20 October 2007

Give that button a squeeze

There are those in the Disney community that no longer need guide maps to make their way through the parks. In fact, there are tons of us that no longer need the guides. Some put the amusement in amusement park by watching first time guests attempt to maneuver through the parks with these guides, while others attempt to help in whatever small way they can, while still others go on about their business taking little notice. Yet, we still pick up the guide maps on visits, out of compulsion, habit, or for collection purposes.

But have you ever stopped to take a look at the back of the guides? You can pause here and go grab yours if you like, but I’ll provide copies here for those of you who don’t have them at arms reach. Yes, they are only advertisements for Kodak film and camera products, but look at the how each is perfectly themed to the park it is attached to. I bet you don’t even need me to tell you which ad corresponds to which guide, but, for those of you that do, they are ordered as such: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Kodak’s history with Disney goes back a long ways. How many of us have taken pictures at a Kodak PictureSpot? I know Van over at Netcot loves them, but the association dates back well before Walt Disney World. Since the release of the Disney Treasure’s Your Host, Walt Disney, most people have become familiar with the fact that Kodak sponsored Disneyland ’59, but the connection goes back even further than that. Even before the original Disneyland guide maps Kodak was a part of all things Disney. Kodak film could be found in the filming and production of the Saludos Amigos, True Life Adventures, and even so far back as Flowers and Trees, where the invention of three-strip Technicolor film stock made it possible for Flowers and Trees to see its true potential, rather than just black and white, as it went on to be the first cartoon to win an Academy Award.

Next time you are blazing a trail or meandering through a park, make sure to take a moment and realize just how good a job Kodak does setting up us amateurs for success. Whether it is getting us from one place to another, finding spots where we can take almost professional photographs, or just relish in the fact that Kodak has been with Disney almost as long as Mickey Mouse has.

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