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Principal Ride Development Engineer

Apply Now Apply Later Job ID 10079966 Location Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States Business Walt Disney Imagineering Date posted Feb. 08, 2024

Job Summary:

Walt Disney Imagineering is the master planning, creative development, design, engineering, production, project management, and research & development arm of The Walt Disney Company. Its talented corps of Imagineers is responsible for the creation - from concept through installation - of all Disney Resorts, theme parks, and attractions. Disney Imagineers are uniquely talented individuals that bring together the best aspects of creativity, innovation, and passion.

At Ride Engineering, it is our responsibility to move people through our stories in magical ways that bring these experiences to life! Ride Engineers bring optimism and solutions to design challenges that often seem impossible, and partner with diverse creative talent to define and build one of a kind experiences that bring fun and joy to millions of people all around the world. We Create To Inspire!

Ride Development Engineers work within a Project Engineering team and are responsible for every aspect of mechanical ride system design & development from concept through installation. They work on a wide variety of innovative ride platforms that include unique requirements for extreme duty cycles, high reliability, and inherent life safety. They must collaborate on diverse teams that include both technical and creative members, and be comfortable in environments where scope and requirements change frequently.


  • Manage entire scope to conceive, design, & deliver a wide variety of complex & innovative ride systems and related equipment ensuring durability, reliability, and safety

  • “Clean sheet” concept design of entire ride systems and subsystems that meet creative intent and stakeholder requirements

  • Distill & negotiate technical requirements from high level experience/story descriptions and artwork

  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to define system requirements and interface specifications

  • Supervise the daily activities of an engineering & design team through all phases of work; design, mockups, production, installation, testing, turnover and close-out efforts

  • Responsible for development of scope, inspection, testing, hazard, and report documents

  • Responsible for Vendor/contractor management and oversight

  • Responsible for digital model and drawing, development & release

  • Lead large scale proof of concept prototype & mock ups efforts; design/fab/test

  • Serve as the Ride Studio representative on the core Project team

  • Collaborate with project procurement team to evaluate, bid, & award outside vendor contracts

  • Conceive high value, unique solutions to complex design challenges

  • Innovate in daily responsibilities to improve Project and Studio efficiency, productivity, and value

  • Develop work and resource plans for unique and high-risk scope

  • Develop new vendor capabilities and process’ to reliably deliver Disney quality systems and components

  • Lead/oversee all aspects of ride mechanical installation, field support, and testing

  • Perform field installation/testing activities including; equipment/site surveys, use of active fall protection equipment, navigating construction site with catwalks, ladders, scaffolding, lifts, and confined spaces.

  • Domestic and international travel

  • Working variable hours and shifts

  • Contribute to mentoring, recruiting, and talent development

  • Participate in culture and community of the Ride Studio

Required Qualifications:

  • Advanced engineering knowledge (eg. statics, dynamics, kinematics, stress/strain/fatigue)

  • Advanced engineering expertise (eg. machine design, weldments, power train, materials)

  • Proficiency with design tools (eg. SolidWorks, Navisworks, AutoCAD, SketchUp, ANSYS, FEA, Matlab)

  • Knowledge of, and expertise with industry codes and standards

  • Superior design sensibilities and creative problem solving

  • Excellent written & verbal communication skills

  • Work collaboratively within a large and diverse team environment

  • Highly dependable, strong work ethic, with excellent time management skills.

  • Willingness to learn new things and continually improve capabilities/skills

  • Positive and optimistic influence on team, department, and community

  • Comfortable working in a creative/chaotic environment

Desired Qualifications:

  • Previous Disney or entertainment experience, with advanced knowledge of the industry

  • Experience with life safety design/requirements

  • Experience with prototype, development, and/or innovative products

  • Technical certifications (EIT, FE, PE)

  • Ability to communicate complex technical concepts with non-technical audience

  • Hands on experience with equipment assembly, fabrication, and installation

  • Proactive/self-sufficient/able to work and add value with minimal oversight

  • Desire and ability to mentor others

  • Attention to detail // Optimism and Enthusiasm // Perseverance and grit

  • Desire to question the status quo


BS or above in an engineering field, or have PE license

10+ years relevant/hands-on experience

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


#LI - DM1

Disability accommodation for employment applications

The Walt Disney Company and its Affiliated Companies are Equal Employment Opportunity employers and welcome all job seekers including individuals with disabilities and veterans with disabilities. If you have a disability and believe you need a reasonable accommodation in order to search for a job opening or apply for a position, email with your request. This email address is not for general employment inquiries or correspondence. We will only respond to those requests that are related to the accessibility of the online application system due to a disability.

The Walt Disney Company 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.

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: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, Disney Parks, and Experiences and Products. 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 Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., which is part of a business we call Walt Disney Imagineering.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. 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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