WALT DISNEY THEME PARKS
What if your job was to create the sick rides at Disneyland? If you literally got to dream up roller-coasters themed to your favourite Disney films? Well that’s exactly what Stef Harbuck gets to do. “My job is an ‘Imagineer’ or producer for Walt Disney Imagineering. I help bring theme park attractions and experiences to life.
I studied at college in the areas of interactive design and production, computer animation production, theatre production, studio art, art history and computer science. Walt Disney Imagineering is one of the few places where
I can use all of those things!
Every day is different – depending on the phase of the project, a typical day might be working with writers, artists, technical directors, engineers, editors and designers, talking through ideas and problems to solve on a project or putting together a concept for a brand new project. It might be going to one of the theme parks for an overnight test in the wee hours of the morning and then heading to the Disney Studios for a creative review with filmmakers. It might be running a playtest, collecting feedback from first-time guests, giving presentations, and riding a ride up to 20 times in a day!
There are so many things I love about my job. I’ve been fortunate enough to live for short periods of time in Tokyo and Germany, I crossed the Atlantic on a new cruise ship and lived on it while it was still under construction. I love that I get to walk through Disneyland at sunrise when it’s completely still and quiet.
Recently, I was working with the cast and crew of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 in Atlanta to shoot footage to bring our attraction to life. It was so rewarding to ride our ride with the film director James Gunn, the cast and crew, and to hear them scream, clap and cheer and say how awesome our attraction is going to be.
It’s very special to watch a family who seem hot, tired and grumpy become transformed into smiling, energetic, child-like guests after riding through the attraction I helped build.”