If there’s one thing that characterizes Walt Disney Imagineering, it’s the boundless creativity that brings our stories to life in every Disney destination around the world. And just recently, one of our well known Imagineers, Joe Rohde, announced he’d be retiring in January. At the beginning of his career, having worked on EPCOT in 1980 and since then, becoming Creative Executive, we owe to Joe iconic achievements in recent years. These include Disney’s Animal Kingdom and its expansions such as the Expedition Everest attraction and Pandora – The World of AVATAR, but also Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii as well as Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure. And closer to home, he participated in designing Villages Nature Paris, as well as early concept designs for Festival Disney at EuroDisney during the beginning of his career.
The challenge of creating Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a park with a strong wildlife conservation message, involved years of research and negotiation with constituents from the scientific community, the world of zoos, and representatives of communities involved in the stories created in the park. In the process of developing the park itself, Joe was instrumental in the development of the Disney Conservation Fund, which has allocated over seventy million dollars to projects around the world. The unique content and collaborative nature of these projects has led Joe to develop an intensive story exploration discipline which helps his diverse partners to discover the common stories that unite them and to create unexpected means of revealing these stories.
We wish to recognize his talent and his vital contributions …everlasting impressions in our hearts and on our minds! All of us here at Disneyland Paris wish him the best for the future, rich in travels and new discoveries. As a member of the very famous Explorer’s Club, Joe has participated in several expeditions in the Himalayas and Mongolia. His personal adventures have taken him to many of the most remote corners of the world. He wears a collection of earrings from these adventures on his left ear and indeed, it has become a very large collection that will certainly continue to grow in the years to come.