Walt Disney Imagineering is not an easy company to get in to. The company only employs around 1,600 Imagineers, but they also have over 65,000 résumés in their database of those wanting a job there.

In this section, you will find some tips and guidelines that could help you get a job with this creative company.

     

  • What kinds of jobs can be found at WDI? Click here for a partial list.

  • Interested in a job with WDI? Click here to read a letter from Human Resources.

  • So, what do the Imagineers say? Click here to read some of their own advice.

  • Ready to send your Résumé? Click here to get some addresses for WDI.

Here is a list of some of the fields represented within the creative walls of Walt Disney Imagineering:

  • Accountants
  • Advanced Technology Researchers
  • Architects
  • Architectural Designers
  • Audio/Video Specialists and Engineers
  • CAD Specialists
  • Carpenters
  • Civil Engineers
  • Colorists
  • Computer Software Designers and Programmers
  • Conceptual Designers
  • Construction Managers
  • Contract Administrators
  • Cost Engineers
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Electronic and Electromechanical Assemblers
  • Environmental Designers and Space Planners
  • Exhibit Designers
  • Facility Designers and Space Planners
  • Financial Analysts
  • General Services Support
  • Graphic Designers
  • Human Resource Specialists
  • Illustrators
  • Industrial Designers
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Interior Designers
  • Landscape Architects
  • Librarians and Information Specialists
   
  • Lighting Designers
  • Local Area Network Administrators
  • Machinists
  • Materials Applications Designers
  • Material Planners
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Model Builders
  • Optics and Projection Systems Engineers
  • Plastics Fabricators
  • Producers
  • Production Artists
  • Production Coordinators
  • Project Estimators
  • Project Managers
  • Project Planners
  • Project Schedulers
  • Prototype Developers
  • Quality Assurance Engineers
  • Scenic Artists
  • Screen Printers
  • Sculptors
  • Secretaries
  • Show Technology Designers
  • Show Set Designers
  • Special Effects Designers
  • Story and Copy Writers
  • Storyboard and Sketch Artists
  • Strategic Planners
  • Systems Engineers
  • Telecommunications Specialists
  • Tool and Die Makers

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The following is an excerpt from a letter sent out by WDI to those who are interested in a job with the company:

"While there is no easy formula for becoming an Imagineer, we have formulated the following observations:

First, it is important to understand the separation between the fantasy worlds of our Disney product and the reality of our business. If you accept and understand how the needs and parameters of the one affect the other, the realities involved are just as fascinating as the fantasies.

Second, expand your horizons. Don't limit your interest to the Disney mythologies. Allow it to be a point of entry to the discovery of other realms, whether they be cultural study, computers, robotics, film, art, or history. A knowledge of Disney does not guarantee you a job with Disney, nor is it a prerequisite for one.

Third, follow what you love. At Imagineering we seek specialized excellence and believe that true top-notch talent is usually developed when an activity is followed for the joy it provides. With such skill, whether it be in writing, drafting, engineering, illustration or any of the scores of other disciplines used by Imagineering, you will more successfully fill roles and solve challenging problems and you will find more opportunity for your own creative expression.

Finally, it is a misconception that the majority of effort we undertake here is idea-oriented. We never seem to have a shortage of ideas, just the time and resources to execute them all! The reality is that the "idea time" is probably about one percent of a project. The rest of the time involves the process of making the very best of those ideas into realities."

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The following advice was printed as part of a two part article called, "So You Want to Be an Imagineer?" which ran in the Fall and Winter issues of The Disney Magazine in 1995. These articles can be found in their entierity in our WDI Library.

  • Doug Wolf
    Project Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering - Florida
      "Dream and pursue your imagination and goals. Do anything that stirs your creativity - read, write, draw, observe and travel. Learn what you enjoy and excel at, whether it be model-building, drawing, writing or construction. See if there's a fit. Most likely there is since Imagineering encompasses almost everything imaginable. But above all, enjoy what paths your life travels and learn from each experience."

  • Joe Lanzisero
    Senior Concept Designer
      "[Executive designer and longtime Imagineer] Rolly Crump told me of some advice Walt Disney had given him: Become a student of life, be interested in everything. Be a life sponge, soaking up, observing and recording anything and everything of interest. Develop an attitude where you never stop learning."

  • Bruce Johnson
    Research and Development
      "Never pass up the opportunity to see new things, draw things, build things, talk to experts and learn new skills. I learned how to invent machines of all kinds over the years. I've worked as an auto machinist, carpenter, factory engineer, artist, concept engineer and many other trades. Some were for money and some were just for fun, but I learned from every one of them."

  • David Durham
    Director, Concept Integration
      "'Educational Path' doesn't mean just classroom teaching. I think a lot of my education came from working at Disneyland. It also came from taking courses - psycholinguistics, nuclear biology, wood shop - seemingly unrelated to what I was studying. Taking nothing but design courses might make a good designer, but taking a variety of courses will make a better Imagineer."

  • Paula Dinkel
    Lighting Designer
      "Don't try to be an Imagineer! Work hard to be the best you can be at whatever you do, get an education, keep on learning, maintain your sense of wonder and discovery and have a good life."

  • Kevin Rafferty
    Show Writer
      "Find out everything you can about every aspect of Disney. If you ever find yourself here, you will draw much from that knowledge. Better yet, find out everything you can about everything. If you are an artist - draw, paint, sculpt and write. If you are a writer - read, write, paint and sculpt. You never know what you're capable of doing until you start doing it. More than anything, work hard and stick with it. Remember, the only time you will find success before work is in the dictionary."

  • Bruce Bader
    Scope Writer
      "There are lots of jobs here that you wouldn't normally think about or aren't normally found in other companies. Since many of these jobs don't have traditional education or experience requirements, they might be a good way to get your foot in the door."

  • Ben Schwegler
    Research and Development
      "Pick a career you really like - I'm not kidding about this - even if it is something other people may tell you is not trendy, 'has no future' or seems to have a low probability of success, like art of botany. I think you can only be successful if you really like what you're doing."

  • Larry Nikolai
    Show Designer
      "Don't give up. If you really want to be part of Imagineering, you will naturally keep growing while participating and expanding your knowledge. Wander far and wide in your quest for experience. Don't just limit it to what you percieve as the world of Disney. Imagineering is always growing too. It is always looking for new realms, styles and possibilities."

  • Mark Rhodes
    Show Writer
      "Beg, whine and plead."

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Walt Disney Imagineering Offices

Glendale, CA headquarters:
1401 Flower Street
P.O. Box 25020
Glendale, CA 91221-5020

Fax: (818) 544-7674

Celebration, FL Offices:
200 Celebration Place
Celebration, Florida 34747
Walt Disney Imagineering also has research and development offices in North Hollywood, California; New York City and East Hampton, New York; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. They also maintain satellite offices at each of the four theme park locations worldwide.

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