WDI Asia hosts TEA President’s Forum in Hong Kong, 3 June 2018

WDI Asia hosts TEA President’s Forum in Hong Kong, 3 June 2018


Hong Kong, June 2018 – Building on the opportunity afforded by the large number of industry members gathered in Hong Kong for the 2018 IAAPA Asia Attractions Expo, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering for an Asia-centric TEA President’s Forum on June 3, at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. 130 attended.

The TEA President’s Forums enable members of TEA to have direct conversations with owner/operators and developers in the interest of business development. These events are open only to TEA members in good standing and are a unique member benefit.

As the leading operator and developer in the global attractions industry, Walt Disney Imagineering is always moving ahead and striving to make the “impossible” reality, and always looking for the kinds of creative, innovative suppliers and vendors represented by the TEA member talent pool. WDI is bringing its suppliers and vendors into its design process at early stages of its projects, to partner during the ideation phase.

The collaborative nature of our industry, the creative and innovative culture of WDI and the core goals of TEA all intersected at this TEA President’s Forum.

It was a great evening of mixing, mingling and networking with industry business owners and leaders. From this event and its dialog, alliances and projects will come together to deliver new stories and experiences to millions of Disney Parks and Resorts guests.

There are many opportunities for TEA members due to Disney’s significant growth and expansion around the world, and the evening’s presentations had a specific focus on the recent expansion in Asia, such as Shanghai Disneyland (Toy Story Land), and major expansion announcements for Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort. Imagineers shared the menu of upcoming projects, and tools and processes they use — including VR as a design tool, pre-visualization capabilities, 3D and 4D modeling technology, and integration of highly sophisticated systems and equipment, and the ingenuity needed to create things never before attempted.

Throughout the event, Imagineers reiterated that having a strong global network is key to bringing ambitious visions to life. TEA values its longstanding relationship with Disney, and it was gratifying to see this kind of investment being made in the community in which we all work – and to see Disney actively growing the next generation of Imagineers in its regional markets. Thanks to this relationship, WDI can more easily connect with peers, network with potential contractors and vendors, and reach interested talent to inspire a future career in themed entertainment.

The TEA President’s Forums are the brainchild of Steve Birket of Birket Engineering. Birket launched the TEA President’s Forum during his two years as TEA International Board President (2015-2016), and continues to be the primary agent in organizing them today. Assisting with the June 3 event was the TEA Asia Pacific Division, currently headed by Thomas Megna of Silkroading. For the time and effort devoted to making this event a reality, extra special thanks are due to TEA Asia Pacific Board member Robert Braunstein, Executive Show Design & Production of WDI Asia, and Doris Hardoon Woodward, Executive Creative Director and Producer, WDI Asia. TEA also expresses thanks to Debra A. Kohls, Director, Communications, The Walt Disney Company and Christian Kubsch, SVP & Creative Show Studio Executive – Walt Disney Imagineering. And additional, heartfelt thanks to all others who helped make this event possible and a success!

Speakers and presenters at the TEA President’s Forum, Walt Disney Imagineering Asia, 3 June 2018

  • Howard Brown, General Manager – Walt Disney Imagineering Asia
  • Robert Braunstein, Executive Show Design & Production – Walt Disney Imagineering Asia
  • Louise Pang, Director, Environmental Design & Engineering – Walt Disney Imagineering Asia
  • Mark Schirmer, Director, Creative Development – Walt Disney Imagineering Asia
  • Joe Rohde, Creative Portfolio Executive – Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Christian Kubsch, SVP & Creative Show Studio Executive – Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Steve Birket PE, Birket Engineering, TEA Past President


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