28 April 2009

On the trail

Maps are a part of life within Walt Disney World. At the very least, first time or long absent guests require the guide maps to gain their bearings. Some folks, like me, like to collect these guide maps as a personal time capsule into what the world looked liked at any given point. Yet, there is even a further depth to maps in Walt Disney World, they surround guest experiences even if they aren’t looking for them.
Many of these maps showcase railway lines such as the Pacific Electric Railway. Other maps showcase large land masses, both real and imaginary, for instance Tibet, Anandapur, or the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, the last of which also features a glimpse into the Eastern Star Railway routes. While still other charts surreally blend the invented and the discovered, guides like the Atlantic chart found in the Swiss Family Treehouse or the trails of Pecos Bill.These maps are not crucial to any specific attraction, show, or experience. In fact, they aren’t even needed to tell the story of a given land or area, they could be removed and most guests would be none the wiser. However, for the guests that soak up their surroundings they add to the sense of created place, giving a real world feel to wood and fiberglass and concrete. Without a Cast Member present to give you guidance and show you along, these charts are storytelling devices that move the tale you are engrossed in along.Increasing the depth of a story is one of the time honored Disney traditions and these maps, whether you take notice of them or not, uphold that principle.

1 comment:

Princess Fee said...

This is one of the things I love about Disney - the detail they go into things. I love looking for maps all over the place - and not just the guidemaps!