Disney Is Hiring a Fireworks & Special Effects Principal Designer

A good sign has arrived with Disney Careers for all of us Disney goers! Disney is now hiring a Fireworks & Special Effects Principal Designers based in Kissimmee, Florida. The position recently posted and is drawing all sorts of attention because, yes, the hope is that this means Walt Disney World will be returning the fireworks and nighttime spectaculars soon enough! Check out the full job description below as listed on DisneyCareers.


The Fireworks & Special Effects Principal Designer serves as the creative leader and overall representative for the Disney Live Entertainment Fireworks & Special Effects Design department. The demands of this role require an in-depth understanding of the design intent and the ability for realizing it through the effective execution of the creative process. As the leader, the Fireworks & Special Effects Principal Designer directs all special effects design (including pyrotechnics), helping to prioritize, organize and problem solve during entire course of a project.

Core Function and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in project’s creative development including blue sky brainstorming, project kick-offs, internal reviews and other project specific check-ins
  • Develop and/or execute special effects designs for live shows and facility infrastructure when required
  • Direct the Special Effects Designers’ plan and execution for new shows and remounts
  • Be an engaged leader of special effects technology research and development efforts participating as necessary with other Company technology divisions
  • Partner in design scope development and staffing to ensure assignments are “right fit” and that the needs of the projects will be creatively satisfied
  • Provide creative and feasibility input to show concept; review and approve project special effects budgets and labor requirements
  • Act as liaison for Special Effects/Pyrotechnics Designers and vendors ensuring Disney quality, compatibility, training and proper documentation of all special effects services delivered


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  • Be a resource to maintain the proper training of operating area special effects/pyrotechnics Technicians
  • Direct on-going “Entertainment Show Quality” evaluations of existing offerings at Walt Disney World and provide support to maintain their original show intent
  • Maintain a strong relationship with fireworks compound, safety, purchasing, vendors and interface with governmental agencies in approving/permitting effects uses by Walt Disney World
  • Demonstrate commitment to both on-going personal and departmental education for Walt Disney World and industry standards
  • Maintain up-to-date show documentation, special effects R&D lab and talent/industry contact database
  • Leadership Skills:
  • Effectively orchestrate activities and team dynamics
  • Persuasive advocate for good design and a steadying influence for the team
  • Natural collaborative ability to make sense out of diverse multidisciplinary requirements and to bring the project goals into focus for everyone involved
  • Working member of the Design team with a natural inclination to generate ideas and the ability to do so with great fluency
  • Ability to research and present design options so that the team can make informed decisions that ultimately give the project greater depth

Basic Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in the Entertainment Industry working in show development and operation of live shows
  • Strong understanding of current technology and industry standards for all aspects of special effects and pyrotechnics design, (theatrical, industrial, concert, touring, etc.) as applied to live show and facility systems
  • Proven ability to support the creative process by collaborating with other Designers, Directors, Writers and Producers
  • Strong understanding and experience in contract negotiations for Consultants to develop scope and value
  • Extensive knowledge of industry standards and regulations (NFPA 1123, 1126, 160 APA 87-1)
  • Experience with facility design, engineering and construction
  • Proven ability to deliver on a project’s established scope, schedule and budget
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to express creative ideas
  • Ability to work flexible hours – nights, weekends and holidays – including occasional travel
  • General computer skills including basic Microsoft Office products and industry specific software

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in live show development with The Walt Disney Company
  • Working knowledge and understanding of the Walt Disney culture

Required Education:

College degree or equivalent experience in theatre with focus on special effects/pyrotechnics design

What do you think? Is this good news that hopefully means fireworks will be coming back to us soon? In the meantime we’ll keep you posted. To review more about this position and/or to apply, visit DisneyCareers.com.

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.