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Meet the Star Tours 2 Imagineering Team

Imagineering doesn't make a habit of announcing who is working on what, after all, much of what they do is secretive but through press releases and public quotes, we can get an idea of which Imagineers are working on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.  By knowing who is working on the new Star Tours, we can get a look at their previous work and have a better understanding of what they bring to the table.

Kathy Rogers - Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Show Producer

Kathy's history at Imagineering includes working on projects such as Expedition Everest, Hall of Presidents 2009 Update, Haunted Mansion Update, Pirates of the Caribbean Update (2006).

Given she's been a part of updates to two classic Magic Kingdom attractions (Pirates and Haunted Mansion), she clearly has a history of taking beloved attractions and updating them without compromising the integrity of the ride.  

Tom Fitzgerald - Executive VP & Senior Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Tom Fitzgerald has a long history at Imagineering (over 25 years), having worked on the original Star Tours, Tower Of Terror, Horizons, the revamping of Pirates Of The Caribbean just to name a few.  Having worked as a writer and producer on the original Star Tours attraction back in the 1980s, Tom has the unique opportunity to continue the work he started more than 20 years ago.  

Given his history with the company, Fitzgerald was promoted to Executive VP & Senior Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering in July 2001 where his role changed to run the day-to-day creative leadership of Walt Disney Imagineering.  Tom is has been knee-deep in the theme park operations side of Imagineering and it's a role that's suited him over the years.  

Tony Baxter - Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering

Unlike the previous two Imagineers, Tony Baxter's work has been primarily outside of Walt Disney World.  Tony has been working at Imagineering  since the 1970s but his work has been in Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.  Tony did work on the original Journey into Imagination attraction that opened in 1983 in Epcot.  A recent project of his was the development of the Finding Nemo Submarines in Disneyland, which have become a popular attraction update.  

Of course, Disney isn't working on Star Tours 2 on their own.  Rather, Imagineering is actively collaborating with George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic.  Here's the members of that team we know about.

Bill George - Visual Effects Supervisor, Industrial Light and Magic

Bill George has been working at Industrial Light and Magic for years and in regards to Star Wars, he was involved in Return of the Jedi and the Phantom Menace.  George has been one of the few members of ILM to be publicly named by Disney, as George's team was responsible for adding in special effects to one scene including  a whole range of droids and characters, and expanding the scale and scope of the scene.

George Lucas

It's safe to say George Lucas needs no introduction.  The man behind the entire Star Wars galaxy has his hands in the Star Tours 2 pot as well.  While Lucas isn't necessarily active in the day-to-day planning of the new attraction, his input and ultimately approval, are paramount to the new attractions's success.  Lucas has been involved in test riding already and he has been a fan of the Disney product for years, being largely responsible for bringing the Star Wars brand to the Disney Parks in the first place.

There you have it, the list of the Imagineers we know for a fact are involved in the production of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.  In time, we will likely know more of the team responsible for the ride but in the short term, it looks as though the Imagineers working on the project that we know about have backgrounds that seem to indicate they know how to update an attraction without compromising the ride's integrity.

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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by