The Innovations To Come From Disney Dreamers!


Hey All!

When ever we enter the Disneyland resort, we can’t help but think of all the imagination that went into bringing this wonderful place to life. It originally came from the mind of Walt Disney and his Imagineers. The Imagineers, in case you didn’t know, are Disney dreamers and visionaries that continue to work behind the scenes to make all the Disney magic come to life. These Disney Dreamers branch out into all aspects of Disney, including the toys that spark our children’s imaginations. I recently got a chance to visit Disneyland (as part of a media trip with Disney Home Entertainment) and I had the opportunity to interview a few of these Disney Dreamers. I learned about how they ended up working for Disney, what inspires them, and what we can expect to come from their amazing work.


First we chatted with Charita Carter, a Disney Imagineer. She has worked for Walt Disney Imagineering for 17 years. She began her career at WDI as a Senior Accountant and was quickly promoted to Finance Manager and Strategic Business Partner of the Creative Development Division. Imagineering is one of the rare work places where they value someones imagination and creativity more then the actual job skills they may have.


We of course wanted to know what was the moment she knew she wanted to be Imagineer.


You know, it’s interesting. I fell in love with Imagineering, upon arrival. That’s really the case. I started out as an accountant and I worked for a CPA firm and worked in the private sector and ended up coming over to Imagineering as an accountant initially. I remember that the day that I came to interview the accounting manager was running late. He asked me would I mind sitting outside of his office while he wrapped up something. And I’m like I’m here to get a job I will do whatever you want me to do.

Since she’s one of the Disney Dreamers, We of course wanted to know what is something she’s had in her head that she dreams of creating one day?


How long do we have? Because really that’s my focus. I’m constantly looking at how we can build on the legacy that we have, how we can make sure that we are relevant to the current audiences. And so a lot of the projects that we are working on are collections of just these ideas of stuff that has not happened yet. So part of what I do is sometimes I have the idea. Oftentimes members of my team will have the idea and then I will come in and say okay, how do we get there?

Since my Disney Dream is to go to the opening day of the new Star Wars Park at Disneyland when it opens and Charita is one of the Imagineers working on it, I had to ask what the millennium falcon ride is going to be like?


You know what, to be honest with you I honestly can’t tell you anything about it. That was a very, very kind of locked-in a sequestered team and even amongst Imagineers we’re being very cautious with what we say. So I, if I said something I would have to make it up. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.

Charita wanted it to be clear that Imagineering is a place where dreams can happen and it’s great to know there are amazing people like Charita out there continuing Walt’s legacy of bringing the magic to the Disney parks and resorts.


We then met with Mike Goslin, who is currently working on the recently announced Playmation at Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media. In case you didn’t know it’s the next step in the evolution of physical play. Check out this video below about Playmation:

Mike began his career at The Walt Disney Company where he conceived and built an entirely new business in online games for the company, which resulted in a portfolio of hit games including Toontown Online and Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Prior to pioneering Disney’s virtual worlds business, Mike led the team at Walt Disney Imagineering that built a series of ground-breaking virtual reality theme park attractions including the THEA award-winning Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold, Aladdin’s Magic Carpet VR Adventure. I can’t tell you how much I loved Aladdin’s Magic Carpet VR Adventure! I made sure to bring it to his attention.


We started chatting with him about Playmation and he shared some really exciting news! Star Wars will be coming to Playmation!


You’ll be glad to hear we are working on Star Wars. So the avengers is going to be out this next month for this holiday season. Next year will be Star Wars around the same time next year. And then after that is Frozen for 2017. So you can imagine having ice powers and you know, getting to be in that world as well. We’re testing constantly with kids of all ages, boys and girls. And so we’re developing games with both girls and boys in mind so they can have all these experiences at the same time.

Forget Frozen, I of course wanted him to talk a little more about the Star Wars and the interaction and what’s going to happen with Playmation?


I have to keep it kind of under wraps as it’s high level info, But you can imagine what being a Jedi might be like for this kind of game. And of course in keeping with you know, we’re trying to build experiences that are empowering for the kids and also immersive and active. So those will be our touchstones for future experiences as well. We really like being physically active, both mentally and physically active.


Since he’s been dreaming of creating worlds since he was a kid and is now helping to create some through these interactive games, we want to know what made him dream up something to change the gaming system so dramatic? Did he want to get kids back out and moving and not be in front of the TV screen?


Yeah, well it started with this idea of the Internet of things. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that term. Devices are now becoming smarter, So all things around us are connected to each other and to the Internet. We wanted to find an opportunity for Disney to tell new kinds of stories using that sort of technology? That’s where it started. And at the same time we were talking to kids a lot. And they were saying you know, their favorite thing to do, especially for boys in a certain age range, is role-play as a superhero. We figured we can use that technology and give them superpowers for real, in the real world. And that’s where it started. We come up with new stories that we want to tell and then see what technology can enable that. Or we’ll discover a new technology and figure out a new way to use it to tell a story. So we kind of go around and a lot of people on the team are good at both technology and creative and storytelling and invention.

It was so great to hear how these amazing Disney Dreamers think and it was also fantastic to see what amazing things are to come from making their dreams a reality.

Stay tuned for our future posts as we got to learn how to draw the Genie from the Disney Legend Animator Eric Goldberg, who actually brought the Genie to life in Aladdin!