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Principal R&D Imagineer - Software Embedded Systems

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 10022433 Location Glendale, California, United States Business Walt Disney Imagineering Date posted Nov. 08, 2022 Flex Type Hybrid

- This role is considered hybrid, which means the employee will work a portion of their time on-site from a Company designated location and the remainder of their time remotely.

Job Summary:

Walt Disney Imagineering makes the impossible possible, by combining innovation and storytelling to bring Disney stories, characters and worlds to life.

At Imagineering Research and Development, our mission is to use technology to build new experiences for our Guests and new tools for Imagineers and the Cast Members who power our parks. R&D is a team of engineers, designers, artists and scientists who share a passion for solving hard problems and building ground-breaking experiences. As an engineer on this team, you will work on new ways to bring characters to life, build impossible magical effects in the real world, build immersive environments, and create interactive experiences.

We are looking for a principal level engineer who has a specialization and depth of knowledge in software systems, and a breadth of skills across hardware, controls, sensing and robotics they can use to jump-start small teams and quickly build prototypes. As a principal engineer on this team, you will work closely with experience designers, creative technologists and engineers of various backgrounds to concept, build, test and iterate on novel technology platforms.


  • Prototype and deliver technology platforms, tools and techniques that enable Imagineers to build incredible experiences
  • Uncover new opportunities to explore, prepare project pitches and build development plans that drive innovation
  • Flex between working as an individual contributor in your specialty to leading a larger team towards a common goal
  • Partner with studios across WDI and our operations partners to build solutions that run reliability and efficiently
  • Act as a technical advisor in your area of specialty to project teams developing in that space
  • Identify, vet and manage vendors as needed to accomplish project work
  • Assist in the hiring and mentoring of interns, associate and staff level R&D Imagineers
  • Draft and submit strategic patents based on prototype technology
  • Establish and maintain productive relationships with collaborators within Disney and external to the company


  • 15+ years experience in a software or systems engineering field
  • Experience designing, building and delivering complex systems
  • Rapid prototyping abilities. You believe in the value of a minimum viable prototype
  • Proven experience leading a team but you still love to dig in and build or integrate new technology. You are just as comfortable on a team of two as a team of twenty
  • Driven by the idea of creating new experiences for people, that our technological development is always in service of delivering magic to our guests
  • Adaptable and flexible as the team learns through prototyping and playtesting, adjusting strategy as needed
  • Thrives working in collaborative interdisciplinary groups comprised of engineering and creative talent
  • Experience managing the requirements of a diverse collection of stakeholders and proposing innovative solutions that meet and sometimes challenge those requirements
  • Ability to provide engineering guidance and feedback to other project teams to assess feasibility, difficulty, effort and risk
  • Passionate about new technology

Required Education

  • BS (MS preferred) or equivalent in an engineering field

Additional Information

Disney offers a rewards package to help you live your best life. This includes health and savings benefits, educational opportunities and special extras that only Disney can provide. Learn more about our benefits and perks at


About Walt Disney Imagineering:

Founded in 1952 as WED Enterprises to design and build the world’s first theme park — Disneyland — Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is where imagination and creativity combine with cutting-edge technology to create unforgettable experiences. WDI is the creative force that imagines, designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions and cruise ships worldwide. Imagineering’s unique strength comes from its diverse global team of creative and technical professionals, who build on Disney’s legacy of storytelling to pioneer new forms of entertainment. The Imagineers who practice this unique blend of art and science work in more than 100 disciplines to shepherd an idea all the way from “blue sky” concept phase to opening day.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with WDI Research & Development, Inc., which is part of a business we call Walt Disney Imagineering.

WDI Research & Development, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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