January 16, 2024, 1:22 PM ·
Current and former Imagineers are mourning the loss of John Verity, a retired Walt Disney Imagineering executive who passed away last week.Verity worked as a managing director of Walt Disney Imagineering in Hong Kong, helping to lead the Hong Kong Disneyland project. He also worked as a project manager on Disneyland Paris’ Frontierland. Verity joined Disney in 1973 as a host at Walt Disney World before moving to Imagineering in 1976 to work on the planning of Tokyo Disneyland. He went on to touch many projects at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, including expansion efforts at EPCOT and the construction of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. His final role before retiring from Imagineering in 2015 was Executive Project Delivery.”Of the countless things I learned from John about work and life, the one that sticks out is his ability to find energy and optimism in doing hard things with great people,” said Craig Russell, Project Integration Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, who worked closely with John for many years. “The tougher the predicament, the broader his smile became. That smile came from the sheer joy he found in the complexity of our work, and the confidence he had in our collective ability to overcome any barrier to create amazing things for our guests. John’s brand of optimism is something we can all learn from, and it’s a shock to see someone with such youth and vitality be taken from us far too soon.”
John’s tribute window on Disneyland Paris’ Main Street, draped in black in his honor. Photo courtesy Walt Disney Imagineering“It’s hard to imagine anyone who could match John Verity’s combination of eternal youthfulness and dedication to Disney,” former WDI President Bob Weis wrote on LinkedIn. “No one really knew how to put it all together like John, from the details of the carrousel at TDL to the global strategy that made Hong Kong Disneyland a reality.”* * *
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