17 September 2009

US 498

Sometimes a sign is just a sign, but sometimes it offers guests an intriguing window in the world they have become a part of. Such is the case of the sign found along the road of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland U.S.A., which offers us insight into the designed story of the area as well as the history of the park itself.

The largest lettering on the sign, as with all road signs, is the actual number designation of the road. In this case the number, 498, references the opening month and year of the park. The full opening date, 22 April 1998, would obviously not make for a very functional road numeral, but 42298 would make an excellent zip code for the fictitious area of Florida.

Moving into the realm of fantasy and extinction, we find that US 498 is located in Diggs County. This clever wordplay is clearly meant as a continuation of the theme of excavation found throughout Dinoland U.S.A. While naming a fossil laden county that is overrun with tourist attractions, museums, graduate students, and fossils a plenty Diggs County would be enough for even the most devoted fan of backstories, this sign takes the details one step further. The inclusion of the Diggs County emblem at the bottom of the road sign, which features a pair of crossed shovels, is the missing link in this terrific discovery.

While occasionally a sign is simply a sign, more often than not they dig deeper into the stories they are meant to support.


Gator Chris said...

The Diggs County emblem is a great find. Thanks for pointing it out!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing with us all the often overlooked gems throughout WDW.