Gearing up to open this summer at EPCOT, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will soon be blasting off on an intergalactic chase through space and time. In order to bring this groundbreaking attraction to life, an incredibly talented team of inspiring women have been hard at work. From software development to landscape architecture, this group of Imagineers might just inspire you to take hold of your biggest dreams and put them into action.
Ashley Levine, Project Controls Estimator — If there’s an out-of-this-world idea, Ashley is ready to bring it from paper to reality for her fellow Imagineers. Working closely with the team at large, she ensures they’re equipped to execute the creative vision, whether that be special effects, lighting, or even the sounds you hear.
And bringing Disney’s longest enclosed roller coaster to life was no easy feat – noting its large scale has been the biggest challenge. Turning dreams into reality isn’t new for Ashley, as she can recall telling her family on a trip to EPCOT for the Millennium Celebration she would strive to one day be an Imagineer; over 20 years later she is living that dream. She encourages aspiring Imagineers that it’s okay to make mistakes while discovering new skills, “because that’s how we learn, and the biggest part of the job is to continue learning and not giving up.”
Eliana Almario, Senior Show Electrical Engineer — Starting in high school, Eliana knew she wanted to become an engineer and truly admired how Disney utilized their technology to fully immerse guests into the story. Today, she’s bringing that unique experience to life while working on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Although a great technical challenge, it’s been an experience for the books as she’s worked to push the boundaries technology wise. For others who are looking to follow in a similar path, Eliana emphasizes the importance of networking and internships in the engineering field.
Audrey Hauser, Show Controls Software Developer — After a family trip to Disney, Audrey was immediately inspired by the Imagineering work she had seen, finding every book she could about the discipline once back home. From then on, she knew this was exactly the career she wanted. Now in the shoes she had hoped to fill as a child, Audrey is working to bring the show to life through programming. And for those who are looking toward a career in software, it’s important to “keep playing around with stuff, figure out how things work, and do fun little projects,” according to Audrey.
Kassandra Rose, Character Paint — Growing up, Kassandra had always dreamed of performing in the park, but after trying her hand at scenic design and painting, she fell in love with the medium. Continuing to pursue the things that interested her, Kassandra found herself at Walt Disney Imagineering where she’s currently working to bring a Starblaster to life through character paint. Just one of over 100 disciplines found at Imagineering, Kassandra encourages others that “if you’re really passionate about something really specific, go after that. I would have never imagined that I would be doing scenic painting and color design for Imagineering had I just not sought out that direction from something that was just genuinely interesting to me.”
Truly a dream role set in motion by the women who came before her, Kassandra notes, “I sit on the shoulders of many other women that have come through Imagineering before me, several generations. I am completely grateful to them for the barriers they broke through so that I could have a door to walk through.”
Rachel Lambdin, Landscape Architect — Rachel has always loved being outdoors and as a landscape architect, she’s able to do just that on a very unique scale at Imagineering. Designing the exterior of the attraction from hardscape to landscape palette is an integral part of the magic, allowing guests to be transported into the story before even stepping through the doors.
As she reflects on Women’s History Month and the support provided by her counterparts, Rachel remarked, “It’s been fantastic to have the mentors that I’ve had and really feel like no matter what I want to take a stab at or learn more about, there’s someone there who is absolutely ready to guide me through that.”
@disneyparks Let’s hear it for the amazing women behind #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy: Cosmic Rewind 👏 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #Imagineering #WhenWomenWin #WomensHistoryMonth ♬ original sound – Disney Parks
We hope these five incredible women have provided a dose of inspiration and encourage you to pursue your dreams — and maybe one day you can work to save the galaxy too!