Disney And Imagineering
Imagineering is actually the design and development arm of the Walt Disney Company tasked in the creation and construction of all the Disney theme parks around the world. It is rather an audacious term blended from the words “imagination” and “engineering”.
However, its employees known as “imagineers” are known for their diversified talents and skills, with over 140 different job titles falling under the group (illustrators, lighting engineers, show writers, architects, designers, etc.).
New concepts, new solutions
Imagineers often use new concepts and solutions to solve specific problems that cannot be worked out with old principles. They are able to come up with ingenious answers, often discovered in the most unconventional ways.
They are also known to return to old ideas that did not push through and rework them in a different form in an entirely different context. (Their old project Museum of the Weird eventually became the Haunted Mansion.)
Blue sky speculation
The imagineers also have the “blue sky speculation”, the idea of generating ideas without limits, only the sky’s (hence, the name).
They would first start out with the “eyewash”, the wildest and boldest idea anyone can come up with. It is presented with attention to the minutest details and should pass the notion that if it can be dreamed of, it can be created.
“Plussing” and innovation
“Plussing” was Disney’s term in improving any work done by the imagineers. He believed there was always room for innovation and improvement, and that “nothing will ever be completed as long as there is still imagination left in the world.”
So far, Disney’s imagineers had been granted over 115 patents over the years. These are all connected with Disneyland’s ride systems, interactive technology, special effects, live entertainment, fiber optics, advanced audio systems, and others.
This is a form of robotics created and used in shows and attractions in the theme parks that use 3D animations. The idea was triggered by Disney’s fascination with a mechanical bird he bought.
It led to the development of the attraction The Enchanted Tiki Room which featured singing animatronic birds, which actually was the first to use that kind of technology.
The first animatronic human figure attraction featured Abraham Lincoln who stood up and delivered a part of the Gettysburg address.
Today, there are many animatronic attractions in many popular Disney parks. These include Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3D, and many others.
Device for storytelling
Imagineering is actually used as a form of storytelling in visual form. Entering a Disney theme parks feel like entering a show. The Disney experience consists of extensive theming, atmosphere and attention to details.
This multi-sensory mood is given clarity by life-like details and props. Aside from atmospheric and ambient sounds, imagineers are likely to add some olfactory ingredients. Guests walking down Main Street are likely to smell some cookies baking somewhere.
What distinguishes the work of imagineers from the others is Disney’s attention to details. His insistence on correct details, no matter how small, made their projects believable in the eyes of the guests.
Since it started, Disney’s Imagineering group had created 11 theme parks, a town, two cruise ships resort hotels, shopping centers, water parks, sports complexes and many other entertainment venues. Indeed, the Imagineering group of Disney have come a long way.
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