Walt Disney World recruiting a new Principal Fireworks Designer as a return of nighttime shows gets closer

Mar 27, 2021 in "Harmonious"

Posted: Saturday March 27, 2021 9:57am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

According to a new job posting, Disney is currently recruiting a new Principal Fireworks Designer for Walt Disney World.

The role was previously occupied by Brad Cicotti, who has worked on and designed many of the pyrotechnic elements for Walt Disney World's recent firework spectaculars.

Disney has a number of upcoming shows that will use fireworks, including Harmonious, and possibly a finale tag to Happily Ever After for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.

Here is the full description from the job listing:

Job Description

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
  • 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
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RSoxNo1May 13, 2021

Look no further than Fantasmic! as an answer to how / why Disney doesn't currently get it. One of the biggest reasons that Fantasmic! is better in Disneyland vs. Disney World is that it materializes out of existing infrastructure making it that much more impressive. The show in DHS is still a very solid show, but it loses that level of "wow factor" because the facility itself presents an elevated expectation. Harmonious will absolutely have to overcome this hurdle. The daytime running fountains could actually contribute to the loss of "wow factor" if they impress during the daytime. If people saw what they can do during the daytime they will be less impressive at night. This is just one of many reasons the show has been setup to fail.

mnelson3May 12, 2021

Any chance of DLRs fountains and projections at least?

jrhwdwMay 12, 2021

Upgrades or COVID Changes?

Max DuaneMay 12, 2021

Is this confirmed? Lol just curious, any change to the current show is a good one to me. Honestly I wish they would have taken Tokyo’s dragon and moved it over head now that their show is over.

marni1971May 12, 2021

No. No no no no no. Nooooo. Don’t go there ! 😁😁

TransportationGuyMay 12, 2021

It’ll have some changes when it comes back, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up for a DLR style F!

jt04May 12, 2021

Problem? Maybe it is time for a 5th gate. 😉

marni1971May 12, 2021

It already does. That’s the problem.

Max DuaneMay 12, 2021

The biggest change that would prevent it from being a 100% carbon copy of Disneyland’s version would be a reimagining of the Pocahontas segment. WDW doesn’t have the Columbia, preventing Peter Pan or Pirates, so they’d have to create a brand new scene using the mountain backdrop. My personal dream? Use some of that projection mapping to turn the mountain into Tefiti and make an incredible Moana segment of her returning the stone and watching the mountain transform from a lava gushing volcano to a beautiful paradise while Maui and other Moana characters pass by on the floats. I think this would make for a great transition to the princess segment and there’s so much they could do with projection mapping, water effects, and more that relate to Moana.

jt04May 11, 2021

Once the current restrictions on attendance are lifted the Studios are going to need some crowd eaters. Not everyone can fit in GE at night. An upgraded Fantasmic can easily 'sell out' nightly. Probably twice on full capacity days. Well worth the investment as an easy fix until the next phase of expansion.

marni1971May 11, 2021

If only. Orlando getting half the Anaheim upgrades would make it twice the current show. A few are questionable but as a show it’s light years ahead out west.

Max DuaneMay 11, 2021

DL has had two major overhauls over the years and WDW’s has had none since the 90s. Really sad considering we have such a large seating venue and the mountain set piece

jt04May 11, 2021

Yes, upgrades similar to the DL version would be excellent.

marni1971May 11, 2021

Nothing to get excited about here.