2016 Disney Imaginations Semifinalist


the brief:

The brief was to apply imagineering design principles to create a new outdoor space that would live on college campuses. This space would provide students, faculty and visitors with a place to relax and decompress. There were no restrictions in terms of budget or physical constraints. All we had to do was use our imagination. So we did. A lot.


Everyone relaxes differently. There is no right or wrong way to relax.

our idea:

Although everyone relaxes differently, everyone needs one thing when they're outside under the heat- water. The Watering Hole was designed to not only serve the purpose of hydration, but also to provide different arenas for stress relief and social interaction. However, just like the animal kingdom, people are incredibly diverse, which means that people relieve stress in different ways. We created three separate environments, each a unique experience, but all with the same goal: to alleviate stress.

structure overview


the savannah


We created a savannah-inspired hub that houses the primary hydration station (The Watering Hole) and also connects to the three different biospheres: The Arctic, The Jungle, and The Meadow.

Each biosphere serves a different need for alleviating stress:

  • The Arctic — a soothing, calming space to just kick back and relax
  • The Jungle — gets you moving with physical activities and games
  • The Meadow — a playground for the mind- imagination and creativity


the watering hole


The Watering Hole is the primary hydration station where visitors can gather to refill their water bottles next to a waterfall. Savannah-themed seating and resting areas allow visitors to sit down and enjoy food from vendors on the lower level. The structure is supported by pillars in the shape of elephant tusks. Near the base of the waterfall sits the three pathway entrances, each leading to a unique biosphere.

the pathways


Inside each pathway, motion sensors track the movement of visitors and project them on the digital walls as animals. The environments and animals will vary depending on which biosphere the pathway is leading to. For example, in the pathway leading to The Arctic, visitors would see themselves as polar bears and penguins. But in The Jungle pathway, they might appear as tigers and monkeys.

the arctic


After being greeted by Owen the Polar Bear, visitors enter The Arctic, a tranquil and celestial environment that allows everyone to slow down and gain a sense of calm.
A snowy landscape provides comfortable spaces for visitors to lounge or take naps. The ambience is enhanced by the underwater sounds of humpback whales accompanied by projections of stars and aurora borealis overhead.

the jungle


Visitors will be led to The Jungle by Lulu the elephant. Inside, visitors will discover an exciting environment full of obstacles and mysteries designed to encourage play. Lush greenery, a climbing wall, and a hidden temple jungle gym allow visitors to feel like they’re on a jungle adventure. There’s also a space for group exercise classes. Tropical beats and the sounds of wild animals in the distance further enhance the experience.

the meadow


The final biosphere is led by Penny the Field Mouse. The Meadow stimulates the mind and imagination by allowing visitors to take on the perspective of a field mouse. We accomplish this by playing with scale. Giant blades of grass surround massive dandelions, forming a maze. The maze operates on an electronic railing system, which allows the pattern to be changed frequently. Visitors can challenge themselves by going through the maze or simply watching others from the viewing platforms. Should a participant choose to give up, she can simply look up at the mirrored ceiling to locate the nearest exit. 


All together, The Watering Hole is an opportunity for Disney to improve the quality of life on college campuses through innovative experience design that is tailored to each style of relaxation. It's also a chance for Disney to align itself with the anti-plastic water bottle movement, by supporting the use of refillable water canteens. 


Jake Broglio - Art Director - Illustrations, Architectural Design
Holly Younce - Art Director - Illustrations, Graphic Design
Josh Gherghel - Art Director - 3D Modeling
Dennis Chen - Copywriter - Story and Character Development