Disney Interactive Studios

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Disney Interactive Studios Reviews

Updated January 26, 2015
Updated January 26, 2015
120 Reviews
3.0
120 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Disney Interactive Studios President, Disney Interactive James Pitaro
James Pitaro
17 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great people, great benefits, great salary (in 10 reviews)

  • People work hard but few stay late, a healthy work-life balance that is fully respected by management (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management seems to play musical chairs every 6 months, constantly realigning goals (in 11 reviews)

  • I was not happy with work life balance at Disney (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Disney Interactive has a fun and fast paced atmosphere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Content & Video Operations in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Content & Video Operations in Glendale, CA

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios as an intern (more than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone is super friendly, new ideas are always welcome, and the culture is super laid back and causal

    Cons

    Somewhat of an unstable environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A better evolution of goals would be helpful.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Disney Mobile

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of creative people. Excellent work environment. Great team organization. Opportunities to learn the latest technologies. Very open minded about out of the box solutions to problems.

    Cons

    Occasional crunch. Corporate priorities sometimes squelch creativity and force things to be rushed. Rely too much on contract work.

  3.  

    Spiraling downward

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Disney perks. Disney stock (value - you don't get stock as a benefit unless you are a VP or above). Telling people you work for Disney.

    Cons

    Upper management is generally clueless. Highly political, highly stratified environment. There are execs who are part of the "in crowd" who literally do nothing besides jet around from location to location, attending meetings that are pointless, and accomplishing nothing. Meanwhile, those of us who have actual work to do, are told we can't travel because of budgets. Constant fear of reorg and/or layoffs. Lack of direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide what this division is supposed to be (as we read in Fortune, it's going to merge with Consumer Products so perhaps that's already been decided but not communicated). Identify leaders in the org who are serious and can get things done and promote these people, not your buddies from your last job who are generally useless but also won't backstab you. This is a publicly traded company, act like it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    Started out great with the promise of growth. Free food was great and the culture overall was fun.

    Cons

    Promose of growth was undercut by layoffs. Changes in the executive level was so common it was like they were changing every quarter. One could not keep up. They even ended up promoting a Finance guy to GM. This same finance guy was not an exec the year before. There was no continuity in strategy. It was all effed up

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At Disney, "Empire building"and blind loyalty is the key to success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Awesome company to start with

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Concept Artist in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Concept Artist in Glendale, CA

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios as an intern

    Pros

    Lots of company perks, easy to work with designers, plenty of space and trust to get things done, ability to shine and make a difference

    Cons

    Uncertainty in job security, mentoring was not as availabLe as advertised

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None, I had a fantastic 6 months working on various projects and acquired knowledge only the best storytelling brand can give .

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great culture, restricted imaginative freedom

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Glendale, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    Part of Disney (theme park perks, etc.)
    Friendly
    Open schedule

    Cons

    Creativity restricted
    Pay not up to par with industry
    Restrictions apply to age (age discrimination)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to ability to review up, as well as down

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great projects, management is mediocre and lacks vision, long hours, disorganized, and not much opportunity for growth.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Artist in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Lead Artist in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Disney itself is a fantastic organization. Some of the projects within interactive are fantastic. There is a fair amount of creative freedom. There are a lot of good people who believe in Disney and what they stand for. It's a grass roots driven organization. Infinite potential of they could get their act together.

    Cons

    Executive and upper management lacks a vision for the division and for individual studios. Much like Disney Animation was when Lasseter and Catmul to over, management for the most part aren't, "Disney," people. They also aren't organized. As a result there is a lot of wasted time and efficiency while they let underlings figure out what the games will be. There is definitely a hard cap on job growth if you're not part of the, "in crowd." There are people who have worked there for ten years with consistently stellar reviews that haven't moved up. They are quick to lay off people but slow to let go of poor managers. Much of the problems probably stem from Disney's upper most executives not understanding games so they consistently hire the wrong people to run the division and studios.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people under you deserve more respect. They are carrying you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    A magical bug farm.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Tester in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Tester in Glendale, CA

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    I got to work with some interesting people

    Management took a hands off approach to testing. We had a lot of ad hoc testing as well as more focused tests

    The odd hours of swing shifts made commuting easy

    You get to test games made with Disney and Marvel IP's

    Cons

    Your schedule will change constantly sometimes you will be working a 9am to 5pm, 5am to 1pm or 2pm to 10pm with as little as 8 hours notice. I have had my schedule change four times in a single week.

    They routinely let go of half their staff after every large game release. So chances are you will be working here for only a couple months if not a couple weeks.

    They run their business like a bug farm. Quality doesn't really matter and management keeps pushing amount no matter how many bugs the testers put in.

    Their high turnover and the fact that it's Disney leads to them hiring testers with little to no experience and outside of the game industry. You will be working with hardcore Disney fans and burnouts.

    Management played favorites constantly. It was obvious who they were grooming to keep and who they were letting go months before they did so. This hurt morale tremendously.

    Moderate crunch time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep your employees. Your revolving door mentality means the vast majority of your staff never gets the opportunity to get good at their job. The person that worked next to me at the company worked for two weeks before they cut half their staff with him as well. Also, don't lie to your employees. If you are going to cut them let them know ahead of time. Also, give a copy of the game to your employees at its release. Stop being cheap Disney (you have the money.)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Top heavy, but a great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Game Designer
    Former Employee - Game Designer

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    This was the single most fun and welcoming workplace environment I've ever been involved in. Great and supportive co--workers, terrific work-life balance and generally just a place I WANTED to go to every day.

    Cons

    Disney Interactive was going through a lot of...turnover in upper management while I was there. High level dictates would come down, we would scramble to change our behavior accordingly and then a new set would come down the next week, starting the cycle all over again.

    But that's just what happens when you work for a massive entertainment conglomerate.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Wonderful Internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    As it was an unpaid internship through my college, it was fairly non-standard, but I did get to see how it was for the other employees, as well as that it was my first real work experience.

    Cons

    Because it was an internship set up through college, I felt a bit out of place, and it was hard to introduce myself to the other employees because of how busy they were with their own projects.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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