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Disney Parks Blog Live Chat with Imagineer Jonathan Ackley Set for June 7

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

This year, we’ve shared many inside looks at our new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom role-playing game and our interactive experience Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure here on the Disney Parks Blog. But on June 7 at 1:15 p.m. Orlando time, you’ll have access like never before. We’re thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with Walt Disney Imagineering to bring you a live chat with Imagineer Jonathan Ackley.

If you don’t know Jonathan, you should. He’s a senior project producer and creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering who focuses on interactive shows at Disney Parks. His work includes helping create the animation you encounter on a Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom adventure. He also designed the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure at Epcot and most recently worked on Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.

Get to know Jonathan and take a look at what he shared earlier this year.

You can share any early questions for Jonathan today in the comments below. See you back here for the live chat next week.


  • Why did you like Agent P’s World Showcase adventure?

  • How do parents go about finding the special moments for there kids? How do you find the right CM that will doing something special to make our trip unforgetable?

  • 1) What does an average work day look like for you?

    2) As someone who works on attractions, you probably have a different perspective than most other people. What is your favorite attraction and why?

  • Any thoughts to a play at home style game either with friends or online? I think using the Sorcerers cards at home would really make the takeaway much more interesting!

  • Many people have mentioned a skip card but I’m not sure what they’d be skipping. Maybe the introduction and ending.

    I think it would be more useful and elegant to set it up so when we check in we are asked if we would like the story turned on or off. If off, our first intro would jump right to where we go next. Any sequence needing a Sorcerers Crest would jump right to where it says “Use the Sorcerer’s Crest!” After using it it would jump to where to go next. Anytime an actual spell card is needed, we’d swipe our key, jump to the villains attack, counter and jump to where to go next. I think this would be a much better way to cut down on lines. What do you think?

  • Is there an opening date for Agent P?

  • Hi there and Thank You for making the magic for all of us to see and enjoy! I just finished my broadcasting degree but I would like to learn more about lighting or graphics. What field of study should I look into so I can work with disney for 50 years?

    Thank You!

  • I just finished my bachelor degree in architecture and I realise that most imagineers have a degree in engineering. Since architecture falls between engineering and arts but never could I find an internship or job offering for architecture in Disney. How could someone of the architecture field become an imagineer?

  • Are there are any plans to bring the villain sidekick battles back online? I’ve noticed they are randomly available to players throughout different times of the day.

  • Are there any plans for possible SOMK “Skip” cards for the intro and non spell scenes to help speed up the lines?

  • Huge fan of the story and gameplay of Sorcerers! Any idea of themed merch or expansion packs to the cards? I love playing now, and I’m only missing two of the super rare cards! Hoping to get them soon!

  • Do you plan on extending the game thru New Fantasyland and tomorrow land?

    How do you plan on keeping the game fresh for those who have conquered all levels/villains?

  • My family and I really enjoy SOMK. we think its amazing! Our one concern is the time it takes to play a villian with the lines at the portals. It will take us years worth of trips to experience the entire attraction. Are there any plans to embed SOMK as an add-on into a WDW Kinects game similiar to the Disneyland Adventures game? Maybe the SOMK add-on could require an active WDW pass to play. It would be great to interact with SOMK from home by walking up to virtual portals in the game since the Kinects console already has a working camera that might be able to read the cards. Your thoughts and insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • I just graduated from college with a B.F.A. and I was wondering what sort of art work you look for in portfolios? Do you like a lot of variety or mostly landscapes and architecture? And is there some way to submit portfolios besides on the Job Postings area of the Disney website? Thank you for your time!

  • I have wanted to be a Walt Disney Imagineer since I was little and I am now pursuing a degree in engineering to fulfill my dream! How would I go about becoming a Walt Disney Imagineer? What steps did you take to get to the point that you are currently at now?

  • Hi Jonathan!

    What credentials do you look for in potential Imagineers? I’m currently enrolled in grad school for my masters degree. What else can I (or anyone!) do to become more attractive to WDI while finishing school?

    Keep up the great work!

  • I LOVE the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game! I think it’s SOOOO awesome! 🙂 I’ve even written a fan-fiction story with my friend, based on the game.

    I go to WDW twice a year, and my last trip was in January, when they were testing the game. I wanted to test it so badly, and near the end of our trip, I got lucky! It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to play it again on our next trip! I love the interactive experience, and collecting the cards is fun too!

    Are you going to sell SoMK-themed merchandice? I would love to buy booster packs for the trading cards, and maybe some pins.

    The online game VMK used to have in-park quests, where you could earn codes by answering park trivia. They also sold special pins that came with codes. I loved that! Maybe that concept could be applied to SoMK!

    I agree with Brooke: I love the Kingdom Keepers books too, and it does seem very similar. Is there any chance of creating a KK game?

    When I was little, I remember seeing Merlin in the park, as a character. Now that he has such a big part in SoMK, it would be cool to see him again!

  • The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom story seems very similar to the popular Kingdom Keepers series (which I happen to love). Why did you decide to not theme it to Kingdom Keepers?

  • Here are a few things I’ve been contemplating and been asking other SOTMK fans their opinion so I thought I’d post here to find out if there is any weight to my theories.

    1. Since the cards are numbered x/70, is it safe to assume that this set would be considered “series 1”?

    2. Not all Disney Characters featured on the cards are “Heroes” i.e. Queen of Hearts, Monstro, The Headless Horseman. This leads me to believe that we may see more “Villains” cards and potentially a sequence where a SOTMK sorcerer may choose to go over to the dark side.

    3. Just below the card numbers is a Cinderella’s Castle Turret which I am assuming means the card was aquired at MK This leads me to theorize that we may see WDW park exclusive card sets. Cards and Portals exclusive to Epcot, The Studios and AK.

    4. Each card is marked with the spells attack, boost, and shield. Since the cards seem to follow the same format as other card based fantasy games, I believe that Disney may release game instructions on how to use the cards in tournaments with others while not at the parks. Not unlike Magic The Gathering and Pokemon. (This theory is probably pretty obvious.)

  • Are Medium & Hard permanently disabled, or will they return at some point, like after summer when crowds die down a bit? If they come back, what is your plan to battle the very long lines that are forming at the portals?

  • Do you have a favorite Disney character and if so have you “found a way” to imagine them into your games? Thanks.

  • Can I ask two questions?
    1. The SOMK cards seem to have a lot of detail too them. Is there any significance to the patterns/symbols that I might be missing? Any Hidden Mickeys on them? 🙂
    2. Which country in World Showcase do you think will be a favorite to play Agent P in?

    Thank you!

  • Is there anything being done to help alleviate the waiting? I love playing, but every portal has a line 3-5 deep! I don’t want to spend my day JUST playing this game!

  • I became hopelessly addicted to the game for my May trip and would like to know a few things.

    What is going on with the 61-70 cards? Will more card be coming after 71?

    With the popularity, how do you foresee the game to be expanded in the future? Will this be expanded to other parks including Disneyland?

  • Not a question, but I’m super excited for this. I’ve been a big fan of Jonathan Ackley since his days at LucasArts.

  • We were able to play on our trip in March. It was a fun way for both adults and children to pass some time in the Magic Kingdom in between rides. We watched the interest grow in the week we were there. Word of mouth was amazing, everyone was sharing and helping to explain what was going on to onlookers. We can’t wait to play again when we return.

    Will Tomorrowland get portals? Will additional portals be added in the future?

    Will Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios get a similar adventure any time soon?

    I think those two could use something like this.

    Keep imagining!!!!!!

  • When will “Medium” and “Hard” modes be returning to Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom?

  • What do you find most interesting/challenging about taking a part of the Disney Parks “virtual?”

  • Not an Agent P or Sorcerers question… Have you thought about changing the holiday Haunted Mansion ride? Maybe one year instead of Nightmare Before Christmas it would be Scrooge’s Mansion in Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Best holiday cartoon ever. Thanks!

  • When the Agent P game debuts, will all of the missions be available or will more be coming later. If so, when?

  • My kids love SOMK. Any tips on using the cards?

  • Where do you get your ideas from? They are wonderful! And also, what does it ‘take’ to become an Imagineer?

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