How would you like to “imagineer” a Disney theme park? That’s the enviable job of Jack Blitch, the opening general session speaker at Utility Construction Expo ’10 — All Together Now, Jan. 10 to 13, 2010, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Orlando, Fla. Vice president and general manager of Walt Disney Imagineering-Florida, he and his 300-person team are responsible for designing, developing and implementing creative ideas for Disney’s Florida attractions, resorts and cruise ships.
“We are challenged,” he said, “to create and deliver the impossible.”
During his Expo address, he will talk about what Imagineering is, how Walt Disney started Imagineering, the nature of that creative process and current and future projects. Of special interest to utility contractors will be his discussion of the refurbishment of Space Mountain, the Magic Kingdom’s 34-year-old indoor roller coaster. The popular ride is being dismantled and rebuilt using a complex underground tunneling system.
A 21-year Imagineering veteran, Blitch has managed a number of notable projects, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Star Tours and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the new Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom park, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Soarin’ at Epcot. As to how all the magic comes together, Blitch recently said: “Everything we do is based on teamwork. There is only one person’s name on the door and that is Walt Disney.”
The son of an architect, Blitch received a bachelor of sciences degree in construction management at then-Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, and then embarked on a 14-year career with J.A. Jones Construction Company, advancing from field engineer to senior project manager. For the next four years, he was with the Jackson Brewery Development Company in New Orleans as the director of design and construction for a major riverfront festival marketplace and then project director of the New Orleans Aquarium and Riverfront Park. He began his career at Disney in 1988 as a senior project manager, managing the design, production, construction and installation of the Wonders of Life Pavilion at Epcot Center and Star Tours/Ewok Village at Disney-MGM Studios.
A native of New Orleans, Blitch is a licensed contractor in the states of Louisiana and Florida and a member of the American Institute of Constructors and Chartered Institute of Building (U.K.). For more than a decade, he has been serving on the industry advisory board of his alma mater’s school of construction. In 2000, he was awarded the professional designation of certified professional constructor.
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