Saturday, August 23, 2014

Do You “See” What I See?

By Beth Skarp

Disney does an amazing job when it comes to designing and implementing a theme surrounding anything you see while on Disney property. This comes down to the smallest and simplest of things.

Having said this, I wonder how much effort the typical guest puts into admiring or fully taking in the sights that are around us. We are so busy scurrying about. From our resort to our transportation. From our transportation to a much anticipated ride or attraction. From one ride to the next one. From the heat of the parks to the comfort of air-conditioned buildings that offer a place to eat or simply rest our tired feet for a moment. No matter where we are scurrying to or from, chances are we scurry past so many things of beauty that surround us. I know that I have done this.

Instead of posting a photograph and asking you where in the World this might be located, I have opted to use a descriptive picture instead. Here it goes.

This place is a mountain of sorts, in an area where a literal mountain might seem “out of place” compared to the other attractions or buildings that surround it.

A long pathway was built to represent a canyon. As you walk the canyon, going up or down this great mountain, the sides of the canyon afford you a look into the various layers of the Earth's core. Each layer is rich in color, in beauty, and how it is displayed within the canyon.

Just from this brief descriptive, do you know not only what I am talking about, but where this might be located? No...well let me give you a few more clues.

The sides of this canyon surrounding this mountain are mirror images. Over 150,000 meticulously cut pieces of marble, slate, granite, glass and gold were used to create the deeply hued colors of the canyon walls. The canyon walls are mirror images, images originally designed by color stylist and background artist Walter Peregoy, a Disney Legend.

Upon very careful investigation, or in my case being told by my tour guide during a recent tour, you will notice one VERY SMALL difference between the two walls of this canyon. The question or questions come down to this.

What is this new mountain or so-called canyon I refer to? 

How come I don't recall hearing about a new mountain or so-called canyon? I mean, I know a lot about the World and don't know about this!

Do I need a Fast Pass or a special ticket to view this mysterious object?

Give up yet? 

The mountain is actually the glass structure of the building which houses the Land Pavilion at Epcot. 

Many of us are so preoccupied with getting into the air-conditioned building to ride Soarin' or Living with the Land or to eat at Sunshine Seasons or The Garden Grille restaurant that we walk right past the walls of this so called canyon without ever bothering to take the time to observe the beauty of the walls surrounding them. 

The glass structure housing the Land Pavilion is made to reflect a mountain in keeping with the theme for the attractions inside. The canyon is simply the rather long, 134 foot long pathway that leads you into the building for the Land Pavilion. It really does look like a chasm or canyon if you just step back a moment and look at it. Along the pathway is indeed a beautiful mural made from the materials I spoke of above. However, on the right-hand side of the canyon or pathway, as you enter the building, you will find one small stone that is indeed out of place.

While Walter Peregoy may have been the one to design or conceptualize what the mural would look like, a husband and wife team actually built the mural. I am sorry, but I just don't remember the name of the team of artists. and doing a Google search did not give me the answers either. 

These artists painstakingly cut the over 150,000 pieces, carefully laying them out , to not only create a mirror image on both sides of the mural but to portray the conceptualized design that Walter Peregoy came up with. 

This team wanted to sign this beautiful work of art. Ah, but Disney does not allow for an artist to “sign” their artwork, as it detracts from the theme of the work. So, how does one go about “signing” their work and get away with it?

In this case, a small Emerald was placed into the mural. It was an inconspicuous way to pay tribute to their handiwork while “signing” their work. It wasn't until much later, after all was said and done and the dedication ceremony concluded, that an eagle-eyed reporter noted that something was amiss. Too late to remove the artist's signature, so their signature stone remains to this day.

Here is a picture of the Emerald stone. If you look just above Jiminy's head, you will see the green stone. 

No, you don't need a Fast Pass or special ticket to see this mysterious stone. The question now becomes, where exactly is this at? I will not reveal the exact location of where the Emerald is located nor tell you which side of the so-called canyon to look. I will state that you can find the Emerald just before you enter the glass doors to the Land Pavilion. You can try looking for the Emerald on your next trip.
Had it not been for my wonderful Tour Guide, Robert, from the UnDiscovered Future World Tour at Epcot, I too would have no idea about this Emerald nor about the rich history of the Land Pavilion.

Take the time to look around you the next time you are at Disney. Chances are, you may be walking right past something of importance, of beauty, and not notice it.


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