A Disney Adventure at Animal Kingdom!

Transforming Education through

Storytelling and World Building

December 3-4, 2022

On December 3 and 4, 2022, former Walt Disney Imagineer Brian Collins, Dr. Carissa Baker of the University of Central Florida, Dave Randle of Blue Community Consortium, and other special guests led us in a magical exploration of storytelling and world-building. Conference participants were inspired by spatial narrative experts to imagine a future where schools are the happiest places on Earth.

On Day 1, Dr. Carissa Baker, Brian Collins, Dave Randle, and others led us to think about ways to revise educational approaches with the principles of themed education design. Dr. Baker, a scholar who has written extensively on Disney’s Animal Kingdom, discussed what makes theme parks such transformative places. Brian Collins regaled us with stories of his time as a Disney Imagineer that illustrated what theme parks can teach us about designing innovative learning spaces. Dave Randle used his expertise and years of experience in nature conservation and sustainable development to tell Disney’s sustainability story.

On Day 2, Brian, Carissa, and Dave led us on a tour of Disney’s Animal Kingdom including an African Safari and the spectacular Pandora: The World of Avatar. We learned to “think like Walt” as we experienced firsthand the power of enhancing learning experiences with compelling natural, built, simulated, virtual, and imagined environments.

Saturday, December 3 at Rosen College, University of Central Florida

9:00 am Welcome and Introductions: Dr. Martin Rayala, Ensō Education Institute

10:00 am Presentation: The Five Components of your Disney DNA by Brian Collins, former Walt Disney Imagineer

11:00 am Presentation: The Design and Narrative DNA of Disney’s Animal Kingdom by Dr. Carissa Baker, University of Central Florida

12:30 pm Lunch

2:00 pm Presentation: Disney’s Sustainability Story by Dave Randle, Blue Community

3:00 pm Panel Discussion: The Future of XR Education with Dr. Cory Rayala and special guests Rohana Swihart and Steve Lewis

6:00 pm Optional Dinner at Disney Springs

8:30 pm Optional Drinks and Fireworks Viewing at Paddlefish

Sunday, December 4 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

9:00 am Meet at Animal Kingdom (Outside at the Flagpole)

9:30 am Guided Tour of Animal Kingdom (Africa and Pandora)

12:00 pm Lunch at Satu’li Canteen

1:30 pm Continued guided tour of Animal Kingdom (Asia and Safari)

3:30 pm Wrap-up and Farewell

If you have any questions, you can contact us at learn@ensoeducation.com.

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