Episode 5: A Conversation With Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde About Serendipity

If anyone understands the power of the Medici Effect, it’s Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde. By seizing the unexpected and embracing his raw talent, Joe went from high school art and theatrical set design teacher to the creative genius behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In today’s episode, Joe shares how working in the Intersection helped him recognize his eureka moment and shape his personal story. He also shows us how to coordinate your project’s greatest impact, weighs in on the relationship between innovation and chance, and reveals how a single tiger set Disney’s wildest adventure in motion.   


With over thirty-seven years at Walt Disney Imagineering, Joe Rohde has established himself as a respected veteran in the themed entertainment industry. In 2012 Joe was the recipient of The Buzz Price Thea Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements from the Themed Entertainment Association. He has led the conceptualization, design, and production of Disney's Animal Kingdom and all subsequent installations in that park, including the current Pandora - the World of Avatar project, as well as Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa.

Joe travels extensively for work and pleasure and has visited some of the most remote corners of the globe (including the farthest reaches of Mongolia). He is currently deeply involved with efforts to raise money and awareness for saving the habitats of the endangered snow leopard. 

LinkedIn / joerohde.net

Philip Musey