We are now on our last day at Disneyland. In the last six days we crisscrossed the parks many times, sampling all the rides and just plain soaking in the wonderful experience they provide. I've studied everything as best I could, recorded more than 500 images, mostly of the signs. We've visited many times before, but each time it is like looking at it with fresh eyes for as my own experience grows and directions change I see things in new ways.
One of my favorite areas in California Adventure is 'Condor Flats', the desert airport area in front of the attraction 'California Soaring'. The theme work is amazing in all directions. One of the features is a rocket motor test facility. A giant rocket engine is suspended on an I-beam rig. It shoots water vapor when it's hot outside, much to the delight of guests.
To one side is a drink stand, selling Coca Cola products. There is no other drink stand like it - ANYWHERE! There are two giant compressors, lots of strange pipes, valves, condensers and contraptions to make it all believable. I can only imagine what it might have cost to make... and I suspect the profits of the drinks sold there would take a very long time to pay it off. But the whole mighty contraption is a wonderful sign for the larger areas and attraction. It tells the story in an awesome fashion. Take it away and the area would become very ordinary and unremarkable - even forgettable in a hurry! This is the Disney difference.
While these types of large budgets may be very hard to find or justify in the real world, I firmly believe we should try. I know I will continue to do my best to build and become become known for these kinds of memorable signs and structures in the future. And although they might be considered expensive, compared to 'ordinary', imagine the landmarks we will create. Imagine how well they will work for our customers!