EMH Episode 65 - "I knew of Tony Baxter before I knew Tony Baxter". Our host Cody with Jared, and Joe are joined by The author of "Tony Baxter First of the Second Generation of Walt Disney Imagineers - A Legends & Legacies Biography by Tim O'Brien", He is on with us to discuss his awsome book. besides getting to know more about Tony Baxter from Tim, tonight we announce the winner of the Theme Park Press book give away of "The Imagineering Pyramid: Using Disney Theme Park Design Principles to Develop and Promote Your Creative Ideas" by Louis J. Prosperi. Stay tuned to the end no fast forwarding allowed to find out if your the lucky winner!
Tony Baxter joined Walt Disney Imagineering when he was 22 years old and is among the first of a second generation of Disney creatives who fashioned the magic found today in Disney parks worldwide. He would stay with the company for nearly fifty year and today serves as a mentor and consultant to the new, younger generation of Imagineers. .
Tony is credited for helping create such Disney attraction icons as Star Tours, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and the Indiana Jones Adventure. He has been lauded for his creative leadership at Disneyland Paris Resort, is a Disney Legend and has a personalized window on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park, considered by many to be one of the highest honors a Disney employee can achieve.
From ice cream scooper in 1965 to Senior Vice President of Creative Development in 2013, this is his story.
For nearly four decades, Tim O'Brien has worked in the communications side of the entertainment industry chronicling in print and capturing on film the latest and greatest that theme parks, amusement parks and attractions, circuses, carnivals and sideshows have to offer. He has a strong interest and proven commitment to preserving the legends, legacy and the history of the industry.
An industry specialist and award winning photojournalist, Tim has had more than 5,000 articles and more than 3,000 photos published. He has visited more than 500 amusement parks and attractions in 29 countries and has ridden nearly 600 different roller coasters. He has appeared in more than a dozen theme park documentaries on the Travel Channel, The Discovery Channel and National Public Television. Tim has written and published 17 books, all still available on Amazon.
For his contribution to the international amusement park industry, Tim was presented the Lifetime Service Award in 2001 by the International Assoc. of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) and was the first journalist to be inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 2016, where he joins industry greats such as Walt Disney, Walter Knotts and PT Barnum.
A graduate of The Ohio State University with a master's degree in journalism/film production, Tim is an accomplished photographer and public speaker, having lectured extensively at industry seminars, schools, libraries, and various civic groups.
For 10 years, Tim served as the national corporate spokesperson for Ripley Entertainment Inc. and had the privilege of showing off the company's 90-plus attractions throughout the world, and in doing so has been widely published and quoted.
He was responsible for the promotion and public relations of Ripley Corporate as well as all Ripley brands and attractions worldwide and served as editor of the venerable Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon, established in 1918. He was producer and co-host of the Ripley Radio weekly broadcast creating more than 200 episodes over a five year period. Today he holds the emeritus title of "Ambassador of Odd" with Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Tim provided most of the talent booking for the various Believe It or Not! Odditoriums around the world, and the list of talented performers he brought to Ripley's front door includes the best in the industry - including wire walking Nik Wallenda, showman Todd Robbins, the green skinned Lizardman, and Dan Meyer, the world's foremost sword swallower.
Prior to his position with Ripley Entertainment, Tim served as senior editor of Amusement Business, the world's leading business trade magazine for the amusement park, fair, carnival, and circus industries. During his 18 years with the magazine, O'Brien traveled the world reporting the news and the history of the outdoor entertainment industry.
Tim currently serves on the National Advisory Council of the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Ct.; on the board of governors of the Applause Award which recognizes the world's top theme park; and is the former chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee of the International Assoc. of Amusement Parks & Attractions, of which he remains a member.
He is also a member of: the Outdoor Amusement Business Assoc.; the Showmen's League of America; the Amusement Park Historical Assoc.; the Circus Historical Society; the American Coaster Enthusiasts; and the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts.
When not traveling, he lives in Nashville, Tenn. with his wife, Kathleen and their two cats, George Harrison and Petula Clark, and a happy family of fishes in the backyard Koi pond. When not writing, the Tennessee Master Gardener can usually be found in his backyard which has been named a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
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