Disney sends Cars Land's lead designer to Florida
Hey, Kathy Mangum, you just led the design team for Cars Land, which helped turn California Adventure - a one-time embarrassment for Disney - into America's hottest theme park. What are you going to do now?
Kathy Mangum, left, with John Lasseter and Buena Vista Street lead Imagineer Lisa Girolami, before the rededication of Disney California Adventure in June.
You're going to Disney World!
(Sorry, that lead was so easy, I simply couldn't resist.)
Yep, Disney announced today that it is shipping Walt Disney Imagineering's Kathy Mangum off to Florida, where she will assume the newly-created position of "Executive Producer" for the Walt Disney World Resort, overseeing attraction and resort design at WDW.
You could go nuts trying to draft a linear organizational chart for Walt Disney Imagineering, which is co-lead by Craig Russell and Bruce Vaughn, with four senior vice presidents and six executive vice presidents (plus an additional VP for Tokyo Disney) on the management roster, too. Mangum's one of those executive VPs, and Avatar lead designer Joe Rohde is one of the senior VPs (along with Tony Baxter, to drop another name). It's a huge team, with heaven only knows how many projects going at once. So at this point, all I'll read into the announcement is that Disney is very, very happy with the money that Mangum's latest project is making for the company and would very much like new projects at Walt Disney World to make gobs of money for Disney just like Cars Land is doing, thank you.
The easiest way to make that happen might seem to bring in Mangum to build a Cars Land at Walt Disney World, perhaps at the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park - the proto-California Adventure. But let's not forget that the two coasts don't always embrace identical new attractions with the same fervor. Toy Story Midway Mania draws better in Florida than it does in Anaheim, while Star Tours 2 hit bigger in Disneyland than at WDW. There's no guarantee that Cars Land would be as big a hit in Florida as it has been at the Disneyland Resort.
Still, it's generally good news for theme park fans when Imagineers get promotions within the Walt Disney Company, instead of accountants. Let's hope some fat design and construction budgets, bathed in green lights, are following Mangum to Central Florida, too.
I think that Magnum would be best used to create a new easily themed land at WDW that is not cars land. They should choose a different Disney story to go off of rather than repeat. If they do not repeat they and they can build a comparable land in Florida then the parks on both coats would have better drawing power. Maybe a different Pixar movie (the incredibles or up ) or go with movie everyone loves like a complete lion king area somewhere since avatar is rumored to go in camp Minnie Mickey and festival of the lion king should be saved. They could have a pride rock dark ride and a Hakuna matata flume ride. Everyone loves lion king
Please be Star Wars Land, please be Star Wars Land!!!
This news, along with Robert's upcoming "How to Fix Theme Parks" project, sounds like more than coincidence, and that can only be a great thing.
Perhaps to design the 'Airplanes' land to go along with the upcoming movie? But I sure don't mind seeing Cars Land at WDW either.
I've always thought that if they did replicate CarsLand that they could do a racing eticket but not in radiator springs ...why not do Tokyo, Monaco or one of the other places in cars 2 ...I think that'd be an awesome way to spread cars land but keeping it unique as well.
Jason...unfortunately the planes movie is a direct to DVD/blu ray film...not a theatrical release so there will probably never be an attraction based on it. Personally I think it would've been a success...maybe even more so than brave. Anyways...this can only be good news for disneyworld and they need it!
Really? I thought "Airplanes" was going to be direct-to-video. Wouldn't think that would be a good movie to base a land on.
Considering how immersive Cars Land is, as well as how much is riding on the success of the Avatar project for DAK, I think it is a pretty safe bet that she will be concentrating on that project for the next few years. I just hope that James Cameron is working hard on getting the sequels done so that we have more source material for the area.
Why would you send a highly qualified imagineer to Orlando to put a carbon copy of the exact same ride/land in WDW? You could send them a projectmanager and the blue prints.
Joe Rohde's got the Avatar expansion (just hope he doesn't make the same mistake he did with Everest's Yeti), so Kathy is going to get some other duty. Definitely DHS and Epcot both need a whole lotta love, and despite my wishes to the contrary, I am guessing it will be DHS that gets her magical touch.
@Jason, the first thing I thought of when I read your Airplanes idea was a land with animatronic Leslie Nielsons all over the place. Dont call me shirley.
"The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of strollers only. Please do not park your stroller in the white zone.
They need to fix DHS as the first priority. The studios park has stagnated worse than the other parks.
Kathy was brought in to be the face of Orlando's WDI. From what I understand she'll be focusing on DHS at the outset.
Kudos for the Airplane reference, Joe and Robert.... and please, don't call me Shirley.
I vote for something to go in the southwest corner of DHS to replace the stunt show area. Star Wars land, another Pixar brand, or whatever. Just let it be at least 2 rides that will make DHS a true all day park.
To anoymous user that said "Thats what Disney wants, a reason for guests to travel the globe to see all Disney parks?"
@Ted As Robert explained expertly in this article:
He's working on Avatar Land
I'd actually prefer it if different parks had some attractions unique to that particular resort....It allows each park to have a certain individuality. I think Carsland works at DLR, and it would be nice if WDW would get something completely different (I was that lone person initially shouting "No Tranformers" for USO, this is USH moment to have something cool, haha.......but now I'd think it would be nice if the Fl park gets it)
I am a believer in what Robert Niles said about Disney giving a good offer to Universal for some Marvel Character Rights. Quite shocking how fast Universal is building Transformers. Did a secret meeting happen in June with both companies. Could DHS get the first taste of the Avengers.
Every Disney park has at least 1 unique e ticket with exception to magic kingdom...unless I'm mistaken (not sure if hall of presidents is eticket even though its a great attraction. Although the 7 dwarfs mine ride will end that.That's pretty cool along with that they all look a little different and unique too is incentive enough for me to visit! That's pretty cool.
A Flying coaster themed after Iron Man.... A Dark 4-d type ride themed after Thor..... A Captain America show (playing off of the shows he put on in the movie promoting the military?).... What else could go in an Avengers land?
It seems like the thought of putting something Pixar ish in at DHS has been brought up before (maybe since Cars is Pixar and was used at DCA for her big project. Some Pixar films that might be able to be used for a E-ticket ride at DHS...... The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL E, Monster Inc., Up, Bolt, and Brave.
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