Mel McGowan

Founder of Storyland Studios

Mel McGowan, AICP, DBIA, LEED AP creatively leads Storyland Studios’s unique, multidisciplinary Spatial Storytelling℠ practice, which integrates master planning, conceptual development, architecture, interior and production design, graphics and wayfinding, and dimensional fabrication and installation. He combines his background in film and design with a decade-long stint at the Walt Disney Company to create a team synergy inspired by Disney’s original Imagineers, designers, and fabricators.

Mel is passionate about creating compelling experiences and immersive environments around the world. Post-Disney, he co-founded Visioneering and PlainJoe Studios, where he led multi-award-winning architectural teams and was named one of the top 25 influencers by OC Metro Magazine. Mel is the author of Design Intervention and an adjunct professor at CBU’s College of Architecture, Visual Arts & Design. Mel is the host of The Themed Attraction Podcast, a show featuring interviews with themed entertainment innovators past and present.

Mel’s experience and portfolio includes the renewal of the Disneyland Resort, Morongo Casino, new urbanist towns, and museum and theme park work in the US, China, and Korea, as well as non-profit cause-oriented projects in the Americas, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia.