As Disneyland Paris continues to celebrate its 30th Anniversary (even as its 31st passed this week), we decided to celebrate on our own by sitting down for a spell with former Walt Disney Imagineer Tim Delaney, who was instrumental in the creation of Discoveryland. For those unaware, Discoveryland is the Jules Verne-inspired version of Tomorrowland at the French park.
Delaney began his career at Disney in 1976, working alongside legendary Imagineers like Herb Ryman, X Atencio, Sam McKim, Mark Davis and Ward Kimball. He was instrumental in the creation of EPCOT Center, creating hundreds illustrations depicting the look, style and content of the park under Marty Sklar and John Hench. Later he became the overall Project Designer and Producer for this futuristic vision of the oceans for EPCOT Center, which eventually became The Living Seas pavilion.
From 1986 to 1992, he spent his time as the lead producer for Discoveryland. Based on the great European visionaries like Jules Verne, H G Wells and da Vinci, this new land brought a unique European flavor to the park and from a story point of view created a timeless quality to future themed attractions. After, Delaney was Lead Designer and Producer for a Jules Verne-themed Space Mountain for Disneyland Paris. Pulling from Jules Verne’s 1865 story, “From the Earth to the Moon,” this new thrill ride incorporated the newest technologies in catapult launch systems, onboard audio and ride dynamics, all in the spirit of bringing Verne’s story to life.
During our nearly two and a half hour interview, he dives into the creation of Discoveryland and Space Mountain: De la terre à la lune, as well as plenty of background on the Disneyland Paris project itself. You can watch the full interview with Tim Delaney below.
If you want to hear more about the creation of Disneyland Paris, we interviewed former Imagineers Eddie Sotto and Jim Shull on the subject of the park last year for its actual 30th Anniversary, which you can watch here.