Kim Wheeler
Kim Wheeler
Program Planning Manager, The Walt Disney Company
Windermere, FL

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    I support a lot of projects and refurbishments across the Walt Disney World property. I do a lot of design and redesign of various components on our attractions. I also support construction efforts, ride testing, and project management.
  • Why Engineering?
    I chose Engineering because I have always had an interest in how things work. I did FIRST robotics in high school and developed a love and passion for design, manufacturing and assembly. I had a great interest in building things and using my hands and thought Engineering was a great fit for that.
  • School Days
    I went to school for Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I am currently studying for my Master's of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management at the University of Florida (go Gators!)
  • My Day At Work
    Engineering Design, Design for manufacturability, finite element analysis, Solidworks and AutoCAD, project management, Construction support, Hazard Analysis, Design of Experiments, Testing development, Hazard Aligments, business decision making
  • Best Part
    I like the fact that I can solve problems and be creative to come up with solutions. I like working with people to come together to solve problems
  • Proud Moments
    I received my professional engineering license, or PE license in May of 2016.
  • Challenges
    I struggled a lot balancing extra-curricular activities with the rigorous engineering program. Once I learned to balance my time and manage my own expectations and life I was able to succeed and bring those skills into my job.
  • Dreams and Goals
    Eventually I would like to work on a larger scale construction project and get into more project management. For long term I would like to get into management.
  • Inspiration
    My dad has always been really influential in my life. I lost my mom when I was little so watching him go through that experience paved the path for who I am today.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. You are in control of your destiny, and if you have confidence in yourself it will go a very long way. Engineering as a woman is challenging and fulfilling rolled into one.
  • Additional Thoughts
    Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. You are in control of your destiny.
  • Hobbies
    I love watching sports on TV snuggled on the couch with my pug, Sammy.
Biography
My name is Kim and I've been working for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for about 5 years now. I started as an intern in Engineering Services Resorts, where I learned a lot about how maintenance works on large scale resort hotels. For the last 4 years I've been working as an Engineer for the Design & Engineering department, which supports all of the attractions, entertainment infrastructures, parades, transportation, and just about anything you can imagine here at Walt Disney World. One of my biggest projects has been working on the opening of the brand new Festival Of Fantasy Parade, which features lots of new exciting floats and technological advances. I recently started a position within the Ride Engineering team, where I work on updating attractions such as the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, and the Kilimanjaro Safari over at Animal Kingdom. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I am currently working on my Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering/Engineering Management from the University of Florida.
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Education
Bachelor of Science, Northeastern University Master of Science, University of Florida
Latest Questions
  • Sergel asked Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company

    Added Monday, October 15, 2018 at 8:20 PM

    Hi Kim,

    I've enjoyed reading your answers to everyone's questions.

    I was curious how the work life balance of the job feels. You mentioned you can be out in the field a lot, where some engineering jobs allow you to work from home or telecommute. How difficult would a Disney engineering job be, given their needs, if your family lived far from you? How's the flexibility when it comes to time away from work for family vacations and such?

    Thank you!

    Related to Social Concerns, Work Environment
    Answers 0
  • Madigan asked Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company

    Added Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    Hi Kim,

    I just scrolled through the many questions you have answered and I think is it amazing that you offer advice to aspiring engineers. It means a lot for students like myself to hear from professionals in the industry we look up to. Working for Disney as an imagineer is my dream job. I am a senior in Civil Engineering looking at going to grad school for Structural Engineering. I've been doing a lot of research to figure out if a career with Disney is even possible for ...

    Related to Civil, Internships & Jobs
    Answers 1
    Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company
    Answered Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 11:43 AM
    Hey Madigan
    
    Nice to hear from you! So there are some truths to what you said but I also have good news: Disney does hire Structural Engineers! We have an entire structural engineering department under our Architecture and Facilities Engineering group. ...
    Read More
  • Alexandra Resney asked Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company

    Added Monday, September 10, 2018 at 1:02 PM

    Hi Kim,

    I absolutely love the idea of engineering rides, especially the mix of computer and hands-on work! I am currently an undergrad studying Mechanical Engineering and looking at Grad Schools for Civil.

    Disney is obviously the dream - I have some questions about how you got there and how you would recommend others do so:

    1. Where did you initially apply? (The Disney Careers Website?)
    2. I know you said you were familiar with the software that Disney uses, is ...
    Related to Aeronautical/Aerospace , Civil, Construction, Engineering Skills, Graduate School, Internships & Jobs, Machines, Materials, Materials, Mechanical, Space, Sports & Entertainment
    Answers 1
    Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company
    Answered Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 4:11 PM
    Hi Alexandra,
    
    1. Yes I applied to Disney directly on the website. I started as an intern so I applied through the Disney careers website: https://jobs.disneycareers.com/professional-internships
    2. I had completed two previous internships with medical ...
    Read More
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