Disney+ launched in early November, and amongst their early offerings was The Imagineering Story, a six-hour journey into the history of Disney, the company, the acquisitions, and of course the parks.
We all have heard about Steamboat Willie and the origins of Mickey Mouse, but now we get a great in-depth story of the formation of the parks, with insider interviews with those that helped create it and think through the process of building the parks…the minds of the Imagineers.
Today we take a lot of things for granted, including 3D and 4D technology, as well as the dips and curves of the standard roller coaster, but some of these things didn’t exist before Disney, at least not in the way they are today.
For example, we get taken on an inside tour at the Tower of Terror, and how they talked with an elevator company at getting one to freefall, and jerk up and down…something that a standard elevator is not supposed to do.
Another one is when they were building Flight of Passage and like a lot of their other projects, they brought in new screens and projectors and were years ahead of the technology that they put into place, a lot of times even building custom units specifically for the Disney needs.
They also hold nothing back, talking about both the successes and failures that the companies have gone through, including Disney’s California Adventure, and how it didn’t fit the standard Disney mold and how they redesigned it over the years to better suit their needs.
Miniature parks are built in their design centers, as they map out the paths, and see what works and what might not. This includes the berms they put in place to help separate the parks from the outside world. Another interesting thing learned is some of their building techniques, which helps to give the appearance of things being larger (or older) than they actually are, to help form the magic of Disney.
One of the things this series is sure to do is increase park attendance, as it makes you want to see some of these units up close after seeing behind the scenes and the building process. From Euro Disney to Tokyo DisneySea and Shanghai Disney to the original Disneyland in California.
Check out all six episodes, out now, on Disney+!