Thursday, January 24, 2013

Imagineer This

Early morning, you wake up. The first thing you see is a train station, with a big floral Mickey in the grass. You proceed to walk under the tunnel, look down Main Street and see a big castle, Cinderella’s castle to be exact.  The closer you get to the castle the more paths you have to choose from. You could go down Adventureland’s path or maybe down Tomorrowland’s path. What you don’t see is all the details and story that you walk by every day.

An imagineer’s job, by the books definition, is to be the creative center behind Disney’s theme parks, resorts, and family entertainment experiences. Really an imagineer’s job is to make anyone and everyone who enters the land feel like a kid again. They bring movies and old shows back to life. They take things that “could not be done” and do them. They are inventors, creators. They go above and beyond what is expected, just to impress and improve the story.

World of Color Show
The World of Color, water show, is an example of an imagineer’s work. Steve Davison, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment’s vice president of Parades and Spectaculars, put together this magical show. It uses about 1,200 fountains, lasers, different colored lights and fire to tell a story. When you look at the surface of the show you see an amazing story told with all these techniques. What makes the story even better is knowing how hard the imagineer’s work behind the scenes. Steve put every laser, presentation, and fountain popping to the music effect together just to make the show perfect for the audience. When a new movie comes out that deserves a spot in the show he goes back and adds it to the story.

Storybrook  Boat-ride Miniature
When riding the rides and watching many shows I often thought to myself how genius these imagineer’s are. If I could be a creator and come up with such a powerful and magical show, sigh, I would do it in a heartbeat. I get curious about these imagineer’s backgrounds and how they do what they do. What inspires them? I would trade places with an imagineer for a day or week just to experience what it feels like to make movies and characters come to life.
 In one of my tours I was told the most enchanted compliment an imagineer hears is when a child asks their parent if the characters in an attraction are real. So next time you take a ride in an attraction, pause and think about how many imagineer's it took and how perfect every little detail is. After all everything is placed for a reason- nothing is an accident with Disney.

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