TEA Connect Blog

31 March 2020

Imagineering in a Box from TEA Global Partner Walt Disney Imagineering offers free educational series

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is pleased to count Walt Disney Imagineering as a TEA Global Partner of long standing. Our organization has had, and continues to have, many avenues of collaboration with Disney over the years, and we are grateful for their support.

The relationship with Disney helps TEA fulfill its mission in multiple ways, and helps Disney in that TEA represents a uniquely rich, industry talent pool. The alliance promotes useful dialogue between creatives and operators. It also supports professional development for all levels of experience in our industry including the current workforce and the emerging workforce (TEA NextGen).

Joe Rohde and Nancy Seruto

During the industry slowdown due to COVID-19, many TEA members are seeking resources to help them stay current and improve their skills. Imagineering in a Box, a free educational series available online and produced in partnership with nonprofit Khan Academy, is one such resource. The series offers lessons and exercises in storytelling, theming, dark rides, building design, character design and more.

The lessons are guided by top Walt Disney Imagineering creatives and specialists including Portfolio Creative Executives Joe Rohde and Nancy Seruto - both Imagineers who have been visible and active within TEA over the years, and both honored with the Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements.

Projects in Disney parks that are used as teaching examples in the Imagineering in a Box series also include a number of TEA Thea Award recipients: Cars Land, Pandora - The World of Avatar, and Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure.

Photos courtesy Disney. Counter clockwise from bottom left: Cars Land,
Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure and Pandora - The World of Avatar.

Imagineering in a Box is available for anyone to utililize on their own, but it also includes resources for educators. It can be accessed at this link.

As described in the official Disney Parks Blog: "Imagineering in a Box is a series of interactive lessons in theme park design and engineering, designed to give a behind-the-scenes peek into Imagineering’s development process. It combines 32 videos of actual Imagineers, real-world case studies, and lots of interactive activities to give you the opportunity to dream and design your very own theme park experience. With so many families at home together right now, we thought this would be an especially useful time to share this program with you. It’s available to all and completely free. We are so excited to share with learners of all ages the unique ways that science, technology, engineering, and math can be combined with creativity and design to create larger-than-life entertainment for millions all around the world. And maybe, we’ll be helping the Imagineers of tomorrow to get their first start."

This is consistent with TEA's mission to serve, grow and improve the industry - to promote excellence. We applaud Disney, our TEA Global Partner, for this invaluable resource and for making it freely available. Concluding with a few wise words from WDI superstars, below:

Robert Weis, Jon Snoddy and Josh Gorin of Walt Disney Imagineering

“TEA has been a great industry partner, helping to inspire the next generation of Imagineers and talent throughout the world of themed entertainment - much as we hope to do with Imagineering in a Box,” said Bob Weis, President Walt Disney Imagineering.

"Our Imagineers are creative thinkers, problem solvers and inventors who dream up and create one-of-a-kind parks, ships, resorts and experiences around the world," said Jon Snoddy, Research and Development Studio Executive. "This curriculum teaches students how to be curious learners, and our hope is that it inspires the next generation of Imagineers by showing them what’s possible when engineers work collaboratively with artists."

"No matter your choice of career, it is incredibly valuable to learn how to translate an idea in your head into tangible reality. This series is a great opportunity for learners of all ages to get hands-on experience applying art and engineering concepts to design challenges, as told through real-world examples from Disney Parks all around the globe. It really is transformative," shared Josh Gorin, Creative Development Executive. 


Postscript: The Imagineering Story

It's always a good idea to know more about the history of our industry, and The Imagineering Story, currently streaming on Disney+ has received many accolades since it was first released in 2019. Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks comes from a line of themed entertainment industry pioneers with top Disney credentials. Her father, Don Iwerks, is a recipient of TEA Thea lifetime honors, and her grandfather, Ub Iwerks, was the Disney animator known as "The Hand behind the Mouse" - also the title of a book and documentary by Ms. Iwerks. Disney+ offers a free seven-day trial; click here for information.


Article for TEA by Judith Rubin



Posted by Judy Rubin



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