Originally founded by Walt Disney in 1952 (as WED Enterprises) to run the design and development of the original Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) continues to provide Disney theme park and resort design and engineering to this day.  To commemorate the 60-plus years of WDI, next month’s D23 Expo will be holding multiple sessions hosted by Imagineers past and present.  In addition, the D23 Expo will be hosting an “open house” pavilion, offering an up-close look at the various types of creative expertise at WDI:

  • ride engineers
  • model builders
  • pre-visualization artists
  • special effects designers
  • inventors
  • show animators

Walt Disney Imagineering 60th AnniversaryWalt Disney Imagineering will be also be showcasing concept art from its Art Library, including Herb Ryman’s original drawing of Disneyland.  Similar to the last D23 Expo, Mickey’s of Glendale, WDI’s employee store, will be available on the pavilion floor to allow guests to purchase unique Imagineering merchandise and collectibles.  Here is the complete list of sessions as described on the D23 Expo website:

  • The Art and Artistry of Aulani – Imagineers Joe Rohde and Jeanette Lomboy will share the authentic tapestry of art and stories found at Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa.
  • Mayhem, Mischief, and Monkeys: The Magic of Mystic Manor – Join Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and others for the strange stories behind Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Manor, the newest and one of the most sophisticated attractions ever built.
  • Undiscovered Disneyland – Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter shares rare and never-before-seen footage of the early days of Disneyland, from design and construction through opening day.
  • Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street – Enjoy the latest ‘soundtrack’ from Disney California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street, featuring a live performance of Scary Symphony from radio station KBVS and a panel discussion led by Imagineers.
  • Disney Ambassadors – Join current Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world as they discuss this renowned program and share insights about its rich heritage, current outreach efforts, and the importance of sharing Disney goodwill.
  • Voices of the Disney Parks – Back by popular demand, this panel of famous Disney voices will gather for an encore panel discussion, including recreations of some unforgettable Disney Parks sayings.
  • Charles Phoenix Presents – Noted humorist and self-proclaimed “retro daddy” Charles Phoenix shares some of his favorite images from around Disney, featuring classic kitsch, clashing colors schemes, and hairdos that truly defy gravity.

Which Imagineering event or exhibit are you most excited to see at the D23 Expo?