Concord native is 2nd in Disney competition

Concord's Adam Newton helped a four-man N.C. State University team place second in Walt Disney Imagineering's 20th annual ImagiNations Design Competition.

Newton and his fellow students - Jay Brown, Michael Delaney and Patrick Carroll - pitched an idea for an interactive concert-turned-dark-ride based on Disney's 1940 animated film "Fantasia." They were among 24 college students who made professional-level presentations June 13-17 in Glendale, Calif.

Imagineering executives evaluated student ideas from six universities. The annual event lures potential talent to the organization responsible for the Disney's attractions, cruise ships, parks and resorts around the globe.

"Almost a week after leaving Glendale it's still sinking in that I actually presented to the Imagineers," said Newton. "This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, that I had placed as a personal goal, grew into an amazing experience. Not only did we experience classic Disney service, we were also treated to insights and experiences from the company's creative backbone."

Some fellow competitors accepted internships with Imagineering while Newton, a junior, plans to complete his internship with Prophet's PLAYSTUIDO in Richmond, Va., before exploring other options.

"Regardless of any future outcomes, the process through which my team collaborated is truly the biggest learning experience of the entire competition," said Newton. "The hardest part is coming back to the 'real world' where those two disciplines seem to live at polar ends of the spectrum."

Newton studies industrial and systems engineering and creative writing at N.C. State. He was born in Anchorage, Alaska, while his father was in the military, but has lived in Concord since he was 5. The Mount Pleasant High School graduate is the son of Chris and Sherri Newton, originally from Morganton.