A punch in the gut. Rohde brought a unique style to WDI and WDW. Authentic, anthropologistic, with a mastery of artefacts and visual cues, creating worlds to be slowly explored intellectually and visually.
Rohde's style is an acquired taste for me, but as these tend to do, I am now firmly converted.
DAK now represents what a modern WDW could be like if it still aimed high. His little southwest kingdom of DAK and Lodge feel secluded from the infantilisation that has befallen the rest of WDW. In my heart, I think I realise what will happen next.
Can you spruce this up for me by throwing in a superfluous adjective or two??
Yes yes. When I'm 65, I will certainly be looking for the door...
I thought you were already like 97?!?
Rohde several months ago already was covertly but publicly philosophising about his life and future. Realising that his number of productive years are now limited and needed to be carefully used.
There seems to be truth to his personal motives to move on. No large project at TWDC for the near future, while meanwhile this is his last chance to explore other interests. Baxter is a Disney man, he lived to design rides and tweak DL. Rohde's interests by contrast aligned with Disney almost accidentally, his creative interests are more varied. Their retirements are not necessarily equally a matter of being shown the door.
Puzzlingly though, Rohdes big projects were completed in 2017, so for three years his basic position has been the same. Time ticking away, with no new half a decade pet project in the pipeline. Pushed out after all, or despondent at Covid ending any hopes of a last inspired new project at WDI?
...now that’s more like it