WALT DISNEY IMAGINATIONS COMPETITION 2019

TEAM ROSE OF BABYLON 

FIRST PLACE WINNER 

Zeke Waters - Production Designer

Remi Jeffrey-Coker - Illustrator

Carolyn Teves - Production Designer

Nick Hammond - Architectural Designer

Imaginations is a design competition created and sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering with the purpose of seeking out and nurturing the next generation of diverse Imagineers. 

In 2019, teams were challenged to create an experience that explores a Natural or Ancient Wonder of the World. The contest proved challenging with a focus on places that are difficult to enjoy either because they are remote, inhospitable, or no longer exist. Students created experiences that explore and share these Wonders safely for a wide range of guests, at or near the original presumed location.

Press Release - https://disneyimaginations.com/2019-imaginations-winners/

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IMAGE CREATED BY REMI JEFFREY-COKER

One hundred years after the fall of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a family of traders crashed into the bank of the Euphrates river. As her parents and siblings scattered across the desert searching for refuge, the youngest of the family, a small girl named Izdehar, wandered into the wreckage.

As she searched, a small withered plant tumbled across the desert and through the broken vessel to stop at her feet. She felt pity for the shriveled plant and watered it hoping to revive it. The plant began to open to reveal a small piece of stone that Izdehar ran her fingers over and read the engraving “To my love Amytis”. The stone and plant immediately began to glow with a light that cascaded across the desert, turning the once barren land around the crashed ship into a flourishing oasis of plant life and natural resources.

Inside this plant, a plant we know today as the Rose of Jericho, hid the last known relic of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, placed there by the Queen during the final days of this wonder of the ancient world. Within this relic remained the magic, essence, and life of the Hanging Gardens. As time passed, researchers and explorers settled around the shipwreck and began to exchange knowledge and culture. Now hundreds of years later, the mysteries of this forgotten ancient wonder where magic, agriculture, and technology intertwine, are now explorable at The Rose of Babylon.

The Rose of Babylon is a one-of-a-kind botanical Inquisitorium that offers eclectic entertainment for guests of all ages. Located on the banks of the Euphrates river, our experience stands in a budding tourist location along with remnants of middle eastern history, including the ruins of ancient Babylon and the Ishtar Gate. The Rose of Babylon is easily accessible to nationals in Iraq because of the major cities surrounding the site.

MODEL AND VIDEO CREATED BY ZEKE WATERS AND NICHOLAS HAMMOND

Our inquisitorium is an entertainment venue that invites its visitors to formulate their own adventure based on their curiosity. We are encouraging our guests to ask questions and search for the answers in our activities and exhibits.

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SECTION DRAWING CREATED BY NICHOLAS HAMMOND, CAROLYN TEVES, AND ZEKE WATERS

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IMAGE CREATED BY REMI JEFFREY-COKER

Immerse yourself in a bustling marketplace that is filled with goods from around the world. Modeled after a traditional Qaysari Bazaar, this space is the central hub where creative ideas, stories, and products are exchanged.

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IMAGE CREATED BY REMI JEFFREY-COKER, ZEKE WATERS, CAROLYN TEVES, AND NICHOLAS HAMMOND

The Origins of Us- a world transformed by the mystical relic from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Streams of light guide guests through slides, root systems, and more. And watch as interactive wall murals illustrate some of the many technological and cultural advancements made in the Fertile Crescent. Learn how we are connected to the past by observing the creation of tools that we use today.

Practically every inch of The Origins of Us is climbable, crawlable, and explorable.

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IMAGE CREATED BY REMI JEFFREY-COKER

After you’ve uncovered the history of Mesopotamia- travel onward to the next experience where nature and technology intertwine. This experience, called Planting a New Seed, consists of two parts including the research center and the hydrology play lab.

As you travel through the hydrology play lab, you will be surrounded by historical and modern irrigation methodologies. Make a splash as you learn about concepts like the water cycle and water conservation. The play lab emphasizes the past, present, and future importance of the Euphrates. This coincides with our own efforts to revitalize the river.

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IMAGE CREATED BY REMI JEFFREY-COKER

In the second exhibit of Planting a New Seed, guests may research new advancements in agriculture, hydrology, and irrigation alongside researchers from around the world.

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IMAGE CREATED BY REMI JEFFREY-COKER

Because The Rose of Babylon was created through a natural phenomenon that gave hope and nourishment back to Izdihar’s family, we believe in the importance of giving back to nature and our neighbors. We are dedicated to providing food and clean water to the surrounding communities, which is why the main activity in this experience is a family garden where our guests learn about agriculture and hydroponics as they help maintain matured edible plants and plant new seeds.

The vegetation grown in this garden is distributed throughout Iraq to communities in need. As more guests visit The Rose of Babylon, these family gardens can grow. Each family has the ability to plant a new seed in the garden.

As we researched Iraq, we discovered the country’s remarkable history and saw the potential of its dynamic future. The Rose of Babylon will bloom new life into this amazing country, and it will provide a notable experience for the people of Iraq to proudly share with the rest of our global neighbors.

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 © 2019 by Zeke Waters

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