Imagineering Legends

Walt Disney Imagineering Bio: Yale Gracey – from Disney Legends

Yale Gracey (Animation & Imagineering)   Always interested in devising gadgets and building models, layout artist Yale Gracey’s office at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank was always cluttered with some of his lunch-hour experiments. One Saturday afternoon, as Walt Disney made his rounds through deserted offices to see what his staff was working on ...
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Imagineering Legends

Walt Disney Imagineering Bio: Ward Kimball

Ward Walrath Kimball (March 4, 1914 – July 8, 2002) was an Academy Award winning animator for the Walt Disney Studios. He was one of Walt Disney’s team of animators known as Disney’s Nine Old Men. While Kimball was a brilliant draftsman, he preferred to work on comical characters rather than complicated human designs. Animating ...
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Imagineering Legends

Imagineering Bio: Walt Disney

For the company founded by Disney, see The Walt Disney Company. Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966), was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, and animator. He was the son of parents Flora and Elias Disney, and had three brothers and one sister. As the co-founder (with his brother ...
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Insights from Experts

The Sliced Onion Technique: How to Theme a Space

by Nate Naversen This article discusses how to theme a space or an attraction building the way professional theme park designers do it. This is the technique that a host of experienced themed entertainment designers approach the design of a space from the perspective of theme. This technique, describe here is what we call, ‘the ...
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Imagineering Legends

Imagineering Bio: Ub Iwerks

Ub Iwerks (Ubbe Ert Iwwerks) (March 24, 1901–July 7, 1971), was a two-times Academy Award winner American animator, cartoonist and special effects technician, who was famous for his work for Walt Disney. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His name is explained by his East Frisian roots — his father, Eert Ubbe Iwwerks, emigrated ...
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Insights from Experts

Trolley Parks – America’s First Amusement Parks

The Trolley Park may have been America’s first amusement park. These parks started in the 19th century and rose in popularity when Charles J. Van Depoele created an electric trolley pole which could power a trolley car. This new invention replaced horse-drawn streetcars in the United States around the beginning of the 20th century. Trolley ...
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Show Writing

Enchanted Tiki Room Script

                      Preshow Before the Enchanted Tiki Room show begins, guests wait in the Tiki garden where statues of tiki gods describe themselves. Maui: My name is Maui, but teenagers call me Maui Wowie. My kids run late and that’s a crock, so I invented the ...
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Totally Fun Company

Theme Design vs Architecture

By Peter Alexander President Totally Fun Company So you want to design a theme entertainment project? Okay, so where do you start? You start by selecting an architect, right? Well, not necessarily! Asking an architect to create a theme project is like asking a multiplex theater designer to direct a movie: you’re putting the cart ...
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Theme Park Space Planning: The Mass Model

“The answers are in the model shop” – Michael Eisner Model building is an essential part of the development process for theme park and theme park attraction design. This article will discuss the first and most basic model used in the development of a theme park or theme park attraction: The mass model. As we ...
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Insights from Experts

Learn From Your Mistakes – A Life Lesson

This story is reasonably accurate, although most definitely hearsay and quite possibly exaggerated. But it is worth repeating because there is a good life lesson in this story: Many years ago there was a college student who wanted to become a Disney Imagineer and work at WED Enterprises, as it was called then. His goal ...
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Once an attraction is opened, who is responsible for the upkeep when problems arise?

Eddie - Once an attraction is opened, who is responsible for the upkeep when problems arise? I would imagine (pardon the pun) that the Imagineers are not responsible for this and that there is a group of maintenance personnel on site for such occurrences as ride malfunctions or routine maintenance. What qualifications might these cast ...
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Design Tools

The Blue Pencil

Design Tools: What tools are used? One subject that themedattraction.com has not addressed yet is the question of design tools: That is, what tools are used by designers to create theme park attractions? Blue Pencil Especially when in the blue-sky phase, one medium relied upon heavily is the blue pencil. Theme park attraction designers rely ...
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Show Writing

Stages in Attraction Show Writing

The stages in the process of writing an attraction tend to vary from project to project depending on the specific requirements, but you are correct in assuming there is a general pattern to the process. However, the “Guest Experience” is not necessarily the first of the stages leading up to the script draft. There are, ...
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Tales from the Jungle Cruise

The Day O.J. Simpson Visited the Jungle Cruise The following is a true story that happened at Disney’s Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom in 1998 to Skipper Andrew. To set the story up, there are a few things you must know. First of all, it is forbidden for any Disney cast member to approach ...
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