Mike West, Universal Creative
SATE '11 Orlando panel: From Autobots to Decepticons
Mike West joined the Universal Creative Studio in 2006 as Show Producer for The Simpsons Ride at both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. In September of 2007, he was promoted to Executive Producer. The attraction opened to rave reviews in 2008 and received the prestigious THEA Award for the Best New Attraction from the Themed Entertainment Association, as well as Best New Theme Park Attraction by Theme Park Insider.
Mike’s other Universal projects include Transformers, The Ride 3-D for Universal Studios Singapore and Hollywood; and the just-announced Despicable Me attraction for Universal Studios Florida.
Prior to joining Universal, Mike was president of Innovative West, Inc., a creative design company he founded after a twenty-five year career with Walt Disney Imagineering. Innovative West’s list of clients included, Carnegie Mellon University, NBC Universal, The Coca-Cola Company, Walt Disney Entertainment, Silver Dollar City, The Franklin Institute, J.W. Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, and the L.A. County Fair.
During his twenty-five year career with Disney, Mike was involved in developing, writing, directing and producing more than eighty shows, attractions, retail spaces, museums, interactive guest experiences and new business initiatives for The Walt Disney Company. As a Writer, Show Designer, Director of Concepts and Scripts, and Senior Show Producer-Director, Mike’s creative efforts appeared worldwide in a variety of formats including television, film, video, binaural audio, live theatrical shows, three-dimensional ride-through attractions, and original concept and product development.
Mike’s past projects have included the creative development and implementation of Adventures by Disney featuring Escape to Paradise (Hawaii) and a Quest For The West (Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Parks); The Cargo Hold, an amazing binaural sound production for The Pirate Museum in St. Augustine, FL; creative development of the Disney PhotoPass imaging business; the Moteurs Action Stunt Show Spectacular and the Disney Channel Production Tour at the Walt Disney Studios Park in the Disneyland Paris Resort; and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire-Play It!, formerly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s California Adventure.
Additionally, Mike wrote, directed and/or produced Sounds Dangerous at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Innoventions at Epcot; The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, formerly at the Magic Kingdom; Song of the Rainforest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Mike has appeared as a featured speaker on the Disney Cruise Line and the “What If” conference in London, England, as well as a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center; the University of Central Florida’s Interactive Entertainment Academy, and the Disney Institute’s Corporate Enrichment Programs. He is also a contributing author of several books about Walt Disney Imagineering and its creative process, as well as Innovations in Communications, published in The Pfizer Journal.