I kept a series of journals during my project research. Typically, I would take a small notebook while in the field, making notes and sketches. I would also keep track of my daily walking route and note it down along the way if there was a map available, such as at a theme park. I then later compiled all this content into larger books in rough chronological order, augmented with additional writings and drawings. Here is a representative sample.
After my main travel journal was compiled, I added file tabs to note the different sections.
Most of my travel took place between July 2007 and August 2008.
I also kept journals with notes on reading, and project planning.
While a large part of my project was to develop a taxonomy of thematic design types, I also planned out a timeline charting developments in the genre from the mid nineteenth century to the late twentieth.
I purchased an annual pass and visited the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California many times during my year of research. Major investigations were: August 27–30, 2007; January 3, 2007; July 15–16, 18–20, 2008; August 1, 27–30, 2008.
Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida: October 17–24, 2007. This resort includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Disneyland Paris Resort in Marne-la-Vallée, France: March 16–22, 2008. This resort includes Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: April 17–24, 2008.
Times Square Redevelopment District, New York City & Atlantic City Casinos, New Jersey: May 25–27, 2008.
Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan: June 3–8, 2008. This resort includes Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong, China: June 8–12, 2008.
Macau Casinos: June 10, 2008
There's so much thematic design to digest, I made two separate trips to Las Vegas: December 27–30, 2007 and July 7–12, 2008.
Various retail, dining, and hospitality destinations in Southern California: July and August, 2008.