I recently spent a few days at Disneyland Resort taking pictures of signs. I loved the assignment because it wasn’t a far cry from what I like to do in my spare time (I’ve spent countless hours in search of great roadside signage from the past). At Disney Parks, there are plenty of awesome signs that advertise attractions, food and beverage locations, merchandise stops and more. A few months ago, the arts and collectibles team introduced a new art program inspired by these signs. The program has been so popular that I was never able to capture images in locations until this past week. I caught up with senior merchandiser David Whitaker to learn more.
“The sign program has been wildly popular with guests,” exclaimed David. “We wanted to offer oversized replicas of Disney Parks’ signs printed on wood-like material or metal. This program takes its cue from a recent marketplace trend of reproducing vintage signage. Fortunately, we had plenty of options for us at Disney Parks. The fun part was selecting the most iconic signs for this first program.”
David worked with Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Design Group to create these oversized replica signs. In some cases, they reproduced the sign almost exactly how it looks at Disney Parks (see my favorite – Aloha Isle Refreshments – for a great example). In the case of the sign for Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the art team combined elements to create the final sign.
“We took the attraction sign and combined it with shields found both on the Adventureland bridge in Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and on the attraction building in Disneyland park in California,” explained David. “I thought the addition of the shields made the sign more aesthetically pleasing.”
The signs are currently offered at the Art of Disney location in Downtown Disney Marketplace and Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are also two Disney•Pixar’s “Cars“-inspired signs found at select locations in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park. Finally, you may also find the Gaston’s Tavern sign in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.
David said they intend to have some of these signs offered at the Disneyland Resort at a future date. There are, however, no immediate plans to carry them via the Disney Parks online store.
Now all I need is a replica Dole Whip machine and I’m all set!