Farewell to a great friend and mentor

•October 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Harvey C. “Tom” Jones passed away a day ago at age 90. Tom was one of the founders of innovative energy strategy at WDW for Reedy
Creek. He was brought out to Glendale in 1979 to be the Project Director
for TDL, Disney’s first foreign theme park. As Project Director, he led
the construction of the extensive park, and negotiated it’s completion in
a completely new environment for Disney, steering the company though the
complexity of working with Japanese contractors for the first time.

He was my first mentor and an extraordinary leader.

Tom was well respected for his extraordinarily upbeat attitude, his love
of Disney, and his generosity to his teams. He is credited with bringing
project management focus to the Imagineering process. He was a great
mentor to many past and current senior executives at Imagineering.

Tom was an Army Colonel, and in 1945, served under General Douglas
MacArthur supporting the re-construction of Japan. In that capacity he
built roads, rebuilt infrastructure, and first worked with some of the
contractors who would ultimately build Tokyo.

We should all celebrate his life by never being shy to ask “who’s got the football” and never be too jaded to say something is “super”!

Super Job Tom! We will miss you .

The College Journey Begins

•August 24, 2014 • 4 Comments

“Okay, it’s time to go.”

I can already hear it, see the genuine smile, and feel the awkward off-angle men’s hug that will come with it. “Okay, time to go.”

in the first eighteen years it was normally me that had to go. Rushing around packing papers, warm coats, and cameras for Japan, or Chicago, Europe, China, or Australia. I’d always bring something home, like a toy kangaroo or jet model with real engine noise. “Someday I will take you with me.” I’d say.

And I would make good on that promise. As he got older I did take him to hike among the temples of Japan, to sleep under the stars of the outback, and with his cousin my nephew to walk the great wall of China.

The latest trip was to Europe, included my nephew, and this time it excluded me. The boy’s trip had become just the boys. Even so we tried to get them to plan their routes, where they would stay, as I normally planned for us. They planned nothing. But we realized they can’t plan. Why plan if don’t know the destination, or the outcome? Why not just be open to all the possibilities?

The college move to Connecticut loomed over all of us over the summer. We busy ourselves with check lists, shipping plans, practical worries like who will bring the microwave. I wonder what we will do with the huge HO train set in the garage, or the shelves filled with Lego models in his room. And what of these large plastic bins, with the debris of growing up unsorted in them. They hold lego parts, pencils, crayons, happy meal creatures, old game controllers, reflective stickers, taped together cars, and fragments of computer cables from various eras of technology. Toss them out, bin and all? Sort them out by type, try to re-assemble kits or like items?

Good-byes are one sided because usually someone is leaving and someone is staying behind. The one staying behind has the greater responsibility. To encourage the other toward the journey, toward discovery, into the unknown, and not try to hold on selfishly.

Connecticut per se is not a bad destination. A brief six-hour flight, we can be there in a day. But I think that little good bye will be no less difficult. Actually I want him to make the journey as much as he wants to go. I will try to remember that when the moment comes. Everything from Target has been bought, the sheets and towels are there. Plenty of sports bars, water, the desk lamp works. Give the little hug, not much, and get moving. His new journey is beginning. The outcome is uncertain. Step back and let it happen. Then get ready to hear it.

“Thanks Dad, thanks Mom. Okay, time to go.”


•August 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As someone who designs parks I’m supposed to be used to the ups and downs of roller coasters. But perhaps nothing has more extreme emotional highs and lows as dropping your only child off to start college. Son we’re proud of you and happy to see you begin this new chapter of your life. Be patient with us if it’s a little tough to let you go too.

Momo Wu

•August 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Chinese Pop star Momo rides Radiator Springs Racers


Red Raider

•December 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Santa still  6

•December 8, 2013 • 1 Comment

A violin piece is playing on the lobby’s background track. It’s beautiful but a bit sad or even foreboding. The normally busy apron is quiet and subdued. An attractive western business woman, dressed smartly for fall goes through the revolving door ahead of me. She hesitates as she is swept up into a gust of thick white air. A Chinese man steps up to meet her and shakes her hand. He quickly and matter of fact hands her a PM 2.5 mask. He asks how her flight was. “It was just fine thank you”, she says through the white fabric.


Shanghai Disney Resort Metro Station

•November 3, 2013 • Leave a Comment


Here is a chance to input into Shanghai Disney Resort. As part of developing our landmark resort, Shanghai Shentong Group, the owner and operator of the Shanghai Metro, has announced six design proposals for the Shanghai Disney Resort Metro Station. Public input is being sought on the ideas. You can check out all the proposals, and vote for your favorite by visiting


Urban Legends for Halloween

•October 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’ve uploaded some documentaries about urban legends to celebrate Halloween –check them out. They weird and fun.