Friday, July 2, 2010

Imagineering Intern

I first went to Walt Disney Imagineering (WED Enterprises at the time) as an intern show designer for New Fantasyland (1983). I worked on all aspects of design for the land and some of my specific contributions include the sword for The Sword in the Stone and the space planning for the related show area. Kent Elofson designed the stone. The area was designed to allow for a sword pulling ceremony as well as to allow a photo opportunity. I also designed the planter area and queue for King Arthur Carrousel.

At one point I was asked if I could draft and work on the show drawings for the Peter Pan attraction. I had not drafted before, but I took one look at the work and I said that I couldn't see why not. I ended up drafting about 50% of the 75 show drawings produced for the attraction. Tom Morris had laid out most of the track changes from the 1955 version to the 1983 version, but after he left the project I was left to make a number of remaining changes. This ride track is one of the more difficult as it involves 3-dimensions of movement.

During my time there I had some of the greatest mentors offering me an education that couldn't have come from any school. These mentors offered help, not as part of their job, but out of interest in working with me. Christopher Carradine (architect for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride) taught me a simple drafting lettering style in about 15 minutes. It is the same lettering technique that I use today and it is faster for me than printing. Chris also taught me much about architecture as did David Ott (architect for Peter Pan Flight). These men didn't mind sharing with me because I helped them both with queue design and other aspects of attraction design unique to its operation.

I spent just over a year at Imagineering before returning to Disneyland.

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