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News Joe Rohde Retiring

el_super

Well-Known Member
I wonder if he was more or less forced out.

Forced probably isn't the right word here. Unlike some people, his reputation at WDI is pretty solid and the company gains nothing by forcing him out. I think the most likely scenario, is the one he wrote himself: he's just at a point where he is between projects, and it makes sense not to commit to another project that could take seven plus years to complete.


Rhode is a nice man. Hoping his retirement is fulfilling.

To be honest, I’m not sad about his retirement. He’s more of a WDW imagineer. I was sad about Baxter though.

That's kind of an interesting thought, because while Rohde is famous for his work on Animal Kingdom, he is very much a Californian, being born in California and later returning for his education. It's interesting how much of his left coast/Californian perspectives have infiltrated his projects, and so interesting to see how easily Californians can proclaim AK as the best part at WDW.

So yeah, he never had an opportunity to really design much for California, but his designs still feel very Californian to me.
 

Mac Tonight

Well-Known Member
Joe Rohde was very nice when I ran into him a few years ago.
I asked him about attraction design and IP-integration and he was very candid about how, while it might seem like the other way around, attraction design always came first before the property.

It's a shame we didn't get more of his creations on the west coast.
 

SSG

Well-Known Member
Did he work on anything notable at DLR? The only thing that comes to mind is my least favorite change to date - GOTG:MB. Not that I’m blaming him for the change except for maybe some of the creative decisions like the alien macaroni warehouse / oil refinery exterior.
“The idea that it would come out of nowhere — kablam! — like a square peg in a round hole, is like the Guardians.”

His legacy is set.
 
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truecoat

Well-Known Member
I just can't wait to get my limited Mickey Joe Rohde Ears.


mickey ears.jpg
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Why is it that when a legendary Imagineer with a decades long resume that defines the industry helms a project that underwhelms die hard fans of the project, it ends up being gold?

View attachment 515356

View attachment 515357

Gold in large amounts is just gaudy. I’m surprised anyone that is an expert in themed design would ever go with that much gold for a theme park land or a tower seen from all over the resort.
 
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egg

Well-Known Member
I think that's fairly obvious, all things considered. This news hit as I was driving somewhere between Medford and Roseburg, but it's culturally notable even if that part of southern Oregon is not (although stunningly beautiful!).

Mr. Rohde's time has suddenly passed, like the Four Seasons from Philadelphia trying to still get radio airplay in 1967 when everyone suddenly wanted only psychedelic sounds from San Francisco. Perhaps, the entire era of Celebrity Imagineers! has now passed in the Covid collapse era of 2020.

WDI just can't afford that sort of thing any longer.... The 7 figure incomes. The big homes in Pasadena or La Canada or Anaheim Hills. The 3-Tesla garages with contractual charging stations at their WDI office. The routine "research trips" for three weeks at a Ritz-Carlton in foreign lands that are required for new attractions that are conveniently themed only to countries that have a Ritz-Carlton?

Yeah, Mr. Rohde's time has passed. The entire collapse of the theme park industry (except Florida) during Covid just put that nail in that coffin.



While your previous comments were valid, and Mr. Rohde clearly had talent, the distended ear on a man nearing Social Security age was nothing but creepy. And Disney knew it was creepy; thus the constant portraitures and official photographs of Rohde that always had his grossly distended ear facing away from the camera or artist.

But for those who adore Mr. Rohde, just go to Tokyo DisneySea and pull a Fastpass for their Tower of Terror. It's pretty much nothing but a Joe Rohde fangasm from pre-show to ride finale'. It almost ruins what is genuinely a great attraction, except for the creepy adulation of an Imagineer that the average Japanese has never heard of.

But at least the Oriental Land Company was wise enough to insist his distended ear not be shown to Tokyo guests.

latest




Yeah, good point. He wasn't really a West Coaster. The Mission:Breakout thing appears to be his final hurrah, and one of his rare projects in the Pacific time zone. He was mostly a Florida guy, with lots of side hustle from the Oriental Land Company.

To say Tokyo’s ToT is “pretty much nothing but a Joe Rohde fangasm from pre-show to ride finale” when his only involvement is allowing them to use his face as a model, for a character that only appears as still artwork for a few seconds in the preshow... this is why nobody takes you seriously.

Also, Joe camped in a tent on most of his trips, and his earring is present in most company photos.
 

Robbiem

Well-Known Member
Animal kingdom was obviously his main achievement at WDI but he was also involved in projects like Aulani in Hawaii and the nature villages in Paris as well as the planned lighthouse point for DCL pretty much the go to guy for nature of local culture

he has had a good career i hope he has a good retirement
 

Kobe!!

Well-Known Member
Can anyone tell me what the entire list of accomplishments are based on the photo I added?

Here is a list in order based on the photo:

Pleasure Island
DAK
Asia
Dinorama
Everest
Aulani
WAT????****
Avatar
DAK 2 Expansion????****



I guess I’m confused on what WAT is along with the DAK 2 expansion. Anyone know? Also, I tend to believe theirs something before pleasure island that has worn off...
 

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GrandCanyonConcourse

Well-Known Member
Can anyone tell me what the entire list of accomplishments are based on the photo I added?

Here is a list in order based on the photo:

Pleasure Island
DAK
Asia
Dinorama
Everest
Aulani
WAT????****
Avatar
DAK 2 Expansion????****



I guess I’m confused on what WAT is along with the DAK 2 expansion. Anyone know? Also, I tend to believe theirs something before pleasure island that has worn off...
According to Zach in the comments WAT is Wild Africa Trek
 

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