Following the massive opening of EPCOT Center in 1982, the transition to a new crop of Imagineers took hold at Disney. This shift led to a more ambitious park with Disneyland Paris in 1992. Show producers like Jeff Burke and Tom K. Morris helped enhance the typical theme park land. This was also true about Discoveryland, a different approach to Tomorrowland. Led by Tim Delaney, this ambitious land feels original yet still works inside the overall park.
Delaney is my guest on this episode of The Tomorrow Society Podcast to talk about his 34-year career at Disney. He started in the graphics department in 1976 and quickly moved to Imagineering during EPCOT Center’s creation. Delaney’s work on that park includes the design of The Living Seas, which was an epic pavilion for 1986. He describes that attraction plus the idea for the Hydrolators. I have clear memories of first visiting The Living Seas in 1986 and enjoying the full experience.
We also discuss Delaney’s concepts for the unbuilt Space Pavilion at Epcot and several possible designs. His interest in futuristic ideas goes back to watching early Disneyland TV episodes like “Man in Space”. This passion is evident in Discoveryland, which takes inspiration from masters like Jules Verne, Leonardo Da Vinci, and H.G. Wells. Delaney offers great details about designing Space Mountain in Paris and the evolution of that major project. The stunning attraction opened a few years after the resort and saved Disneyland Paris.