pp. 24-25 pp. 26-27

Walt Disney's Imagineers and Chip Israel created a festive environment for guests journeying to the Magic Kingdom.

When Francisco de Coronado left Mexico in 1540 and headed north in search of the fabled Seven Golden cities of Cibola, he had little idea that his explorations would so significantly impact the resort industry more than 450 years later.

While he never found his cities of riches, he created a golden opportunity for Walt Disney Imagineers to recreate the textures, colors, and art of Mexico and the American Southwest with Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, which opened in August 1997.

The lighting design follows the theming, and yet overcomes the typical challenges of a massive facility. For those efforts, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort was recognized with two 1999 IIDA Awards of Merit. The attention to detail in the lighting was only natural after the efforts undertaken to ensure authenticity throughout the resort. In the design phase of the project, for example, more than 200 exterior colors were brought to the table.