Student --> Imagineer?


New Member
Original Poster
I am an aspiring Imagineer in high school. I feel that I have the potential to reach my goal. Are there any tips on my path to becoming one of the Elite?
Thanks to any who answer.


New Member
I'm also in High School, and also want to be an Imagineer.:D :D
I've heard that we should work VERY hard at math, and just try very hard at school in general.

Otherwise, does anyone have more info?!?

Also, welcome to the boards!


New Member
Advice From a Fellow WDI Hopeful

I too am also in high school and an Imagineer hopeful. I've spoken to many an Imagineer, and read many books and I'll try to maybe give you a little advice.:)
*Find something that you really love to do. This doesn't nescessarily have to mean math, or engineering, WDI has something for everyone.From artist to show writer to interior designers to architects and everything in between. Sometimes it takes a while to find something you love to do, so its okay if you don't know exactly what you want to do yet.
*Once you find a field that you love, try to be the best at what you do. Learn everything you can about that field.
*Learn everything you can about everything. Your mind is a sponge, let it absorb everything possible. Be curious about your world. You never know when you might have to draw on some of your knowledge. Keep your imagination and creativity close by you'll need them.
*Become the biggest Disney geek you can. Read, experience, and learn everything about Disney possible. There are many books out there today that offer lots of insight about the disney company in general and about Imagineering itself.
*Believe in your dream. Look all around for opportunites, you never know when fate might step in to see you through. Realize that if you work hard towards your dream, it can really come true.

I'm sure I missed several things. This is no exact formula, in fact there isn't an exact formula for becoming an Imagineer. However, this is what I've read and heard many times. If you have any questions, or anything else feel free to PM me on the site. Good luck you guys! Maybe we'll see each other at WDI someday!


three suggestions for all of you..

-make connections in the industry. we generally only hire whom we know.

-be persistant and never give up.

-become well rounded and talented at many different things.

If anyone wants more advice getting into this difficult field... send me a PM


once again. . .

Well once again we see a post asking about how does one become an only if there were indeed a set path that would give all us dreamers and doers a chance at making our dreams come true then the question would be a valid one. I find from all my experiences and connections not to mention the countless reading I've done on WED to WDI the question can't be answered. Each Imagineer has their own story. Some have got in through loop-holes, snuck in the back entrance (not literally), worked their butts off, and some just where lucky (at the right place at the right time).

I find anymore that when you actually make connections with an Imagineer and you ask the question how does one become an imagineer or how did they become one the answers vary.....greatly. Some Imagineers will talk to you about their experiences and how they ended up with the title of an Imagineer and some don't even bother talking to you about it at all. Which I can understand why they wouldn't respond seeing how so many people want to know what they could possibly do. It's a question all to familiar to their ears.

I, like so many other people have the dream to bring my talents to the Disney Company. The road to get there is undetermined and I don't know if I'll ever reach my goal but I'm hopeful and put my faith and that hope on a shooting star!!!

By no means am I an imagineer (yet) but here are some suggestions I can give you:

1. Know your Disney, there are many great books on Disney that will help you understand more of what disney's service theme is all about!!!
I have over 70+ books in my Disney library that I read (not just look at the pictures) all the time that have inspired me so much. My library consists of books on WDI, Disney Theme Parks, Disney Animation, Disney Art, Movies, Travel, and books on Walt himself. New books are always comming out all the time so make sure to check amazon or your local bookstore for them. Some of the best books on WDI and Disney's Theme parks are now out of print but you can find them on ebay sometimes. I like to only buy disney press/hyperion books because I find that some authors are soooo biased on disney plus I know my money is going back into a company I support and enjoy.

2. Education. This is one of the most important factors. In todays world WDI wants new Imagineers to be educated and well rounded. They want people that can do many things well, not just one. Some people ask what do I need to study to become an Imagineer? Once again there's no right or wrong answer. You have to remember that WDI consists now of over 200+ disciplines. So go to college and do what you love and what you're good at then start to see how your talents and education can be implemented into a company like Disney. If you're in college then think about your resume and professional experience. Do as much outside activity related to your major as one can i.e. join an engineering society, hold art openings, and volunteer. Remember that Disney offers opportunities for College Students such as The Disney College Program, Professional Internships, and The WDI ImagiNations Contest.

Consider these options to better your chances. From what I have gathered students that are in the Disney College Program(DCP) are the first picked over non DCP students to get professional internships. The WDI ImagiNations contest is brilliant but if you have done the DCP or worked for Disney you can't enter. They maybe changing that rule for 2007's contest so make sure to check it out.

3. Don't think that dreams come true over night. Most of the people I know that work for Walt Disney Imagineering didn't just walk right out of college and get hired. Actually I only know a few people that have done that and trust me their brilliant and their talents are amazing. Most of the other Imagineers I know and have had the privilege of speaking with have graduated college and worked in the "real world" and gained professional experience then went back to college to get their masters degrees. I'm not saying that all Imagineers have their masters but the more you know and can do the better your chances of getting into WDI. Most of the Imagineers I know where hired in their late 20's and early 30's. So getting a masters is something to concider!!!

4. If you're already done with college and are looking for a job with Disney then I recommend the Disney Careers Website and yes, WDI does post jobs on there. I've had a fair few interviews via Disney Careers but all the jobs I've applied to I've not gotten because of either a. lack of professional experience or b. they went with an enteral applicant. You can also send your resume to Walt Disney Imagineering Human Relations Department via their e-mail address on the web via the following link:

I hope my suggestions have been helpful to you or any other person out there wanting to be an Imagineer one day. I will bid you good luck in your journey and remember to: Dream. Do. Diversify.


Well I must say this is a great thread. I'm a freshman at Lafayette College, going for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. It took me forever to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, but once I found out, I've never looked back. I always loved designing things and solving problems, and one day someone just said "Hey why not try engineering?" From that day on, I've wanted to be an engineer, and an Imagineer at that. I've been going to Disney World every year since I was born, and my 2 passions in life these days are Disney and Engineering. I'm definitely working harder than any of my non-engineering friends at college, and it's only been 3 weeks.

You can't just tell yourself hey, i want to be an imagineer, so that means I've got to become an engineer! I've found one kid at my college who has the exact same passion as me, and wants to do the exact same thing, ride system design/mechanical engineering for WDI. The good thing about this goal is that I've got a mindset, and something to strive for after college, so I'm trying to learn everything I can, instead of just screwing around in college not knowing what I want to do. I know that there's no guarantee that I'll end up with WDI, but when I'm not studying for exams or doing homework, I'm reading up on anything Disney. I'm trying to learn so much about one of my passions, and that makes it so much easier. Since I love both Disney and engineering I love reading and learning about each subject, a definite plus. You know you've found your calling when you enjoy reading long books and studying when you could be hanging out with some friends. Don't get me wrong, college is all about having an awesome time, but if you're focused and know what you want to do, that's even better.

I hope to enter the college program after my sophomore year, and after that, I'll have to go from there. Perhaps it won't work out like I've dreamed and wished, but right now, nobody can tell me no, or that I can't, because in my mind, I'll be designing ride system for Walt Disney Imagineering sometime after college, in the near or late future. A backup plan never hurts though, in which case would be something in the aerospace industry most likely, but that's on the very very very back burner.

To sum it up, FOLLOW YOUR HEART! Don't let anyone tell you that you can't and study hard!:sohappy:


New Member
Being involved in National Projects/Competitions can help, and are a great resume builder anyway (such as GMs Project X). Just my 2 cents.


Well-Known Member
Before I left the College Program in Aug. my manager at my reaquest set me up with a little 30 minute question answer meeting with an imagineer from the MK. I asked what they look for when hiring.....He said that 98% of the time they hire people with at least 10 years experience in another field before disney would hire them.....the other reason why it is so competitive is bc no one ever quits or leaves, that someone litterally has to die for there to be a position open up.....:cool:


It's all about the experience. . .

I had an interview with an Imagineer out in Glendale, this imagineer was responsible for the team who designed Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland Paris. She talked to me a bit and then suggested that I speak to one of her fellow colleagues. I had about an hour conversation with him and he told me how WDI in Glendale goes about finding new hopefuls. He first suggested higher education such as my masters. He also suggested becoming a member of a freelance design organization. He suggested a few that are internet based that WDI looks at for new recruits. He basically said that if they bring someone in it's usually temporary, for a certain amount of time. He said between 12-15 weeks. He then went on to tell me about how some of these temps quit because they aren't real imagineers and that they have no say or pull in the design process. He then went on to tell me that usually one or so stick around and if their work is good and they're professional and have done a good job they may be asked to do an internship. Once the internship is completed, fairing on how well they did they could be asked to stay. He also suggested becoming a member of THEA and networking as much as one could. His number one advice was to get as much professional experience in the entertainment industry as one could.

Now from what I hear WDI in Orlando works completely different. Most professional internships at WDI are down in Orlando. I've had 2 friends do professional internships at WDI in Orlando. They both told me that most of the interns are local and hardly any of them are actually from other states. They both figured that Disney has some sort of agreement with some of the local universities. They said that the work they did although fun was not the imagineering most of us are thinking about. Most of the Imagineering that we hear about and read up on comes out of WDI Glendale. Both of them went on to tell me that most of the interns could care less about Disney. They said that it seems that most of the interns took what they where doing for granted. One of my friends did say that every so often there was an Imagineer that was like what we think all imagineers to be. Although both did great in their internships neither of them where hired on. HR met with both of them after their 6 month internship and told them how well they did and that they needed to start looking outside the company for professional experience and that maybe one day they would end up back at WDI. They also told me that it's all about who you know when it comes to getting a position at WDI in Orlando.

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom