15th Anniversary of Animal Kingdom and Lunch with Imagineers

It was a very busy week which included me standing outside Disney’s Animal Kingdom park at 6am.


Animal Kingdom celebrated its 15th anniversary on Earth Day – the 22nd April. I was eager to see the opening ceremony in the front row at 8am, even though it was announced that one of my favourite Imagineers and lead designer of DAK, Joe Rohde, was not going to be there. In order to achieve this, I had to be standing at the gate around 6am. By 7.30, there was a crowd. The show was fantastic! A great tribute the the park’s desire to celebrate the wild corners of the world and to promote conservation for the environment and the life that live in it. As soon as it was over, there was a mad rush to the merchandise store to grab the exclusive pins, Vinylmations, tshirts, iPhone cases, and more, that were very limited to the event. I was front in line 😉

The rest of the day was spent with a friend enjoying as much of the park as possible. The tigers in the Asia trek were very energetic, and no day was complete without Expedition Everest (my favourite). I also discovered that DinoLand U.S.A. reminded me A LOT of the town of Novac in Fallout: New Vegas. It was interesting because Expedition Everest and its Yeti animatronic also reminds me a hell of a lot like Uncharted 2 – something I hear many Guests also point out.

On the Friday I had the very fortunate opportunity to have lunch with Imagineer JD Fitzsimons – the Imagineer I met at one of the networking nights for the College Program participants. He introduced me to several other Imagineers – one which actually graduated from the same masters class as game designer Jenova Chen (squee!) – and spoke in detail with me about breaking into the industry and my future ambition as a producer, as a result of a production internship that had recently popped up. He also showed me around, but unfortunately I cannot say anything of it here. All in all, those guys are freaking geniuses, but genuinely nice and when able to, are happy to help!

Fingers crossed these events bring some great opportunities soon.

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