Kevin Rafferty to retire from Disney

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Kevin Rafferty is set to retire from Disney. The Walt Disney Imagineer, famous for projects such as Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World and Cars Land in Disney California Adventure (as well as many more notable projects) has officially announced his retirement yesterday via The Walt Disney Imagineering Instagram page.

kevin rafferty to retire from Disney

Previously, Rafferty expressed his intent to retire after the grand opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which was his final project. However, COVID struck only a week later and dramatically impacted the Disney parks as we know it! So Rafferty remained a Walt Disney Imagineer and continued working at Disney, including designing these awesome Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Ears!
kevin rafferty retirement post
As the news broke on Instagram that Kevin Rafferty set to retire from Disney, check out the Walt Disney Imagineering post below:
“After 42 years of creating magical guest experiences as an Imagineer, Executive Creative Director Kevin Rafferty shared his plan to retire April 1, 2021. From his days as a dishwasher at Disneyland all the way through his work on the show writing and creative direction of Cars Land, Toy Story Mania!, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and more, Kevin’s zany personality and humor have inspired generations of Disney Imagineers and guests from around the world. We can’t thank Kevin enough for all of his contributions at Imagineering and wish him all the best in his next adventure!”

This heartfelt post shows Rafferty’s dedication to the Walt Disney Company, particularly his passion for the company as he started his career as a dish-washer at the Plaza Inn in Disneyland before he applied for an entry-level position at Walt Disney Imagineering (then-WED Enterprises) back in 1978. At this time there was a massive recruitment drive for the EPCOT Centre. Rafferty is also responsible for pitching the sadly, never-built Roger Rabbit’s Hollywood land for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including attractions like the Baby Herman’s Runaway Buggy Ride.

We thank Kevin Rafferty for his magical imagination and the ability to bring those thoughts to life for so many to enjoy. We wish him all the best in his retirement!

Tessa H