Visual Intrusion – Any outside element that makes its way into a scene, breaks the visual continuity, and destroys the illusion. WDI works hard to eliminate visual intrusions.
--The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, p. 13
The look of Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland was designed to blend in with the saccharine sweet flavor of Fantasyland, from where it could occasionally be seen. Prior to the installation of Space Mountain, the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland had the Contemporary Resort and incoming monorails as its backdrop. The transition from Main Street U.S.A. to Adventureland hinges at the corner of the Crystal Palace where Victorian-era influences can be felt in both lands. These are just a few of the cases in which the Imagineers crafted brilliantly disguised skylines and stories and kept the visual intrusions at bay.Another tool in the Imagineers bag of tricks is the layering of areas, creating a feeling that there is more depth to a space than is actually available. A key example of this is France in World Showcase, with the Eiffel Tower some distance away, it appears that the side-streets will, eventually, lead us to the Paris icon. Another application of this tool comes from Morocco.
While I have been unable to confirm this story through any official source, there is a story that is told about the design of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. In this tale it is said that the Imagineers realized that due to the building’s height it would be able to be seen from a few locations around World Showcase in Epcot. Once these sightlines were established, and indicated that it would be seen rising up behind Morocco, the Imagineers went to work piecing together a structure that would be reminiscent of the height of Hollywood glamour and still maintain an architecture and color scheme that would add another layer to the space and story of the Morocco pavilion.Whether or not this is actually the case, the illusion is maintained as the Hollywood Tower Hotel blends into the spires and Chella minaret of Morocco. Casting your gaze to the other side of World Showcase, back towards Future World, guests are met with a large airplane hangar overtaking the rocky cliffs of Canada. While I would not give up Soarin’ for anything, and understand the vast amounts of space needed for such an attraction, the visual intrusion of the hangar seems to go against everything Imagineering has worked so hard to create.
I don’t believe the Soarin’ shelter should have been covered in rockwork, but I do believe there are small fixes that would have reduced the amount the hangar intrudes into the surrounding views. For instance, rather than the blue color, meant to mimic the color of the Florida sky, perhaps the structure should have been painted a rusty brown. This would have been in keeping with the aeronautics feel and given a brown backdrop to the brown crags of the Canada pavilion.While visual intrusion is inevitable as Walt Disney World is developed, guests are at least given fewer undisturbed vistas than those who frequent Disneyland. Thankfully, no matter where you hang your Mouse Ears, the Imagineers do phenomenal work in keeping a story cohesive wherever you choose to look.