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Comments

Scott Moore

Catching up on my RSS feeds and I wanted to relate a story I have about Disney's intent with handling "the future".


Almost exactly 10 years ago, I attended a architectural review of Disney Theme parks put together by Karal Ann Marling. The show (and book) were called, "The Architecture of Reassurance" and I remember her remarks on why Disney went to the retro-futuristic style.

She said that as Disney was planning the park in Paris (late 1980's), they faced a dilemma in predicting the future *as entertainment*. The reworking of Tomorrowland in Anaheim in 1967 was showing it's age already it revealed that in designing the Tommorrowland for the new park, if they guessed wrong, they looked foolish. If they guessed right, even worse, they were boring. And boring is the enemy in theme park design.

The solution was to go *back* past the future vision of the 50's (all the way to the 1880's) and use past visions of the future. Hence, heavy on the Jules Verne (and since it was France, why not also tap into a little regional pride, too?). The ideas was that they would not have to continually present new visions of the future in two, three, now four parks. In the subsequent years, Anaheim and Orlando got reworked in americanized versions of the Paris park.

I'm no Disney apologist. I just think the story is a bit of a peek into how the designers were specifically thinking about how to placate the patrons.

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