August 13, 2012

inspired: small world

Disney World is a special place for Ryan and me: our family vacation destination each year and the home of so many incredible memories. We know the parks well and have established so many "favorites" over the years. Ryan's favorite ride is Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and mine is Tower of Terror, and we make a pact each year to ride both, even though neither of us loves the other's favorite. Dole Whip (pineapple soft serve ice cream) in and of itself is enough reason to make the trip! (I take mine in the form of a pineapple juice with pineapple Dole Whip float, in case you wondered.) Our list goes on and on!
But each year there does turn out to be something new to inspire me in the parks, something I had never noticed or experienced before. This is part of what I look forward to in visiting year after year: the sense that in so much 'familiar' there can still be something new. My biggest inspiration this year came in riding "it's a small world." While I have been on this ride many times before, I always focused on the song, and the other cliches of the ride. It is a simple type of ride, no thrills or drops, and it is wild with color and over the top- all things I might not have valued before. Over the past couple of years, I have fallen in love with the art of Mary Blair, and when I realized she was one of the ride's original designers, I thought I should give it another go. 
I fell in love anew! How could I have missed all of the magic of the "small world" before?? Sure, the song is mighty repetitive, and I am still not the biggest fan of singing dolls. But I absolutely loved the display of colors, the bold contrasts and daring choices, the textures and geometric design patterns. I actually begged Ryan (who I have not quite yet converted) to ride it with me a second time just to experience it, since I had spent the first ride obsessively taking pictures to capture all that I loved.  So here are a few more pictures, a glimpse into what I loved about the ride and its design...

I especially loved all of the gold glitter everywhere! Couldn't resist getting a close-up of the glitter, and on the right half of the picture below is a glimpse into the 'wishing pond' created by visitors in one specific part of the ride line. I love that this texture and visual effect was replicated this way- once by original design and once cooperatively! I was so busy trying to get a good picture as the line moved along that I forgot to wish on a penny of my own. Just another reason to go back soon!
On the ride itself, it was hard to take clear pictures since we were always moving - I apologize for the fuzziness of these, but I couldn't skip sharing some of the amazing color and graphics inside the ride as well!

I am curious to learn more about the work of Mary Blair now, and so I am adding these two books to my wish list: The Art and Flair of Mary Blair and A Mary Blair Treasury of Golden Books. And I am already looking forward to the next time I can take a ride around that small world again!

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