Sunday, March 28, 2010

Backstories: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Here's a backstory for the Michael Graves designed Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Whilst not Disney-designed, Michael Eisner still imposed Disney's thematic expectations.

This information comes from an interview with Disneyphile Jim Korkis, conducted by Werner Weiss and hosted at his amazing website, Yesterland.

"[The] basic concept for the Dolphin was that it was an island formed by a sudden cataclysmic event - an upheaval by an underwater volcano or earthquake. When the island emerged from under the sea, it lifted dolphins out of the water, and these are the dolphins on the roof. The banana leaves on the side of the building are the tropical plants growing on the island. The mysterious “black box” was never intended for monorail usage; it was the heart of the island, which burst open from the sheer force of the events. Water went spilling down the outside of the building into that dolphin filled pool, and then splashed over to the Swan. The railings and the curving landscape connecting the two hotels indicate waves moving from the Dolphin and splashing up along the side of the Swan. These are the waves that you see on the side of the Swan. Two swans were so entranced by this natural phenomenon that they alighted to watch it up close - and were turned to stone."

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