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The genesis of any Disney park, attraction, hotel, or cruise project begins with people—creative and diverse and with varying perspectives. These people, Imagineers, are involved with everything from design through delivery—and the earliest phases are Blue Sky. Contrary to popular belief, Blue Sky is not a Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) department; it’s a phase of a process where Imagineers explore all the possibilities of what an experience will be, whether it’s an attraction, a restaurant, a hotel, a ship, or even an entirely new park. The approach focuses on putting together interesting and creative people with different perspectives, giving them meaningful challenges to solve, and then removing barriers so they can create the next big thing in theme park entertainment.

“It was Disney Legend and famous Imagineer Marty Sklar who said, ‘There’s nothing more frightening in the world than a blank sheet of paper,’” recalls Josh Gorin, creative development executive at WDI. “The truth is that we rarely start with a truly blank sheet of paper. Imagineers often work with our site operations, business, and market research teams to understand the needs we are trying to solve. We start with writing down the requirements and the wish list, and that absolutely informs our development. That being said, we also like to have a portfolio of projects in Blue Sky, some of which are heavily informed by needs and others that are less directly informed by immediate needs but are a bit more strategic and high level. No two projects are truly the same but, at the end of the day, what Imagineers do is create experiential entertainment — entertainment that you touch, see, feel, and walk inside. Blue Sky is about exploring the next great thing that is really going to blow our guests away.”

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