Sunday, January 11, 2015

#58 - Park Maps

Category: Interactives/Memorabilia
Category Rank: 6

Park: N/A

You undoubtedly have two thoughts floating through your mind.  One, what the heck do you mean by "interactives/memorabilia" and how do those logically go together (because if I'm anything, I am logical about the rankings in this list).  And two... maps?  Seriously?  There aren't 60 things better than maps?

Starting with number one, I was thinking about what makes Disney World "Disney World", and I was struck by many knick-knack type items that Disney is known for, such as Mickey Waffles or Mickey Ears or Mickey Hats.  You get the gist.  Those items would make this list extremely long, and in all honesty, the list would look more like things you could purchase at the local mall's Disney store.  And, if the food items are truly important, they would be covered under the restaurant category, much like Starring Rolls cupcakes.  I decided that individual items for purchase would be excluded from the list.

But, what about things that you get (for free) that are part of the interactive Disney World experience?  There were six items that came to my mind, and all six have made the list.  None are things you necessarily purchase (though if you want to quibble, you could purchase them), and they all are uniquely connected to making the park more interactive.  At least, our family's definition of interactive.

While I thought of 6 when I created the list, I've been struck by many others that could be included.  There was a trip where our oldest daughter Hailey was obsessed with pressed pennies.  Our first trip featured the autograph books for all of the characters.  We even attempted to search for Hidden Mickeys, at least for about 20 minutes (that really isn't as exciting as you would think it would be).  Oh well.  I made my list and I'm sticking to it.  The interactives/memorabilia is a strange, tough-to-define category of items that help make the park become interactive, and they are items that have stood the test of time for us.

Which of course leads us to... maps.  This is where you know a male has made the list instead of a female.  I believe there is something innate that draws men to maps.  They could look at them for hours.  They really don't even want to begin exploring the park until they have internalized the map.  They judge the quality of their day on the percentage of the map that can be crossed off as "done".  If you are nodding in agreement or looking on in bewilderment to this post rests solely if you have a Y chromosome or not.

The Disney Maps are a completely underrated part of the park experience.  You see them immediately when you walk in the park.  No... you seek them out.  Could you imagine your park experience without them?  And then... think of what happens when you dig them out of your luggage 6 months after your latest trip to the world.  Don't you immediately reminisce about the World?

The designs are iconic of sorts.  After a few visits to WDW, you will have memorized the colors associated with each park, and you will immediately know what is different on the map from the last time you visited (oh look!  They made that bathroom into a family bathroom!).

See, now I've got you pining for some Disney Maps.  Or you are female.  One of the two.

We are going to circle back to our restaurant category for #57, and it will feature my personal favorite snack in all the world (though still not the most nostalgic).

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