/ Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life


Programming Mr. Potato Head for Toy Story Mania at Disney's Hollywood StudiosWhenever people think of working for Disney, they typically go big or go home. Imagineer. Animator. Movie Star. These roles are glorified in behind-the-scenes books and documentaries, and we naturally gravitate toward these aspirations when pursuing an entertainment-centric career as a Disney fan. It’s true that some of the most prolific and important figures in the pages of Disney history certainly make up these job titles, but that significance is not exclusive to these entities.

There is a series on the official Disney Parks YouTube channel called “Every Role a Starring Role.” It highlights different careers at Disneyland® and how each person’s responsibilities contribute to the guests’ experience. I look forward to each new episode, but it wasn’t until a recent installment that something clicked inside me. As I watched Cast Members explain how they control parade audio at Disney’s California Adventure Park from a central location, I thought about how cool of a job that must be. They have a specialized talent that they’re using to make families happy in a way few would probably think of.

Then it dawned on me that Disney is such a huge, colossal organization that, truly, there is a role for every talent, personality, and degree, to the point that possibilities of employment are not limited to the grandest of the grand and the executive of the executive positions. Of course writing that down now makes the whole idea seem obvious. How could I not have known this before? I feel like I knew it, it just never sunk in on an attainable level.

For me, I’ve always said I’m majoring in Film Studies with the intent to work in a theme park in some capacity, with there being so many similarities between the principles of film and theme parks. While that is true, watching that video about backstage production sparked something new; it turned on the lightbulb. Production work is already something that fascinates me… I started volunteering with my church’s production team this year and love what I’m learning each week and the creativity I get to be part of there… my school offers Electronic Media as a major… those classes are more hands-on than the theoretical nature of my school’s film classes… I’m already getting experience studying film by blogging… sooooo let’s switch majors! So now I’m taking an introductory course over the summer before I officially apply to be a Communications major in the fall, with a concentration in Electronic Media and Broadcasting.

At one point in time, I wanted to be an Imagineer, and I was firm on that direction. No ifs, ands, or buts. While that is still, ideally, a dream job for me (don’t get me wrong, I would sign up in a heartbeat), now I realize that there are many, many other opportunities within the Walt Disney Company that can utilize my skillset. They just aren’t very common knowledge, and who knows, maybe I won’t work for Disney at all but will instead find an opportunity to bring that same Disney level of excellence upheld by not just the Imagineers or animators, but by the Cast Members whose work ethic isn’t publicly exposed. It takes a behind-the-scenes YouTube video to realize they exist, because they do their job so well that you don’t know the intentional influence they have on your day in the park. That’s how they work their magic.

You can access the complete library of “Every Role a Starring Role” videos here.

(Images and video copyright Disney.)

What Disney role do you think can utilize your skillset best? How will/would you go after it?


Blake is a college student studying Electronic Media. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @olddirtyblake, or at BlakeOnline.com.



1 thought on “Finding Disney in Job Possibilities”

  1. SirZac says:

    Blake, I am surprised you haven’t worked for the mouse yet! My three years as a full-time WDW cast member taught me a lot about Disney from all the angles. Some favorite parts were just taking ordinary moments and adding that touch of magical theming, and then suddenly everyone else is in on it.