We love Disney fireworks shows — there’s just really nothing quite as magical.
Whenever a NEW nighttime spectacular debuts, we’re always pumped to spot the new ways that Disney uses tech in these shows. We’ve been wondering about the addition of drones to Disney shows for a while now. We saw them used in Disney Springs a few years ago. And Universal used them recently as well. Some of the concept art for EPCOT Forever made us think we might see them, but it’s just really cool kites instead.
But don’t fear, Disney IS still working hard on ways to incorporate drones in live shows!
We spotted a new Disney patent today that discusses an “aerial show system using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) energy to animate creative show element.” That’s pretty much a fancy way of saying that Disney has come up with a way to use drones and the rushes of air they produce to animate elements of a live show.
Take this figure from the patent for instance. Illustrated here is a potential use where the drone is used to suspend a “magical ship” (certainly looks like a flying pirate ship a la Peter Pan to us!). The drone flies the ship around and the air produced from the propellers shoots down to move the decorative rotors on the ship itself. It could also help to make sails billow in the wind!
Another potential use is something that we might be a little more familiar with. The patent explains that the air from the drones could be used to disperse water or particles in a way that makes a projection screen. Disney certainly does love throwing projections on water — just look at Fantasmic! This would allow those watery projection screens to be mobile.
A final use, and perhaps the largest scale of the ones in the patent, would be to animate a large scale set piece. This patent illustration seems to depict drones flying over a living mountain (looks a lot like Te Fiti from Moana!). The patent describes the use of the kinetic energy from the drones to move the arms of the set-piece and the air from the drones to make grass, hair, and other details appear to move organically.
WOW! This is certainly one of the cooler patents we’ve seen in a while. We’d love to see drones used more in Disney entertainment and such a high-tech approach seems like it could make for some seriously amazing effects. In the meantime, we’ll just have to look forward to the nighttime spectaculars of the future and HOPE they use some of this neat technology!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
How would YOU like to see drones used in nighttime spectaculars? Tell us in the comments!