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  1. #1

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    Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    One of my absolute favorite things about Disneyland's design, which no other park quite gets right (Universal's Islands of Adventure has a go at it, I think), is the amount of just random junk/objects/clutter (for lack of better terms) all over in the park. I don't mean park trash, maps, or litter...I mean, actual, antique, themed "junk". Props and items that make it feel lived in.

    They really are nearly everywhere, even ToonTown (done in a more cartoony style), apart from Tomorrowland..it has some, but not nearly the same level of opportunities for this as other parts of the park. It is on second level building fronts, on the backs of buildings, around corners, in store windows, in queues, in the rides themselves, on the walls of store interiors...an abundance of area-specific, random, mundane and exotic items. Most theme/amusement parks try for this a little...a few carved Native American masks on the outside of a log ride building, and hey, it's themed! But no where comes close in dedication in this to Disney, that I have seen in person. These inhabit a different realm from some "featured" slightly hidden details, such as the Evil Queen peering out of her window, the mysterious light in the cupola of the Haunted Mansion at night, or the many perilous traps inside the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

    None of these items are "essential" to the story of the attraction or shop they may be found in, or near: however, even if most guests don't even see them or appreciate them, they are essential, I think to what makes Disneyland different even today. I'd even say, it might be they are designed and placed not to be overtly obvious to guests a lot of the time...they are just there, in the background, or above, quietly lending authenticity to the fake "reality" of the environments presented, not to be showy. So, here are some photos...and guaranteed, there is more out there than what I have photographed. Keep a weather eye open, mates, upon your next visit..who knows what you might spy...

    Onwards to photos!






















































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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Love it. Indeed, this sort of detailing is one of many key features in true top-notch themed entertainment. Thanks for the photos!


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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    I notice these all the time and truly love that Disney does it.
    I just gives that extra little touch without being in your face.
    In most cases it helps (for me) to bring the story along. That someone does live there or inhabits this area etc. It brings the "believability" full circle (in a sense).

    Thanks for the pictures.
    They are great
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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Great post! I completely agree, and your photos really support that arguement. It clearly goes back to animation and Walt's recognition that in order to create believeable imaginary worlds you have to have all the little details right in order for your mind to believe the story.

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Great photos and a great topic - totally agree!

    I also love the ambient sounds like the chanting from the balcony in NOS over near the restrooms.

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Great observation!!! and pictures too. Over in DCA you really see it at the Grizzly river ride. It is what makes Disney so unique. You see it, but almost really don't even realize that you are seeing it...it just makes the experience that much more real.
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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    The little things are awesome.
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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Absolutly. Those are the things that make Disneyland Disneyland. They take it from what i refer to as "the movie set feel" to a real "lived in" and "functioning" environment. When they just put up the fascades like in San Fransisco Street in DCA, sure the buildings are accurate, but with shuttered windows and fake doors that don't go anywhere you can instantly tell that it is all fake and hollow.

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Agreed on all counts. Great eye for details!

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Nice pics, I've noticed this as well ~ it's just another thing that sets Disney apart from the others.

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    This is why Disney is so amazing! you can see something new everytime you visit. Some of my favorite spots in the park are where no attractions are yet the detailing is still amazing like the back street to NOS or the jumping fish in the pond across from BTMRR. These touches bring the world to life, The dust and cobwebs in the Queue for the TOT really transports the guest to an old abandoned hotel. The attention to detail is what sets Disney apart! Great Photos!

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Great pics...its this detail that makes NOS and Adventureland my favorite parts of DL. Thanks for posting them.

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    Awesome pics Dark...I especially love the one with the brass fire extinguishers...because I have one exactly like those in my living room....
    thanks for sharing the pics
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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    This is also why I love Ghost Town at Knott's. I haven't been to Universal in awhile but alot of their exterior themeing in the pedestrian areas has always been rather bland and sparse.

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    Re: Disneyland: "Clutter" And One Step Above Detailing

    An Imagineer I once talked to described this detail as necessary to accomplish something like what happens in films when a scene 'zooms in'.

    From a distance, the big objects need to look right (buildings, streets, skyline). As the camera zooms in, the details need to come to life to provide more details that support the story.

    Apparently this is an overarching design philosophy at Imagineering - as the guest walks closer to each object, the details have to continue to tell the story as though a camera were "zooming in" on the scene.

    He was actually describing not just the physical details, but the sound details as well, in this particular case he was describing the approach to the Tower of Terror in Florida - from far away, the tower looks impressive, and there are sounds of 1920s-1940s Hollywood, and they are upbeat sounds. As you get closer to the building, the sounds change, and become more muted and "dreamy", then almost "ghostly" and echo-ey.

    Great collection of photos!

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