History of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics

Walt Disney led his company through the invention of many technologies. In animation there was the Xerographic Cell transfer process and the Multi-plane camera, just to name a few. But one of Disney’s most major inventions was the animation of the human figure in real life – Audio-Animatronics.

For a while, Disney fans have bemoaned the loss of the long form audio-animatronic attraction epitomized by Pirates of the Caribbean or Horizons. But the company has continued to make use of the figures, including some featured figures in the new attraction based on The Little Mermaid.

In a great primer for those who aren’t aware of Disney’s involvement in the creation of this technology, the blog Malloryland takes a look at the history of Disney’s Audi0-Animatronics. The article doesn’t mention it, but Disney has been outsourcing much of its animatronic needs since 2008 (actually, it started long before that, but the admitted it in 2008).

Do you have a favorite attraction that uses audio-animatronics? Do you think we’ll ever see the return of an Horizons like attraction?

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9 Responses to History of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics

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  2. Josh M says:

    Great article. I am hoping we will see a return to more Audio-Animatronic rides at WDW. Clearly it was important to Walt’s vision as a way to communicate a story, so it would be great to see management consider bringing them back.

    I even sent an email off to Mr. Bob Iger last week that humbly asked him to consider bringing the “Walt Disney” back into “Walt Disney World” by providing some of these quality attractions again. I said Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin can be fun and all, but feels more like a money grab when compared to the attractions of yesteryears. Who knows if he will ever actually read my email, however.

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