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Imagineering With Steve Alcorn

Building A Better Mouse

Born in 1956, Steve Alcorn graduated from the Harvard School for Boys, now Harvard-Westlake School, in 1973 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from UCLA in 1977. He was a Hughes Aircraft Company master’s fellow from 1977 through 1979.

In 1982 he joined Walt Disney Imagineering (then known as WED Enterprises) as a consultant, where he worked on the electronic systems forEpcot Center.[1] During his two years with Imagineering he designed show control systems for The American Adventure, wrote the operating system used in the parkwide monitoring system, and became Imagineering’s first Systems Engineer, heading up mechanical, electronic and software systems for the Journey Into Imagination ride.[citation needed]

In 1985 he became Vice President of Engineering and later Chief Operating Officer for Linn Electronics, the inventors of the digital drum machine. He reshaped the engineering department and assembled a team to work on the problem-plagued Linn 9000 drum machine, and designed the LinnSequencer and LinnDrum Midistudio.

In 1986 he founded Alcorn McBride & Associates, predecessor to Alcorn McBride Inc. The company initially concentrated on providing engineering services to the music industry, designing products for Akai, 360 Systems and Forat Electronics. In 2010 the company was named to Inc Magazines fastest growing companies list[2] for the third time. In 2011 the company celebrated its 25th anniversary.[3]

In 1988 Mr. Alcorn designed the company’s first show controller, the V16, which was used in Wonders of Life at Epcot, and later became the parkwide standard throughout most of the world’s theme parks. He also directed the team that developed the "Digital Binloop" multi-track audio system that is used in nearly every major theme park attraction. In 2003 he won the Florida Governor’s Award recognizing his "Digital Video Machine" high definition player as the year’s best new product.

He is the author of two books about the theme park industry: Building a Better Mouse[4] (co-authored with David Green) and Theme Park Design[5]

Through Internet instruction provider Education To Go,[6] Mr. Alcorn teaches online classes at 1600 universities and colleges worldwide. His classes include "Write Fiction Like A Pro", "Mystery Writing", "Writing Young Adult Fiction", "Advanced Fiction Writing", "Writing for Children", and "Publish Your Book Now". In 2001 he founded The Writing Academy, and online learning website for authors.[7]

In a 2013 interview, Mr. Alcorn described the approach he takes to online learning.[8]

He is also the author of "How to Fix Your Novel." [9]

For aspiring Imagineers, he teaches a class in "Imagineering" at [10]

He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Linda McBride, since 1978. They have one child, Dani Alcorn.


Alcorn, Steve (2003). Everything In Its Path. ISBN 978-1-4382-2494-7.

Alcorn, Steve (2003). A Matter of Justice. ISBN 978-1-59426-003-2.

Stevens, Sharon (2008). Ring of Diamonds. ISBN 978-1-4382-2551-7.

Alcorn, Steve (2007). Travel Kid. ISBN 978-0-9729777-4-6.

Alcorn, Steve; Green, David (2007). Building a Better Mouse: The Story of the Electronic Imagineers Who Designed EPCOT. ISBN 978-0-9729777-5-3.

Alcorn, Steve (2010). Theme Park Design: Behind the Scenes with an Engineer. ISBN 978-1-4563-0972-5.

Alcorn, Steve (2012). How to Fix Your Novel. ISBN 978-1-4701-0261-6.

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