Retired Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde Is Now Going Galactic

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I’m happy to report that former Imagineer Joe Rohde can’t be kept down–He can’t even be kept in orbit! It’s been announced that he has been hired as the first ever “experience architect” with Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic is one of several companies that want to commercialize space travel. Rohde has been brought in  “to help design and guide the overall experience journey for future astronauts, friends and family, and inspired fans alike.” They want him to “stimulate curiosity, guide the imagination, and anchor the Virgin Galactic customer experience with purposefulness and meaning.

Here’s the announcement from Virgin Galactic:

With preparations underway for the first Future Astronauts to arrive at Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic has brought in Joe Rohde as a strategic advisor to help design and guide the overall experience journey for future astronauts, friends and family, and inspired fans alike.

Here’s a video they put up talking to Mr. Rohde about the position:

Here are a few of Mr. Rohde’s quotes:

I have worked for a long time in projects that involve this sort of transformational power of adventure. To go somewhere you’ve never been, to do something you’ve never done, to see something you’ve never seen… Changes you.
This is one of the most profound things that can ever happen to you. To go beyond the reaches of the Earth, into space and to look back down at it, is a spectacularly unique opportunity, with huge potential for transformational change in a person.”

It’s very rare to get to be a person who gets to be in the place at the time when history begins…

I spent 40 years with Walt Disney Imagineering and that word, ‘Imagineering,’ refers to the fusion of imagination and engineering. This means I’ve come from a tradition where if you are imagining something, you are imagining that thing is going to be made real. That’s also been going on here at Virgin Galactic, and I’m delighted to be joining at this incredible moment in time when it is about to blossom into public awareness.

Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier offered this statement about Rohde:

As soon as I joined Virgin Galactic, I knew there was one person we just had to work with to help shape the incredible experience we are developing – and that person was Joe Rohde. Joe has a methodology that is unique, inspired, and truly effective. His track record for keeping authenticity central to the design and creating deeply transformative experiences aligns perfectly with our mission. I couldn’t be more pleased to see Joe choose Virgin Galactic for his first encore!’

I’m glad to see Mr. Rohde move on to something new and exciting for him! I still feel that maybe he was pushed out, but I hope I’m wrong.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Source: Virgin Galactic, a friend


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Kambrea Pratt
Disney has been a big part of my life for years--from family trips to WDW to growing up on Disney classics, TV, and movies. Prior to Pirates and Princesses I successfully ran social media and websites since 2010. I've also been a public speaker and presenter since 2007. I'm the co-host for the YouTube channel Clownfish TV as well as the podcast/ Youtube Pirates and Princesses (PNP) channel. Former contributor, online personality and acting social media manager at The Kingdom Insider (which we built from the ground up and ran from 2017-2019 --Thom didn't quit FYI) Pirates and Princesses was started by my husband and I several years ago. We loved Disney and wanted to honestly cover all aspects from pop-culture to the parks from a consumer focused stance. Living OUR happily ever after getting to do what we love with our two kids! Creating fun content and building new things. Certified art teacher, and mom. Opinions are all mine.