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May 23, 2023

Stories with a Disney Imagineer, Creating California Adventure and Indiana Jones

Stories with a Disney Imagineer, Creating California Adventure and Indiana Jones

Working in Walt Disney Imagineering during the 90's, Topper Helmers was at the forefront of new concepts coming to Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. His work helped create Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland, Dinoland, USA at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's California Adventure.  Being at the initial meetings that resulted in the creation of DCA, Topper has some terrific stories to tell.  We spend some time discussing how he started his career and how he arrived at WDI, we also discuss his work with Indy, Dinoland and DCA - including Granite Peak. We are honored to present this interview with Topper Helmers

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Topper Helmers

Author, Artist, Theme Park Designer, Disney Imagineer

Topper served as a Senior Concept Designer for projects such as ; The Presidential Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield , Illinois ; The Henry Ford Legacy Plant Tour in Detroit , Michigan . Several Projects for NASA ; The Naples Botanical Garden in Naples , Florida ; Volkswagen Transparent Factory Visitor Experience in Dresden , Germany ; The Movie Magic film attraction for Universal Studios, Japan ; The National Cowgirl Hall Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth , Texas. ; The Sapmi Magic Theater in Karasjok, Norway ; Behind the Badge! The LAPD Experience in Los Angeles, California. and The San Deigo Hall of Champions Sports Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.

Topper worked for Walt Disney Imagineering from 1990 to 1998, and then with Universal Creative Core Team for a brief 4 months. As a show designer Topper worked on a multitude of projects, including over 2 years designing the Indiana Jones Attraction at Disneyland , designing large portions of Dinoland for Animal Kingdom in Florida and working extensively on California's Adventure.