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2019 Imaginations Competition Finalist 

Teammates: Rachel Bennett, Hyunjee Clara Ryu
Responsibilities: Creative Direction, Illustration, Writing

Creative Treatment

High up north in Canada’s Labrador, where the winter skies are usually pitch dark and dismal with scarcely a star in sight, the maritime Inuit did

not devote much attention to the heavens. However, even for the Labrador Inuit the Northern Lights were hard to ignore. Indeed, the Labrador

Inuit believed more in the oceans than the stratosphere, nonetheless the mesmerizing streams of rainbow light cutting through the void restored

the Inuits’ fascination in the heavens.


The theme park Atsanik is specifically inspired by the Labrador Inuit legend regarding the aurora borealis, where they believed the once-

honored mortals ascend to become the Selamiuts: dwellers of the sky, the spirit guides of the glorious. The theme park honors both the story


and its original storyteller, and helps the Labrador and Newfoundland province reclaim its forgotten native heritage in an innovative manner.

While clearly a manmade modern reinterpretation, every visible element of Atsanik is a nod to the Labradorean landscape, Inuit traditions and

beliefs, or the natural wonder of the Northern Lights.

Guests can walk into a crystalline aurora cavern to eat, delve into more Inuit folklore at an interactive museum or on a dark ride, dangle on the

ropes amongst the forest, and roll down and around the Labradorean mountains and fjords. The park’s emphasis in nature and its native culture

transforms all the conventional rides, food, and exhibits into unconventional experiences that transcend themed entertainment and cultural

immersion. Atsanik weaves together a forgotten local yore with the core Inuit value of the family to provide an experience for all. It is

simultaneously a hub of entertainment for families of all shapes and sizes, a modern cultural museum about the Labrador Inuit, and a reminder

to all of us that even the smallest detail of history matters.

created by Rachel Bennett

Disclaimer: The project was conceived by the University of Southern California Team and created for the 2019 Walt Disney Imagineering’s Imaginations Design Competition. This project is the sole property of Walt Disney Imagineering and all rights to use these ideas are exclusive to Walt Disney Imagineering. The competition is a way for students and recent graduates to showcase their talents and for Walt Disney Imagineering to identify new talent.

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