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  1. #1

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    Lightbulb Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    So, I was reading the thread on what Indy was like when it was new... and how it was so completely Kick-A$$ when it first opened, and how it has been neglected over the years. It got me to thinking about the daily routine of an Imagineer.

    The general consensus is that Disney does not fix things unless it can be done with little effort, or if it can be marketed to he masses as new bling!

    My question is.. WHAT THE HECK DO IMAGINEERS DO ON AN AVERAGE DAY??

    If NEW E ticket attractions only come once every decade or more, and rehabs are being done in a minimalistic fashion, what do you think the imagineers are actually spending their time on? Certainly, they cant be designing Nemo-type attractions every day. Sadly, I also doubt they are working on cool new features for plussing existing attractions all the time.

    As a teenager, I had always wanted to become an imagineer. I thought it would be a job where you dreamed up the most awesome rides and effects (with extra awesome) that you could. I imagined having access to endless tools and gadgets. You would use your engineering know-how -- along with good ol'-fashioned creativity -- to push the boundaries of awe-inspiring entertainment.

    As an adult, I invision this much differently. I'm sure Imagineers get caught up plenty of corporate politics. (Drama over who gets to use the Red Swingline and such.. ) There is probably far too much paper work going on for them, and too little creativity. The constant threat of out-sourcing to companies like Intamin. But, do they just push pencils or design a bunch of rides that never get made??

    From the time an Imagineer gets out of bed, puts her shoes on and goes to work until the time she returns back home. WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY DOING???



    (Side-note to Al or Dusty: It would be cool to get a Q&A article up with an actual Imagineer, either past or present. You could get questions from the chat groups ahead of time, and interview them yourselves with a the best selected questions. Imagineer anonimity would be fine too, if necessary.)
    Ryborg

  2. #2

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    From the little I know, most all theme park designers work from project to project. Some projects last 18 months to several years.

    With some of the legends, I guess they've just been moving from project to project for years.

    However, there is an incredibly short life-span in the industry given the nature of work for hire.

    However, is the Disney situation different? Are Imagineers 'on staff' or simply re-hired every time there is a project?
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


  3. #3

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryborg View Post
    My question is.. WHAT THE HECK DO IMAGINEERS DO ON AN AVERAGE DAY??
    Take two-hour lunches at Glendale Galleria and cruise eBay for collectibles?

    Read the discussion boards on their laptops while hiding under their desks, waiting for their team's latest proposal to get the green light while desperately trying to avoid the Pink Slip Faerie?

    Stick pins in their Rasulo voodoo dolls while chanting, "Lasseter barada nikto!" over and over again?

    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  4. #4

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Stick pins in their Rasulo voodoo dolls while chanting, "Lasseter barada nikto!" over and over again?

    LOL!!

    Here's a random "klaatu barada nikto" page for you:
    http://www.zug.com/gab/index.cgi?fun...hread_id=64475
    Last edited by RenMan; 10-24-2006 at 06:30 AM. Reason: added URL

  5. #5

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Hopefully, they're at least trying to come up with new things...

    That's one thing that I know that happens at WDI. They try to push for something to happen, they get their work rejected a lot...

    There's 11 parks, plus hotels, entertainment venues, cruises, and outside contracting -- that's certainly enough to keep them busy full time.
    -Tim

  6. #6

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    I wonder how much money is budgeted for maintenance of attractions, and whether a certain amount is set aside for each or if there's just a general fund that gets doled out. Seems that in Walt's day he made upkeep a priority. You'd think that maintenance cost would get figured into the financial calculations that are made when designing a ride.

    It's sad if they make a big financial push to build something but don't plan on maintaining it.

  7. #7

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Imagineering will come up with ideas, develop them, pitch them and see them trough to build, but after that, the individual parks own and are responsible for maintainance.

    So you can't blame imagineering for a rides ongoing maintainance problems.

  8. #8

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Imagineering does a lot of R&D as well. Lucky the Dinosaur was the result of a good 5 years of R & D and they are working on taking Lucky to the next level. They research new lighting methods, ways to make fire better, new fireworks (i.e. cubes, and pneumatic launch systems that are steerable, electronically initiated timed fuses on fireworks), new ride systesm (before they have a ride to use them in). A LOT of time and money goes into R & D stuff that we won't see for years because it simply does not exist in a form that is useful in a themepark.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  9. #9

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Most Imagineers can be found in some abandoned parking lot...sitting around a trashcan fire...roasting potatoes on clothes-hangers...wondering where it all went wrong.


  10. #10

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    Most Imagineers can be found in some abandoned parking lot...sitting around a trashcan fire...roasting potatoes on clothes-hangers...wondering where it all went wrong.

    LOL

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  11. #11

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yendorb View Post
    Imagineering will come up with ideas, develop them, pitch them and see them trough to build, but after that, the individual parks own and are responsible for maintainance.

    So you can't blame imagineering for a rides ongoing maintainance problems.


    I know I wasn't blaming Imagineering for a rides ongoing maintenance. I chalked that problem up to the larger Disney corporation...
    Ryborg

  12. #12

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    Re: Imagineers -- An Average Day?

    Sitting in a circle chanting to the Pagan God Imaginos, the God of Imagineering?
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. - Bill Hicks


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