Wing T. Chao is an internationally renowned master planner, architect and developer. In the course of his 37-year career at the Walt Disney Company, he was Vice Chairman of Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Asia Pacific and was also Executive Vice President for Master Planning, Architecture & Design at Walt Disney Imagineering. In recent years, he has been working on multibillion-dollar integrated resorts, theme parks, water parks, hotels, retail, dining, entertainment and commercial projects in the U.S. and overseas.
During his tenure at Disney, Chao directed development teams consisting of Disney Imagineers and many of the world’s most renowned architects and designers, planned and built projects worth over $12 billion dollars, including resort hotels, parks, cruise ships, entertainment venues, water attractions, convention & exhibition centers, sports stadiums, restaurants, retail spaces,, recreational complexes, office spaces and two award-winning new-town communities at Walt Disney Company’s resort properties in California, Florida, Hawaii, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Chao is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), and has received the Outstanding Achievement Award from AIA, Los Angeles Chapter, along with many other institutional honorable distinctions. In 2009, he was presented with the Legend Award by the Contract Magazine, the leading publication for the commercial design industry.
Chao is widely admired in the hospitality industry, with numerous accolades, he was named as one of the top 20 hospitality industry leaders and innovators by Hospitality Design magazine and was inducted into the prestigious Platinum Circle. In January 2018, Chao was honored with the 2018 Pioneer Award by The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) in partnership with Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS).
Chao holds Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from University of California, Berkeley, a second Master of Architecture degree with a focus in Urban Design from Harvard University, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration in Hospitality Management from Johnson and Wales University.