Pardon Our Pixie Dust

The Signs of Construction in the Parks

By Jeremy Marx

Theme parks in the off-season and construction walls–they go together like a cartoon mouse hand and an oversized pair of puffy white gloves.  These walls often bid farewell to attractions past and hint at wonders soon to come.  Some walls really build up excitement for the work engineers and a construction crew are doing on the inside.  And some could be juiced with a little more imagination.  

Here, on the blog today, are the hits and misses–the walls that inspire wonder and the barriers that well up regret. 

Let’s start with Disneyland’s 1983 Fantasyland refurb:

Even though Fantasyland was surrounded by long construction walls, as you walked around it, you would come across signs that explained the forthcoming project.

A good example is the use of the same sign in two different locations, which were both well-placed. One was on a wall, where you could see some of the construction above, with the second placed inside so that those passing over could also understand the project.

The best Fantasyland ’83 sign helped to build anticipation for the new land, soon to be finished.

Wondering why the other attractions were not added to the sign.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures

Mr. Toads Wild Ride

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

Peter Pan’s Flight
And at night it lights up!
The following signs literally speak for themselves–touched with humor and a sense of excitement. (Added bonus question: as most of these signs were painted at a park shop, either in California or Florida, some of the characters are a little “off-model.”  Your assignment–which is the most and least “on-model” of the signage Mickeys?)

Disneyland’s Toon Town

And now for the cookie-cutter, boring signs that could be used just about anywhere:

If you made it this far, you may be wondering we have already covered many of the good, and not so good. How about the signs for attractions that were placed, but were never built!

That’s it for today.  See you next time!

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