believe it or not, they were overbudget".
  • Screwed by the Network: invoked In the episode on The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Kevin stated that the show was abruptly cancelled after two seasons for unknown reasons.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The "Top 10 Forgotten Disneyland Attractions" (with Disney Dan) features a plug for the quiz show app SwagIQ and is titled "Kevin and Disney Dan's Selling Out Clickbait Patwooza 2018".
    • Kevin doesn't hesitate to rag on Kansas, his home state.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: invoked Discussed in the FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman episode regarding Zoom, which was originally lauded for its reality television concepts in the 1970s, but lost ratings in the early 2000s following the boom of mainstream reality television, in addition to having to compete against shows for kids aged 8-12 from kid-oriented networks like Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: "The History of the 1964 New York World's Fair" is partially a history on Robert Moses' attempt to rectify his almost assuredly unfavorable legacy as a corrupt racist who solely served the rich. These attempts were massively stifled by the fact that he continued to be corrupt, racist, and solely serving the rich, and by the financial failure of the 1964 World's Fair and the scandals following it, his grave was completely dug.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • A small example at the end of "The War on Disney's America". After winning an uphill battle to prevent Disney from building a theme park next to a Civil War battlefield, it is revealed that the proposed site today is a sprawling suburban housing development.
    • From "The History of the Worst SeaWorld Ride, Submarine Quest" — the ride was meant to be a bounce back for SeaWorld following the crumbling of their reputation from the Blackfish exposé, and one which they put a lot of confident trust into (partly driven by the vision of their new CEO, Joel Manby), even sacrificing the Blue World Project (an initiative to improve the quality of life for its orca whales) to fund it. Unfortunately for them, Submarine Quest was a harshly-panned disaster invokedthat SeaWorld was almost embarrassed to admit they were even closing down, and with the departure of Manby only 3 years into the company, SeaWorld has since returned to square one, suffering slumping profits and a massive identity crisis.
  • Shout-Out: The intro to the Superstar Limo video is a pastiche of the Arrested Development intro.
    • The intro to the Club Disney video is in the style of a 90's sitcom, complete with the Full House font.
    • The Disney's America video's structure is patterned after Ken Burns' The Civil War.
    • The intro to the Nick Hotel episode is stylized after the title cards of several Nick shows, namely SpongeBob SquarePants, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, The Fairly OddParents, and Rugrats, in order.
    • The "Walt Disney's Epcot" episode is framed by an homage to Citizen Kane and adapts many of the famous lines from the film to reflect Walt's desires.
    • The opening of the Adventure Thru Inner Space video is a homage to the intro of Full Metal Jacket, complete with a Defunctland-themed Warner Bros. logo.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the conclusion of "The History of the Worst SeaWorld Ride, Submarine Quest", Kevin notes that there was a clear amount of work, attention, and even love being put into the ride, but specifically in the technology of the vehicle and virtually nothing in the actual experience, ostensibly an underwater-themed dark ride in broad daylight. As a result, it was widely panned as being a bad idea plagued with worse execution, proving to be a costly mistake by SeaWorld.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • A variation: "The History of Worlds of Fun's Destroyed Classic, The Orient Express" concerns an amusement park that Kevin actually lives near.
    • Kevin fully acknowledged in the comments that the video on Eastern Airlines would most likely be the only Defunctland video concerning the airplane industry. The vast majority of it concerns Eddie Rickenbacker founding the company and Eastern's struggle to compete with other major airways as jetliners became the norm, resorting to corporate acquisition, union-busting, and hasty power restructuring to turn a profit; Disney itself plays only a cursory role, and the dissolution of their partnership just signifies what terrible shape Eastern was in if the Disney company, in 1987, wasn't willing to retain them.
    • "The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw" doesn't concern a defunct anything in the slightestnote . Instead, it concerns three key things: the fraternal atmosphere of Walt Disney Studios, the infamous (titular) wrap party for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the start of the Disney union strikes.
    • "The History of Mickey Mouse Park" is a particular variation, as Mickey Mouse Park was never under construction. In developing the park, it soon became apparent to Walt Disney that his ideas weren't feasible for the small location next to the studio he was intending to use. So, he instead moved to a larger location and retooled Mickey Mouse Park into a theme park called "Disneyland".
    • In the Santa Claus episode, the "Baby It's Cold Outside" section stands out, as only one of the three parks talked about in it is currently abandoned. The other two, including the original at Lake Arrowhead, were abandoned for a period of time before reopening and were both still operating at the time the video released, and both still counted as Santa Claus parks due to still including Santa's Village in their names.
  • Souvenir Land: Of course, Kevin doesn't confine himself to the major operators like Disney and Six Flags. Particularly notable is the Santa Claus episode which talks about just how many Santa-themed theme parks there have been.
  • The Stoic: Kevin delivers all of his narration in a flat and measured tone.
  • Surprise Creepy: Cited as being one of the reasons for the mixed initial reaction to Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour, advertised as a simple tour of the titular castle and not as the terrifying Disney villains / Gothic Horror-themed journey it really was. This proved to be especially a problem for international guests due to language barriers, making the whiplash even worse.
  • Take That!:
    • Kevin makes multiple jabs at Michael Eisner, from his incompetence as CEO to saying that he operated off of jealousy instead of more rational thinking.
    • He also had little trouble making his opinions on Action Park's almost-nonexistent safety regulations and eccentricities known via subtitles on his b-roll.
    • A number of jokes have been made at the expense of Universal Studios, for closing great rides and shows based on "staples of pop culture" (sic) like Back to the Future: The Ride, Ghostbusters Spooktacular and Kongfrontation and keeping rides based on Dudley Do-Right and Waterworld.
    • Downplayed: in the video on the Nick Hotel, whenever Kevin mentions Nickelodeon making money off of advertising due to the popularity of Spongebob Squarepants, he plays clips of Mr. Krabs showcasing his greed.
  • The Theme Park Version: invoked "The War for Disney's America" documented this as being a major reason for the theme park's opposition, with many worrying about the impact of a Disneyfied sanitization of American history it was likely to be, especially since its location was near an actual Civil War historical ground. One early gaffe by Disney's PR team in response to this opposition had them claim it was instead going to be "painful, disturbing, and agonizing" in its historical realism. That defense didn't go well.
  • They Changed It, So It Sucks: invoked Kevin's opinion about the revamps of Space Mountain. Otherwise though Kevin tries to avoid this, he won’t hesitate to criticize the faults of even the most nostalgic ride (or show) and will quickly point out the strengths of a worthy replacement.
  • This Is Going to Be Huge: A recurring theme in many of the videos is how Disney had sky-high expectations for many of their projects in the '90s (Euro Disney, DisneyQuest, Club Disney) only for them to be very disappointed when said projects didn't even come close to reaching their expectations.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In his guide book about old attractions in Disney World's Magic Kingdom, frequent punching bag Michael Eisner shows up to give a reasonable defense of why theme parks change over time. Then he saves the reader from prison in a daring lightsaber duel with his successor because the book had gone a bit weird by that point.
  • Unexpected Genre Change: The Guide to the Magic Kingdom book starts as a fairly straightforward humorous guide book to the park as it explores the history of various attractions. Once you're through all the lands it takes a sudden turn and tells you to break into the service tunnels to steal props, and from there, there's a hard shift into the Second-Person Narration of your daring heist.
  • Vocal Evolution: As mentioned above, the earliest episodes of the series had Kevin use a voice changer effect for the narration, and it stopped once the series proved to be popular.
  • We All Live in America: One of several reasons why the French public condemned the opening of Euro Disney near Paris, as the locals viewed the resort as an example of American cultural imperialism - not aided by Disney overseers demanding solely English-language development meetings, enforcing American hair and dress standards on employees (something actually illegal under French law), and banning all wine from the premises.
    • The very name "Euro Disney" is a case of this trope, as it was based on the distinctly American view of "euro" as a suffix for anything "European" — Most actual Europeans associate it with "euro" the currency, making the park's name seem rather clueless.
  • Wham Line: Throughout the first episode of Season 3 focusing on the Ferris wheel, Kevin would also talk about the son of a farmer who lived in Chicago around that time and his involvement in the construction of the Ferris wheel. It isn't until the end where it's revealed who this person was, when discussing the children the farmer's son would eventually have. More specifically, the third and fourth.
    Kevin: The Exposition led to a prosperous career in Chicago, so much that he suggested to his wife that they name their third son "Columbus", after the Columbian Exposition. She wasn't thrilled about the name, and the couple decided on the name "Roy" for their third child instead. The farmer's son wouldn't raise the issue again for their fourth child, choosing to name him after his friend Walter Parr. Although they would refer to him as simply... "Walt".
    • And in case you didn't get it yet, when discussing the family's move out of Chicago in 1906:
      Kevin: The rising crime in the city got to him, so the farmer's son, Elias, and his family, packed their bags, and headed... for Marceline, Missouri.
  • What Could Have Been: invoked A frequent part of the series, where the original concepts of many rides and parks were actually quite interesting but got changed for various reasons.
    • The infamous Superstar Limo was originally about the rider trying to escape the paparazzi, but this was changed after the death of Princess Diana.
    • The proposed expansion of Discoveryland in Euro Disney, primarily an enormous Jules Verne-inspired pavilion surrounding a new From the Earth to the Moon-inspired Space Mountain, reduced to just the ride due to budget constraints.
    • The infamous idea of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was planned to be an Alien themed attraction.
    • EPCOT was originally an idea for a functioning city of tomorrow, with a monorail/people mover-based transportation system, remote classes, no traffic, and various other innovative ideas. However, Defunctland also pointed out the various problems with the original concept, such as the residents lacking basic freedoms, the people being effectively put on display for the tourists, and the massive expense it would take to keep the city of tomorrow from constantly falling behind.
    • The entirety of Disney's America is this, with the episode primarily documenting the increasingly uphill battle Disney faced following its inception, which it ultimately lost before it could be made.
    • If not for the fact that it got too big for its original planned location, what we know as Disneyland would instead be the scaled-down Mickey Mouse Park.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: "The History of Disney's Worst Attraction Ever, Superstar Limo".
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Fitting the "90s college party movie" motif of the entire episode, "The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw" ends with explaining what happened to some of the major players in the story.note 

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