24 March 2009

Pete impounds a lot

There is always a story to be found in Walt Disney World. The inactive movie set suddenly springing to life with you in its clutches, river tales of pirates and native peoples, a town overrun with tacky tourist attractions and grad students, and a multitude of other stories that we are continually engaged with and become a part of as we choose our own adventures inside the borders of Walt Disney World. Yet, all of these stories could simply fall flat. We could be told the stories, see the stories, and imagine ourselves pirates, pioneers, or playwrights, but never experience the story if it were not for the overabundance of details that draw us into and firmly root us in the stories we choose to participate in.One thing that could easily distract a guest from completing immersing themselves in a given story, or the overall story of a park, are strollers. They are everywhere throughout the parks, and rightfully so given that there would be thousands more cranky children if they had to walk all day long, and are visible along just about every line of sight. Thankfully most attraction, or at the very least an area, have stroller parking zones. It is these zones, however, that show you just what lengths Imagineering is willing to go in order to create a cohesive story.Giving the stroller parking areas a name that ties in with the experience allows guest to immerse themselves half a step sooner than they would have had they simply had to park under a ‘Stroller Parking’ sign. A couple of my favorite parking areas consist of Kilimanjaro Safaris’ road sign that includes a stroller, Mickey’s Toontown Fair’s Impound Lot, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s Valet Parking, all of which I have included in this article.Perhaps it is just the teacher in me that notices these little touches for the littlest guests and their families, but, in my opinion, it is just another way to turn a ride, show, or attraction into a full-fledged experience.

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