There are some big changes coming to The Walt Disney Company that may have a positive effect on future projects that are seen in the theme parks around the world. The company announced today in a memo from Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts that there will be a new head of Walt Disney Imagineering. “Since creativity is at the heart of what we do,” the memo said, “we need to relentlessly innovate and evolve our organization.”
Bob Weis has been named new head of Walt Disney Imagineering and will transition into that leadership position over the next few months. He will replace two individuals, Bruce Vaughn, who will leave Disney after a transition period, and Craig Russell, who will remain at the company but in a new role.
Walt Disney Imagineering is an important unit for The Walt Disney Company as it is responsible for Disney’s $16 billion global theme park empire designing and building of rides, hotels and restaurants.
Bob Weis has been responsible for overseeing the Shanghai Disney Project one of the largest global expansions for the company in decades. Prior to his leadership role in China he was a creative lead for the expansion of Disney California Adventure and in 1989 was responsible for designing Hollywood Studios, then called Disney/MGM. He also was an imagineer that helped oversee development of Tower of Terror.
Disney Imagineering has lots of work ahead over the next few years as Star Wars expansions are about to get underway at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. There is also the Toy Story expansion at Hollywood Studios and the final touches being put on Animal Kingdom‘s Avatar ahead of its opening later this winter.