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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn


Hench and Van Pelt (2003) point out that the use of color is especially important as part of the language of vision and in their book, Designing Disney, discuss how color is used to identify the character of the place and time in which the story happens.  Color is one of the most convincing components of an attraction’s design; color sets the mood and emotional tone while reinforcing the story’s meaning.  Color is used to help guests clarify their decisions by uniquely identifying each attraction with its own custom color scheme. Through different aging techniques, color enhances the illusion of reality.  Color also encourages the suspension of disbelief, especially the use of vibrant and contrasting colors.  Color supports special effects and helps to evoke emotional responses, and is used to welcome guests, touching them intimately to awaken playfulness and it is also used as play and theater:

Color is intimately related to the human instinct for pretending, for make-believe, that is at the heart of our desire for play and for theater.  How we dress, adorn ourselves, for example, or how we decorate our homes and work environments, can be a playful and colorful example of our fashion and theatrical sense, especially for celebratory or ceremonial occasions.  When given the opportunity, people in most cultures, after satisfying their basic needs, embellish their clothing and their buildings in playful and meaningful ways.  As designers, we foster a culture of play for our guests by creating a special world for them, a theater, with forms enhanced by color.  (Hench & Van Pelt, 2003, p. 123) 

In addition to fostering this culture of play through the use of color, Disneyland’s cinematic nature enables us to enter into a world of play.  Next, we will look at another “C” —Disneyland’s cinematic and narrative nature, seeing the importance of Disney’s animation career and how it influenced Disneyland. 


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