April 19, 2015

Disney’s California Adventure and The World of Color

If you can’t tell from the recent posts, I’m still out here in Southern California, where I flew out to spend the weekend with my college friends and continue our tradition of trips to the Disney parks.  We passed Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’s store, which I told you I think is one of the most inspirational business and life reminders a person can get, and Ashly and Ian wanted to go ride the new Radiator Springs Racer attraction, which is supposedly the best ride that Disney has installed in one of the theme parks for 30+ years.  They asked if Aaron and I would watch Evan, which we were happy to do.  We ended up going into stores and buying him a toy and a book because he is so convincing; a born negotiator, that one.

Aaron pushing Evan in his stroller

We walked through the stores looking for gifts for people and watching Evan as he slept …


Evan Eating Crush's Face

When he woke up, we held up stuffed animal friends. He didn’t care for most of them, until he saw Crush and suddenly grabbed his face and ate it as he began squealing. We had a winner.  Crush is his new friend.


Riding Bugs Life with Evan and Ashly

When Ashly and Ian came back, Aaron wanted to go ride the California Screamin’ roller coaster, so he and Ian took off for that, while Ashly and I took Evan on the Bugs Life kiddie rides. I didn’t realize how funny Heimlich is, or how much he liked Candy Corn! Then we rode this swinging box things.


Luigis Casa Della Tires

When Aaron and Ian came back from the roller coaster, Aaron and I went to ride the flying tires because the physics of it looked interesting.


When you get on your flying tire, you look down to see the entire floor of the arena is filled with holes.  All of a sudden you hear a huge whooshing sound as the fans start and so much air is pushed through you are actually lifted, like a hovercraft. You then have to learn in the direction want to travel and you will fly across the arena, bumping into other riders.

When you get on your flying tire, you look down to see the entire floor of the arena is filled with holes. All of a sudden you hear a huge whooshing sound as the fans start and so much air is pushed through you are actually lifted, like a hovercraft. You then have to lean in the direction want to travel and you will fly across the arena, bumping into other riders.


Josh and Aaron on Flying Tire Ride

Right before the flying tire ride started …


The Other Riders on the Flying Tires

Looking at the the other riders before the fans were started …


Tire Planters Disneyland

Even the planters were designed as tires … the attention to detail is just amazing.


Tire Track Iron Fences

The iron fences are made to look like tire tread patterns, with the accents in the shape of little tires. It’s not just that it is themed, it is how well done it is.  I feel like I need to find the artist behind this and say, “I want you to know, I appreciate your work.  I like it just as much as the ride itself.  You might go unnoticed by a lot of people, but I think your talent is extraordinary.”  Whomever thought up the details … it makes me happy that people pay attention to the small things like that because it really is the culmination of those small things that make once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

We’re going to all run around for awhile.  I can’t eat anything because I’m still stuffed from Club 33, but they want to go get food.  Aaron and I are going to watch The World of Color.  You know how nuts I am about color if you’ve read the blog for a long time so I can only imagine how amazing this will be.  

Update: Okay, as a color nut who sees color subtleness that most people can’t due to a genetic quirkthis was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever watched.  It was beautiful.  Absolutely, stunningly beautiful.  Aaron said the same thing.  Go see if it you are in the area.  You can probably predict how much you’ll enjoy it by the Color IQ test.  If you are in the 90th percentile or better (you score a 10 or lower, with 0 being a perfect score), I say run, don’t walk, to the next showing.  I love this thing!  I want to go every night!!!  Our cameras were drained but here is a video of what they do from YouTube … they transform a lake into a huge building-tall bouncing work of art, tinted by lasers, and then light the entire lake on fire.  It gets good starting at 1:05.  Seriously, watching all of those colors is like an emotional drug … how in God’s name do we live in a world capable of producing that kind of beauty?! And the moment at 1:43?!  You can think I’m crazy but that is worth more than all of the money in the world.  That is a form of wealth right there.  Seriously, I keep watching it and even though the video isn’t as good as the real thing, when the colors change, the hair on the back of my arms stands up and I feel like I’m getting a sugar high.  Each of those colors produces a very powerful emotional reaction and set of associations, memories, images, and ideas.  It makes me feel like my entire brain is lighting up and I wan to run and create something.  I’m a color junkie.  There are so many subtleties and hues  here… the green in the middle, down where it turns sort of black, reminds me of that same color you see when you are walking through a shaded forest when the sun is about 4:30 p.m. during September … there is is the color of sunsets over water, when it makes the ocean look like it is on fire; the pink you see in in a certain type of rose right at the moment it has come into full bloom … the fact that nature can produce this is unreal to me.  

It is funny how powerful color is.  The moment 2:19 hit, I grimaced.  It’s horrible.  I wanted it to go away.  If it were just a tad shade more emerald it would be magical, but as it is there, it’s horrific.  They should have made it the color as the bottle cap on Bond No 9’s New York Musk.  Wasn’t it the Navy that did all of those psychology studies showing how human emotion is influenced by colors, and argued it should be used to inform color choices in hospitals, schools, etc.?  I wonder what the evolutionary reasons are for such strong preferences.  My preferences and love of color are sometimes a bit extreme

I’ll stop talking now.  I sound ridiculous, but you fellow coloraholics know what I mean.  You either get it or you don’t.

I love the Walt Disney Company.  I really do.  Give people a rewarding emotional experience and you can get rich.  If I had control of a business like Disney, I’d probably end up with lower returns on equity because I would put the art before the bottom line.  I’d pay attention to profits, and make sure they kept climbing, but nothing would come before quality.  I would rather produce nothing that something subpar.  Quality wins.  Though perhaps it is a false choice because Iger is doing such an unbelievable job that not only is the company creating the best work it has in decades, profits and dividends are soaring.  The man is among my all-time favorite CEO’s.  I really hope he keeps running the place for quite awhile.

  • Andrew

    Beautiful. I’ve never seen it before thanks for sharing.

    I haven’t been to any Disney park in more than a decade, since I was about 10. I need to go one day again

  • Adam Yates

    I scored a 4 (near perfect but not quite.) Maybe this gives me some more insight into why I appreciate Disney more than a lot of people that I know. Thanks for the interesting blog!

    • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

      I think you’re definitely on to something.

      This whole concept is very relevant to investors and businessmen or women. Imagine if you were designing a video game like “Candy Crush” or “Bejeweled”. You are going to have far lower success if you don’t design the artwork pieces in a way that all players can see the difference. If you are designing order flow processes that rely on color, it is relevant.

      I think color differences probably explain some of the chasm for activities that vary between male and females given the far lower rates of color impairment in women. Within the past couple of years, I think I wrote on the blog about how we have to adjust for biological factors – that 1 out of every 12 men see these two images as the same or similar (see attachments below) and even more have some form of color weaknesses so they only see a muted form of the spectrum, like washed out highlighters.

      When you think about it, the difference in leisure preference makes perfect sense. Who would want to sit through a water show if everything looked like the colorblind picture? It would be boring. Who would want to pick paint colors? It would be boring. Who would want to go through shirting fabrics, or see carpets, etc.? It would all seem like the same thing. Wandering through flower gardens or theme parks, picking up boxes of crayons … it would lose almost all utility. That is actually one of the ways to diagnose young children with colorblindness – activities such as coloring don’t hold their attention as long as peers. Why would it? There is no subconscious reflexive emotional response in the brain as fire oranges or passionate reds, tranquil blues or romantic pinks splash across the paper. It’s just scribbles.

      I can’t tell you how long I stood on the backside of Aurora’s castle in Disneyland and stared at the green on the tiles of the ceiling. They were going for a faux copper patina effect, but added some sort of sparkle to it. I’ve never seen a color like that and I took pictures in case I ever want it mixed for a project. A significant portion of the population would just walk by because they can’t see it. There is nothing there.

      (If you want to absolutely blow your mind, go to this link and then pick a page, running the URL through the filter. It’s crazy so many people live like that. It literally looks like death to me – in the autumn when all of the plants have died and everything has fallen to the ground, all of the bright colors have bled out, and there is nothing left but decay. What makes the topic so interesting is that colorblindness is a positive adaptation to a species in a macro sense as it provides soldiers and hunters capable of seeing through camouflage. So it is harmful, in a sense, to the individual, who has no idea the sheer amount of information missing from daily sensory input, but beneficial to the tribe or village. Thus, if we ever “cure” colorblindness, it could lead to lower rates of human survival if we were ever forced back into evolutionary conditions. That’s the paradox. What do scientists do with that?)

  • http://www.joshuakennon.com/ Joshua Kennon

    Amen! If you ever go through the SEC disclosures, strip out the goodwill and intangible assets, and add back in the replacement value of the physical assets (buildings, rides, etc.) and you see just how mouthwatering the returns on capital are when they aren’t being obfuscated by generations of accounting rules. The media networks that came from the CapCities acquisition a couple of decades ago have almost no capital requirements and just pump out money, all of it liquid with virtually no reinvestment costs. Then you look at what Iger is doing with the Disney Vacation Club, essentially getting the customers to provide the capital for the capital expenditure layouts at Walt Disney World … there is so much going on here that isn’t evident on the surface. The only … tiny … thing that bothers me is the level of stock option dilution but it’s just a form of compensation that they factor in, it is used intelligently, they don’t let it dilute the existing owners, and it’s all fairly transparent so it’s just a stylistic difference. Management deserves every penny it’s being paid so I can’t complain.

    Even beside all of that, during the World of Color show as the characters and brands kept flashing up on the water projection, I kept muttering to myself, and leaning over to talk to Aaron, about the fact that there has never been a collection of intellectual property under a single corporation or partnership anywhere in the history the world equivalent to what Iger has amassed for Disney’s owners. I think foundations are being put in place today that will pump money into the corporate coffers for 25 or 30 years.