Imagineering

Me and the kids in front of the Walt statue at Disney World last weekend

I was walking through the Magic Kingdom last weekend, just past Cinderella’s Castle on busy Saturday, when I heard a boy say to his mother,

“So Walt Disney just thought of all this and then it happened”

And the mother replied,

“No, he thought of it and then he built it.”

Disney World made me want to invent. It inspired my love of creativity, engineering, and imagination. And when by the age of 12 or 13, I learned that Walt Disney was a person, and that before computers and modern technologies, he built magic in the middle of a Florida swamp in 1971, my mind was blown. It was just blown.

As the years go on, and I recognize what a struggle every deal, project, hire, construction job, and software build is, I am more baffled that Walt built Disneyland in ’55 and World in the 70’s without a mobile phone, email, or modern computers. Maybe this is the reason why he was actually able to…

I love watching these old films of Walt describing the project plans.

Walt Disney describing EPCOT plans

If someone could build Disney World and EPCOT, it occurred to me that a person could make anything. And that everything begins with something as small as a mouse.

I made it my life’s mission to become an Imagineer. I became an Imagineering intern at age 15. It changed my life. Other than the thing that truly matter, my family, it’s the best experience of my life.

Me at 13 (the day I said I wanted to be an Imagineer) and 38 in front of EPCOT.

When that boy asked his mom about how Disney got built, it made me wonder how many people, other than me, had their creativity and entrepreneurship start in a Disney park. Never really occurred to me.

We go to a Disney park every year. The kids go for fun; I go to see the kids have fun and for inspiration. The Walt statue is hallowed ground for me, it gets me every time. In the years to come, I hope the parks inspire my kids about what is possible.