Walt Disney Imagineering
|Headquarters||Grand Central Creative Campus, Glendale, California, U.S.|
|Products||Theme parks, resorts, attractions, cruise ships, real estate developments, entertainment venues|
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts|
(The Walt Disney Company)
Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. is the research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company, responsible for the creation, design, and construction of Disney theme parks and attractions worldwide. Founded by Walt Disney to oversee the production of Disneyland, it was originally known as Walt Disney Inc. then WED Enterprises, from the initials meaning "Walter Elias Disney", the company co-founder's full name.
Imagineering is responsible for designing and building Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other entertainment venues at all levels of project development. Imagineers possess a broad range of skills and talents, and thus over 140 different job titles fall under the banner of Imagineering, including illustrators, architects, engineers, lighting designers, show writers, graphic designers, and many more. Most Imagineers work from the company’s headquarters on Grand Central Creative Campus in Glendale, California, but are often deployed to satellite branches within the theme parks for long periods of time.
Imagineering also manages various properties held by units with in the Walt Disney Company including Disney's Burbank Studios, New Amsterdam Theater and Times Square Studio Ltd. in New York City. When Disney was in the sports team ownership that included Edison Field and the Mighty Ducks Disney Ice practice rink in Anaheim.
The term Imagineering, a portmanteau, was introduced in the 1940s by Alcoa to describe its blending of imagination and engineering, and used by Union Carbide in an in-house magazine in 1957, with an article by Richard F Sailer called BRAINSTORMING IS IMAGINation engINEERing. Disney filed for a copyright for the term in 1967, claiming first use of the term in 1962.
Walt Disney Inc. (WDI) was formed by Walt Disney in 1953 with the Disneyland designing engineering division. In light of objections from Roy as well as those of potential stockholders, WDI was renamed WED Enterprises based on Walt's initials. In 1961, WED moved into the Grand Central Business Park, the site of the former Grand Central Air Terminal, in 1961.
Disney Production subsidiary
WED Enterprises theme park design and architectural group became so integral to the Disney studio's operations that the Disney Productions bought it on February 5, 1965 along with the WED Enterprises name.
Walt Disney Imagineering
Imagineering created Disney Fair, a U.S. traveling attraction, which premiered in September 1996. With poor attendance, the fair was pulled after a few stops. Disney Entertainment Projects (Asia Pacific) Inc., a new Disney Asian Pacific subsidiary, selected a renamed fair called DisneyFest as its first project taking it to Singapore to open there on October 30, 1997.
By 1997, Imagineers were in several buildings in Grand Central Business Park when Disney purchased the park. In September 1999, Disney Imagineering announced the Grand Central Creative Campus redesign of the industrial park with a new office-studio complex anchored by Disney Imagineering. Some of the building were demolished to make way for new buildings. The additional space would be for sound stages, production facilities and offices.
Imagineers are governed by a few key principles when developing new concepts and improving existing attractions. Often, new concepts and improvements are created to fulfill specific needs. Many solutions to problems are Imagineered in this way, such as the ride vehicle of the attraction Soarin' Over California. The Imagineers knew they wanted guests to experience the sensation of flight, but weren’t sure how to accomplish the task of loading the people on to a ride vehicle in an efficient manner where everyone had an optimal viewing position. An Imagineer found an Erector set in his attic, and was able to envision and design a ride vehicle that would effectively simulate hang gliding.
Imagineers are also known for returning to ideas for attractions and shows that, for whatever reason, never came to fruition. These ideas are often reworked and appear in a different form – like the Museum of the Weird, a proposed walk-through wax museum that eventually became the Haunted Mansion.
Finally, there is the principle of “blue sky speculation,” a process where Imagineers generate ideas with no limitations. The custom at Imagineering has been to start the creative process with what is referred to as “eyewash” – the boldest, wildest, best idea one can come up with, presented in absolutely convincing detail. Many Imagineers consider this to be the true beginning of the design process and operate under the notion that if it can be dreamt, it can be built.
Imagineers are always seeking to improve upon their work – what Walt Disney called “plussing.” He firmly believed that “Disneyland will never be completed as long as there’s imagination left in the world,” meaning there is always room for innovation and improvement.
Mickey's Ten Commandments
During an Imagineering workshop in 1991, Marty Sklar (then-president of Imagineering) presented ten commandments attributed to Mickey Steinberg (the vice president of Imagineering). They are:
- Know your audience
- Wear your guest's shoes (don't forget the human factors; try to experience the parks from the guests' point of view)
- Organize the flow of people and ideas (ensure experiences tell a story that is organized and logically laid out)
- Create a "Wienie" (Walt Disney's term for a "visual magnet")
- Communicate with visual literacy (use a dominant color or shape or building to reinforce a theme)
- Avoid overload—create turn-ons (do not offer too much detailed information)
- Tell one story at a time (put one 'big idea' in each show so guests leave with a clear understanding of the theme)
- Avoid contradictions—maintain identity (avoid irrelevant or contradicting elements; make sure the audience has a clear idea of what is being said)
- For every ounce of treatment, provide a ton of treat (take advantage of the distinction of the theme park, which is that it encourages active participation, compared to passive entertainment)
- Keep it up (do not become complacent or allow things to run down)
As of 2000, Walt Disney Imagineering has been granted over 100 patents in areas such as advanced audio systems, fiber optics, interactive technology, live entertainment, ride systems and special effects. WDI is responsible for technological advances such as the Circle-Vision 360° film technique and the FastPass virtual queuing system.
Imagineering is perhaps best known for its development of Audio-Animatronics, a form of robotics for use in shows and attractions in the theme parks that allowed Disney to animate things in three dimensions instead of just two. The idea sprang from Disney’s fascination with a mechanical bird he purchased in New Orleans, which eventually led to the development of the attraction The Enchanted Tiki Room. The Tiki Room, which featured singing Audio-Animatronic birds, was the first to use such technology. The 1964 World's Fair featured an Audio-Animatronic figure of Abraham Lincoln that actually stood up and delivered part of the Gettysburg Address (which was incidentally just past its centennial at the time) for the “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln” exhibit, the first human Audio-Animatronic figure.
Today, Audio-Animatronics are featured prominently in many popular Disney attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, The Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree, Star Tours—The Adventures Continue, and Muppet*Vision 3D. Guests also have the opportunity to interact with some Audio-Animatronic characters, such as Lucky the Dinosaur, WALL-E, and Remy from Ratatouille. The next wave of Audio-Animatronic development focuses on completely independent figures, or “Autonomatronics.” Otto, the first Autonomatronic figure, can see, hear, sense a person’s presence and emotions, and have a conversation.
The art of the show
Over the years, Imagineering has conceived a whole range of retail stores, galleries, and hotels that are designed to be experienced and to create and sustain a very specific mood – for example, the mood of Disney's Contemporary Resort could be called “the hello futuristic optimism,” and it’s readily apparent given the resort’s A-frame structure, futuristic building techniques, modern décor, and the monorail gliding quietly through the lobby every few minutes. Together, these details combine to tell the story of the hotel.
Imagineering is, first and foremost, a form of storytelling, and visiting a Disney theme park should feel like entering a show. Extensive theming, atmosphere, and attention to detail are the hallmarks of the Disney experience. The mood is distinct and identifiable, the story made clear by details and props. Pirates of the Caribbean evokes a “rollicking buccaneer adventure,” according to Imagineering legend John Hench, whereas the Disney Cruise Line’s ships create an elegant seafaring atmosphere. Even the shops and restaurants within the theme parks tell stories. Every detail is carefully considered, from the menus to the names of the dishes to the Cast Members’ costumes. Disney parks are meant to be experienced through all senses – for example, as guests walk down Main Street, U.S.A. they are likely to smell freshly baked cookies, a small detail that enhances the story of turn-of-the-century, small town America.
The story of Disney theme parks is often told visually, and the Imagineers design the guest experience in what they call “The Art of the Show.” Hench was fond of comparing theme park design to moviemaking, and often used filmmaking techniques in the Disney parks, such as the technique of forced perspective. Forced perspective is a design technique in which the designer plays with the scale of an object in order to affect the viewer’s perception of the object’s size. One of the most dramatic examples of forced perspective in the Disney Parks is Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. The scale of architectural elements is much smaller in the upper reaches of the castle compared to the foundation, making it seem significantly taller than its actual height of 189 feet.
Theme park projects
Since its 1952 inception, Walt Disney Imagineering has created twelve theme parks, a town, four cruise ships, dozens of resort hotels, water parks, shopping centers, sports complexes, and various other entertainment venues. Outside of the theme parks, a complete overhaul of Disney Stores was planned in 2009 with the help of Apple’s Steve Jobs. Disney was hoping to move away from the traditional retail model and toward more of an interactive entertainment hub.
In mid-July 2009, blueprints and concept art for a Fantasyland expansion leaked online, and Disney confirmed the rumors at the September D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Some aspects of the refurbishment were open as early as 2012, and was completed in 2013, barring the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Princess Fairytale Hall. The expansion, which doubled the current size of Fantasyland, features a greater focus on the Disney Princesses. Belle, Ariel, and Snow White all have dedicated sections within the land where guests can experience highly interactive character meet-and-greet sessions in immersive movie environments. There are two new restaurants, the full-service Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Beast’s Castle and the quick-service Gaston’s Tavern. The current Ariel's Grotto area was expanded to include a new attraction called The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure. In the middle of the expansion is a new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride which was opened on May 28, 2014, featuring a new ride system that allows mine carts to swing back and forth. Snow White's Scary Adventures has been replaced by Princess Fairytale Hall, where Cinderella, Tiana, Snow White, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Aurora, Mulan, Anna, and Elsa are having meet and greets which was opened on September 18th, 2013. The expansion also features an updated Dumbo ride with a doubled guest capacity and an interactive queuing system that will keep guests entertained while they wait for one of the park’s most popular attractions, as well as a rethemed version of Goofy's Barnstormer known as "The Great Goofini".
Current Imagineering projects
|Iron Man Experience||Hong Kong Disneyland||January 11, 2017|
|Star Tours – The Adventures Continue||Disneyland Park Paris||March 26, 2017|
|Miss Fortune Falls||Disney's Typhoon Lagoon||Spring 2017|
|Nemo & Friends SeaRider||Tokyo DisneySea|
|Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!||Disney California Adventure||Summer 2017|
|Pandora – The World of Avatar||Disney's Animal Kingdom|
|Scandinavian Port featuring Frozen||Tokyo DisneySea||2017|
|Disney Explorers Lodge Hotel||Hong Kong Disneyland Resort|
|Toy Story Land||Shanghai Disneyland Park||2018|
|Marvel Attraction||Hong Kong Disneyland|
|Adventureland show place|
|Redesigned castle & hub||Hong Kong Disneyland|
|Big Hero 6 attraction||Tokyo Disneyland||2020|
|Minnie Mouse Greeting Facility|
|Frozen themed area||Hong Kong Disneyland|
|Two new ships||Disney Cruise Line||2021 & 2023|
|New hotel||Disneyland Resort||2021|
|Marvel attraction||Hong Kong Disneyland||2023|
|Star Wars Land||Disneyland||TBA|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios|
|Toy Story Land||Disney's Hollywood Studios|
Non-theme park projects
The Imagineers have been called on by many other divisions of The Walt Disney Company as well as being contracted by outside firms to design and build structures outside of the theme parks.
The very first Disney Store opened in Glendale, California, near Imagineering headquarters, and was designed and constructed by a group of architectural Imagineers. Imagineers have cooperated with Walt Disney Consumer Products on four more occasions for Disney Stores. Firstly, WDI developed the Walt Disney Gallery at the Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, California (open for a short time in the 1990s, next to the still-operating Disney Store), and then a Roman themed Disney Store at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas. Two more themed flagship Disney stores were opened in San Francisco and New York City, the latter having been developed into a World of Disney. After the purchase of the Disney Stores by The Children's Place in 2004, Disney developed a more exclusive chain of flagship Disney stores, called World of Disney (see above). Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida (at the Walt Disney World Resort), Anaheim, California (at the Disneyland Resort), and New York City (now closed). Each have been designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. A fourth incarnation of the "World of Disney" brand arrived in Disney Village at Disneyland Paris in 2012.
Imagineering designed the prototype 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) "Club Disney" interactive family fun center in Thousand Oaks, California. It was the first of several Disney location-based entertainment (LBE) venues of the mid to late 1990s that were eventually closed. Another Imagineering-designed location-based entertainment product was DisneyQuest, a high-tech, virtual reality arcade of about 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) located in Disney Village (now referred to as Disney Springs, West Side) at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. DisneyQuest has themed areas called Score, Explore, Create, and Replay; DisneyQuest in Chicago no longer exists. Imagineers have also overseen design and construction of the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy for Disney Cruise Lines, as well as environmental and graphic design for The Disney Cruise Line and DCL's Castaway Cay.
Former Senior Vice President of Imagineering John Hench designed the "Tower of Nations" for the opening and closing ceremony of the 1960 Winter Olympics, where Walt Disney was Pageantry Committee Chairman.
Imagineering designed galleries and exhibitions for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, California. It also developed the Encounter Restaurant, a science fiction-esque redesign of the restaurant suspended at the top of the 135-foot parabolic arches of the Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport. Imagineering designed exhibits for the Port Discovery children's museum at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the "Below Deck" sound show depicting Blackbeard's final battle as part of the Pirate and Treasure Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.
Imagineering manufactured flight attendant uniforms for Northwest Airlines from Claude Montana designs in 1989 due in part to the fact that Northwest's then-CEO Al Checchi was also a member of The Walt Disney Company's board. The WDI-made uniforms only lasted until 1992.
When Disney purchased ABC, the Imagineers remodeled the ABC Times Square Studios in New York City. In addition, when Disney purchased the California Angels, they renamed the team to Anaheim Angels, and Walt Disney Imagineering and HOK Sport renovated the then-30-year-old Anaheim-owned Anaheim Stadium, adding modern amenities.
Imagineering worked with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to help create the teaser video and the story, as well as the theming of the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Stronghold.
Since the 1960s, Imagineering's headquarters have been located in a nondescript office building on the former site of the Grand Central Airport in Glendale, California, about two miles (3.2 km) east of Disney's corporate headquarters and studio lot in Burbank.
- Walt Disney Imagineering Disneyland Field Office, Disneyland Resort
- Tokyo Disney Resort Administration Building, Tokyo Disney Resort
- The former WDFA field office, Disneyland Resort Paris
- Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong Site Office, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
- Walt Disney Imagineering Germany GmBH, Meyer Werft Papenburg, Germany
Walt Disney Imagineering Management
Walt Disney Imagineering
- President;– Bob Weis
- Executive Vice President, Business Operations and Delivery – Anthony Connelly
- Chief Development and Delivery Executive – Craig Russell
- Principal Creative Adviser – John Lasseter
- Senior Vice President, Executive Designer – Joe Rohde
- Senior Vice President, Creative Development – Tony Baxter (retired)
- Senior Vice President, Creative Development – Eric Jacobson
- Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer – Scott Watson
- Senior Vice President, Chief Scientist – Ben Schwegler
- Vice President, Senior Creative Executive – Tom Fitzgerald
- Vice President, Resort Development – Don Goodman
- Vice President, New Ship Development – Frank de Heer
- Vice President, Creative Research and Development – Scott Trowbridge
- Vice President, Producer – Kathy Mangum
- Creative Vice President for Tokyo Disney Resort – Daniel Jue
- Vice President, Project Management – David Van Wyk
- Technology Executive, Practice Technologies – Joseph Joseph
- Director of Theme Park Development for Lucasfilm Attractions – Ian Jackson
- Director of Theme Park Development for Shanghai Disneyland – Mike Montague
- Director, Field Art – Jim Crouch
- Director, Project Integration – Rolando Mendoza
- Director, Art – Kim Irvine
- Executive Project Management – Paris, France – Aslam Amlani
- Executive Creative Director;– Kevin P. Rafferty
- Senior Show Producer/Director – Kathy Rogers
- Senior Concept Designer – John Gritz
- Senior Concept Designer – Michel den Dulk
- Senior Concept Writer, Creative Development – Michael Sprout
- Principal Fabrication Designer – James George "Jim" Armagost
- Principal Concept Designer – Scot Drake
- Principal Concept Designer – Owen Yoshino
- Principal Show Artist – Heather Greene
- Principal Show Artist – Tod Mathias
- Show Writer, Creative Development – David Fisher
- Manager Prototype Fabrication – Patrick Krugh
- Mechanical Lead – Rick Taylor
- Senior Financial Analyst – Raya Sandjaja
- Sculpturer – Scott Goodard
Walt Disney Creative Entertainment
- Vice President, WDI Creative Entertainment – Kevin Eld
- Vice President, Creative Development; WDI Creative Entertainment – Michael Jung
- Creative Director and Vice President, Parades and Spectaculars – Steve Davison
Former Walt Disney Imagineering Management
- Chief Creative Executive 2007-2016, Bruce Vaughn
- Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering 2000-2007 – Marty Sklar
- President, Walt Disney Imagineering 2000-2009 – Don Goodman
- Chairman, Walt Disney Imagineering 1995-1997 – Peter Rummell
- President, Walt Disney Imagineering 1997-1999 – Bran Ferren
- President, Walt Disney Imagineering 1997-1999 – Ken Wong
- President, Walt Disney Imagineering 1987-1996 – Marty Sklar
- President, Walt Disney Imagineering 1979-1989 – Carl Bongirno
- President, Walt Disney Imagineering 1952-1964 – Bill Cotrell
Notable Disney Imagineers
- Ken Anderson – Worked on most of the original Disneyland Fantasyland attractions
- Frank Armitage – Helped to design the Disney theme parks; inspired and designed the Wonders of Life Pavilion in Epcot and was a muralist in Tokyo DisneySea and Walt Disney World.
- Xavier "X" Atencio – Most famous works include the songs "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" for, Pirates of the Caribbean and "Grim Grinning Ghosts" for the Haunted Mansion
- Tony Baxter – Oversaw the design of some of Disney's most famous modern attractions, such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure, Journey into Imagination, and Disneyland Paris
- Chris Beatty – Creative Director for the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Current Executive Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering
- Mary Blair – Distinctly stylistic Imagineer, known for designs for "it's a small world," the massive murals in Disney's Contemporary Resort, and the murals overlooking Disneyland's Tomorrowland of 1967
- Carl Bongirno – Joined Walt Disney at The Celebrity Sports Center in Denver, CO. He worked at The Studio, Disneyland and Walt Disney World in finance positions until 1979 when he became president of WED/MAPO, the original name of Imagineering, which he changed in 1986. He led the Imagineers during the time of creating and building Tokyo Disneyland and EPCOT and the beginning of Disneyland Paris. He retired in 1989 and was inducted as a Disney Legend in later years.
- Roger E. Broggie – Oversaw development of Audio-Animatronics, CircleVision 360, WedWay Peoplemover, Viewliner, the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, the Disneyland Monorail, the Matterhorn Bobsleds and dark ride transportation systems.
- Harriet Burns – WDI's first female Imagineer; helped design Audio-Animatronics attractions like The Enchanted Tiki Room and designed The Plaza Inn – official website
- Wing Chao – The lead designer for decades' worth of Disney-owned hotels, including many of those at the Walt Disney World Resort, as well as the ships of Disney Cruise Line
- Claude Coats – Designed the sets for Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, Adventure Through Inner Space, If You Had Wings, and many other classic attractions
- Bill Cottrell – Known as 'Uncle Bill'. He was the First President of WDI and later became President of Retlaw
- Thierry Coup – a former imagineer, now working Senior Vice President of Universal Creative. Coup worked on the 1990s redevelopment of Tomorrowland at Disneyland, as well as working on the original designs of Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris, Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune, Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux and Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular.
- Jim Crouch – Significant contributions to all Disney Parks in regards to paint and sculptures. He is one of the doomed groomsmen in the Haunted Mansion attractions attic scene. His production paintings in the park include the Ghost Host in the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion and paintings of infamous pirates along the Disneyland attractions queue walls, among others.
- Rolly Crump – Known for his re-design of Disneyland's Adventureland Bazaar, the Tower of the Four Winds kinetic sculpture, and much of Epcot; noted for his richly stylized design style
- Alice Estes Davis – Designed Costumes for Audio-Animatronics in many rides including "it's a small world" and Flight to the Moon
- Marc Davis – Distinguished Imagineer noted for his stylized character design and comedic "sight gags;" designed most of the characters in The Jungle Cruise, The Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, America Sings, and many other classic attractions.
- Steve Davison – Most noted for his work on Disney entertainment spectaculars, such as parades, firework displays, and Disney California Adventure Park's World of Color
- John Decuir, Jr. – Project Designer on Contemporary Hotel, Polynesian Hotel, Space Ship Earth, Communicore and Master Planning for EPCOT-World Showcase.
- Morgan "Bill" Evans – served as Chief of Landscape for Disneyland, especially noted for his unusual and innovative landscape design for Disneyland's Jungle Cruise
- Bran Ferren – Disney bought his design & engineering firm Associates & Ferren in 1993 and merged it into Imagineering, where he rose to President of Research and Development by 1997. Ferren left in 2000 to start Applied Minds Inc. around the block from Imagineering with fellow Imagineer Danny Hillis.
- Joe Fowler – Helped design both Disneyland and Walt Disney World
- Blaine Gibson – Chief sculptor who created many Audio-Animatronics figures, including most in the Hall of Presidents, as well as the "Partners" statue found in the hubs of Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
- Yale Gracey – Best known for the invention of special effects and new attraction technologies, most famously for the Haunted Mansion.
- Bob Gurr – Responsible for the designing of ride vehicles for much of Disneyland's history.
- John Hench – Most famous work is Space Mountain's exterior design; also worked on Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Spaceship Earth, and the overall design of EPCOT Center, in addition to multiple other projects. Worked also on the selection of color palettes for many of the projects during his lifetime.
- Alan Horais – Spent close to 20 years with Walt Disney Imagineering where he was Senior Principle Production Designer where he led Hong Kong Disneyland's Tomorrowland project and was responsible for concept, art direction, and production. He was also responsible for vehicle design, engineering and the overall success of various Disney projects at Epcot and Downtown Disney. After Disney, Al was Chief Design Engineer for Scenario Design and then, Creative Director for Thinkwell Design.
- Richard Irvine – Master of Planning and designing attractions.
- Bill Justice – Programmed figures for several Disney attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and Country Bear Jamboree.
- Steve Kirk – The lead designer of Tokyo DisneySea, considered by many to be the finest theme park ever built.
- Bill Martin – Helped Design the Monorail, Fantasyland attractions, Pirates of the Caribbean and Walt Disney World.
- Sam McKim – Responsible for creating sketches of the early Disneyland attractions including Main Street, U.S.A.
- Bill Novey – Helped create the special effects business for themed attractions by creating a special effects department for WED Enterprises in the 1970s. Oversaw the effects for Epcot Center and Tokyo Disneyland. At Disney he invented over 300 projectors and helped inspire a new wave of special effects and innovations including first use of holograms and vector-scanning laser projections in a theme park.
- Randy Pausch – A former Imagineer and professor of human-computer interaction, he worked on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride, during his sabbatical year from the University of Virginia, as part of Bran Ferren's R&D group. Afterwards, he continued working with WDI as a consultant. Randy talks about his childhood dream of becoming an imagineer for Walt Disney in his book The Last Lecture.
- Wathel Rogers – Known for programming and designing Audio-Animatronics
- Joe Rohde – Chief designer for Disney's Animal Kingdom, as well as many of Disney's resort hotels; noted for his distinctly exotic style, use of elaborate detail, and penchant for cultural accuracy
- Herb Ryman – Noted for his numerous and distinctive conceptual renderings, many of which served as the principally guiding concepts for Disney attractions and environments
- Richard and Robert Sherman – Created musical scores such as "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" from the Carousel of Progress, "it's a small world" from the attraction of the same name, and "In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Room" from Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room.
- Marty Sklar – served as scriptwriter and various other leadership roles in Walt Disney Imagineering; had a hand in the design of nearly every Disney theme park ever built
- Stanley "Mickey" Steinberg – served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Walt Disney Imagineering responsible for the development, design and construction of all Disney theme parks during a huge construction boom in the late 1980s to the mid-1990s.
- Bob Weis – Lead designer of Disney's Hollywood Studios, Shanghai Disneyland, and the $1.1 billion renovation of Disney California Adventure Park
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- Alcorn, Steve and David Green. Building a Better Mouse: The Story of the Electronic Imagineers Who Designed Epcot. Themeperks Press, 2007, ISBN 0-9729777-3-2.
- Surrell, Jason. The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak. Disney Editions, 2007, ISBN 1-4231-0155-3
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Disney Educational Products created The Science of Disney Imagineering, a series of 11 videos made around 2010. Each episode was hosted by Imagineer Asa Kalama, and focused on a different science subject. Each episode featured at least one Disney attraction, which features the science subject as a main element of the attraction, to help explain the subject. The series featured episodes about Gravity, Trajectory, Levers & Pulleys, Fluids, Energy, Design & Models, Magnetism, Motion, Animal Adaptations: Communication, Friction, and Electricity.
- Walt Disney Creative Entertainment
- Disney Research
- Universal Creative, the equivalent of Imagineering at one of Disney's rivals, Universal Parks & Resorts
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Of course, we had tremendous help in doing all of this from our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering. Not only did they produce the teaser for us, but they helped us keep the story of this game front and center.
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