With much of the backlot being demolished, I thought it well to pay tribute to a very cute set of props that made up the Open House queue at the Monsters Inc meet and greet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A few may remember that prior to being used for this meet ‘n’ greet, the location was allocated for the Goosebumps Horrorland Funhouse, where a maze of mirrors sent you scurrying through this space. I don’t recall how the space was used prior, though the back side originally held the Who Framed Roger Rabbit Dip Machine for guests to see on the backlot tour. Adjacent are remnants of props from that same movie adorning the gift shop walls. Even this will soon go away at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the new Star Wars Land.
Monsters Inc. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will soon go the way of Roger Rabbit and Goosebumps. Still, before leaving, let’s look at it, as it does provide great satire to our own work situation. Here’s a look:
This door led Mike and Sully to a backstage area. It’s simply appropriate to their individual needs:
Along the walls all sorts of signage can be found. It’s enough to keep you occupied waiting in line for your meet ‘n’ greet with Mike and Sully.
Here’s your typical–or not so typical–bulletin board for Human Relations. This is a separate space apparently from the “Inhuman Relations” department.
No restroom is complete without signage indicating the need for employees to wash up. But only here do you have to worry about workers eating the soap.
There’s always a set of rules in every organization and they seem to come in either sets of 3, 5 or 10. Here’s a set of ten:
Here’s another list of ten–Ten Ways to Get Fired, from Roz. There is a reference on line 9 to Glenn Kim, a concept artist for Pixar Studios.
Meetings are too much a part of any organization, and that couldn’t be more true of the meeting schedule at Monsters Inc. There’s the Happy Day Meeting, the Value Check Meeting, and Another Value Check Meeting. Note that the Fantasy Check Meeting and the Reality Meeting are back to back on the same day. Towards the end of the week you have the Mutual Admiration Supervisor Meeting.
You can read this welcome letter from President Victoria Gross of Monster’s University. It goes on and on with its high academic ideals, but then ends with a story and a message: “There is a difference between being a monster, and behaving monstrously. That difference is MU.”
Soon enough you are escorted into the presence of President James P. Sullivan and Vice President Mike Wazowski (that’s Wazowski with one “i”):
It was never the most amazing meet ‘n’ greet ever created, but Monsters Inc Open House was a dedicated space at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that had some minimal, but clever theming. It also taught an important lesson how signage and bulletin boards in any organization tell us much about the culture. As a consultant, I can often tell much about an organization within a few seconds of seeing the bulletin board in the break room. What’s on it–or what’s not on it–speaks volumes, especially when everything on it is outdated. Open House at Monsters Inc. speaks to the reality of the culture–even if that culture wants to make you scream.
By the way, one of the great places to read about this fantastic park is my book, Disney’s Hollywood Studios: From Show Biz to Your Biz. It is the most complete book on Disney’s Hollywood Studios ever written. In it you will find stories and details you never considered–and all of them tier up to better understanding your own organization. I promise you, it’s a fun read–but one that will give you insights you haven’t considered to your day to day work.