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The Walt Disney Company

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Active2008 - 2009
LocationGlendale, CA
WorkWeb Applications

Disney Parks & Resorts

After the success of Disney's two-year-long Year of a Million Dreams campaign the vast machine cranked up again and brought forth What Will You Celebrate?

Interactive Applications

The intent of the campaign is to encourage people to celebrate life's special moments in a Disney-related way, and preferable at one of the parks or resorts. To support this, web applications were built to engage visitors in their desire to create an ideal event, visit, or vacation.

Walt Disney World Logo

Someone gave me flat vector artwork.
It became this in about 5 minutes.

New Everything

Superior-SDC in New York hooked me up with Disney in Glendale in May of 2008 while I was living on Oahu. Immediately I had to learn and use a complex cocktail of proprietary languages, software and systems.

Development Work with TEA CMS HTML OOP JS YUI & CSS

Besides their content management system and version control software, the TEA language was an initial challenge. It's a Java-based presentation layer that processes CMS objects and renders HTML. Pretty straightforward eh? But since only Disney uses TEA there isn't a vast global support base to draw from. And the training documentation was scant. Despite this, I was soon cranking out pages like a barrista.

During this time I wrote alot more object-oriented JavaScript than usual for the client-side interactivity. Disney also uses Yahoo!’s YUI framework for improved productivity and compatibility. And as always, lots of CSS, HTML and file optimization. I challenged myself to use smarter, simpler code, fewer files and less images to achive the same effect. The lead designer appreciated how exactly I had matched the final layout.

As of Novermber 2009, the Disney Parks home page is still the version I coded.

Disney Parks Home Page

Casual Environment, Aggressive Pace

The crowd at Disney Parks & Resorts in Glendale was a good mix of youngish tech people and web-savvy business folks. Cubes and offices were adorned with artwork or Disney memorabilia. At the time, posters and merchandise for WALL-E and Bolt decorated the office areas. Ubiquitous images of all the classic characters ? plus all the new Pixar creations ? were used on every new page, or featured on project documentation and proprietary software.

As part of the development team I was involved in a wide variety of project teams from planning and scoping, technical considerations, developing user journeys and wireframes, creating the design and layouts, building the pages and integrating content, then QA, bug fixing, troubleshooting and launch. Everyone churned along at a furious pace during the campaign.

Improved Efficiency

Over time the new web applications we built were translated into other languages and a large bulk of work was building these foreign language sections in the CMS. For these repetitive, time consuming tasks I devised more efficient batch methods for creating and managing bulk CMS objects. After continuous success I authored documentation for later generations.

Once the What Will You Celebrate extravaganza had launched and all the new bugs worked out of it, I was tapped for a variety of projects creating new pages and troubleshooting exotic issues for Kong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort.

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DISNEY PARKS HOME PAGE

Disney Parks Home Page

The Disney Parks home page, November 2009. Despite the complexity behind the interface, the page was actually as simple to develop as it looks. However, a tricky chunk of JavaScript and CSS made the left nav an interesting project.

DISNEY WORLD PRODUCTS LIST PAGE

Disney World Products List Page

Disney World products list page. Visitors select their celebration and filter all products and events associated with it. This page went through several design revisions. The final product may have even looked different than this.

DISNEYLAND PRODUCTS LIST PAGE

Disneyland Products List Page

The Disneyland version of the previous page, with products and events specific to that location. Although Disney Parks is its own brand, these pages followed their park's brand.

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