Last year I had the incredible pleasure of being invited to attend the Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World. I went to cover the event as a guest of the media but it was an experience of a lifetime. As I shared on my Instagram page yesterday: I got to see students learn how to build a roller coaster ride with the Engineering Cast Members. I interviewed some really amazing people. But most importantly, I saw dreams come alive, family bonds strengthened and lives changed forever.
You can check out everything I shared from my last trip in this post here.
And guess what?! I get to experience it all over again this time next week. That’s right, I’ll be heading back to Walt Disney World for the 10th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy hosted by Steve Harvey and Essence. The event takes place March 9th-12th. So be sure to follow all of the fun over on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope).
The DDA Experience
Today I wanted to share in more detail about one of the activities I got to experience last year. During the course of this magical weekend, the students get to go through something called deep dives. Basically, it a crash course in whatever career field they’re interested in working in. For example, those interested in becoming a Chef, get to deep dive with one of Disney’s best Chefs. Those interested in Journalism, get to deep dive with the Lifestyle and Relationships Editor for Essence.
They then get together and create presentations (think science fair) and share with everyone who is there (parents, speakers, Disney Cast Members, media, etc.) what they learned.
Engineering and Walt Disney World
I was blown away by the deep dive with the aspiring Engineering students. It especially excited me because around that time was the first time my son (now 9) expressed an interest in mechanical engineering. I had the pleasure of connecting with Angel Price and Lee Wilson who both work in Engineering at Disney. Angel is a Senior Planner at Animal Kingdom Park. And Lee works in Show Systems Design. I watched the two of them interact with the Engineering Dreamers, and was inspired. Their excitement for their work and for Disney was contagious.
I had the pleasure of connecting with Angel Price and Lee Wilson who both work in Engineering at Disney. Angel is a Senior Planner at Animal Kingdom Park. And Lee works in Show Systems Design. I watched the two of them interact with the Engineering Dreamers, and was inspired. Their excitement for their work and for Disney was contagious.
It occurred to me then: I’ve never heard anyone say that they want to become an Engineer so they can go and work at Disney (it’s usually the big corporations and traditional employers). But there should be plenty of more people who do! There are so many opportunities in this field and others in the STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) that I thought it would be great to shed some light on some of them now.
From Angel and Lee
“Our goal was to show you a crash course in engineering with a Disney twist. We also wanted to showcase the importance of math and science in the story telling process. Finally, we wanted to share our story.” Both Angel and Lee had dreams of working for the Walt Disney Company. For the deep dive, Lee shared, “We wanted to share the excitement and pride of the work we do. And we hoped that our energy will help other young people be excited about the work they do. Especially in the area relating to STEM.”
Even Mickey paid them a visit to find out what they were up to!
STEAM and Disney go together
Walt Disney World does have a STEAM related program for kids call the Youth Education Series Program (Yes, Program)
This program is a day or ½ day experience with a Walt Disney facilitator where they do an interactive experience in the park. From Lee: “Check it out. It is a great program.”
Lee shared that he believes there are at least 23 engineering careers at Disney. “We utilize virtually all engineering fields.”
So to start off I’m sharing some videos and other information that will help introduce engineering in the Walt Disney World Company.
Engineers get to blend creativity with technology to help create out-of-this-world entertainment experiences:
Behind-the-scenes of Building a Roller Coaster at Disney
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes as it relates to building a roller coaster, then you’re in for a treat. The World of Pandora is opening up this coming May. Check out this sneak peek below:
Walt Disney Imagineering
Disney Imagineering is the creative behind Disney’s theme parks, resorts, cruise ships and other forms of family entertainment and experiences. Find out more about Disney Imagineering here.
Industrial Engineering at Disney:
If you wondered how they can wash over 200 thousand pounds of laundry daily, or how they can make the check-in process so efficient, or even how 260 buses carry over 200 thousand guests across the WDW properties, Industrial Engineering is behind that. Check out this video.
Engineering Internships at Disney
Did you know that Walt Disney Company has internships in the field? They do, and this video talks all about it!
There is sooooo much more info to share. So this is why I’m making this into a series. I want to shed light on all the magic that goes on behind-the-scenes and the people who create that magic at the most happiest place on earth, Walt Disney World.
In the meantime, be sure to follow me on my social media channels as I’ll be sharing live updates and broadcasts next week while at the Disney Dreamers Academy.
This upcoming visit to the Disney Dreamers Academy was sponsored by Walt Disney World. As always, the thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about Disney Dreamers Academy CLICK HERE.
Bernetta KnightenMarch 7, 2017 at 1:33 PM
This is amazing! Who knew so many creative careers existed!! Kudos on this post!
Christine St.VilMarch 8, 2017 at 2:50 PM
I know, right Bernetta!!?? Thanks so much 🙂
Drea SmithMarch 11, 2017 at 8:56 PM
Awesome!! Glad to see they are encouraging kids to dream big and supporting those dreams
Christine St.VilMarch 13, 2017 at 12:41 PM
It really is awesome, Drea! 🙂
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