This week’s SATURDAY SIX introduces the DISNEY SIGNAGE HALL OF SHAME! Over the years we have had many nominees for the annual Theme Park Turkey of the Year awards, but one area in the theme park world that we haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as we’ve wanted to is signage. That’s right, the ubiquitous signs across property that let us all know where we are going. Some signs are more special than others though, and for those signs we have created the inaugural Disney Signage Hall of Shame.
# 6 – Signage HALL OF SHAME Criteria
There are many ways that a Disney sign can transcend its regular use and be considered for the prestigious Hall of Shame, so we’ll start off with some examples of what it takes.
As a regular practitioner of typos, I appreciate a sign that has a glaring typo despite the fact that several people must have signed off on it before it was printed and put up in the park or Disney Springs.
Signs which have decals that aren’t centered correctly.
Signs that are almost impossible to read.
Signs which have been changed by using a Sharpie.
If a Sharpie won’t work, put up some tape and THEN use the Sharpie…
The Power of the Post-It Note.
Seriously? How great is this?!!!
Of course, instead of changing the hours you could always just tape them up and let people guess the hours.
Remove the actual home of the luau dinner show at the Polynesian Village Resort but don’t want to print new maps? Easy solution…
See? You can’t even tell something used to be behind this piece of paper! As they say, “magic…”
Signs that are just stickers put over other signs.
Signs that appear to have been written by Dunder Mifflin’s own Michael Scott.
Signs with made up words.
Common sense signs.
The rare occasions when the Disney Outlet Stores make an appearance inside the parks…
Or signs that are just plain bonkers.
# 5 – Hotel Signage
When leaving a park, guests taking bus transportation need to find out the location of where to go for the bus traveling to their resort. During runDisney races, similar signs are put up directing runners where to go. For our first sign, we have the Disney hotel Art OR Animation.
Recently we’ve seen a sign for the All Start Resorts.
We sent out the pros to get a glamour shot of the “All Start Resorts” sign, but by the next morning Disney was already on it.
Signs at the hotels can have typos, such as this one for “Covention” parking.
Our favorite piece of Disney hotel signage actually comes from the Grand Opening of Disney’s new Riviera Resort. The space saving rooms came with a highly touted “trundle” bed. Well, almost immediately one of the trundle beds fell off the wall. So Disney went to every room and put up a sign saying not to use the bed. The painter’s tape was a nice touch and adds to the overall aesthetic of the room.
# 4 – Disney is closed
Regular readers of this fine blog series should know that every single month for the last six and a half years we have been covering the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. These stores are owned and operated by Disney, with actual Cast Members working the store. There are two Disney Character Warehouse stores in Orlando. One is located on Vineland Ave., close to Disney Springs. The other is located at the end of International Drive, close to the Universal Orlando Resort. People often ask me if there is a difference between the two stores and the main difference is SIZE. The Character Warehouse on Vineland is much bigger than the one on I-Drive. The reason for this is that the Character Warehouse on I-Drive gave up half their space (or more) to a Panera Bread that opened a couple years ago. When the Character Warehouse was ready to reopen after refurbishment, they posted the following sign on the door.
What makes the above sign extra special to me is that is wasn’t even written on a new piece of paper!
# 3 – The Bathroom Sign in Pandora
There aren’t enough glowing words I can use to describe Pandora: The World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom. The details throughout the land are incredible. Satu’li Canteen is an E-Ticket quick-service restaurant. Like many, Flight of Passage immediately became my favorite Disney attraction, with one of the best queues in Walt Disney World (if not THE best). However, when Pandora first opened, guests were noticing something a little unusual inside the queue…
Now, despite many guests having similar stories, there was still a part of the Disney Community (many of which who run sites with the words “WDW” or “Disney” in the name) who vehemently denied this was happening. Then something really amazing happened. Disney put signs out in front of Flight of Passage alerting guests there were no bathrooms in the queue. This is interesting because Disney hasn’t done this for any other attraction. Over the years plenty of rides have had extremely long waits, especially attractions when they are new or during next level bananas crowd times like New Years Eve. Yet not a single one of those attractions has ever had a sign alerting people there is no bathroom in queue.
Did the signs solve the problem? Well, not exactly…
BREAKING NEWS: Immediately after the posting of this article, DISNEY OPENED BATHROOMS IN THE FLIGHT OF PASSAGE QUEUE.
In what may be foreshadowing of what will be expected in Disney E-Ticket attractions in the future, mid-queue bathrooms were recently opened at Flight of Passage.
# 2 – Epoct
There’s typos and then there are typos. This is the latter.
Believe it or not, after the infamous Epoct sign, another major typo occurred on a road sign. This time it was for Amimal Kingdom.
Although at this point, it may just be easier to change the name of the park….
# 1 – Wax Been Done
Our all time favorite sign at Walt Disney World was spotted at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Grammar aside, what takes this sign to the highest levels is that is appears to be floating in air. Granted that is just the effect of the tape used, but we still love that this sign seems otherworldly.
The spiritual successor to Wax Been Done arrived at the 2022 Festival of the Arts with this incredible WET PAINT sign.
Keep in mind this sign was put up the same week it was announced Disney paid Bob Chapek and Bob Iger over $78.5 Million dollars in the past year.
Honorable Mention – Duct Tape, is there anything it can’t do?!
Double Secret Honorable Mention – Don’t think we haven’t noticed you over there UNIVERSAL
While Disney has its infamous signs, over at the Universal Orlando Resort we have the Curious Case Of the Missing Letters….
Apparently not wanting Universal to be the only missing letter place in town, Disney had their own.
In response, Universal took it up a notch and added an apostrophe where one wasn’t needed. This is a level of gamesmanship we haven’t seen since Disney fast-tracked MGM Studios in response to the opening of Universal Studios Florida.
When all else fails, just “DIY.”
“Paint” is truly sublime.
Absolutely love this one from the Lone Palm Airport in Universal CityWalk. First, the artist of this signage did what I do all the time; not allocating enough space for all the words. That is how we get a good amount of space between the letters of the word “We” as well as in-between the words “We” & “Are”. Then, again like I always do, the artist realizes they are running out of space and have to try to fit the word “Open” in at the end.
“Food yes!” and “Bar drinks yes!” take it to the next level.
In this Fine Blog Series, we will always respect a true misspelling, and shout out to Universal for quoting Back the Future’s own Dr. “Emmit” Brown instead of his correct name of Dr. Emmett Brown.
However, when EVERY SINGLE MOVIE is misspelled except Trolls and Gremlins? To that we have to cry foul.
The following two pictures are a weird moment in time. With Universal Orlando refurbishing their “Welcome” sign in CityWalk, there was one day with the “Orlando” part just missing.
Another day that same week there was a sign which almost looked handmade in the same spot, giving off strong “I Assure You We Are Open” vibes from the movie Clerks.
Triple Threat Honorable Mention – We’re Going INTERNATIONAL Baby!
So there you have it: The inaugural class of the Disney Signage HALL OF SHAME! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).
If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:
The 6th Annual Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year (Toy Story Land repairs, non-descript coaster themed to India)
The 5th Annual Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year (Maleficent dragon float, AA heads falling off)
The 4th Annual Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year (police called on geese at Disneyland, Pandora photoshops Tom Staggs out of existence)
The 3rd Annual Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year (WDW hurricane box, TP blog in court case)
The 2nd Annual Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year (AK poop snacks, Pop Century meth lab)
The inaugural Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year (guests walked to Frozen meet and greet at MK)
Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog, my personal protege Hunter “Elvey” Underwood, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick, hot shot Michael Carelli, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.