Wayfinding Wednesday: Signs of Recycling

Wayfinding items are signage and other graphic communication elements that tell you where you are –  signs, light fixtures, mailboxes and fireboxes. It’s a rich and varied aspect of the incredible theming found throughout Disney Parks, and one of my favorite things to photograph and learn about!

Think of this as a Mouse on the Mind play on the Wordless Wednesday posts popular in the Disney blogging community … but of course we’ll have some words to go along with our photos!

There are a million little things I could have selected for this first Wayfinding column, but this might just be my favorite sign in all of Dinoland.

I’ve written about my love of Dinoland U.S.A. before, but it bears repeating: pretty much everything in this section of Animal Kingdom can be considered a wayfinding item because, down to the tiniest nail, it all sets the scene for your adventure.

It’s almost like one of those magic eye posters: look at it head on and it clearly says, “OUR T-REX SOUVENIRS ARE KING,” but if you shift your eyes or squint at it a bit, you can’t deny that it also advertises ultra-low gas prices: “GAS 28.9¢ GALLON.”

Odd, to be sure. But what does it all mean?

As I learned while researching I Can Dig It, before they operated a low-rent amusement park and tchotchke shop, Chester and Hester owned a gas and service station on a small stretch of Route 498. When scientists discovered dinosaur bones and tourists began to show up in their quiet little town, Chester and Hester changed gears quickly, recycling many of the items from their service shop to make way for newer, bigger business.

In this case, the persistent pair painted a new sign over an old one to attract visitors into their shop. Did it work? (I’ll admit: I’ve spent my fair share of tourist dollars in this fine establishment.)

You can find this little gem on the roof of Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures as you exit Dinosaur. (You can also see it by walking out the back door of the store and looking up if. I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid riding Dinosaur again.)

Have you shopped at Chester and Hester’s? What’s your favorite part of Dinoland?? Leave a comment here or e-mail Melissa@MouseontheMind.com