January 8, 2014

Design Detail: Radiator Springs

Normally when I visit the Disney parks, I keep an eye open for the little Design Details that make Disney Disney. You know, the small touches that set the work of the Imagineers apart from the designers of Six Flags parks, the attitude that Universal Creative artists now use when they build their attractions.

Every once in awhile, my eye catches a detail that overwhelms both in scope and in impact. Such was my most recent visit to Disney California Adventure. Love it or loathe it, Cars Land is here to stay, and the Pixar influence will be felt on the parks for decades to come.

The queue for Radiator Springs Racers is chock full of detail, but the most impressive piece of eye candy is the rock work itself. Everywhere you turn, reward awaits in the views surrounding you. The image above would be spectacular on its own. But if you saw the uncropped photo that I took, you would realized the shot was taken from the route to exit the attraction. Stunning, isn't it?

Even the most diehard critics of the toning of the parks, myself included, mellow out a bit when the results are this incredible. If this is the future of Imagineering, keep it coming.

(Photograph copyright Mark Taft.)

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