What Imagineers Think About Changing Classic Disney Theme-Park Rides

  • A brand new Disney+ sequence “Behind the Attraction” takes viewers behind-the-scenes of traditional rides.
  • Insider spoke with Imagineers Jeanette Lomboy and Dave Durham forward of the sequence launch.
  • They shared their ideas on revamping sights, creating new rides, and extra.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

Disney workers “thrive on doing crazy, impossible things,” Imagineer Jeanette Lomboy not too long ago advised Insider.

One instance is that Imagineers — the staff liable for creating nearly each inch of Disney theme parks — are sometimes tasked with revamping traditional sights in order that each new and longtime guests can respect them.

This is mentioned within the upcoming Disney+ sequence “Behind the Attraction,” which takes viewers behind the scenes of making traditional rides like Star Tours, Jungle Cruise, and extra.

Ahead of the present’s launch on July 21, Insider spoke with Lomboy and her fellow Imagineer Dave Durham in regards to the sequence, innovating Disney theme-park sights, and the way they really feel about legacy rides altering through the years. 

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“Walt Disney famously said that Disneyland would never be complete, and I think that we have taken that to heart,” Lomboy advised Insider in regards to the evolution of Disney theme parks.

She famous that Disney has a “very rich history,” and Imagineers are all the time placing “a lot of thought” into theme-park adjustments — even smaller updates like shifting a park bench.

That being mentioned, it is no shock that larger renovations — like Disneyland’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror changing into Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission BREAKOUT! in 2017 — require a bit extra work. 

“One of the things that makes Imagineering so unique is that we are 66+ years old,” she mentioned. “We’re tied to the opening design of Disneyland, and we have a long history and legacy of incredibly talented Imagineers that have brought these things to life, so we always go back.”

A view of Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission BREAKOUT! at Disneyland in California.

A view of Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission BREAKOUT! at Disneyland in California.

MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images


Most not too long ago, Disney shared a few of its plans to make its theme parks extra inclusive and welcoming for all guests. Not solely is the Jungle Cruise trip being up to date to take away racially insensitive scenes, however Splash Mountain’s “Song of the South” theme will ultimately get replaced with “Princess and the Frog” decor.

According to Lomboy, respecting the historical past of Disney parks has been a giant a part of beginning these renovations. 

“We don’t make those changes without making sure we’re bringing them back better than ever,” she mentioned of the rides.

Photos show the revamped Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland.

An up to date scene within the Jungle Cruise trip.

Allen J. Schaben/Getty Images


But that is to not say altering beloved sights is straightforward. As Durham advised Insider, Imagineers are always asking themselves: “How do you make it something different and make it better at the same time?”

One manner they accomplish that, in line with Durham, is by taking two main components into consideration. First, Imagineers guarantee that individuals who beloved the unique trip will find it irresistible “in a different way” as soon as it is up to date. Second, Durham says he and different Imagineers attempt to keep in mind that for different guests, “their first time ever riding it will be the new version.”

“It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s something that we take very seriously,” he mentioned.

And even after rides are accomplished — whether or not that is new sights or older ones which were up to date — Disney by no means stops engaged on them.

“I can look at the best thing we’ve ever done, and tell you five things I’d change if I was gonna do it again,” Durham mentioned. “Our parks evolve, and our parks change over time. As Walt said, there’s always imagination left.”

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