To all who come to this Happy Place... Welcome!
"We are the dreamers - and the doers"
- Walt Disney
Imagineering is the name coined by Walt Disney to combine Imagination and Engineering - pretty succesful I think!
It is "the imaginative application of engineering sciences." Perhaps a more simple definition would be: "being creative with engineering."
In 1952, Mr Walter Disney himself, collected together a small handful of animators and movie makers and asked them to do the impossible. They returned with Disneyland (CA)!
This group started life as WED Enterprises, or Walter Elias Disney Enterprises. They later renamed thenselves WDI - Walt Disney Imagineering and conveniently relocated to the next door premises of MAPO - a center where much prototype manaufacturing takes place. It is so named as it is where the first Audio-Animatronics figure came from - the singing bird held by Julie Andrews in MAry POppins!*
There are many people from multiple different disciplines making up WDI...
Animators... maybe required to design and create animated components of a show. They may also help to program movements of Audio-Animatronics.
Architectural Designers... work closely with the Set Designers and design the physical structures in which the attraction will be housed.
Artists and Writers... usually visually organize the storyboards used in the design of the attraction.
Audio... create the final tracks, narration, dialogue, music score and sound effects in an attraction.
Designers... dream up the initial concepts for a show/attraction.
Props... take care of construction of the full sized sets.
Research and Development... test new and prototype systems.
Sculptors... help to build figures - first in miniature form, then full size.
Show Set Designers... take the concepts, models and storyboards to the blueprint stage.
Special Effect and Lighting Designers... create the mood and atmosphere required. They are often referred to as illusioneers.
Wardrobe... take care of any Audio-Animatronic or cast member costuming needed.
WDI are not limited to shows and attractions. They have also been involved in the creation of themed hotels, some of the Disney stores worldwide and other park entertainment.
And it's not all about Disney. The WDI imagineers have been involved in the creation of various outside developments such as the Bally-MGM monorail in Las Vegas, the PeopleMover at Houston Intl Airport and the architectural lighting and a lounge at LAX*. Other projects have included museum displays, restaurants and even part of the Olympic celebrations.