Walt Disney Imagineering Earns Top Award from Themed Entertainment Industry

Award winning Toy Story Mania! (photo courtesy of Disney)GLENDALE, Calif., Nov. 17, 2009 – Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was honored today with the top award within the themed entertainment industry.

TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) announced that Toy Story Mania! received the Award for Outstanding Achievement for an Attraction.  Toy Story Mania! is a high-energy, immersive, ride-through adventure that invites guests to test their skills at a variety of carnival midway games hosted by the characters from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films.  The attraction is located at both Disney’s California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

TEA announced the 16th Annual Thea Award recipients during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction’s (IAAPA) annual conference. The Thea Awards recognize achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. Recognized internationally as a symbol of excellence, the Thea Awards consider project submissions from all over the world. TEA praised Toy Story Midway Mania! as follows in their press release:

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Report: Dining with a Disney Imagineer at The Hollywood Brown Derby

After many trips to Walt Disney World contemplating the idea, I finally bit the bullet and invested into the Dining with an Imagineer program which takes place during lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby. Offered only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the program which costs $60.99 + tax and 18% gratuity per adult (bringing the per adult total to about $75) and $34.99 (or about $45 total) per child, brings the group (maximum of eight guests) face to face with a bonafide Disney Imagineer at Walt Disney World.

Booking proved to be a bit of a challenge as, if I recall correctly, the 90 + 10 didn’t work too well. After a few days of trying, however, I was able to secure my reservation. A credit card is required at time of booking (there is a 48 hour cancellation policy), but you are not charged. Instead, you are presented a bill at the end of the event as with any dining. For booking purposes, it also appears to help if the Cast Member starts looking at The Hollywood Brown Derby moreso than for the experience itself.

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Imagineering’s Dr. Ben Schwegler Talks About the Future of Engineering with the ASCE

Vice President and Chief Scientist of Walt Disney Imagineering, Dr. Ben Schwegler, appears on the latest podcast from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to discuss the future of engineering. Dr. Schwegler talks about using innovation the engineering profession can use to overcome challenges as well as his own experiences. You cancheck it out here.

And don’t forget that Dr. Schwegler will be appearing on a panel as part of the World Science Festival’s panel, Wall-E’s World to explore revolutionizing waste management on Earth.

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Revisiting the Science of Disney Imagineering

After its stellar debut in 2008, the second annual World Science Festival in New York City is slowly coming upon us. While the schedule isn’t expected to be published until April, here’s a formal request for some pixie dust in that Disney will once again be a participant. An introduction to the educational DVD series under the same name, the Science of Disney Imagineering introduces school-aged children to science as employed by Disney’s imagineers in the theme parks and featured presentations by actual imagineers and prominent cast members. Below is a very abbreviated video from one of the World Science Festival presentations featuring Scott Trowbridge, Ric Turner, Asa Kalama, Dr. Ben Schwegler, Amber Samdahl, Dr. Anne Savage and special guest stars Crush and Lucky. For Stitch Kingdom’s photo-heavy coverage of last year’s event, click here.

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