Disney fans often wonder how they might career track to the magic. In other words, how does one become an Imagineer?
Well, that career path just became a little easier, thanks to Savannah College of Art and Design.
The college, which is primarily located in Savannah, Georgia (but also has campuses in Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France), began offering its master in fine arts degree in themed entertainment design this fall. The degree is the first of its kind in the U.S., and counts many former Imagineers among its faculty.
Pete Weishar, dean of entertainment arts at SCAD, says the degree is a natural fit for the school:
There are thousands and thousands of students in art and design who would love to get into theme-park design. But it’s difficult to know how to connect the dots in order to be an Imagineer. The more I learned about the particular fields and the jobs that needed to be filled, the more I got interested in developing the program.
The degree is the answer to filling positions that are being vacated as Imagineers and other artists and designers in the industry retire. And with the a skill set not only in demand in theme parks, but also in themed restaurants and resorts, the school sees the program as an opportunity to offer a unique solution across disciplines of design and storytelling. Says Gene Jeffers, executive director of the Themed Entertainment Association, a Burbank, California-based non-profit organization that promotes the industry and tracks its trends:
SCAD is stepping up to deliver a curriculum that will meet the needs of the industry. Industries are turning to the techniques and approaches developed in theme parks of linking story/narrative with entertainment or educational experiences. It is that need that is growing and that the themed-entertainment industry is seeking to fill.
Interested in SCAD’s master in fine arts degree in themed entertainment design? Visit the school’s website.