Disney Interactive Studios Reviews

Updated March 20, 2015
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3.2
127 Reviews
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Disney Interactive Studios President, Disney Interactive James Pitaro
James Pitaro
21 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Disney magic

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    I love working for Disney Interactive. Opportunity to learn and grow. Friendly colleagues.

    Cons

    Nothing I can think of.

  2. Constant struggle to meet unrealistic expectations in a land of stunning visual beauty.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most individual contributors are genuinely good people, devoted to the team and hard-working. Some of the low-level managers are sympathetic to their team members. Some professional growth is available if you push hard for it. Most of the artists are incredibly talented. Great opportunities to work across disciplines and learn from a diverse set of coworkers. Bonuses occasionally available for performance.

    The people at the very top of The Walt Disney Company organization chart are good people with good ideas who know how to steer the ship.

    Corporate benefits at TWDC are excellent.

    Cons

    Managers of individual contributors generally mean well, but are not trained on how to get the most out of their team members and are generally not provided with any resources to help them manage. Projects are often started with half (or less) of the require personnel but still expected to meet deadlines. Petty drama between large-team managers causes numerous months delay in the ability to hire new individual contributors. Most of the struggle for profitability is borne by individual contributors working nights and weekends but most of the rewards are given to upper management. Very little room for professional growth. Cross-company collaboration was extremely difficult and only open on personal back-channels. Few training opportunities, and those may take numerous months to get approved. Engineers are not given the time to write stable code and are actively discouraged from writing test suites.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop overworking your employees. Focus on your best asset: people. Comp time is not expensive. Company swag is not a proper reward. Don't expect stable/quality products from engineers who are chastised for and actively discouraged from taking the time to write stable/quality code.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful

    Downsizing

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

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    In a dynamic industry with still some talents.

    Cons

    Since the new management of Disney took over last year, it has been about cost cutting and no vision.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Very nurturing environment
    Employees care about the wellbeing of the company
    Great employee activities

    Cons

    Hard to get a full time job

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Great Place to Learn and Move On

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • 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 full-time

    Pros

    It was a great place to learn what it's like to work with world class IP and amazingly smart people in a massive, global company. Spending a few years there was like earning a Stanford MBA. The perks and benefits are second to none, but don't let those things charm you into losing focus on what really matters.

    Cons

    It was difficult working with "acquired" executives because they were only focused on self-preservation (to buy time until their contracts vested) as opposed to innovating and contributing to the Disney legacy. The senior management landscape is extremely political and treacherous. Management only really cared about profit and therefore missed out on some big opportunities to create beloved and evergreen products.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Loved the work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Junior UI Designer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Junior UI Designer in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    + Resume value
    + Great opportunity to grow
    + Good work-life balance

    Cons

    - Some of the games didn't do well so the whole department suffered.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  8. Intense, and awesome. Best job I ever had.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Art in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Intern - Art in Salt Lake City, UT

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

    Pros

    Avalanche Studios in Salt Lake City is an amazing place to work! I was very fortunate to work in a department that dealt with all areas of the studio. I met all the Art Directors and the Intern Forums really boosted my network with various co-workers throughout the studio. Disney is open to new ideas that help boost moral and improve workflow. Everyone I worked with was very positive, even when working 70 hour work weeks. As an intern you actually get real industry experience. You're not running around getting coffee. In fact there were a couple times my boss got coffee for me... that might have been an isolated experience though. Compensation was surprisingly competitive. You might be an intern, but they treat you like any other employee and they're very patient about teaching you the skills you need to move up in the industry. They say Disney is the happiest place on earth, and that is definitely true at Avalanche Studios. Even bad days were good days.

    Cons

    If I'd been full time I probably would say that the hours for crunch time were the worst part, but I didn't get hit with that as bad as most people. They really try to remedy that by offering workout time and life drawing sessions as well as weekly events to keep the team going. Long crunch time hours is pretty standard in the industry. This position was really tough to get into, you can expect about 400-600 applicants per job because of the Disney brand. Sometimes it can take a few months for them to get back to you about an application, so don't lose hope, but also realize you may not get the job immediately so plan ahead financially. Many of the employees have been at the studio for years; there's great job security, but it's really tough to get in. Because of the massive number of applicants they can be really picky, so you gotta shine good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lose your vigor! You're amazing, and you gave excellent feedback and direction whenever I had troubles. Thank you so much for working so hard. Your job is tough and I applaud your drive. You never give up and that gives everyone else strength.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Disney Interactive has a fun and fast paced atmosphere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Content & Video Operations in Glendale, CA
    Current Intern - 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
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Disney Mobile

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

    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.

  11. 2 people found this helpful

    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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