Recently, we’ve seen a lot of Disney Cast Members retiring after long careers with the company.
Last year, Executive Chef Bruno Vrignon retired after 38 years in EPCOT’s France Pavilion, and then Jim MacPhee, the Senior Vice President of Operations announced his retirement in December. Joe Rohde, legendary Imagineer and the lead designer of Disney’s Animal Kingdom also retired from the company less than two weeks ago after working with Disney for 40 years. Now, another one of Disney’s best Imagineers has announced his retirement for later this year — Kevin Rafferty.
According to D23, Rafferty announced his retirement from Walt Disney Imagineering in a memo to the staff. His retirement will go into effect on April 1st, 2021, wrapping up 42 years with the company.
Rafferty just published a book, Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career, and he wrapped up work on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Walt Disney World last year. He said that now was the perfect time to retire, “I wanted to go out at the top of my game if you will,” he explains. “It just felt right.”
Kevin Rafferty started out as a dishwasher at Disneyland Park and made his way into Imagineering through a chance job posting. He’s worked on MANY excellent projects over the years including Cars Land, Toy Story Midway Mania!, Test Track, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and so many more.
Rafferty has had an incredible career with the Walt Disney Company, and we wish him the best of luck in his endeavors. We’re very grateful for the Imagineers that work so hard to bring the Disney parks to life! To read more of Kevin Rafferty’s interview with D23, click here.
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Which of Kevin Rafferty’s projects is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!