Joe Rohde refects on his 40 years with Disney

Joe Rohde

For 40 years, Rohde has poured memories and experiences from his nomadic experiences into a series of Disney attractions that have been sharply focused on the themes of exploration, adventure and nature.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

One of Rohde’s fondest memories at Imagineering happened just before the animals were brought to the African savanna at the heart of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He’d ride his mountain bike every day around the safari route. Rohde remembers the experience now as a time and place that will never be the same again.

“There were thousands of these little russet-winged doves, herons and peregrine falcons. Just this incredible landscape that had come from dirt,” Rohde said. “I knew full well that I’d never, ever be able to do this again. I can go back to places in the world that I’ve been, but I’ll never be able to go back to this. It will be gone. It will turn into an operating park.”

After an illustrious 40-year Imagineering career, Joe Rohde just shared his plan to retire on Jan. 4, 2021. We can’t thank Joe enough for his infectious passion, being an incredible teacher and mentor, and for inspiring generations of Disney Imagineers and guests from around the world. Wishing @JoeRohde all the best in his next journey and on the many, many more adventures yet to come.

Joe who turned 65 in September, has been with the Walt Disney Co for 40 years.

“I know, this is going to sound weird for a 65-year-old person, but it’s kind of like a coming-of-age moment. I have things to do that are different than this,” Rohde said Monday. “There are things I want to create, there are things I want to do. There’s only so much time in a lifetime to do these things.”

We wish Joe good luck on his retirement. He will be missed!


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Kevin Koszola