Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A baby step forward is still progress, no matter how small.
Whether it was due to Exxon's sponsorship pull-out of Epcot's Universe of Energy or an astute management decision from someone at Disney with taste, the aggressively ugly marquee that sat beside the pavilion is now history. No longer will guests be barraged by over-zealous splashes of mauve, crowded visual elements, pop-icon mugging, covert explosions of pink triangles, incongruous type fonts and golden dinosaurs all randomly glued to a cheap milk crate backing. This was a visual eyesore so discomforting it didn't belong at a Six Flags park, let alone Epcot Center's classy Future World.
On the other side of the country the final retro touches have been affixed to the once equally ugly Club Buzz at Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Also back is the original name for the area, The Tomorrowland Terrace. A lone designer at Disneyland's Entertainment Division saw fit to pay homage to the timeless design sensibility of Disney's legendary Imagineer Rolly Crump and his original modernist motif for this unique rising bandstand. Though not an exact re-fit of Rolly's whimsical airy space-age planters, it's a genuine and heartfelt nod to his take on a promising optimistic future. Club Buzz, on the other hand, was a heavy, brooding, dystopian monolith that sucked all the life out of the area.
Those that value great design and a quality guest experience right down to the smallest detail have reason to rejoice at these recent, albeit minor, changes. Progress at a snail's pace is still better than decay and destruction at any pace.