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Researcher, Disney Research Imagineering

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 902547BR Location Glendale, California, United States; Orlando, Florida, United States; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States Business Disney Research Date posted Dec. 09, 2021

Job Summary:

“Any sufficiently complex technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - Arthur C Clarke

The Team

In a time where children carry devices with AI in their pockets, robots deliver fast food meals, and other science fictions have become mundane reality, we need new magic: New ways to connect with our guests, to surprise them, make them smile, and open their minds to magic - not just in our parks and resorts, but everywhere in the world.

At Disney Research Imagineering this emerges from the application of bleeding edge science to everything from enabling new guest-facing experiences in the parks to assisting cast members and transforming critical business processes.

At Disney Research, we focus on new ideas and ways of thinking, working to solve the biggest challenges that are otherwise unsolvable without deep understanding of both the complexities of the Disney business, and the opportunities afforded by bleeding edge scientific exploration and application.

Our work is centered on 4 key areas
  • Character Intelligence
  • General AI/Data Analytics
  • Computational Robotics
  • Interactive Immersion
and is organized around core platforms that enable rapid integration, evaluation, communication and transfer of research concepts and results to the business.

The Role

We are looking for deep applied scientists who are passionate about their field of expertise and want to use their domain knowledge to create magic for our guests and fellow cast members.

As a member of Disney Research Imagineering you will be part of a team that defines and maintains a vision of the future enabled by a melding of deep science with deep artistry within a company that provides an unparalleled platform to share this vision with the world. You will work with partners across the company and academic/industry research teams across the globe to realize this vision: working with talent and leveraging unique data sets and content from the entire spectrum of Disney properties including Parks, Resorts, Cruise Lines, Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Disney Animation Studios.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
  • Embodied Conversational AI including:
    • Speech Processing
    • Natural Language Understanding
    • Dialogue systems
    • Voice Synthesis
    • Affective Computing
    • Knowledge representation
    • Generative Animation
  • Applications of Data Science and Deep/Machine learning
    • Deep generalists
    • Recommender systems
    • Robotics, control systems
    • Computer vision, including activity and action recognition in videos
  • Computational Behavioral Science
    • Social psychology
    • Cognitive science
    • Behavioral econometrics
    • Behavior and choice modeling
NOTE: General Posting for Post Doc, Associate Research Scientist, Research Scientist, Sr. Research Scientist


As a researcher at Disney Research Imagineering, you will
  • Conduct advanced research projects in areas of interest to Disney Research and our partnering Business Units
  • Closely align and integrate with the Disney business to create value for the company by developing cutting edge technology and impactful demonstrators in the form of hardware and software prototypes and demo systems
  • Contribute and deliver to major research projects and platforms of Disney Research
  • Keep Disney Research at the forefront of technology research by surveying relevant technologies, attending conferences, reading papers, meeting with technology companies and research labs, and sharing new findings with team members.
  • Assist in the hiring and mentoring of Researchers, Lab Associates and Interns
  • Draft and submit strategic papers and patents based on research
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with collaborators within and external to the company.

Basic Qualifications:

  • You are passionate about your area of expertise, deeply inquisitive and open minded, informed, but not limited, by your domain of expertise.
  • You enjoy intellectual debate.
  • You are comfortable guiding other team members but willing to get your hands dirty and help build research systems when needed
  • You are driven to perform research that is not simply novel, but deeply impactful to the company and society have a deep desire to reduce the research to practice in the form of prototypes and technology demonstrators.
  • You are excited by the platform provided by Disney to connect with children and guests of all ages to have a positive impact on the world.
  • You have a deep sensitivity for ethical use of technology and data.
  • You thrive in a fast-paced collaborative environment.
  • You are self-directed and independent, but open to constructive feedback.
  • You are a team player, able to work in collaborative interdisciplinary groups
  • You are willing to take the time necessary to understand the business and adapt your knowledge to maximize the value of your contributions.
  • You understand that communicating the value of your research to non-technical stakeholders is critical to continued investment.
  • You understand that there are times when deep scientific rigor is necessary to validate a concept, and times when this is counterproductive, and are eager to discern the difference.
  • You value sharing knowledge with the world but understand the need to drive and retain value in a private company.

Required Education

  • PhD in relevant research area

Additional Information:

Benefits and Perks: 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 Disney Research:

Disney Research is a network of research laboratories supporting The Walt Disney Company. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California and internationally, in Zurich, Switzerland, its purpose is to pursue scientific and technological innovation to advance the company's broad media and entertainment efforts. Primary research topics include visual graphics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics.

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 Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc., which is part of a business segment we call Disney Research.

Walt Disney Imagineering 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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