Industrial designer George McGinnis began his career at Walt Disney Imagineering in 1966. His senior project at Art Center College of Design, a working model of a futuristic high-speed train, attracted the attention of Walt Disney. George was invited to Imagineering by Walt, who showed him the "WEDway PeopleMover" system in development. Walt proceeded to introduce George to Dick Irvine, President of Imagineering, who invited George to become an Imagineer.
George's first assignment was to design miniature transportation models for the Progress City display, for the Carousel of Progress attraction that opened at Disneyland in July 1967. He was also responsible for concept design of both the Mighty Microscope for the Disneyland attraction Adventure Through Inner Space and the Saturn-style "winged rocket with boosters" for the Tomorrowland Rocket Jets for Disneyland (1967). From 1967 to 1971, George designed WEDway PeopleMover trains and parking lot shuttle vehicles for Walt Disney World. In 1971, he became a show designer, involved with such major projects as Space Mountain for both Walt Disney World (1975) and Disneyland (1977).
In 1979, George became Manager of Industrial Design for EPCOT and later, Project Show Designer for the Horizons pavilion. In addition, he also designed "SMRT-1" and the "Astuter Computer Revue" for the Communicore pavilion. From 1983 to 1987, George designed the Mark V Monorail train for Disneyland, which debuted in 1987. Following that, George contributed design ideas for the Magic Kingdom attraction Delta Dreamflight/Take Flight, designed the Walt Disney World Mark VI Monorail, and designed tram vehicles for the Disney-MGM Studios Backlot Tour.
Between 1990 and 1995, George brought his skills as a show designer to several projects for Disney Theme Parks around the world: boat vehicles for Splash Mountain in the Tokyo Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom; Indiana Jones (TM) Adventure ride vehicles for Disneyland; Space Mountain ride vehicle concept for Disneyland Paris; river boats, safari vehicles, and "steam" locomotive and cars for Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Since retiring from Imagineering in 1995, George has continued to work for Disney as a consultant on the Rocket Rod concept vehicle for Tomorrowland, river rafts for Animal Kingdom and California Adventure and others yet to be announced.
George was born in Greenville, Pennsylvania. He attended Thiel College and Art Center College of Design, where he received a B.S. in Product Design in 1966. George currently lives in Glendale, California with his wife Marilyn. They have three grown children. In addition to his consulting work he enjoys history, traveling and designing projects for his home.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, you can contact George McGinnis using our email form.
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- DL Space Mountain (World View)- October 12, 2005
- WDW's Space Mountain (World View)- July 22, 2005
- WDW's Space Mountain (World View)- July 6, 2005
- Horizons, Part 4 (World View)- May 12, 2004
- Horizons, Part 3 (World View)- April 30, 2004
- Horizons, Part 2 (World View)- April 28, 2004
- Horizons, Part 1 (World View)- April 14, 2004
- On Track (World View)- January 30, 2004
- On Track (World View)- January 14, 2004