In today’s world of risk management, regional codes and trademarks, was theme park design simpler for the original Walt Disney Imagineers?
What challenges do today’s theme designers face that the “old guard” missed out on?
Walt’s Original “Imagineers”
Ah, that wonderful revisionist past. Walt’s first Imagineering team. How could such legendary projects come from such a small group of talent? Arm waving! That’s it, life without detailed plans, a world of “napkin sketches” you built from. Everyone knew each other, no crossing time zones in conference calls, or filling out scope documents or getting every themed sign cleared by legal. Those were the parks!
Or was it a different time? Some of us in the corporate world of theme parks long for those smaller teams, the simpler path to execution and just having more fun in the business of creating fun. When I look back at the original WED, named for it’s owner Walter Elias Disney, it was that “one layer” to a yes or a no, or as Walt put it, “that’ll work.” That made the process so satisfying (or at least there’s closure.)