The Imagineering Story – Episode 102 – “What Would Walt Do?” Review
The second episode of the Imagineering Story focuses on what the Parks and Resorts division of the Walt Disney Company dealt with the after effects of Walt’s death.
One of the major topics of the episode is a behind the scenes look at how the Imagineers built the immortal attraction, The Haunted Mansion, at Disneyland. This was a fascinating story, especially since this ride is one of my all time favourites.
The majority of the episode is focused on the creation of Walt Disney World and how Roy O’ Disney stepped in to take control of the company and get the project done. It’s a captivating story and I loved the footage of the underground city underneath the Magic Kingdom. There was also a great segment about the creation of Space Mountain and why the company felt they had to build it. The episode didn’t go into as much depth about the creation of the The Magic Kingdom as the last episode did in the creation of Disneyland.
This is because the story shifted to focusing more attention on the creation of Epcot, about how the company took ideas from Walt’s futurist city and created a unique theme park, completely different from Fantasyland. We get to see how they created Spaceship Earth and the work that went into the Circle-Vision 360 film system for attractions like Oh Canada.
It’s very interesting to see the ideas and concepts behind the creation of Epcot, which I’ll be honest, is one of my favourite Disney theme parks. The only thing that this portion of the episode reminded me, was how Epcot will be changing over the coming years as the part is currently going through a major redevelopment to bring the part up to date, since the park hasn’t changed much since it opened in the 1980’s.
The episode then shifts location, as the story explains how the creation of Tokyo Disney theme park, since the owner of Oil Sea company in Japan wanted to bring a Disneyland replicator to Japan, but Disney offered a really bad deal, since they didn’t want to work on anything else except for Epcot.
It was interesting to learn about the differences in building the Japanese park and how the audience was different. As someone who has visited Tokyo Disneyland, I wish the episode spent a little longer on this segment, but that is something I could say about every segment, I just want more.
These two major projects forced the Walt Disney Company to make some major changes, especially within the Imagineering division, but we will have to wait another week until we learn what happened next.
Compared to the first episode, the second one felt like it had a faster pace, since it dealt with multiple topics within the hour. I would have loved to have had more details about the creation of Walt Disney World, but it’s obvious they are trying to balance giving Disney theme park fans enough information, without it going too long and losing the casual audience. The documentary makers have a fine line to balance, which I feel they are doing well. Each segment gives you enough detail and switching to something else at the right moment.
The Imagineering Story is my favourite series on Disney+ so far and I can’t see it changing anytime soon. The level of detail in this documentary series is fantastic and they seem to have got the balance just right. It’s both entertaining and educational. It’s certainly a highlight for any person who has been to a Disney theme park.
Rating – 4.5 out of 5
What did you think of the Imagineering Story so far?