Joe Rohde Donates Personal Work Boots That Chronicle His Projects to Walt Disney Archives

As he retires, Joe Rohde has donated a personal pair of boots to the Walt Disney Archives that tell a story all their own.

What’s Happening:

  • Now former Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who has had a legendary career working and designing on attractions and experiences at the Disney Parks around the world has donated a seemingly simple pair of personal work boots to the Walt Disney Archives.
  • Much like Rohde’s work, the story is told in the details.
  • As one of the top designers at WDI, Rohde led every one of his projects with “boots on the ground”, and he wore the same pair of boots while working on each of those projects, with the names of each completed adventure scribbled on the side, capturing history in the making.
  • Some of the more clearer entries on his list are: Pleasure Island, DAK (Disney’s Animal Kingdom), Asia and Dino-Rama (two early expansions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), “Aul” is visible in the picture above and is likely Disney’s Aulani Resort in Ko’Olina Hawaii, and “Avatar” in a different shade of ink, also referring to an expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • Interestingly, underneath “Avatar” is “DAK (Possibly a roman numeral, III) Expansion.” Purely speculative, is this another expansion coming to the park? Or is this part of his Avatar entry on his boots? Only time will tell.
  • Aside from what we can see on this particular pair of boots, Rohde has also contributed to other projects at the Disney Parks, including Pavilions of EPCOT’s World Showcase, Captain EO, the New Fantasyland of Disneyland in 1983, and was heavily involved in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout at Disney California Adventure.
  • Yesterday, as his retirement took effect, Rohde posted on his personal Instagram account to bid a fond farewell and raise a toast to his 40 years at WDI.