Monday, May 23, 2011

On Nomenclature of the New Attractions

Summer is almost here and June 3 will see the first simultaneous opening of new attractions at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. As my blog's name would suggest, I have a keen interest in the nomenclature used in the new attraction names--not for any grand purpose, but just because I like details.

First up for review is the new Star Tours. It has colloquially been referred to as "Star Tours 2.0," but I doubt that was ever given much consideration as a serious attraction title (unless each seat were to be equipped with tools to interact with the social media elements of Web 2.0). I always place greatest weight on what the attraction marquee says, because I figure that with the costs involved and the intended longevity that those signs will have had the greatest vetting. This is the marquee as it appeared on May 12:

That is:



You can also see this in the attraction poster artwork posted on the Disney Parks Blog:

In regular usage, however, the line break will not work, so the attraction's official nomenclature renders it as "Star Tours—The Adventures Continue" (that is, with an em dash in place of the line break). That's how it appears in the latest guide map:

Notice that "Adventures" is plural. This presumably refers to the multiple destinations involved in the new attractions. If you're not paying attention, however, it can easily become "The Adventure Continues," as happened on all the temporary pre-opening signs, like this one:

But, I think most of us know that for all practical purposes it will just be known as "Star Tours," and "The Adventures Continue" will only be a useful tagline to differentiate it from the original for, say, a thesaurus. The new signage at the Disney's FASTPASS distribution area doesn't even include the tagline:

Bottom line: If you include the tagline, make sure "Adventures" is plural, rather than "Continue." Incidentally, these are the other Disneyland entities that have used the em dash through the years (almost exclusively in the past decade):
  • Club Buzz—Lightyear's Above the Rest
  • Minnie & Friends—Breakfast in the Park
  • Playhouse Disney—Live on Stage
  • Snow White—An Enchanting New Musical
  • Walt Disney—A Legacy for the Future
Meanwhile, over at Disney California Adventure, the stylistic choice for The Little Mermaid is unique in Disneyland Resort history. The official nomenclature renders the attraction's full title as "The Little Mermaid~Ariel's Undersea Adventure." Yes, that's a tilde separating the title from the tagline, as seen below in the latest guide map:

The attraction's marquee was finally unveiled this past week:

Again, the attraction's signage makes use of vertical space, so the tilde is not present:

I was initially put off by the use of a tilde in the attraction name. I assume it was used in place of the em dash to suggest a wave. However, I warmed to the idea after I realized that a tilde has been in place for all of Disneyland's history right there in Town Square:

This is the only entity in the Disneyland Resort's history to use a tilde in its title. (The above example being just a separator on the signage and not part of the official nomenclature.) It will be interesting to see whether "Ariel's Undersea Adventure" fares any better than "The Adventures Continue." I expect it will last longer, but for practical reasons the attraction will just be referred to as "The Little Mermaid."

My interest in this matter, however, will end up with the opening of Trader Sam's...


Major Pepperidge said...

I'll bet the tilde was used because it is cuter than a dash. Seriously!

DavidG said...

I imagine that the Emporium use of the tilde is simply a throwback to the days when signs were still painted (or crafted) by hand; back then, dashes often took a wavy (or other) shape, simply because it was more appealing to the artist. Typographically, it would still be a dash.