Ann Morrow Johnson

Former Walt Disney Imagineer Ann Morrow Johnson Joins WDI President Bob Weis at Gensler

Anyone who has followed Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) and many new innovations in the Disney Parks in recent years has probably seen Ann Morrow Johnson. She most recently could be seen sharing about the two-night immersive Star Wars experience that was the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser. She was most recently the Global Head of Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering. However, after the closure of the Starcruiser, Ann Morrow Johnson has left WDI and moved to Gensler where former WDI President Bob Weis leader Entertainment.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Model at Disney's Hollywood Stud

Ann Morrow was often the face of the Galactic Starcruiser, also known as the Halcyon. She would share how the experience would allow for guests to be immersed in their own Star Wars story. Initially this was met with enthusiasm and excitement. However, as time went by that wavered and deals began to appear for the experience. The amount of cruises that were being offered were also lowered. Eventually, the Halcyon closed after two years in operation.

Her new role at Gensler is now the Design Director and Global Entertainment Leader for the firm’s Entertainment and Experience Design Practice. She will be a partner with Lexi Barry as co-leaders of the practice globally. She also will be working again for Bob Weis.

“Ann Morrow Johnson is the creative leader the Gensler Entertainment Practice needs at this moment as we continue to see exciting growth and momentum,” said Weis. “Her extensive global experience in immersive experience design and storytelling, coupled with a solid foundation in development strategy and architecture makes her one of the industry’s most sought-after leaders. As Gensler continues to influence the world with innovative design, I am confident that Ann Morrow will be an integral part of our future success.”

Gensler released a statement saying that, “Ann Morrow combines architecture, world building, and design with business acumen to envision and create unique, compelling experiences. Her decades of experiential innovation across theater, cultural, institutional, and entertainment sectors, recently as Global Head of Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, builds upon Gensler’s unique position to drive design innovation around the world.”

About Ann Morrow Johnson

At Disney, Ann Morrow headed the Blue Sky & Creative Development Studio where she led the ideation, visioning, and creation of guest facing experiences including resorts, live performance shows and venues, RD&E, hospitality, restaurants, exhibits, rides, attractions, walk throughs, and interactive experiences the world over. She creatively and strategically led over 60 major projects in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and oversaw the Disneyland Resort portfolio. Her focus on emerging trends and technologies to forge emotional connection generates experiences that immerse and resonate.

Ann Morrow is a celebrated creative recognized as one of XLIST’s 100 Most Creative Visionaries in Experiential. A frequent speaker and thought leader in the field, she’s featured in ForbesThe New Yorker, and The Los Angeles Times. Having consulted for future leaning companies and the foremost cultural institutions such as National Geographic, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Association for Cultural Enterprises, and ILMxLAB, she combines insights from the cutting edge of emerging experiential possibilities with the deep tradition of how people engage. Building community with a sense of place is a personal passion; she created the Museum of Quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing her neighborhood together through art.

About Gensler

At Gensler, the value of our work stems from its positive impact on the human experience. We are a dynamic and collaborative design firm uniting creativity, research, and innovation to solve complex problems for our clients. Our work challenges conventional ideas about architecture and the built environment. We aren’t just designing buildings — we are reimagining cities and places that make a difference in people’s lives. Founded in 1965, Gensler has built a team of 6,000 professionals who partner with clients in over 100 countries each year. Everything we do is guided by our mission: to create a better world through the power of design.