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Savardi and Team One of Six College Team Finalists in Walt Disney's 25th Imaginations Design Competition

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Giacomo Savardi, together with Andrew Laitinen, an artist from The Columbus College of Art and Design, is one of six college team finalists who will travel to Glendale, California in January for the 2016 Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition.  The top six teams represent 20 students from eight universities, including California State University, Fullerton; Columbus College of Art and Design; North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Ohio University, The University of Texas at Austin; University of Florida; and University of Washington.

Celebrating its 25th year, the competition uses Imagineering to search for the next generation of theme park designers.  The design competition, started in 1991 by Disney Legend and Imagineering executive Marty Sklar, has grown to include a separate version sponsored by Hong Kong Disneyland.

Teams were challenged to design a traveling experience that will tour small towns across the United States, since many families in America do not have the opportunity to visit Disney theme parks.  The temporary venue will operate for two to three days in each community, should take no more than a day to set up and break down, and should represent the kind of family entertainment that Walt Disney envisioned when he first built Disneyland.

Savardi and his teammate submitted their entry, “Ducktales – Camp Quack,” saluting the beloved television series taking Scrooge McDuck and his nephews on adventures across America, combining excitement, learning and groundbreaking technology to deliver a modern celebration of Ducktales for both lifelong fans, and those who have never before experienced the Ducks.

Finalists are awarded a five-day, all-expense-paid trip to Imagineering’s main campus in Glendale, where they will present their projects, meet and network with Imagineers and go behind the scenes where Disney magic is created.  The top three placed teams will be awarded cash prizes and an additional $1,000 grant will be awarded to the first place team, to be equally divided among its sponsoring universities.  Imaginations gives hundreds of students from universities across the country the opportunity to present their projects to Imagineering executives.  Many have gone on to secure internships or eventually become full-time Imagineers. 

Walt Disney Imagineering

Walt Disney Imagineering is the unique, creative force behind Walt Disney Parks and Resorts that dreams up, designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions, cruise ships, real estate developments and regional entertainment venues worldwide.  Imagineering’s unique strength comes from the dynamic global team of creative and technical professionals building on the Disney legacy of storytelling to pioneer new forms of entertainment through technical innovation and creativity.

For more information on the Imaginations Design Competition, visit