Imagineering In a Box: free instructional video series from Disney and Khan Academy

Imagineering In a Box is a free lecture series on Khan Academy that covers a broad swathe of elements involved in storytelling in built environments, from theming a land to landscaping, architecture, sound design, robotics, smell design (!), color, material science, food-based theming, ride design from pitch to execution, animatronic programming, queue management (MY FAVORITE!), costuming, etc.

There's even an educators' guide.

This is an incredibly cool thing. Immersive built environments are one of my favorite art-forms and they're growing in complexity and reach (with things like Santa Fe's Meow Wolf) even as they are becoming more homespun and idiosyncratic (with local escape-rooms).

Lesson 1: Build your own world
This lesson addresses the question: where do you want to go? It introduces the idea of experiential storytelling and the difference between an amusement park and a theme park. We’ll explore how storytelling and theme impact every decision made in the design of a land and how they engage all senses. You'll walk out of this lesson with a theme and high concept for a land of your own design along with a mood board and map that conveys the land.

Exercise requirements: All activities can be done with physical materials.

Time requirement: 2 hours minimum

Lesson 2: Build your own attractions
This lesson addresses the question: what do you want to do in your themed land? It introduces students to the range of possible attractions within a themed land with a focus on dark rides. It exposes the importance of theme and storytelling in attractions in general. Following the creative development process at Walt Disney Imagineering, students envision and design their own dark ride. This includes both the artistic (beat sheets, models) and engineering (throughput, footprint) aspects of ride design.

You'll walk out of this lesson with a beat sheet (bullet point summary), a digital layout and a physical model of your attraction.

Exercise requirements: Includes activities that are computer based and activities that require the use of physical materials.

Time requirement: 2 hours minimum

Lesson 3: Build your own character
This lesson addresses the question: who do you want to meet in your land or attraction? (Who lives there?) The lesson introduces a variety of ways that Walt Disney Imagineering brings characters to life and explores the process of character development through character sheets, performance, costume design, armatures, actuation and control (with a focus on animatronics).

You'll walk out of this lesson with a character sheet, a costume, a simple physical armature design and a digital actuated armature.

Exercise requirements: Includes activities that are computer based and activities that require the use of physical materials.

Time requirement: 2 hours minimum

Imagineering In a Box [Disney/Khan Academy]