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Tokyo Disneyland's Hotel Mira Costa - Part 8
Page 1 of 22

by Marc Borrelli
April 5, 2002
Part 8 of Marc Borrelli's his tour of this magnificent hotel.

In the final installment of our tour of Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta, we see what DisneySea Symphony looks like from our room, take a late night look at the deserted lobby, and watch Tokyo DisneySea wake up. For much more DisneySea visit Marc Borrelli's TokyoResort.com.

Previous Sections: Part One, Part Two. Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven

I see Hotel MiraCosta as a monument to Imagineering. I don't mean that in the sense that the hotel is one of Walt Disney Imagineering's greatest achievements (which I feel it is). I'm talking about Imagineering as a concept, a philosophy, a process... as an art.

For example, the hotel's painstakingly executed park facing trompe l'oeil exterior is nothing short of a mind-boggling artistic achievement.  Its creation employed the talents of an army of highly talented, classically trained artists from around the world (should have seen the way the painter girls swooned over the French guys:). The work's size, its excruciating detail, and its "no compromises" approach forced it behind schedule from the start. During the final weeks before the park's first preview days, the race with the clock became intense, with work occurring seven days a week, literally around the clock.

Dating back to the Greek Empire, with it's earliest existing examples unearthed at Pompeii, trompe l'oeil is far from an Imagineering concept. But Imagineering and trompe l'oeil share a very similar spirit - To, as the phrase translates to from French, "fool the eye". I'm struck by how fitting a choice it was for MiraCosta.  A similar effect could have been accomplished in three dimensions for a fraction of the cost (and stress). But, as I've previously written, then it wouldn't have been art.

I feel the hotel's exterior is one of the most obvious example of Imagineering as art, but it can be found throughout the hotel.

Marble is another.

As you'll see in this final part of the tour, OLC was not afraid to spend obscene sums of money on imported, often rare, always expensive, and masterfully inlaid marble for the hotel.  But at the same time, faux marble is also common throughout MiraCosta, often nearly side by side with the real thing (I feel for those artists). Using painted simulations of marble wasn't a cost cutting measure, it is a statement. As with the hotel's trompe l'oeil facade, the number of highly skilled artists involved in the faux marble's creation and its much greater need for maintenance, more than negates any savings over genuine stone.

Another example of many -

Copper , brass, bronze, and other metals are used extensively in both the hotel's interior and exterior, as again, are their simulations. Many times the simulations were employed because waiting for the natural effects of aging on the metals would  have required years to pass before the desired impression would be achieved. Some of the most extreme stories I've heard of demanding Field Art Directors (the men and women who supervised the teams of artists) are related to the metal treatments at MiraCosta.

Again, these simulations are not cost cutting measures, they are elements of a statement... But what is the statement?

I would call it - "Simulation and recreation as art."

There are few things on this earth as subjective as the definition of "art". That said, despite the often dismissive and close-minded attitude of the formal "artistic community" towards it, I feel the multitude of disciplines which culminate in the thing Walt Disney called "Imagineering" deserves not only recognition as a "true" art form, but has lead to many examples of fine art.

DisneySea Park and Hotel MiraCosta feature, in my opinion, many of the ultimate examples of the art form.

With those lofty words, let's conclude our tour and transport ourselves back to the shores of Mediterranean Harbor, where...

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we're enjoying our $10 cups of coffee...
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... at BellaVista Lounge,
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