Working for Walt Disney Imagineering is a dream job for most Disney Parks fans. The Imagineers are the rock stars and legends of the Disney theme parks, but since they work behind the scenes they often do not get the recognition that they deserve. I could however name some of my favorite Walt Disney Imagineers both men and women like I could name my favorite sports athletes.
Women have had a more challenging career path in the Walt Disney Imagineering field than men. This new book written by twelve inspirational former women of Walt Disney Imagineering tells the story of their personal experiences.
Disney Publishing sent me an advanced copy of Women of Walt Disney Imagineering to review for this blog. The book will officially be released on 3/15/22.
A dozen female Imagineers recount their trailblazing careers! Capturing an era ― and preserving the stories they have told their daughters, their mentees, their husbands, and their friends ― a dozen women Imagineers have written personal stories from their decades designing and building the Disney world-wide empire of theme parks. Illustrated with the women’s personal drawings and photos in addition to archival Imagineering images, the book represents a broad swath of Imagineering’s creative disciplines during a time of unprecedented expansion. Intertwined with memories of Disney legends are glimpses of what it takes behind the scenes to create a theme park, and the struggles unique to women who were becoming more and more important, visible and powerful in a workplace that was overwhelmingly male. Each chapter is unique, from a unique Imagineer’s perspective and experience. These women spent their careers telling stories in three dimensions for the public. Now they’ve assembled their stories in print, with the hope that their experiences will continue to entertain and illuminate.
The authors of Women of Walt Disney Imagineering:
- Maggie Irvine Elliot (Senior Vice President)
- Kathy Rogers (Executive Show Producer)
- Katie Olsen (Principal Color Concept Designer)
- Julie Svendsen (Concept Show Designer)
- Paula Dinkel (Principal Show Lighting Designer)
- Elisabete Minceff Erlandson (Principal Concept Architect)
- Tori Atencio McCullough (Executive, Interior Design)
- Pam Rank (Principal Show Lighting Designer)
- Becky Bishop (Principal Landscape Architect)
- Karen Connolly Armitage (Concept Designer)
- Lynne Macer Rhodes (Producer)
- Peggie Fariss (Executive, Creative Development)
These twelve authors really did trailblaze for all future women in Walt Disney Imagineering. After they got their foot in the door, they helped to knock down the door for others so that everyone could get an equal opportunity at the dream job. They challenged the status quo and through their different points of view, made the Disney Parks better for all guests. I am thankful that these women are getting more visibility from this book as they are all important to the story of Walt Disney Imagineering. They dreamed it and did it.
These inspirational women have all made a major impact on the Disney Parks and attractions that we enjoy around the world. There are many behind the scenes stories of the joys and challenges of having to temporarily relocate and work on the openings of the theme parks in Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. A common theme that I noticed in the different author’s stories was that whenever there was an obstacle or a tight deadline, they were able to achieve the impossible with positivity, confidence, and great collaboration.
At the 120 page mark, we are treated to 32 pages of color photos from the Women of Walt Disney Imagineering showcasing selected grand memories from their Walt Disney Imagineering careers.
Women of Walt Disney Imagineering will be an excellent addition to your Disney Parks book library.
Where to Buy?
Order: Women of Walt Disney Imagineering (Amazon)
Release Date: 3/15/22
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