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Two VPA students win Disney Imagineering's ImagiNations competition

June 23, 2008

Erica Blust
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Erica Blust

Lauren Baldesarra '09 and Jason Christopher Yeadon'09, communications design majors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts' (VPA) School of Art and Design, have won the first place and best in show awards of the Walt Disney Imagineering ImagiNations design competition. The annual ImagiNations competition is a program designed and sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of all Disney parks and resorts worldwide, to encourage university students to consider careers in creative and technical fields, including digital arts, engineering and next-generation interactivity. 

Baldesarra and Yeadon won for their proposed Disney's Memory Maker and DHD Player, which uses the technology of holograms to allow Disney theme park guests the ability to capture a three-dimensional representation of their vacation.

Six teams of students from five universities were selected as finalists from 63 submissions from around the country. Teams demonstrate their creative, technical, artistic and business skills by designing a ride, attraction, hotel or a land within an existing Disney theme park or resort. Projects can also be the creation of an entirely new experience--a theme park, resort, themed restaurant or something unique. The projects and concepts presented are not intended to be built by Disney; they are a way for the entrants to demonstrate their skill and creative abilities.

The teams of finalists visited Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, Calif., June 3-12 to complete their projects, make professional presentations to the judging panel, interview for internships and participate in the awards ceremony. They also met and networked with the technical and creative Imagineers responsible for Disney's global theme parks and attractions located in California, Florida, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

The university of each finalist team received a $1,000 grant from Walt Disney Imagineering. Other universities with finalist teams were Howard University, California State University at Fullerton, Savannah College of Art and Design and Stanford University.

Walt Disney Imagineering is the unique innovative organization that creates--from concept through construction--all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions, cruise ships, real estate developments and regional entertainment venues worldwide. The name Imagineering combines imagination with engineering. For more information about the ImagiNations competition, visit

VPA is the creative center of Syracuse University. The college is comprised of five areas: the School of Art and Design; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; and the Department of Transmedia. Together, students, faculty and staff play a vital role in the academic and cultural life of the University and Syracuse communities. Learn more about the college at

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