Passport to Dreams's FoxxFur continues to write the most fascinating, erudite, insightful material about dark ride and theme-park design I've ever read; her latest post is about the new queue area for the Pooh ride at Walt Disney World, used as a jumping-off point for a fascinating essay on the theory and practice of queue design:
Disney's main innovation and departure in 1955 was to replace the traditional "back wall" with, in fact, no wall and a beautifully designed manufactured landscape. Trompe l'oeil becomes terrain, the "scenic switchback". The earliest example of this may be the Jungle Cruise, but I think the most beautiful one is the Matterhorn Bobsleds, which is an exciting, fascinating wait in line by virtue of... yodeling music and manufactered rocks.
The Third Queue
But for all that, honestly, we don't think of Disney's best queues as being plain switchbacks, even if they secretly are. If we cut the roof off the Florida Pirates of the Caribbean queue and look in, we'll see that the switchbacks are unpredictable because they wrap behind walls and around scenes, they're actually pretty much just like what still graces the front of Snow White's Scary Adventures (see below). Even the beautifully linear Space Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure queues eventually reach switchback areas, just not immediately or obviously. These queues, the "secret switchbacks", are a later innovation on the part of Disney and are what is generally thought of as the "themed queue", atmospheric treks which set up some component of place or atmosphere, indicators of an advanced state of themed design. In the context of Disney-designed attractions, this mode was more or less invented for the Florida Pirates of the Caribbean, although Disney did not always use it for every attraction. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, for example, is more or less a simple "scenic switchback" queue, at least in the original design of the attraction (built in Florida in 1979).
DEFEND AMERICA t-shirts. Says Mike Monteiro of Mule Design: “Freedom is going to school without fear of getting shot. Freedom is taking your kids to the movies without fear of taking a bullet. Freedom is watching your kids grow up, skinning their knees, getting their first crush, and growing old. Defend America. Get rid of […]
An absolute favorite.
I’m sad to share the news that Dennis Eichhorn, creator of the autobiographical comic book series, Real Stuff, died on October 8, 2015. Dennis wrote for the bOING bOING zine, and we’ve run many excerpts from Real Stuff, which were originally published by Fantagraphics in the early 1990s.
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