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Walt Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter steps down

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Feb 1, 2013 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Walt Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter is stepping down from his current role of Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, effective immediately. Baxter is also the Creative Executive for Disneyland. He will still be involved as a part-time consultant, helping to mentor and support the Imagineering team.

He grew up near Disneyland and rode his bike to the parks whenever he got the chance, always hoping to be able to work there. When he was 18, he started his 47-year-long career by scooping ice cream at Disneyland. In a 2010 interview with the DIS Unplugged Blog, Baxter said, "I think early on my dream would have been satisfied to just be an operator at Disneyland on Pirates of the Caribbean or something like that. But as I got more or less an education at Disneyland of actually doing what I love to do, I was also getting an education in arts at school starting in architecture and morphing over to theater. I think the combination of the practical at Disneyland with actually working with things and seeing how they get used, what are the problems with moving guests and all that, I learned more there than the techniques I picked up at my formal education."

He ended up presenting some proposals for attractions, which got him recognized enough that he was given a job in the dimensional design department. He gained a lot of field experience from Imagineers such as Rolly Crump, Marc Davis and Claude Coats. Baxter's first proposal to be accepted was for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in 1979 at Disneyland. Other projects Baxter was responsible for include the original Journey Into Imagination, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, Disneyland Paris, and Indiana Jones Adventure among many, many more.

Read the DIS Unplugged Blog's 2010 interview with Tony here.

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