Disney engineers help unlock the magic and bring stories to life at Disney parks around the globe. Meet Dani, a team leader and controls engineer at Walt Disney World® Resort.
“Engineering in the entertainment industry is entirely different than the engineering world at large,” said Dani. “Engineering at Disney is hands-on, it’s ancient technology meets state-of-the-art, bringing toys to life, keeping 100-year-old steam trains on the tracks, transporting across universes and back in time.”
Dani’s day-to-day responsibilities vary based on the projects she’s supporting and what stage of work they’re in.
“During the design phase of a project, I spend a lot of hours in meetings and at my desk working on drawings, documentation or the software for an attraction,” said Dani. “Once in the field, I oversee the installation and commissioning of ride systems and equipment.”
Of course, supporting a vacation destination at Disney’s standards means that a lot of the work has to happen while our guests are relaxing at their resort hotels.
“With Disney parks open 365 days a year, fitting in an attraction improvement or rehab can be quite a challenge,” said Dani. “Many of these changes happen overnight while you are sleeping so that the attraction still opens in the morning.”
But sometimes working unique hours can have some pretty magical moments too!
“It may just be a five-minute break, but there’s something magical about taking a break and watching fireworks with your team in the middle of the work day, or night as it were,” said Dani.
Our engineers have the opportunity to work on projects that make an impact on our parks, resorts and our guests, while contributing to the legacy of the Disney brand.
“The guests inspire my work,” said Dani. “It sounds cliché, but no matter what I work on, no matter how small, at the end of the day it can make a difference to a guest. Being able to see that impact is a big part of why I do what I do.”
One of the projects Dani’s team tackled included an impactful update for Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Magic Kingdom.
“With the carousel being 100 years old, we have to merge new technology with old technology and we got to put a wheelchair ramp on this carrousel,” said Dani. “This was a small project by any standard, but the reactions of those first wheelchair-bound guests when they got to ride the carousel for the very first time? Pixie dust.”