Legendary Imagineer Kevin Rafferty to retire after 42 years with the company

2 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Walt Disney Imagineering will lose another legendary talent later this year as Kevin Rafferty retires after a 42 year career with the company.

Kevin has been part of many Walt Disney World attractions, which includes The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Muppet*Vision 3D, Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, Test Track, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Toy Story Mania!, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and most recently Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. He leaves the company effective April 1 2021.

You can read more about Kevin's journey with the Walt Disney Company that began washing dishes at the Plaza Inn at Disneyland in an interview at the official Disney fan club site D23. “I wanted to go out at the top of my game, if you will,” he explains. “It just felt right.”

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Article Posted: Jan 13, 2021 / 1:46pm ET
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JohnD17 hours ago

Well, **it happens.

yensidtlaw196917 hours ago

When the announcement went out the other day I had to check the date on the article - I was sure it had been announced already.

brb100617 hours ago

And by rare characters, it's Merlin and recently Wart/King Arthur.

peter1143518 hours ago

Important to point out that Kevin’s retirement was already well known and planned before Covid

Sirwalterraleigh20 hours ago

They may try...Comcast has benefitted from this period more than most non-pure tech companies... Comcast is a great friend to the Disney park fans...in truth

Magicart8720 hours ago

Until Universal doubles down and puts Disney on the defensive. But that's still a good 5 years out.

TrainChasers20 hours ago

I didn’t see Magic Happens so I can’t comment.... is Steve still part of Harmonous? I thought I heard he wasn’t but it’s hard to know for sure what’s going on. Also do we know that Steve designed Magic Happens?

tirian20 hours ago

Quick tangent: My gosh, I hate Magic Happens. It’s an ugly parade whose only bright spot is seeing some rare characters who used to be common in the parks before Disney based all decisions on toy sales. Make a better parade and put the rare characters into that. And now Epcot is proud to present Harmonious, a dumbed-down celebration of Disney movies that loosely tie into the pavilions—because somehow it makes sense to chase affluent, educated, big spenders yet dumb down the entire resort for preschoolers.

rreading20 hours ago

I liked him a lot more before he put all the garbage all over WS lagoon. Hoping that the fountains are running constantly adding to the lagoon ambiance rather than just looking like a construction site

VJ1 day ago

I think his latest project will be Harmonious. Before that, Dreaming Up. You can hear him talk briefly about Harmonious here:

Sirwalterraleigh1 day ago

Exactly. Significant defections from Disney are indicative of a corporate direction. It’s rare multiple high paid people become “tired of Disney” at the same time. ....that may be more damning

Lilofan1 day ago

Also Michael Colglazier who went to be CEO of a company that takes guests into space Virgin Galactic and Phillipe Gas who went to be CEO of the billion dollar venture sports, entertainment , leisure lands in Saudi Arabia financed by Prince bin-Salam. Not retiring but moving on.

Smooth1 day ago

Oh! A wise guy!

TrainChasers1 day ago

Nobody is upset with anyone for choosing to retire. That’s two park vp’s, and two high level imagineers since August. That’s in addition the large number of layoffs in the parks and Imagineering. It’s even more telling that he and Joe are retiring together.