My Imagineering Dad and Me

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One of our writers shares with us what makes this upcoming Father’s Day special to her:

For as long as I can remember, Disney has been a huge part of my life. The movies, the music, the characters… my whole childhood is strung together by Disney songs and memories at Disney Parks. I wouldn’t have this love for Disney, though, if it weren’t for my dad.

nicole_fathers_day_01_225My dad was an Imagineer for The Walt Disney Company and I can say, without a doubt, that having an Imagineer for a dad is pretty special. It meant that normal things in life had a little something extra to them. For example, in the sixth grade I had to build a Mesopotamian pyramid as an extra credit project for a history class. When I asked my dad for help, we constructed a giant pyramid out of some leftover wood and painted it so the texture mimicked that of an ancient structure. Just like how Imagineers go out of their way to create immersive and unforgettable attractions, my dad taught me to always go beyond what people’s expectations would be to create something truly memorable.

Growing up Disney means that a lot of my favorite memories with my dad have something Disney tied to them. When I was ready to take on my first roller coaster, my dad took me on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland and helped me conquer my fear of heights. When I became interested in Disney history, he would take me to the library and let me check out every book I could find on Walt Disney. He was always there to support me, and helped me cultivate my passion for Disney in my own way.

For a long time, I have wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and work for Disney. His lessons in hard work and creativity gave me the confidence to pursue a job at Disney Interactive, where I’ve been happily working for a few months now. Like all Disney employees, my first day took me to orientation at the Frank G. Wells building at the Walt Disney Studios lot. When I got lost trying to make my way to the building, I knew exactly who to call. Even though years have passed since his time at Disney, my dad was still able to give me directions and help me, just like he has all these years.

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When I walked into the Frank G. Wells building and picked up my Disney nametag, I felt like it was a passing of the torch. For years, I had admired my dad’s many Disney nametags he received and now I was beginning my journey in the building that was one of my dad’s favorite projects while at Disney. Since that day, my dad and I share a connection that is unique as all of our Disney memories together. I’m forever thankful for the lessons he passed down to me during his Imagineering days, and I will always carry my dad’s Disney legacy with me.

Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, and all the other Disney dads out there!

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