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The Imagineering Story of "Dream Makers" Statue

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Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) celebrated Disney's 100th Anniversary and its own 18th anniversary by unveiling the iconic "Dream Makers" statue in October, 2023.  This momentous occasion highlights the deep bond between HKDL and the magic of Disney storytelling, while also acknowledging the incredible achievements made in collaboration with the Hong Kong community since the park opened in 2005.  The "Dream Makers" statue pays homage to the inspirational influence of Walt Disney, who envisioned the original Disneyland, and serves as a symbol of both commemoration and anticipation for future endeavors.  It stands as a celebratory emblem within the heart of the Hong Kong community, embodying Disney's core values of hope, positivity, and unwavering determination to make dreams come true.

Through this statue, HKDL honors the countless dreams that have been brought to life by drawing inspiration from Walt Disney and the company's extraordinary narratives.  Furthermore, the unveiling of "Dream Makers" represents a significant milestone in HKDL's commitment to nurturing local creative talent.  And now, it is our pleasure to invite 5 Imagineers to share the stories behind the "Dream Makers" statue.


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(From left to right)

Kendall Elliott, Art Director, Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong

Sandra Liang, Creative Designer, Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong

Jo Phoa, Director, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong

Den Den Tse, Creative Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong

Hugo Liu, Graphic Design Associate, Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong


Teammates From Around The World To Bring The Statue To Live

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While many projects at the parks are traditionally developed by Imagineers in the United States, "Dream Makers" was spearheaded by the Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) Hong Kong team.  This demonstrates the joint efforts of WDI and HKDL to provide opportunities for young creative minds to shine, fostering the growth of local talent.  The unveiling of the "Dream Makers" statue not only symbolizes the enduring partnership between HKDL and Disney but also serves as a testament to the park's dedication to the Hong Kong community and the cultivation of artistic expression.  As HKDL continues to evolve, this milestone further strengthens its commitment to creating magical experiences and inspiring imaginations for years to come.

Jo Phoa (Director, Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong) has been instrumental in ensuring the show's quality at HKDL. With her leadership, she has overseen numerous routine hotel and park rehab projects. However, the unveiling of the "Dream Makers" statue marks a significant milestone for Jo and the team.  Described by Jo as a "Blue Sky Project," the "Dream Makers" statue allows the creative team to think outside the box and unleash their imagination.


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Den Den Tse (Creative Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong) played an integral role in overseeing the development and execution of this project.  With her extensive background in the arts and her deep understanding of storytelling, she ensured that every detail of the statue was carefully considered.  From the facial expressions and body language of the characters to the intricate design of their tools, Den Den's attention to detail shines through in the final product.  She pointed out that the unveiling of the "Dream Makers" statue marks a significant milestone for HKDL.  It symbolizes the park's commitment to creativity, innovation, and inclusivity.

Sandra Liang, a talented illustrator and member of the Hong Kong Imagineering team, played a pivotal role in bringing the "Dream Makers" vision to life.  Working closely with the legendary illustrators and sculptors from the US creative team, Sandra's artistic skills and passion for storytelling seamlessly integrated into the project.  By combining the creative forces of both the US and Hong Kong WDI teams, this project has not only brought delight to visitors but also fostered a sense of pride and accomplishment among the talented individuals who have contributed their expertise and passion to its realization.


The Name

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The Chinese name of the statue, "Dream Makers" (創夢家) was created by the HKDL team to make it more relatable to the people of Hong Kong. They believe that "creation" is an important concept, and Walt’s creativity goes beyond “dreams," and into making them happen, making him a true entrepreneur. This new spirit of "creation" will be passed down in HKDL, creating an even more exciting century.

The name "Dream Makers" came to Kendall Elliott (Art Director, Walt Disney Imagineering Hong Kong) and embodies the fact that Disneyland started with Walt's "dream" and a team of "makers" who believed the impossible was possible.

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Through “Dream Makers,” the Imagineers want to send guests an inspirational message: don't give up on your dreams - you can make them a reality through perseverance.


Attention To Details

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The "Dream Makers" statue is not just a visual spectacle.  It also serves as a catalyst for inspiration and imagination.  The inspiration for "Dream Makers" comes from the moment when Walt Disney conceived the idea of building Disneyland.  He took his two daughters to ride a merry-go-round at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and as he watched them happily, he was inspired to create a place where parents and children could have fun together.  He and his friends and studio employees then collaborated to construct the first Disneyland, which is the origin of the well-known theme park.


Kendall has shared fascinating insights into the creation and inspiration behind this captivating experience.  Deliberate consideration was given to the location of the statue, aligning seamlessly with the essence of "Dream Makers".  The statue's location was picked because it fits perfectly with the story of "Dream Makers," with guests seeing Walt Disney, Mickey, and the Castle of Magical Dreams signifying the future, and the origin moment of Disneyland - the past - when Walt came up with the idea of the park while watching his daughters ride the merry-go-round.

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Intricately crafted within the design concept of the "Dream Makers" statue, Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse sit on a bench and chat together.  Walt faces the merry-go-round, representing the origins of Disney, and turns slightly towards and points to the castle, representing the future, as if telling Mickey Mouse about their creation of many classic moments and creating even more wonderful experiences for guests in the future.

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Fun Fact: The bench of this statue is inspired by the same bench at Griffith Park.  This historic bench (also described as the Walt Disney’s Bench) can be found in Disneyland nowadays.

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According to Den Den, "the statue's design also considers accessibility, making the plaque content visible to both children and wheelchair users, adding meaning when taking photos with the statue.  The two trees next to it provide shade in the summer".


The "Dream Makers" statue also received a creative boost from Graphic Design Associate Hugo Liu.  His contribution included the design of two book-shaped plaques situated on either side of the iconic "Dream Makers" statue.  Each plaque serves a unique purpose, with One plaque describing Walt Disney's inspiration for creating Disneyland, while the other records a quote from his speech during the park's 10th anniversary.  The plaques feature Walt Disney's signature style, reflecting the design concept of a handwritten diary.

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To accomplish this, Hugo embarked on extensive research to identify a suitable Walt Disney signature style that could be effectively cast in bronze.  This attention to detail highlights his commitment to ensuring authenticity and paying homage to the park's founder.


This statue is truly a momentous project for Imagineers in Hong Kong.  That the company has trusted the Hong Kong team with creating the concept for the statue goes to show how much the team has grown.



Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

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Disney Magical Kingdom Blog: The Imagineering Story of "Dream Makers" Statue
The Imagineering Story of "Dream Makers" Statue
Disney100, 迪士尼, Disney, HKDL, Hong Kong Disneyland, 香港迪士尼樂園, Dream Makers Statue, 創夢家銅像, 背後魔法, 幻想工程師, WDI, Walt Disney Imagineering, 創作故事
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