Students Make Semifinals in Disney Imaginations Design Competition
A group of Cal Poly students made it to the semifinals of the 27th annual Disney Imaginations Design Competition for their theme park design based on a ghost town in Maine.
Graphic communication senior Chandler Stroh, art and design senior Eva Olsen, landscape architecture senior Michael Lenahan, and city and regional planning senior Torina Wilson teamed up to design an outdoor immersive experience for a Walt Disney theme park. They competed against hundreds of candidates from colleges across the nation.
When Stroh heard about a competition to design attractions for Disney theme parks, she sought out Cal Poly students who shared her love for Disney.
“I’ve always marveled at the idea of working for Disney,” Stroh said. “Working on this project meant finally having an excuse to enter the mind of a Disney Imagineer. No other project of mine has given me the freedom to explore my imagination to this extent.”
This year’s competition invited students to bring an abandoned territory to life. Stroh’s team based their design on Swan Island, an abandoned island in Maine. Their concept was Ember Park: a park where augmented reality illustrates and brings to life the history of the ghost town, with excursions aplenty.
Stroh found great value in collaborating with her peers. “I was able to see how our different academic backgrounds and skill sets only pushed our project further,” she said.
Olsen created the design rendering and concept art. Her studio art expertise helped illustrate the team’s ideas into a tangible design. Stroh researched, wrote and designed the presentation. Combining these skills with architecture and city and regional planning skills led to a creative and well-rounded project.
“There was something truly magical about these three other strangers pouring their hearts into a common interest for nothing more than the satisfaction of trying our best,” Stroh said.