Disney is altering the guard in relation to Imagineering, and it’s not simply legendary figures being changed. On this writer’s opinion, we’re now shifting into a brand new period by which the faces of Imagineering are a part of advertising and marketing, not natural outcomes of benefit and talent.
A few month in the past there have been rumors of Imagineers being pushed to retire. Person “LiterallyNobody” over on the WDWMagic boards may have been the primary to carry the insider data to public data. On the time, I had not heard that Joe Rohde was a part of that push, and it appeared a bit outlandish to me. Push ahead to immediately and wowza… the massive names they’re a fallin’. Not solely are we listening to that Joe Rohde has been led into retirement, however unbelievable Imagineers like Kevin Rafferty and Tom Fitzgerald are both gone or on the best way out.
For these of you not deeply aware of Disney Imagineering and why these persons are necessary, right here’s the context:
Joe Rohde is the first man behind the design of Animal Kingdom, which might be probably the most stunning and well-designed park on the planet. Kevin Rafferty developed Storm Lagoon, Automobiles Land, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and way more. He was already planning to retire earlier than the pandemic, however he’s nonetheless a significant asset misplaced. Tom Fitzgerald has been at Disney doing superb work because the eighties, and has till not too long ago been over Imagineering for Disneyland Resort.
So you’ll assume that these fellas could be big assets to Disney that they’d wish to preserve with them for wonderful smaller initiatives as permitted by diminished budgets. However Disney’s shifting away from that model. As an alternative, the corporate is closely selling individuals like Zach Riddley, who though a pleasant individual, doesn’t appear to have the talents of a conventional Imagineer. Quite, Zach Riddley is a marketable persona, form of a personality like Stacey Aswad from “Must Do Disney”. It positively appears like it is a company technique change for WDI by which excessive degree expertise is both stored within the background or is perceived as replaceable. If you concentrate on it, this does form of defend Disney in that their high-level expertise behind the scenes doesn’t trigger an issue if they should terminate stated individual.
And, in fact, don’t neglect that Charita Carter is the lead on Splash Mountain modifications. She’s most likely nice, however issues definitely really feel like id politics are being performed. This writer is 1000% in favor of equity to all and kindness to all, however by no means proud of tribalism or utilizing race to pick who does what.
I’ve been excited about these highly effective phrases from Joe Rohde for a yr. Hopefully WDI has different robust advocates for adventurous inventive decisions and decision-makers to take heed to them.
Credit: The Imagineering Story – Disney+ pic.twitter.com/9mHEVA045E
— Le Parcorama 🎟 (@parcorama) November 24, 2020
Going ahead it does seem like Disney is emptying out the extra senior Imagineers. We haven’t heard about Scott Trowbridge, though he would possibly be protected till Harmonious is completed. He’s a little bit of a wild card and never simply tied to Disney, so we’ll see what occurs. The times of yesteryear by which Walt or one other Disney government is working immediately with the Imagineers does appear to be one thing of the previous. In all probability one thing the present management would see as a quaint relic.
What are your ideas on the modifications in Imagineering? Tell us within the feedback under.