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Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

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  • Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

    Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

    What's it like? Cool and snazzy? Quaint? Thousands of people? A small group?

    Any stories?

  • #2
    Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Di...udios_(Burbank)

    I found this in trying to answer my own question but I still am curious about first hand experiences visiting or working at Burbank - I have read about the early Walt days but what is it like now? How has it changed? Did it change with the new guy? Or Eisner?

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    • #3
      Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

      You can feel Walt Disney there in the same way that you can feel him at Disneyland. All the landscaping is immaculate, and the birds and squirrels seem to come straight from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". The studio was designed as an interdisciplinary campus for artists to commune with each other and, for that reason, specifically, the place doesn't feel nearly as industrial as other lots do.

      Since Eisner and Wells were installed, the lot has been overtaken by office buildings, unfortunately. And, the backlot is virtually non-existent, anymore.
      Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 01-08-2007, 03:23 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

        Thanks Pragmatic - Good to know that the Walt Magic has had an impact.

        Anyone visited the business end of HQ? Worked with the managers? Seen what the Strategic Planning Group were like in action?

        I am curious to hear how the style/approach differs from what we hear about the pre-1977 Walt days and the post-1984 Eisner days...?

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        • #5
          Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

          I've been in the building where the Disney Channel and Walt Disney Records are housed. It looks just like every other corporate office building, sorry to say. The Records office did have some great older LP's of some rare stuff in a glass case.

          Security there is Fort Knox tight too.

          Originally posted by Senator David Wu (D-OR)
          Don't let faux-klingons send real Americans to war!

          Originally posted by TheHousingBubbleBlog
          Everyone says that the U.S. doesn’t make anything anymore, but that’s not exactly true. We’re the world leader in the manufacturing of bull****.

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          • #6
            Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

            I know a few MiceChatters went last year (like Crazy Legs).

            I was there in early 1989, when someone I knew at the time was interning. She was doing stuff for Cocktail (post production final stuff after the movie had come out) so I watched as she did some stuff. Also she was working on stuff for the movie that was in production at the time called by it's then name "Teeny Weenies". You might remember it better as Honey I Shrunk The Kids

            It was cool being there that's for sure.

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            • #7
              Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

              Appreciate both those answers

              Would love any other details/stories/comparisons/insights!! Seemed like a pretty big jump between imagination first and then corporate first between Walt & Eisner - and now back to Iger-ville - really want to get a grip on how that has changed and impacted the company.

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              • #8
                Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                Got to visit Disney Online and have lunch at the studio back in the 90's when I worked at Remedy. Nice place. Wish I could work there. I was told that Walt's cryogenically frozen head is in a room off the tunnel connecting the animation building to photography.
                -AmandasDad

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                • #9
                  Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                  I'm not sure if the buildings housing Disney Online in North Hollywood and The Disney Channel in Burbank are owned by the company. Disney may just be leasing space in both locations.

                  On the studio lot, there is a small bungalow set amidst a nice lawn, and that building is the last remnant of the Hyperion Avenue studio. (I think that historic structure should be moved to D.C.A., myself.)

                  Robert A.M. Stern's animation building is probably the most interesting, architecturally, on the lot. The interior has some very unusual spaces where the walls do not meet at right angles with the ceilings and floors.

                  The Michael Graves-designed Team Disney, Burbank building (I'll never call it the "Michael Eisner Building".) doesn't make any sense, because Eisner suggested the dwarf atlases but didn't ask for anything more like friezes and pediments. Still, I've always appreciated what Graves was trying to do with the place, and the sandstone has a certain prettiness to it.

                  The Frank Wells Building is consistent with the original architecture with which the studio opened after the success of "Snow White". The Disney Archives occupies a quiet corner on the lower floor.

                  There is a poorly-designed subterranean parking garage under the former reflecting pool at T.D.B. The main studio commissary is fun and nostalgic. The executive dining room is interesting for its modernity (similar, as all of T.D.B. is, to the feel of the old opening of the "Magical World of Disney" on The Disney Channel where the camera flies through the interior of a digitally-animated castle.). The ABC building has a standard food court with counter-service chain restaurants. The serpentine pedestrian bridge that leads to that building over a public street happens to be an award-winning design.

                  In Glendale, the W.D.I. plant is a collection of non-descript industrial buildings on the outside. The interiors, though, have various spaces where different spheres of activity are taking place (or would be if the unit was still operating). There's a fairly extensive research library, and some unfettered personalization of the communal spaces like a wall that is just a mess of Imagineer graffiti. The MAPO building has high ceilings and is where much of the conceptual artwork and many of the models can be found.

                  The fact that Disney management has gutted Imagineering and Feature Animation and that the buzz of creative activity in these places is not there anymore is terribly saddening to me.

                  At the end of Eisner's reign, one could hardly call these places studios; they were soulless bureaucracies where incompetents were presiding over their little fiefdoms in the shadow of a foolish tyrant.
                  Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 01-08-2007, 03:58 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                    The Disney online building in NoHo is not owned by Disney. Universal is on the second floor

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                    • #11
                      Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                      The Eisner Building


                      The bungalow that PI talked about


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                      Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                        I am waiting for someone to replace the statue of Grumpy with one of Eisner... It's his building apparntly... I believe the office space was designed so that his office was not easily accessable to anyone.

                        Personally, I think they should have named the fire hydrent after him instead...
                        Check out my other blog:

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                        • #13
                          Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                          I worked on the backlot once on some crapy sitcom. Was neat to see. Very cool place.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                            Originally posted by cellarhound View Post
                            I am waiting for someone to replace the statue of Grumpy with one of Eisner... It's his building apparntly... I believe the office space was designed so that his office was not easily accessable to anyone.

                            Personally, I think they should have named the fire hydrent after him instead...
                            I thought that the statue of Dopey marked where his office was.
                            VISIT my sketchblog: M54

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                            • #15
                              Re: Anyone ever worked at / visited Burbank - Disney HQ?

                              Really enjoying (and appreciate) the photos and the insights! The more the merrier!

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