In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome an incredible panel of super guests to discuss the future of theme parks and education. In today’s episode, we have former Imagineer Steve Alcorn is an American entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, author, and teacher best known for his involvement in the theme park industry. As a co-founder of Alcorn-McBride, he was an early pioneer of computer peripherals. In 1982 he joined Walt Disney Imagineering (then known as WED Enterprises) as a consultant, where he worked on the electronic systems for Epcot Center. During his two years with Imagineering, he designed show control systems for The American Adventure, wrote the operating system used in the parkwide monitoring system, and became Imagineering’s first Systems Engineer, heading up mechanical, electronic and software systems for the Journey Into Imagination ride.
Also joining the panel is our favorite partner in Disney education trouble and mischief, Brian Collins. Brian was a Disney cast member since the early 1990s and helped create magic daily as he worked both on the front line of customer service at the Contemporary Resort and as a Disney Imagineer. During his time at WDI, Brian was a show writer and worked on classic attractions like Jungle Cruise and The Great Movie Ride, just to name a few. This is Brian’s 4th time on the show, fifth if you count a Retro Replay of one of his earlier episodes, and if you are looking for more of his background story then you definitely want to check out episode 20 of season 2 or episode 12 of season 3.
Rounding out this assembly of superhero guests is our new Disney friend and recent guest, Dr. Cody Havard from the University of Memphis. Dr. Havard is currently an Associate Professor of Sport Commerce and the Coordinator of Research in the Kemmons Wilson School at the University of Memphis. He is the Director of the Bureau of Sport and Leisure Commerce and the KWS Coordinator of Research at the University of Memphis. Dr. Havard is also an avid Disney fan himself and uses Disney as a valuable learning tool in some of his college courses. For more information on Dr. Havard’s research and instruction, check out episode 20 of season 5!
We know there is a lot of uncertainty these days and we are all longing for the days when we can get back into the parks and escape from reality. We also know that many educators are struggling with envisioning what our profession, buildings, students, etc. will look like when we return. We hope you enjoy and find some comfort in our assembly of some very creative and knowledgeable friends to help discuss what this new normal will potentially look like.