Imagineering Process Update

I know it’s been a long time since my last post. My apologies.

I wanted to post a brief update on the status of The Imagineering Process.


I submitted the final draft to my publisher, Theme Park Press. Right now we’re looking at a release in late March to mid-April. As we get closer I’ll have a better estimate.

I’ve also sent the final manuscript to some friends, colleagues, and nice folks who have agreed to write testimonial “blurbs” (or jacket quotes) for the book. So far I’ve received testimonials from:

  • Lee Cockerell, Former Executive Vice President, Walt Disney World® Resort and Best Selling author of Creating Magic…10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney, The Customer Rules, Time Management Magic, and Career Magic.
  • David Burkus, author of Friend of a Friend, Under New Management, and The Myths of Creativity
  • Sam Gennawey, author of Walt Disney and the Promise of Progress City, The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream, and Universal versus Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks’ Greatest Rivalry
  • Brian Collins, Former Imagineer & WDI Show Writer
  • Jeffrey A. Barnes, Dean of Student Success at California Baptist University and best-selling author of The Wisdom of Walt series
  • Louis L. Lemoine, Retired Walt Disney Imagineer and Disney Legacy Award recipient

I’m expecting blurbs from a few other folks as well, and will post an update when I have more to share.

So far the response to the book has been better than I could have hoped for.

As we get closer to the release I’ll share the testimonials here (as well as on Facebook and Twitter), and I’ll also be posting some snippets from the book that provide a high-level look at the seven stages that comprise the Imagineering Process.


More soon.



Imagineering Process Update


I finished the last of my edits on THE IMAGINEERING PROCESS last weekend, and submitted my final draft to my publisher Theme Park Press yesterday.

As of now we’re looking at a release in Winter/Spring 2018.

I’ll be posting excepts, graphics, and other updates here as we get closer to the release.

I also hope to be able to spend a little more time on posts here in the next few months.

Take care!

Imagineering Process Cover, An Announcement, and a Quick Progress Report

I’m thrilled to share the cover of the next book in the Imagineering Toolbox series: THE IMAGINEERING PROCESS: Using the Disney Theme Park Design Process to Bring Your Creative Ideas to Life.


I’m also very excited to announce that author and former Imagineer Jason Surrell will be writing the Foreword for this book. Jason is the author of some of my favorite Disney theme park books including “Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies”, “The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic”, and “The Disney Mountains: Imagineering At Its Peak”.

[I’ve shared this on social media, but wanted to share it here as well.]

Progress Report:

I’m making good progress on the book. I just finished the “Imagineering Management and Leadership” chapter last night. Next up is my “final thoughts” chapter, followed by some work on the appendices, the bibliography and references, and a couple of rounds of proof reading and editing.

Getting very close now.

I’ll post another update when I know more about when the book will be available.



The Pyramid in Practice: Pre-Shows and Post-Shows in Pandora – The World of Avatar

This post looks at Pre-Shows and Post-Shows in practice in the Avatar Flight of Passage attraction at Pandora -The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


The Pre-Shows and Post-Shows chapter of The Imagineering Pyramid, opens with the following:

“When you experience a Disney theme park attraction, it’s uncommon that you do so without some form of introduction before the attraction or a reminder after it. In fact, nearly all Disney park attractions lead guests into and out of the attraction in some way or another. This practice is…what Imagineers refer to as Pre-Shows and Post-Shows.”


Pre-shows prepare the audience for what they are about to experience and often help convey the attraction’s creative intent.

The Pre-Show to Avatar Flight of Passage includes an extensive queue and “training” video that explains what Guests will experience when they link to their avatars and climb on board their banshees.

The following video provides a good look at this Pre-Show experience:


Post-shows reinforce key ideas and themes, and most often include themed areas or interactive activities or games. One specific form of post-show is what’s referred to in the themed entertainment world as “exit through retail” in which guests are led through a themed merchandise shop as they exit an attraction.

The Avatar Flight of Passage Post-Show uses this “exit through retail” approach, taking Guests into a shop called Windtraders as they exit the attraction.

But beyond  simply selling t-shirts, buttons, and other souvenirs, Windtraders also offers two specific experiences that help reinforce key ideas and themes from Avatar Flight of Passage.

The first is the opportunity to “adopt a banshee”. Banshees are the flying creatures that Guests (and their linked avatars) fly on when they experience the attraction, and this experience allows Guests to take one home with them. Watch the following video to see how this works:

The other experience is the opportunity to turn yourself into a Navi action figure. There is an area with kiosks with machines that scan the Guest’s face and allow the Guest to select other options about their action figure, and the figure is made for you while you wait. Check out the following video to see how this works:

These experiences take the “exit through retail” type of post-show to a whole new level, and provide new and interesting ways for Guests to take part of the magic home with them.

Thoughts?  Tell me what you think in the comments!

Sneak Peek at The Imagineering Process

Here’s another sneak peek at The Imagineering Process. This time I want to share a glimpse of what the diagrams will look like in the published book (the diagrams I’ve posted so far have been my working prototypes – my models if you will).

I also want to tease some of the ideas in the book, specifically the adaptability of the process. It’s definitely NOT a one-size-fits-all process.

First, here’s a look at the overall process:



This next diagram shows how the Imagineering Process is flexible and iterative:Imagineering_Process-4_Steps-Iteration







Lastly, this diagram shows how the process works at both the macro and micro levels:



Note: These are drafts and may change a bit, but the overall look and feel will remain the same.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think!