Virginie Jegou, Special Effects Technician Operator, talks about her experience at Disneyland® Paris.
Hello, I have a rather unusual career! I arrived at Disneyland Paris in 2003 on Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show with Mickey and friends as a Stable girl. I practiced this activity for two years. Subsequently, I have benefited from the HAT program (Tourist Host), a program that no longer exists but the ability to offered multiple jobs. During fifteen months I alternately discovered in turn the world of attractions, shops and food.
I continued my training by specializing in machinery. An enriching experience that allowed me to find my true calling: Technician in Special Effects, the universe that I like most. After a date-to-date contract during 3 months, I had the opportunity to sign an open-ended contract.
At Disneyland Paris, I work every day on different shows as Motors ... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular®, Disney Junior Live on Stage !, Disney Dreams® !, Frozen Sing-along, Mickey and the Magician, The Forest of Enchantment, a Disney musical adventure) preparing the necessary machinery and products needed (smoke machines, snow, bubbles, to CO2 jets, jets coils, sheets, fireworks Castle, preparing the human torch, firearms) for shows and parks. It's really varied!
On the Disney Dreams! show, we are preparing in tandem various pyrotechnic products that we store in special cases for transportation. We use of course stage fireworks to avoid damaging and dirtying the castle. Upon our arrival at the place of the show, we check the installations, test the Isopar machine that emits jets of flames (check for leaks in generators, check wiring and test lines ...).
Cleaning different firing range zones, rehabilitating pyrotechnic materials, we ensure that everything runs smoothly. We respect each procedure, following instructions (when and how to intervene) to ensure total safety for our guests, our colleagues and ourselves.
Working on a show from start to finish, I control the execution of special effects, working closely with machinists, Sound, Video and Light technicians and stage managers. My work is always done as a duo, again for security reasons.
You have to be very rigorous in work, organized and have easy contact with other people.
The mounting of the show The Forest of Enchantment, a Disney musical adventure was a big challenge for me. When the first show is over and everything is working, it's fabulous! I am proud to contribute to the success of each show that is mounted.
I absolutely love my job, it's a comfort to evolve on different shows every day. It's a childhood dream of saying "I work in special effects"! It is a physical job that also requires flexibility in terms of schedules (night rehearsals ...). I recommend to future candidates to apply because this really is a great experience.