When I was a little kid, I used to visit Disneyland about once a year on average. Each time, I looked forward to collecting and saving the souvenir guidebook distributed to guests that year.
Each one of the books was great and was filled with several pages of pictures, artwork, and information. Every area of Disneyland had its own map, and each attraction, shop, and restaurant had its own description.
The books served several purposes. Beyond promoting individual shops and restaurants (as well as the institutional patrons and other operating participants), the publications also directed guests to underutilized attractions that often contributed greatly to the guests' overall satisfaction.
While the guidebooks were presented "compliments of the Eastman Kodak Company", they also gave guests something tangible that added value in the same way a program at a play does.
The cognitive dissonance that guests might experience after purchasing their admission media was immediately offset by this directory to all that lie in store for when these guests would eventually pass through the gates. Once they did, waiting in queues was made much less unpleasant by being able to peruse the publications.
After a visit, the guidebook served to encapsulate the day's events while it also showed each guest all the things that he or she may have missed during his or her visit, guaranteeing that said guest would make an effort to return soon.
Once home, I know that I, at least, would study the guidebooks intently. Since they were physical, they functioned for me like specialty advertising, reminding me to return to Disneyland.
They also made a convenient aid to use in telling others about my experience at Disneyland and in encouraging them to visit, too.
The guidebook to me was, in short, an integral part of the Disneyland experience.
In the early 1990's, I had no idea who Paul Pressler was. I simply visited Disneyland as I had done many times before. But, I noticed that, instead of each guest in my party receiving his or her own guidebook, this day, my entire group would just get one. I also noticed that the guidebook was no longer a book with several pages and a few staples. Now, my party would have to be content sharing a single sheet of paper with an overly simplified map on it.
Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed. Little did I know, then, though, that this event would only be the start of more than a decade of disillusionment.
Today, I'd like some version of my guidebooks back. I'd like to be able to plan my day and mark my progress. I'd like to be able to see all the one-of-a-kind shops with all their unique merchandise. I'd like to be able to choose a restaurant and locate it easily. I'd like to be able to take a representation of Disneyland home with me. And, I have a feeling I'm not alone.