If you’ve been to a Disney Park before, you probably have asked yourself and others “how did they do that?” Whether that awe moment was for an attraction or show or something in between, Imagineers who create that magic had to be quiet. Until now.
Enter “Behind The Attraction!”
It’s a new episodic series exclusive to Disney+ that is very much about what the title says it is about. With the help of many a host of Imagineers, past and present, rare archival footage, and a witty voiceover host, you’ll be taken into the conception and the making of some of your favorite Disney Parks attractions.
The series was executively produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, an avid Disney Parks fan (and Disney movie star) and directed by Brian Volk-Weiss who said that the goal was to inform and entertain.
“From the beginning it was supposed to be fun first. And then maybe you’d learn something,” he said in a virtual press conference. “I really can’t believe this show got greenlit in the first place.”
And that unbelief is a very believable thing as Disney likes to keep tight-lipped about how they make their attractions, and not just to keep the magic alive or trade secrets inside either. For the Imagineers themselves, they liked being able to finally talk about what they do.
“We typically aren’t asked about what we do, nor can we tell people how we do things,” said Jeanette Lomboy, Vice President and Site Portfolio Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. “It’s great though because it helps us process and think through how we do things, too.”
Season 1 of the show includes 10 episodes that focus on specific attractions or types of attractions. The first five episodes to debut include Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Star Tours, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Space Mountain. And the show uses the word “attraction” pretty loosely, too, in that you’ll not only get behind-the-scenes of the rides, but experiences like the Disneyland Hotel and the Disney Parks castles as well.
In each 30-45 minute episode, expect to learn how that attraction came together with some great pieces of information shared by the Imagineers responsible with some never-before-seen footage of them conceptualizing and building them. Each episode ends with a more forward look at how those attractions have influenced today’s and tomorrow’s attractions.
But the show really shines with the help of how all that information is shared. Volk-Weiss really wanted to make the show “entertaining,” and to do that, he resulted to his comedic chops. “The tone of the show is pretty self-deprecating through our amazing narrator (Paget Brewster), but is not meant to be disrespectful of the rather serious technical and yet fun work that these Imagineers do,” he continued. “Disney+ loved it, so we kept with it.”
And yet for the Imagineers, they, too, love their jobs and the fun they get to create for Disney Park guests. “There are so many stories behind our attractions, and guest interpretations of those stories, and I love hearing them all,” said Dave Durham, Executive, Creative Ride Engineering for Walt Disney Imagineering. “But the best story is when we get to see guests enjoy what we’ve worked on. Nothing beats it.”