In my never ending crusade to get people to notice the details at Walt Disney World, I recently wrote a series of blogs about the benches in the four theme parks. Although I thought the subject matter was interesting, I really wasn’t sure if anyone else would find these articles worthy of note. Boy, was I surprised. I received over eighty comments thanking me for coming up with the idea.
One of my readers suggested I do a follow-up piece about the trashcans and how they are themed. With this in mind, I looked around at the waste receptacles with a critical eye. But to be honest, the trashcans really aren’t that different between lands and parks. For the most part, the same style receptacle is used over and over again. The only real variation is a slightly different paint job as you transition from land to land. But I liked the idea of doing a second series so I kept an eye out for another concept. It wasn’t long before I noticed the lampposts and how much they play a part in the theming of a given area. I also discovered that there is a tremendous amount of variation between posts, sometimes within the same land.
So for the next four days, I’m going to give you a sampling of these illuminating towers. For the most part, I will be concentrating on lamp”posts.” There are so many other lighting fixtures that it would be impossible to cover them all. But for variety sake, I will throw in an occasional non-post just to make sure you’re paying attention. Since the article is about the lampposts, not the light they emit, I took the pictures in the daytime so I could actually capture the “fixture” in my photograph.
I’m beginning this series at Disney’s Hollywood Studios simply because that was the first park I photographed. Let’s start in the parking lot. These lights are utilitarian. They serve their purpose and brightly light the cars below. Disney has tried to spruce these guys up by adding banners. Also, they serve a double function by displaying the parking section.
Surrounding the small lake that connects with the waterway between the Studio and Epcot we find a rather modern looking fixture. Once again, banners have been added to liven things up.
Near the ticket booths is this simple, double light fixture.
The lampposts on Hollywood Boulevard are far more elaborate than their counterparts outside the gate and are reminiscent of a bygone era. Similar posts can still be found in many cities and towns to this day. This same design extends into the courtyard in and around Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat.
Even though Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards have similar architecture, the streetlamps are different. The first half of Sunset sees intricate fixtures while further down the street we find a more utilitarian light. Notice that these simpler posts also do double duty with an armature to support the electric cable for the Red Car.
Here we see a lamppost at Sunset Ranch Market. In Part 4 of this series you’ll see this same fixture in Dinoland U.S.A.
Although not streetlamps, this clock and old traffic signal can also be found on Sunset Boulevard. I selected these two fixtures because they are both tall and slender and light up.
There are two different, but similar lampposts near the Tower of Terror. The first can be found in the queue and the second near the exit.
A number of tall and slender street lamps are located in the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster courtyard.
The Hollywood Brown Derby sports its own, unique lamps. These have a stylized Asian design to complement the nearby Chinese Theater. In addition, Chinese designs and styles were popular in the 20’s through the 40’s.
The light posts in Animation Courtyard always display banners for a new or recent Disney animated feature. Here we see a banner for “The Princess and the Frog.”
As we know, Disney does a fantastic job at landscaping their parks. And their efforts don’t stop at ground level. This next, art deco styled lamp, complete with hanging baskets, can be found outside the “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” attraction.
Flanking both sides of Pixar Place is another art deco beauty. This lamppost was selected because it blends in well with the nearby soundstages.
Perhaps the most stark lamppost of all can be found within Pixar Place. It’s simple design does not compete with the busy brickwork and array of toys strewn around the area.
As we approach the “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show” streetlamps typical of a city park line the roadway.
At the end of New York Street is a traffic signal that might have been found in the Big Apple around the 1940’s. Once again, I threw this fixture in because it was tall and lights up.
I was expecting the lampposts on New York Street to be elaborate like those found on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. But to my surprise, they were really quite simple.
However, around the corner on San Francisco Street, the streetlamps are far more decorative. Also, take a look at the large backdrop. The artists were careful to recreate the same fixtures in their painting. While on the Streets of America, be sure to read the various signs attached to the posts. They help tell the story of your surroundings.
In the plaza outside of “MuppetVision 3D” the lampposts are typical of those that would be found in any city park.
The areas around “Star Tours” and “Backlot Express” resemble a working outdoor movie set. Once again, the lamps found here are utilitarian and are typical of those found in many of the studios of the 30’s and 40’s.
Echo Lake is lined with another Asian-themed light fixture. Once again, this design helps tie the area in with the nearby Chinese Theater. Remember, in the early years, Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat was not there and there was a more cohesive feel between this famous landmark and the surrounding area.
Finally, another park-like fixture can be found outside the Hollywood & Vine Restaurant.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Epcot.