Two SU students win Disney's imagineering competition

Syracuse University senior Lauren Baldesarra couldn't wipe the smile from her face when it was announced that she and her teammate Jason Christopher Yeadon won the Walt Disney Imagineering ImagiNations competition on June 12.

"Honestly, after they announced third place, we did not think we were going to win," Baldesarra said. "And then my face just dropped when they said second place team. I thought, 'It's over.'"

Yeadon watched Baldesarra's somber face as they waited for the judges to announce the first place winners of the competition.

"She wasn't smiling. She was just there clapping. You could tell she had no clue what was going to be coming," he said. "Then they started talking about our project and I was like, 'Oh wow.' And Lauren just had the biggest smile on her face."

The two students were awarded first place in the ImagiNations competition for their proposed idea called Disney's Memory Maker and DHD Player. It would allow vacationers to capture their experiences at Disney through the use of hologram technology, producing 3-dimensional videos. The concept is not only a product, but also a service provided to guests at the theme-parks to "relive the magic," Baldesarra explained.

Baldesarra and Yeadon looked to their own experiences when brainstorming ideas for the competition back in January. Baldesarra recalled times on family vacations when her father would be left out of the home videos because he would be filming everything.

"What we wanted to do was provide a service, and provide an opportunity for every person in the family to be captured, and diversify where you can actually take those memories. Like on Main Street, or just walking around, or on the rides to get real-time footage," she said.

Disney's Memory Maker, the park's camera system, would follow guests around the park, and later they would be able to go online and edit the video clips to create their own story.

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