Imagineering Will Be The Death Of Me


#1

:closedeye

Seriously! Recently, as school is drawing closer, I have to decide some pretty important things, fairly quickly!

It’s so hard to find information, or rather viable information on Imagineering. They are a very secretive group! And the Imagineering website is a terrible source of information.

I’ve trolled other forums, googled everything possible and looked up every single book available. I’m seriously about to write a letter to as many Imagineers names as I can get my hands on and see if someone will contact me back!!! :ninja: :whistling

As some of you may know, I’ve been looking into this option for a while. I really want a high-level Disney job. Where I get an actual say in providing new magic and memories for the Walt Disney Company. I want more then just an entry level career with Disney my whole life. Although, I’m perfectly prepared to start off that way.

Mainly, I’m down between attempting for one of these two titles… Food and Beverage Director of bakeries (or whatever I can get!) and Walt Disney Imagineer (in the art department of some form). I’d hope for Senior Show Director or Art Director at some point, but baby steps. I mean, if I have to start off as a receptionist for Imagineering to work my way up… I WILL. :angel:

But honestly, I need more definitive information on how hard becoming an Imagineer is, how stable a career is, how demanding this career is, salary, etc. All the typical things people would worry about when looking towards a dream job.

Basically, I’m not prepared to throw down $100,000 to $150,000 in Art College debt, to pigeon hole myself into a career that isn’t realistic for me and my goals in life. Dreaming and believing and going after your dreams and just having faith and trust are a lot easier when you aren’t going to be indebted for the rest of your life. Sorry, Peter! :peterpan: :laugh: Atleast with a Culinary degree I would have tons of opportunities to work my way up in the company. The field of arts is so competitive and vast anymore. Jobs that you love are impossible to get. Even art teachers are having a hard time. When programs get cut, art and music are the first to go. That is NOT just a cliche. I’ve seen it first hand and it’s a shame. Art was my favorite part of school.

Regardless, sorry for the rant! The actual means of this post where to ask you guys for opinions and advice? Suggestions or any information you may have on Imagineering or Food and Bev Director positions. I trust and cherish all of your opinions, so thanks so much! :happy:


#2

I know what you mean about the Arts programs being the first to go, I’m experiencing that myself especially now my MA is coming to a close and all Im left with is another piece of paper and little to none job opportunities.

I actually think your idea of contacting the Imagineers personally would be a good idea, you never know who might get back to you or the correspondence you will strike up. You have nothing to lose in this, except maybe the price of a stamp (unless you can get your hands on some email addresses). I’m a firm believer in the mantra, ‘Its not what you know but who you know’ and have seen this come to fruition many a time for myself and for those around me. It’s worth at least an afternoon of letter writing don’t you think? I’ve just finished reading ‘Windows on Main Street’ by Chuck Snyder - it’s amazing to see how many of the great and celebrated Imagineers started out as sweepers and ticket collecters in the parks!

Like I said, you have nothing to lose by just reaching out and asking them for a little advice. :slight_smile:


#3

Remember that Imagineering will include many aspects of the Disney culture. The most obvious would be the art or drawing aspect. But in todays movie environment computers also play probably the most major role for animated features.

Then you have the design/build aspect of Imagineering in the parks. Drawing comes into play there also with concept sketches and the design of an attraction or facility. But the whole build process takes over from there. Architects, contractors (steel, masonry, electrical, plumbing, etc) are all part of the team.

And then there is the administrative and financial side for an attraction or the park as a whole. Someone has to track the paperwork and project the bills and then pay them.

So Imagineering is not just the drawing aspect, but a whole collection of people colaborating on a project. Something to think about. This might help drive your thought process if you have another interest besides the 2 mentioned in your opening note. Sort of a ‘spread your wings’ opportunity.


#4

This may sound simplistic but… :slight_smile:
Could you just call HR or the hiring department and ask about the salary, tasks and how often openings occur? They should be able to give you general information such as a wage range and tasks of positions you are interested in.
Another thought, they have a dining with the Imagineer lunch/dinner… could you go and ask the Imagineer your questions or how to get “into” the circle? Where would a person start if they are really interested?
Personally, I would call HR and tell them just what you have told us and see what happens.
GOOD LUCK!
So after thinking… I wanted to add that you need to get “good” at what you love to do…meaning that you need to do what you love and getting hired at Disney will be a bonus. Not the other way around. So, if you love “fill in the blank” get your degree/training and give it your all. Gain the experience needed and apply for the position. Don’t get stuck on a title. :slight_smile: You will be hired because of your experience AND your love for Disney :slight_smile:


#5

I was looking into Imagineering myself. I was curious if they had any research-specific jobs on the Imagineering side. I would LOVE to do the research for new parks or attractions - can you imagine all the work that must have gone into designing Animal Kingdom, or just Asia, or even just the Maharajah Jungle Trek?? Learning about the places, the people, the art, history, and culture… oh, I would leap out of bed singing in the morning if I knew I was headed off to a job like that. :laugh:


#6

Have you ever had dinner with an Imagineer? I did that a few years ago and two of us there (myself, and a boy around 12 or 13) were interested in Imagineering. He told us how he got involved and gave us suggestions.

Apparently, it’s really hard to get in and stay in… he had been in Imagineering for 13 years and had moved around from DL to MK (he was the lighting director). But because they switch projects so frequently, depending on what you do, you may only have a 2-6 year job with them if you’re hired for a certain project. He said the best way to stick around is to be very diverse and able to do many different things.


#7

Unfortunately, I don’t have any practical info for you, but,for inspiration on this topic, watch Randy Pausch’s Last lecture on YouTube. he was an Imagineer. May be of some help.


#8

[QUOTE=Campbell87;1067632]I know what you mean about the Arts programs being the first to go, I’m experiencing that myself especially now my MA is coming to a close and all Im left with is another piece of paper and little to none job opportunities.

I actually think your idea of contacting the Imagineers personally would be a good idea, you never know who might get back to you or the correspondence you will strike up. You have nothing to lose in this, except maybe the price of a stamp (unless you can get your hands on some email addresses). I’m a firm believer in the mantra, ‘Its not what you know but who you know’ and have seen this come to fruition many a time for myself and for those around me. It’s worth at least an afternoon of letter writing don’t you think? I’ve just finished reading ‘Windows on Main Street’ by Chuck Snyder - it’s amazing to see how many of the great and celebrated Imagineers started out as sweepers and ticket collecters in the parks!

Like I said, you have nothing to lose by just reaching out and asking them for a little advice. :)[/QUOTE]

I agree, I feel like writing some letters would be a wonderful thing to do, and the worst that could happen would be that no one answers me back, which leaves me only in the same spot I’m in now.

I’ve been dying to read that book! And I know, it is amazing how people could climb up the creative and business ladder in the past. But I feel like the days of those opportunities are over. Everyone needs a degree in something now-a-days to prove they’re capable to companies. Companies don’t have the time to give people a chance anymore. It’s a dog-eat-dog world anymore for opportunities! Sometimes I wish I grew up in my parents generation, where they really COULD do anything they wanted! lol.

Thanks so much for the encouragement!


#9

[QUOTE=Pam&Rich;1067640]Remember that Imagineering will include many aspects of the Disney culture. The most obvious would be the art or drawing aspect. But in todays movie environment computers also play probably the most major role for animated features.

Then you have the design/build aspect of Imagineering in the parks. Drawing comes into play there also with concept sketches and the design of an attraction or facility. But the whole build process takes over from there. Architects, contractors (steel, masonry, electrical, plumbing, etc) are all part of the team.

And then there is the administrative and financial side for an attraction or the park as a whole. Someone has to track the paperwork and project the bills and then pay them.

So Imagineering is not just the drawing aspect, but a whole collection of people colaborating on a project. Something to think about. This might help drive your thought process if you have another interest besides the 2 mentioned in your opening note. Sort of a ‘spread your wings’ opportunity.[/QUOTE]

Oh, of course! I’ve been researching Imagineering since middle school. I’m well aware of all the different departments and titles that are responsible in falling under the umbrella of ‘imagineer’. Of course I would accept any role that suites my skills. But those are just the two I hope to someday work up towards.

Thanks for the advice!


#10

Thank you all so much for the information and advice! I actually had forgotten all about the Dinner with an Imagineer thing. I’ll have to look into it again! Uhm, there’s a lot to think about, I’ll see what happens! haha.


#11

So, I just got this email after I posted :slight_smile: About Dream Jobs in Imagineering… LOL!
Dream Jobs Really Do Come True at Disneyland | Fans Insider | Disney


#12

haha Zoey, thanks so much for posting this! :]


#13

[QUOTE=StaceyDarling!;1067776] Sometimes I wish I grew up in my parents generation, where they really COULD do anything they wanted! lol.

Thanks so much for the encouragement![/QUOTE]

I bet they’d disagree! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

I totally understand what you’re saying, though - and I agree. Nowadays, after high school, it’s either enter the military or go to college… high school degrees just won’t suffice, anymore. There is such an emphasis on furthering one’s education…


#14

[QUOTE=LittleMissMagic;1067791]I bet they’d disagree! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

I totally understand what you’re saying, though - and I agree. Nowadays, after high school, it’s either enter the military or go to college… high school degrees just won’t suffice, anymore. There is such an emphasis on furthering one’s education…[/QUOTE]

haha, oh I’m sure they would too. But honestly, compared to today, they had it way better. Maybe not easier, but better. lol. It really doesn’t which totally sucks for people who don’t want to go, but don’t want to make 10/hr for the rest of their lives. :closedeye


#15

I was having a hard time getting my DD to study. I told her that she could either have a job where she can have extra money to spend (teacher, nurse, vet, the list is endless)… or she could work at the gas station or the discount store. I explained to her how hard it is to make it on minimum wage, and that is not a career… High school, college-yes, but long term- she would be miserable…she likes to spend money too much.

now, If I told her that she could work at Disney, not making very much money- she would be thrilled (i.e. distracted by the thrill of being at the parks…). Being an imagineer sounds like much more fun- you would know that “top secret” disney stuff before anyone else… and you would still get into the parks, but not have to stand out there in the heat all day…


#16

It’s true, the “just going into the workforce” days, I fear, are over! It’s a shame. Because not everyone should HAVE to go to college. And since college seems to be a big pressure thing, a lot more kids go that don’t really want to.

And NO ONE can afford college, so that makes scholarships even HARDER to get. Because it could go to someone who is just going because they have to, maybe instead of someone who wants the experience of college. You know! lol.


#17

Don’t think that you HAVE to have all these University degrees and more! I have a degree and Im about to get a Masters and my job opportunites are…zero! I’ve been trying to find full time employment for a while now and have yet to succeed - alot of employers are actually put off by my qualifications, considering me to be too qualified and convinced I will disappear after just a few months!

What they want to see is experience, paid or unpaid and passion. There are more skills and knowledge to be aquired outside of the education enviroment than in it that are worth ALOT more to future employers! Sometimes I do feel that I made a mistake in going on with my education instead of going out into the world travelling or working abroad etc.

All this education and I’m no further on than when I started, I just have a few more bits of paper.


#18

I agree with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you NEED a degree to be QUALIFIED for a job, but a lot of places seem to want those capabilities assured through that piece of paper. And I understand what you mean, I know a lot of people who have degrees and can’t use them. The job market, if you ask me, is in dire crisis. To put it shortly lol. :laugh:


#19

My high school geometry teacher used to tell us that a college degree was proof that one was “trainable.”


#20

Yeah Missymouse, I think thats a good way of putting it. I just think must companies or establishments are more likely to pick someone with either experience or knowledge. And aren’t willing to find out if you have either of those without references or written proof. lol. I know plenty of kids who go to college that I wouldn’t trust with any amount of responsibility… :laugh: