Imagineer Podcast
Tower of Terror (Imagineering Details)

Tower of Terror (Imagineering Details)

October 9, 2021

Tower of Terror opened at Walt Disney World in 1994, and its success prompted Disney to construct similar versions at Disneyland Paris, Disney California Adventure, and Tokyo Disney Sea. Part of the attraction's popularity has much to do with the level of detail the Imagineers infused into the experience, creating far more than a basic drop ride. The story is carefully woven throughout the full experience, even before guests enter the queue. In fact, many consider Tower of Terror to be a masterclass attraction, which is why it remains so popular even three decades later.

In this podcast episode, I have the pleasure of welcoming back veteran Disney Imagineer Theron Skees. Theron not only helped to develop Tower of Terror for Disneyland Paris but also championed some guest-favorite updates to the original attraction in Orlando. We discuss some of the stories behind Tower of Terror, ride details, and Easter eggs.

You can follow Theron and learn more about his work at the links below:

What do you love most about Tower of Terror? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Deluxe Passholder Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K
  • Jordan J
  • Dani S

Enjoy the show!

Tony Baxter (Disney Legend, Imagineer, IAAPA Hall of Fame)

Tony Baxter (Disney Legend, Imagineer, IAAPA Hall of Fame)

September 25, 2021

Tony Baxter's career as a Disney Imagineer defined the second generation of Disney Park experiences. Tony's legacy includes Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones Adventure, Star Tours, Journey Into Imagination, and Disneyland Paris. As a lifelong Disney fan who grew up down the street from Disneyland, Tony always dreamed of becoming an Imagineer. He started with the company at the earliest age possible, scooping ice cream at Disneyland. After graduating from college, Tony was hired as an Imagineer to work on the opening of Walt Disney World. Tony concluded his career at Disney in 2013 as the Senior Vice President of Creative Development. For his many contributions to the themed entertainment industry, Tony was named a Disney Legend, received his own window on Main Street USA, earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Themed Entertainment Association, and was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame.

In this podcast episode, I have the honor of chatting with Tony about his 40-year career at Walt Disney Imagineering. We discuss some of his favorite projects, his memories of working at Walt Disney World the year it opened, his thoughts about Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, and his advice for aspiring Imagineers. We also discuss his creative process and methodology for designing legendary attractions.

Which of Tony's projects is your favorite? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Deluxe Passholder Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K
  • Jordan J
  • Dani S

Enjoy the show!

Growing Up With Disney (Disney Baby to Disney Parent)

Growing Up With Disney (Disney Baby to Disney Parent)

September 11, 2021

I grew up with a Disney family. We were lucky enough to travel to Walt Disney World just about every year, and we visited Disneyland a few times during my childhood. My family not only instilled in me a love for Disney but also encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a Cast Member. They also continue to support Imagineer Podcast. Growing up in the 1980's, 1990's, and 2000's going to Disney, my family and I have so many memories to share about our Disney vacations, and we're looking forward to continuing our Disney traditions together with our own children.

In this episode, I chat with my wife (Joanna), my sister (Michelle), and my cousins (Michael and Brian) about our Disney family memories. We share what it was like to be 80's/90's kids growing up during the Disney Decade, discuss our earliest Disney memories, and share our favorite moments at Disney over the last 30-35 years. We also dream about the future of our Disney travels, including taking our own children to the Disney Parks.

Speaking of children, in case you haven't yet heard the news, Joanna and I will be Disney Parents welcoming a baby girl this December! You can see the announcement on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/p/CRKS1dpjP_2/).

What are your favorite Disney family memories? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Deluxe Passholder Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K
  • Jordan J
  • Dani S

Enjoy the show!

Simple Disney Moments (Part 2)

Simple Disney Moments (Part 2)

August 28, 2021

On Disney vacations, we often find ourselves running from one item on our itinerary to the next. From attractions to restaurants and even shows, we pack as much value into our trips as possible, which often means we miss the simple moments in between. I often find my favorite moments at the Disney Parks and Resorts are the times when I slow down, focus on the present, and appreciate the simple things that happen between the items on my checklist.

In this episode, I chat with the Collin Kendall from Guide4WDW and Lisa DiNoto from The Castle Run about our favorite simple Disney moments. The discussion was so in-depth, that we're making it a two-part episode. Part two covers our remaining choices from the Disney Parks and Resorts.

What simple moments at Disney do you enjoy most? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Deluxe Passholder Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K
  • Jordan J
  • Dani S

Enjoy the show!

Simple Disney Moments (Part 1)

Simple Disney Moments (Part 1)

August 21, 2021

On Disney vacations, we often find ourselves running from one item on our itinerary to the next. From attractions to restaurants and even shows, we pack as much value into our trips as possible, which often means we miss the simple moments in between. I often find my favorite moments at the Disney Parks and Resorts are the times when I slow down, focus on the present, and appreciate the simple things that happen between the items on my checklist.

In this episode, I chat with the Collin Kendall from Guide4WDW and Lisa DiNoto from The Castle Run about our favorite simple Disney moments. The discussion was so in-depth, that we're making it a two-part episode. Part one covers our first choices from the Disney Parks and Resorts.

What simple moments at Disney do you enjoy most? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Hero Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K
  • Jordan J

Enjoy the show!

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

August 7, 2021

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room opened at Disneyland in 1963, followed by Walt Disney World in 1971 (although it was named Tropical Serenade for over 25 years). Created by Walt Disney and a team of Imagineers (Rolly Crump, Harriet Burns, and John Hench to name a few), the Tiki Room was the first attraction at Disney to feature audio animatronics. While the show has seen some changes over the years, most dramatically at Tokyo Disney, the current version is almost identical to its original form at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

In this episode, we'll discuss the rich history of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, along with some fun facts and details you might not have heard before. The discussion also includes some related history about the famous Dole Whip and Citrus Swirl snacks at the Disney Parks. Thanks to Disney Archeologist Scott Wolf (mastermind behind Mouse Clubhouse), this episode also includes never-before-heard audio interviews with two Imagineers who worked on this attraction. Be sure to check out Scott's website and YouTube channel for even more Disney history.

What do you love most about Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Hero Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K
  • Jordan J

Enjoy the show!

Disney Christmas in July

Disney Christmas in July

July 24, 2021

Walt Disney World and Disneyland get an extra dose of magic during the holiday season. Whether you're visiting Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, a Disney Resort hotel, or any other Disney destination around the world, experiencing Disney at Christmas is worth the trip, and that's why I'm here to help you think about the holiday season about 5 months in advance! Posting this episode in July will help you plan out your next Disney vacation for the holidays, which I of course encourage you to do with our travel partner, Academy Travel.

In this episode, we'll experience some holiday nostalgia with a trip to Magic Kingdom to experience Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, both available at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (no confirmation from Disney on when they will return post-pandemic). We'll also head to Disney California Adventure to experience World of Color Winter Dreams.

What's your favorite way to experience the holidays at Disney? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Hero Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K

Enjoy the show!

Disney Parks Tears and Chills (Moments of Joy) - Part 2

Disney Parks Tears and Chills (Moments of Joy) - Part 2

July 10, 2021

Disney Parks and Resorts are so effective at evoking positive emotions that we often find ourselves experiencing tears of joy and even chills on our Disney vacations. In many cases, we get tears and chills for the same reasons every time we go. Whether we're visiting Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, or even the international parks, it's these moments of joy that can make our trips so memorable.

In this episode, I chat with the hosts of Beyond the Mouse podcast about the things at Disney that give us tears of joy the most often. The discussion was so in-depth, that we're making it a two-part episode. Part two covers our remaining choices from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line.

Be sure to check out Beyond the Mouse for some amazing Disney content! https://beyondthemousepodcast.wordpress.com 

What moments at Disney give you the most chills or tears of joy? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Hero Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K

Enjoy the show!

Disney Parks Tears and Chills (Moments of Joy) - Part 1

Disney Parks Tears and Chills (Moments of Joy) - Part 1

July 3, 2021

Disney Parks and Resorts are so effective at evoking positive emotions that we often find ourselves experiencing tears of joy and even chills on our Disney vacations. In many cases, we get tears and chills for the same reasons every time we go. Whether we're visiting Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, or even the international parks, it's these moments of joy that can make our trips so memorable.

In this episode, I chat with the hosts of Beyond the Mouse podcast about the things at Disney that give us tears of joy the most often. The discussion was so in-depth, that we're making it a two-part episode. Part one covers some of our choices from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and even off property.

Be sure to check out Beyond the Mouse for some amazing Disney content! https://beyondthemousepodcast.wordpress.com 

What moments at Disney give you the most chills or tears of joy? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Hero Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K

Enjoy the show!

The Great Movie Ride (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

The Great Movie Ride (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

June 19, 2021

The Great Movie Ride opened with Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios) at Walt Disney World on May 1, 1989. Considered to be the signature attraction of the park, The Great Movie Ride was originally considered for a standalone Future World Pavilion at Epcot. Michael Eisner and the team soon realized that the idea was evolving beyond a simple pavilion, so they got to work on a new movie studio theme park, partnering with MGM Studios on the new venture. The Great Movie Ride, which closed in August 2017, included scenes from such classic movies as The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Alien, The Searchers, Singin' in the Rain, and dozens of other Hollywood films.

In this episode, we explore the history and details of The Great Movie Ride, including some of the Easter eggs and historic movie props you might have missed, as well as a few plans and ideas that were never realized. We also talk about the decision to remove The Great Movie Ride to make way for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, and we experience the attraction together thanks to a binaural audio recording provided by Virtual WDW (you can find the full video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHTdBMW1GWE).

If you were an Imagineer and could bring The Great Movie Ride back to life, what new films would you feature, and what would those show scenes look like? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Be sure to check out our sponsor WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World, available in print or digital.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Hero Patreon members!

  • Thomas N
  • Devan L
  • Katelyn F
  • Jason K

Enjoy the show!

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