In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and innovation where the lines between reality and fantasy blur, The Walt Disney Company continues to push boundaries and reimagine the possibilities of storytelling. Senior product manager Amanda Scherer has played a pivotal role in bringing Disney magic into homes through her part in the creation of Hey Disney!, a new voice assistant developed by Disney and built on Alexa technology.
Amanda’s Disney journey began as a contractor for Disney Cruise Line, where she worked on the product team for the Disney Cruise Line mobile app. Amanda’s continuous networking efforts and educational background in Information Technology ultimately led her to an exciting opportunity as a full-time cast member: hopping on the groundbreaking Hey Disney! project. “Growing up in a Disney-obsessed family, it is so exhilarating to be able to work on a product that will add a daily dose of Disney magic to a family’s everyday routine through their Echo device,” she shared.
As part of the Disney team that launched the first Alexa Custom Assistant for families to use on their Echo devices at home, Amanda’s responsibilities revolved around managing the collaboration between Hey Disney! and Amazon. She identified and evaluated new product opportunities, expanded the connection of other devices within the Disney ecosystem and ensured seamless collaboration between participating teams. Like with any new project, they faced a few challenges. “Being the first in anything comes with a bunch of unforeseen obstacles that have never been solved before,” she explained. “Being able to push through those to launch a solution that adds magic to an already existing device was an amazing feeling!”
From iconic Mickey Mouse ears to beloved plushes and books, all Disney products share a common thread: a commitment to storytelling and creating memorable experiences. Amanda and her team made it a mission to incorporate these elements into Hey Disney!.
Introducing a new channel through Echo devices has expanded the possibilities for Disney to captivate audiences and allow for diverse and engaging ways to connect with the magic. Drawing inspiration from her own childhood memories and gathering insight from Disney enthusiasts, Amanda worked hard to inspire innovation and excitement in the new project.
Reflecting on her career, Amanda recalled a particularly exciting time as part of the Hey Disney! team that involved presenting and showcasing at CES, the most influential tech event in the world. Being part of the showcase and being able to see the excitement of attendees, news outlets and top execs at big tech companies before the launch made the project exceptionally rewarding for her.
For aspiring individuals seeking a career in product management, Amanda emphasized the importance of networking. “Consistently learning from those that are in the positions you are interested in is the best way to get to where you want to be,” she said. “The more people you connect with and show your interest in learning along with your current skills, the better your chances are to break into the field.”
Amanda and her team’s commitment to storytelling, creating memorable experiences and driving innovation ensures that Hey Disney! will continue to enchant and captivate audiences for years to come.