Joe Rohde

Executive Designer & Vice President-Creative Walt Disney Imagineering


Joe Rohde is a Disney Imagineer best known for serving as the leader of the creative team behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom from initial conception to the present. He is one of the Vice Presidents of Creative in Walt Disney Imagineering.

Joe Rohde is a veteran executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, the division of The Walt Disney Company that designs and builds Disney’s theme parks and resort hotels. Rohde’s formal title is Executive Designer and Vice President, Creative.

Rohde is the lead designer of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and the principal creative force behind the park’s Expedition Everest thrill ride, which debuted in 2006. He was one of the lead designers behind the Disney Vacation Club property Aulani in Oʻahu, Hawaii.

Rohde joined Imagineering in 1980 during the development of Epcot as a model designer and scenic painter for the theme park’s Mexico pavilion. He later worked as a designer on the refurbishment of Fantasyland at Disneyland, the Captain EO 3-D film attraction starring singer Michael Jackson, the Norway pavilion at Epcot and the Adventurers Club at Walt Disney World Resort.

Rohde was featured in an April 2006 Travel Channel documentary titled Expedition Everest: Journey to Sacred Lands. The program was produced by Discovery Networks during expeditions to China and Nepal in 2005 called Mission Himalayas.

After designing Aulani in Hawaii Rohde was tasked with creating Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The project took six years to complete and opened in May 2017.

Most recently, Rohde led the team that transformed the former Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!. The attraction opened in May 2017. This new project is part of the expansion of his role as global creative leader of the Marvel property.

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Joe Rohde to the 2019 Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet!

Videos, Books & More

Check out the video interview below!

Imagineer Joe Rohde Reflects on the 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney Imagineering's Joe Rohde, spared us a few minutes to reflect on how Disney's Animal Kingdom has lived up to his expectations on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, Earth Day, April 22, 2018.