While Amy & I were doing some reorganizing at our condo over the weekend, I rediscovered this cool magnet I bought at Chicago's DisneyQuest back in 2001.

DisneyQuest Zones Magnet

Explore Zone, Create Zone, Score Zone, and Replay Zone

Even though this image doesn't look very "Disney", it actually reflects the very structured and themed approach that DisneyQuest had upon opening.

For those not familiar, DisneyQuest was the Mouse's attempt at an "indoor theme park" that more closely resembled a Dave & Buster's or GameWorks. The first location opened at Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney in 1998, followed by the first non-theme park location here in Chicago the next year. The facility was built downtown, side-by-side with an ESPN Zone at Ohio & Rush.

The building was 5 floors tall, with 4 being being themed as "lands" — or using DisneyQuest speak, "entertainment environment zones." These Zones were all represented visually on the button shown above. An excerpt from the grand opening press release provides some explanation:

The DisneyQuest experience begins by riding a seemingly out-of-control "Cybrolator", guided by Aladdin's madcap Genie of the Lamp. The doors open, and you are standing at the Ventureport, an awe-inspiring crossroads of adventure leading to four entertainment environments: Explore Zone, Score Zone, Create Zone, and Replay Zone.

The gateway to the Explore Zone is the tiger's head from Aladdin's Cave of Wonders, which leads to a 150 foot long slide that drops two stories. A dimensional rift slashed through a comic book grants passage into the Score Zone. A digital artist's palette is the entrance to the Create Zone. An energetic collage of classic 50's moon-crazy symbols leads into the retro-future of the Replay Zone.

On the medallion-like magnet I own, you can see the names of each of the Zones written on the black band around the edge. The center compass rose represents the VenturePort (which is pretty much a correlation to Disneyland/Magic Kingdom's "Hub" with the castle).

Each Zone is then represented, again filling in like a theme park "Land." Starting at the top, we have the yellow-hued Explore Zone that features an illustration of the aforementioned Cave of Wonders. Moving clockwise, we see the painter's palette features in the Create Zone. At the bottom, the Score Zone has a comic book feel with a little of Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent thrown in. And finally we have the Tomorrowland-like Replay Zone with its retro spaceship.

I visited the Chicago location only once, on March 19, 2001, to celebrate my birthday. DisneyQuest Chicago would close forever later that year on September 4 due to low attendance and other issues. I know the exact date of my visit because I recently rediscovered a trip report I was writing about my experience, but apparently never finished. It originally took up one page in Microsoft Word and I'm still note sure what my purpose was in writing it!

Despite there being only the WDW location remaining in the chain, I still think the artwork on that button was rather nifty! The DisneyQuest concept never really took off and rumors have circled for years about Orlando's location eventually closing, but here's to memories of hope, excitement, and overpriced indoor entertainment experiences!