Students Make Pitches to Disney
A Carthage native and three other fellow students from N.C. State University participated in two-week competition for what many would call a "dream job."
Three college teams presented prototypes for a future theme park attraction to Walt Disney executives earlier this month.
"This whole experience has been mind-blowing," Corban Prim said in a telephone interview from Glendale, Calif. "I'm at a loss for words."
In addition to N.C. State, the other finalists in Walt Disney Imagineering's 18th Imagi-Nations Design Competition were California State University at Fullerton and Rowan University in New Jersey.
Prim's N.C. State team finished second behind Rowan University.
ImagiNations is a program designed and sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering, the design and delivery arm of Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide, to encourage students to consider careers in creative and technical fields.
To qualify for the competition, the teams must demonstrate their creative, technical, artistic, and business skills by designing a ride, attraction, hotel or land within an existing Disney theme park or resort. Students from all around the world apply, but only three teams are chosen as finalists.
The competition allows the participants the chance to showcase their talents, while gaining practical knowledge from a real-world experience. Walt Disney Imagineering usually offers internships and possibly later employment for those participating as finalists in ImagiNations.
"We had interviews for positions that apply to areas of fields that we are interested in," Prim said. "I would absolutely love to intern or work for Imagineering."
Prim and his team from N.C. State have developed a ride that will target theme park guests of all ages, entitled "Mickey's Quest to Magma Mountain." It is a motion simulator thrill ride that features circular seating arrangement for an immersive 360-degree, three-dimensional experience. Each time guests rides they will get a new view of the action and hear unique dialogue, but always experience the full story as everyone else.
A mentor from Imagineering helped the group fine-tune its project before they presented it. During their final presentation, each member pitched ideas to Imagineering executives on a stage.
In the nine days the students were in California, they took tours, visited Disneyland, watched a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel Show, and saw Disney/Pixar's newest movie "Up" at the famous El Capitan in Los Angeles.
Prim, who graduated from Union Pines High School, is a junior majoring in art and design. He has served as actor/camera operator/editor for "TVOneLife," a television show in Raleigh. He has also been a photographer and videographer for the Moore County school system's central offices and an animator for New Bern Craven Arts Council, a 15-person multidisciplinary team that was commissioned to create tourism animations in 2008.
"I have made a lot of new friends with members of the other teams and even with some of the Imagineers," Prim said. "All I can really say is how much fun this has been."
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