Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire officially set to open March 12 as Tony Baxter leaves Walt Disney Imagineering

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

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Published on February 04, 2013 at 5:05 am with 36 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • svonkco

    Disney in general, and Imagineering in particular, has a real brain-drain problem, perhaps caused by a problem of upper management making the place an uncomfortable or impossible place to work. Under Walt, people who were rivals or even disliked each other were forced to work together. I’m not sure about Marc Davis and Claude Coats’s relationship, but the fact that these two worked together so well on Pirates, but that they never worked together well after Walt died, seems to show the importance of having a strong but fair hand in charge. That no longer seems to be the case with the current Disney or Imagineering executives, who appear to be more focused on maintaining power and lowering overhead than in retaining Disney’s creative lead over its rivals. Do you need proof? How about the loss of Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, Chris Sanders, Henry Selick, Rob Minkoff, Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, and Brenda Chapman from the animation side, and Tony Baxter, Eddie Soto, Tim Delaney, and Valerie Edwards from Imagineering, plus the selling off of MAPO and Audio Animatronics to Garner Holt. Something is rotten in Burbank/Glendale. Shame on Bob Iger, John Lasseter, and Bruce Vaughn for their short-sidedness.

    • ayalexander

      there’s a huge oversight that most disney fans don’t know about: the lack of magic at Walt Disney Imagineering. The imagineering team is slowly being down-sized because of the politics. Imagineers of today’s generation feel like gods and feel that they are superior to anyone at Disney because of the fact that they now design what is DISNEY. Tony Baxter isn’t retiring, he’s escaping, and his “offer” to be a mentor is his last scream for help saying “please take my advice, we should be more about magic than money”. When upper management gave imagineers a survey that asked about their concerns over the status of current and aging attractions, most replied quite simply “It doesn’t matter.” or “i don’t care, its built its finished, who gives a crap if it burns down” -this is not a lie. These were actual replies. It was such a shame to see the imagineering teams so ready to dismiss any completed projects. And their attitude on construction sites towards crew members and cast members is shameful. Tony Baxter is one of the last REAL imagineers with “Disney” values and knowledge, and he is escaping from “mount olympus” or “stepping down from that growing pedistal” and begging his successors to listen to humble reason. Thank you Tony, for all your efforts.

  • CandyPandora

    What is a “wandering wallflower?” My curiosity is piqued…

  • CCS

    How come Lilo isn’t a Disney Princess, hmmmm???

  • kindagoofy

    I wonder if Tony Baxter had any last say in the BTMR refurb? How fitting that would be. Wouldn’t it also be a fantastic add if the track would be expanded through the old tunnel across the walkway to Fantasyland? It’s the old tunnel that used to be used by the mine train, I think. Alas, I doubt there will be any major chances to the track.