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  1. #1

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    Question Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    If WDI is progressively laying off more and more imagineers and keeping on a skeleton crew of administrators as Kevin Yee had heard back in August, who is gonna do all this work now? Someone is still gonna be designing and building rides, planning architecture, doing lighting, building animatronics, storyboarding, etc. Who is that?

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    I'll have to talk to my dad about that, since he was layed-off by WDI. I think it just has to do on how much they plan to expand in the next few years. For instance, the 50th Anniversary has been working out great for Disney, so there's no real point to spend a ton of money to design more rides at the moment; so they don't really have a need for Imagineers at the moment. Disney is a great place to work for the experience, but they obviously feel that their employees are expendable.


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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    If you're interested in ride systems, go look into one of the big coaster manufacturers. Disney likes Vekoma (RnRC, Space Mountain Paris, Everest.) I wouldn't be suprised if they continue to contract with them on future E-ticket coasters.

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Quote Originally Posted by edtsch
    Who is that?
    Simple. Laid off Imagineers.

    Disney is no longer willing to pay high salaries to permanent workers, nor shoulder the burden of health care costs and other benefits, especially during those downtimes between projects, which sometimes run for months on end.

    WDI has finally caught up to the rest of CorporateAmerica, by embracing the consultant and contractor, to fill the ranks of their labor force. And the best people for these Imagineering jobs, are the ones who were previously shown the door, when the work "ran out."

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy
    Simple. Laid off Imagineers.

    Disney is no longer willing to pay high salaries to permanent workers, nor shoulder the burden of health care costs and other benefits, especially during those downtimes between projects, which sometimes run for months on end.

    WDI has finally caught up to the rest of CorporateAmerica, by embracing the consultant and contractor, to fill the ranks of their labor force. And the best people for these Imagineering jobs, are the ones who were previously shown the door, when the work "ran out."
    Ah that's right, my dad did mention he's gone in a few times to consult. Thanks Corperate America...for destroying everyone's dream job!


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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Sad but true. And even sadder is that Disney cheats themself out of the cutting-edge that only a tight, in-house staff can perpetuate. Gone are the days when people were paid just to tinker to see what amazing ideas they could come up with.

    It's because of the current "competitive" mentality that we haven't had any "only at Disneyland" type of attractions for so many years.

    Thanks a lot...

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    I've heard that because of the layoffs, namely of people who work with animatronics, they are not using most animatronics in new attractions they do build. They do not want to have to expend the money to train a temp worker, and do not want to give away their secrets to someone from another company.

    As far as attractions go, they are limiting new ideas to be based on Pixar/Pixar-like movies, nothing else will get approved from the bean counters at Corporate.

    Walt's got to be weeping in Heaven at this point....

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Interesting. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I suspected that the imagineers themselves would often be the ones doing the contract work, but I wonder if they act as freelancers or as members of smaller groups that specialize in say, ride systems or lighting or animatronics.

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Quote Originally Posted by cindersgirl
    Walt's got to be weeping in Heaven at this point....
    Is this comment regarding the state of WDI or Feature Animation? If it encompassed FA, I thought that Walt was on the cutting edge of some of animation's breakthroughs in his time (like the layered features of Snow White). So why wouldn't Walt look towards CGI as the new medium of animation? I'd think he'd want to learn and master it to use it to his advantage. It's definitely too bad that traditional animation has gone to the backseat in big studio releases, of course. And I never knew the man himself, so I can't speak for what he would or wouldn't like today.

    Strangely enough (or maybe not), WDI is considered an operating unit that doesn't technically generate revenue like Feature Animation or Parks and Resorts. So it's harder for them to justify keeping a robust staff for reasons mentioned in an earlier post, plus Disney being a publicly traded company plays a part. What I've assumed is that WDI operates strongly on word-of-mouth for employment (outside of laid-off Imagineers). I've always wondered if I could get a job at WDI (administrative, project management, anything), but posting for jobs on Disney Careers is very rare.

    And my opinion on the original question posted by edtsch: Managers.


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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Quote Originally Posted by speederscout
    Sad but true. And even sadder is that Disney cheats themself out of the cutting-edge that only a tight, in-house staff can perpetuate. Gone are the days when people were paid just to tinker to see what amazing ideas they could come up with.

    It's because of the current "competitive" mentality that we haven't had any "only at Disneyland" type of attractions for so many years.

    Thanks a lot...
    Although greed has been very "in" for businesses over the past several years (it seems the Enron scandal just made them decide to act even more obvious about it), WDI has tinkered a bit over the years, it's just that we never see them here. With the exception of Indy and Fantasmic, the FL and Worldwide groups have been blowing the doors off Anaheim for years now in the New Stuff dept. Example: Although it never really fit into it's surrounding, you can't tell me the harness technology behind Alien Encounter had been used to that great effect. Another: The technology in Pooh's Hunny Hunt.

    This is all stuff we can't see unless we're willing to travel a great deal, but it's still there. DL has shifted it's focus into being quaint, original, and having one of all the A-list attractions.

    Quote Originally Posted by invader pearl
    Is this comment regarding the state of WDI or Feature Animation? If it encompassed FA, I thought that Walt was on the cutting edge of some of animation's breakthroughs in his time (like the layered features of Snow White). So why wouldn't Walt look towards CGI as the new medium of animation? I'd think he'd want to learn and master it to use it to his advantage. It's definitely too bad that traditional animation has gone to the backseat in big studio releases, of course. And I never knew the man himself, so I can't speak for what he would or wouldn't like today.
    There's nothing wrong with being nostalgic for traditional animation, but nostalgic doesn't always mean able to build a business on. Main Street has a ton of those little old-style moving picture films that the company found, purchased, and carefully restored because Walt was nostalgic for them. Doesn't mean he was actually producing those things, though. Cutting edge got attention, and helped keeping the studio afloat.

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Quote Originally Posted by invader pearl
    Strangely enough (or maybe not), WDI is considered an operating unit that doesn't technically generate revenue like Feature Animation or Parks and Resorts. So it's harder for them to justify keeping a robust staff for reasons mentioned in an earlier post, plus Disney being a publicly traded company plays a part. What I've assumed is that WDI operates strongly on word-of-mouth for employment (outside of laid-off Imagineers).
    Apparently when Eisner arrived, the Disney studios and WDI were very inefficiently run and needed tightening so that this publicly traded company could function properly. I'm sad that they would eventually go so far as to shoot themselves in the foot and get rid of almost everyone. If they don't retain a creative core in both WDI and especially the studios (live action and animation) they have truly lost their way and removed the core engine that propelled the entire enterprise.

    Reminds me of the omnidroid from The Incredibles, lured into plucking out its own core in self-defense and destroying itself in the process.

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Quote Originally Posted by invader pearl
    Is this comment regarding the state of WDI or Feature Animation? If it encompassed FA, I thought that Walt was on the cutting edge of some of animation's breakthroughs in his time (like the layered features of Snow White).

    Strangely enough (or maybe not), WDI is considered an operating unit that doesn't technically generate revenue like Feature Animation or Parks and Resorts. So it's harder for them to justify keeping a robust staff for reasons mentioned in an earlier post, plus Disney being a publicly traded company plays a part. What I've assumed is that WDI operates strongly on word-of-mouth for employment (outside of laid-off Imagineers). I've always wondered if I could get a job at WDI (administrative, project management, anything), but posting for jobs on Disney Careers is very rare.
    Actually, the only weeping I would see is the dismantling (if there is such a word) of the WDI, which started out as WDE. This was a division he personally created that was supposed to be outside of the Walt Disney Productions (now Company).

    The point about Walt was he was always looking for new and innovative ways to improve not only animation but also special effects for movies and park attractions. He would be welcoming, embracing and doing a whole lot more than current management is doing with the new technology. Right now it just seems that Disney is content to let everyone else lead the way to new frontiers, while Walt was the frontier leader, if this makes sense.

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Also, when I was referring to the Pixar/Pixar-like movie ideas, that was in reference to the ideas for new attractions, not motion pictures. There won't be another "Pirates of The Caribbean" or others like it unless it came from a movie first.

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Walt had a core group of artists and dreamers, as we all know. He kept people on staff and paid them solely to be creative; thats what moved Disney to the forefront of his industries. There's no such creative unit anymore.

    Do some research and you can find out where a lot of the "imagineering" now comes from. How sad that in order for WDC to produce an E-Ticket they have to outsource to companies that were originally inspired by the cutting-edge work they used to do themselves!

    And some of their stiffest competition now comes from people that they let go in order to save themselves a few bucks!

    Idiotic.

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    Re: Imagineer Wannabees Wanna Know: Who does WDI outsource to?

    Amen. Unfortunately, the only creativity in the company now comes from bean counters trying to find ways to save a few bucks.

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