Hello everyone! Have you gotten Disney+ yet? If not – what are you waiting for? It’s only $6.99 a month and has tons of amazing original content! One of those great new shows is The Imagineering Story. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but I was blown away by how much I loved it! I even got Chris to watch every episode – and as you all know by this point, I usually need to drag him into my Disney obsessions!
Here is my complete review of The Imagineering Story, and why I loved it so much! I highly recommend you go binge the whole series right now!
**this post contains affiliate links! This means I may receive some sort of financial compensation from my recommendations. Please see my disclaimer for more information!**
At first, I didn’t see the appeal of ANOTHER documentary about Disneyland and Walt’s venture into the theme park world. Don’t get me wrong – I was still totally going to watch it, but I had trouble understanding how it would be a whole series. What I didn’t expect is that the show was going to go past the initial development of Disneyland, all the way up to present day! You don’t often see many docuseries about present day Disney development. It usually stops at Walt’s death – but for fans of the parks, this is a really rewarding look in to all the attractions we know and love, even the new ones!
The show is a documentary series, but it’s very straight forward. It starts with Walt Disney building Disneyland and creating WED (which would become the Imagineers) and it goes from there. It spans the entire history of Disney parks all the way up to present day. The last episode even deals with Rise of the Resistance, one of the newest attractions at Disney parks. It features interviews with former Disney executives and Imagineering legends to explore how the parks were developed and the ups and downs of creating the most magical place on Earth.
Each episode discussed various Disney attractions that were developed and HOW they were developed, as well as behind the scene stories about the decision making process behind the parks. Angela Bassett narrates the show, and Imagineers interviewed and explained what it was like to work on the attractions and projects and how they came about. It was very illuminating because you discovered just how much did NOT work initially. For example, I had no idea that Disneyland Paris was such a flop when it first came about. It was interesting to hear from Eisner’s perspective and other higher up executives from Disney.
There are a total of 6 episodes, each about an hour long. It doesn’t feel that long though. You could easily binge the whole series in one night!
Behind the Scenes Magic
I take pride in the fact that I know a LOT about Disney parks and how the attractions work. However, there were so many little facts and tidbits that I had no idea about! It was especially interesting to see how they developed many of the attractions around the world. Being in America, I definitely hear far more about what is going on in the US parks, so it was cool to see what special things were developed for the international parks. I definitely need to get to the international Disney parks and see some of the attractions showcased in this series!
Additionally, I liked that it wasn’t the same old “secrets” we’ve heard for years. For example – we all know that “Pepper’s Ghost” is what gives the Haunted Mansion animatronics their ghostly appearance. But what I DIDN’T know was that the new Ratatouille themed ride was not actually on a track but was magnetic! Each episode was truly a new experience for me.
I enjoyed this show immensely. I think it was such a clever way to reinvigorate people’s interest in the behind the scenes magic of the parks – something I think has been on the downslide for the past few decades. It was interesting to see how the parks grew after Walt’s passing – it didn’t become the parks we know and love overnight after all! The Imagineers also had great stories and I liked how it went really in depth about different attractions. It wasn’t just the same stories you’ve already heard. It was all new content and perspectives.
For more behind the scenes magic, be sure to check out the book by Marty Sklar called Dream It! Do It! – My Half Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms. It’s a unique look back at the creation of Disney parks from one of the Imagineers who had been there from the beginning. Sklar unfortunately passed away in 2017, but the stories show you just how Imagineers worked and communicated with each other – and I learned even MORE random facts I had never learned before!
Interested in my thoughts on Disney+? Check out my video below! I let you know what’s great about the newest Disney streaming platform – and what I wish could be changed!
Which episode of the Imagineering Story was your favorite? Personally, I liked all the ones with Michael Eisner. It brought back so many nostalgic memories of watching him introduce The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights when I was a kid! Let me know in the comments below!
And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter! You’ll get my FREE WDW Planning Checklist when you sign up as a thank you, as well as newsletters and alerts when I post new Disney content!