CSULB students on track for Disney Imagineering ImagiNations finals

Todd Johnson

Senior graphic design majors Amanda Madden, Allie Wong and Anthony Martinez compete in the final round for the Disney Imagineering ImagiNations contest.

Hillary Phan, Contributing Writer

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For three Cal State Long Beach senior graphic design students, the happiest place on Earth just got a little happier.

Allie Wong, Anthony Martinez and Amanda Madden were chosen as finalists in the 22nd Disney Imagineering ImagiNations competition for their project “Disney’s Holmby Martin Railway.”

This year’s challenge asked contestants to choose one city that Disney has not touched and design an entertainment or recreational experience for its citizens and tourists with a compelling story and a Disney touch.

The group’s design is a train ride from Chicago to California, showing Walt Disney’s journey to success as well as reflecting his fascination of trains.

Each stop represents a chapter in Disney’s life, and the rooms on the train have a special Disney influence, complete with character dining with Mickey, Minnie, Oswald and friends. Wong said the train’s modern feel would include interactive touch screen windows in each car.

Going into the competition, Wong, Martinez and Madden said their expectations weren’t set too high.

“I didn’t think much of it,” Wong said. “I just thought it’d be cool to have in a portfolio.”

According to the ImagiNations website, finalists will be given a five-day all-expense paid trip to Imagineering’s headquarters in Glendale, Calif. from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.

Once there, finalists will be able to present their projects to a panel of Walt Disney Imagineering judges and will also have the opportunity to network with technical and creative Imagineers, something Wong said she is looking forward to.

“It’s going to be a great time to meet everyone,” Martinez said.

Wong, Martinez and Madden are all familiar with Disney because they already work for the company, an aspect of the team dynamic that they think will give them an advantage. Martinez has worked as a cast member for more than seven years and has since dreamed of working as an Imagineer.

After graduation, the group hopes to intern for Disney Imagineers. Martinez said he hopes to intern with his team.

“I hope we all get to intern together,” Martinez said.
Wong added, “We’d make a great team.”

The top three teams will be awarded with cash prizes. The first place team will receive $3,000 with an additional $1,000 grant for the sponsoring universities and organizations.

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