June 4, 2008

Design Detail: Lighting California's Adventure

Much of the criticism of the California Adventure theme park focuses on its general lack of detail. However, there are small pockets of the park which are actually detail rich. The Disney Animation attraction is one of these places. (I left the photo quite large so you could see that I'm talking about.)

Moving beyond the surprisingly open and impressive lobby is this small exhibit hall. Here visitors are given a chance to create their own pieces of animation. The setting is intimate and spectacular. A variety of lamps and mirrors give this place a bit of magic that is lacking in several other areas of the park. In fact, Disney's lighting experts did a wonderful job parkwide, as California Adventure is actually a much better visual experience at night than during the day! 

From the blue lit runways in Condor Flats to the brightly lit boardwalk of Paradise Pier, this park is stunning in the evening hours as external distractions disappear in the darkness, allowing us to focus on what the Imagineers did right. Hopefully, we'll get to see more of the park once Disney's World of Color water show makes its debut. Can't happen soon enough.

(Photo copyright Mark Taft.)

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