September 10, 1955 
|Alma mater||Occidental College|
|Employer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
Joseph "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.
He was born in Sacramento, California and raised in Hawaii. He graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory, Canoga Park, Calif., in 1973, where he starred in student dramatic productions and was Class Salutatorian. Rohde received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Rohde's trademark is a large collection of earrings he wears in his left ear, all of which are souvenirs from decades of travel to remote corners of the world. This tradition began when he stuck his 5 year anniversary pin into his ear.
Career at Walt Disney Imagineering
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 is one of the lead designers behind the new Disney Vacation Club property Aulani in Oʻahu, Hawaii. He was chosen for the role because of his experience with the Island and its native people, having grown up in 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, a 1930s-themed bar and lounge that opened in 1989 within the Pleasure Island entertainment district 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. The treks were sponsored by Discovery, Disney, and Conservation International to promote the Expedition Everest theme park attraction and conduct scientific and cultural research in remote areas of the Himalayas. Rohde served as the model for Harrison Hightower, the owner of the fictional "Hightower Hotel" which houses the Tower of Terror attraction at Tokyo DisneySea outside Tokyo, Japan.
Currently Rohde is leading the team transforming Disney California Adventure's Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!. The attraction is expected to open Summer 2017. This new project is part of the expansion of his role as global creative leader of the Marvel property.
- joe_rohde (15 Sep 2015). "A 60th birthday present from the GM of the Disneyland resort, a good friend and valued colleague." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Jambo Everyone: Let's Send Joe Rohde a Birthday Gift!". www.jamboeveryone.com. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Joe Rohde | Faculty/Staff Directory". directory.calarts.edu. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Doyle, Gavin. "Interview with Joe Rohde, Imagineer Behind Animal Kingdom, Aulani, and More". Disney Dose. Disney Dose. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- Lancaster, Cory (April 10, 1998). "A Disney Executive With Big Earrings?". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Disney Theme Park Ride Set For Summer 2017 – Comic-Con". Deadline. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- "High ranking Imagineers Joe Rohde and Bob Weis expand their roles with Walt Disney Imagineering". WDW Magic. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
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