Over the years Walt Disney World has carefully crafted an image as the place where people go to celebrate life’s victories large and small. From winning the Super Bowl to a marriage proposal, it’s where magical memories are made. The latest group to celebrate is… Read More »Central Florida student robotics team celebrates world championship win at Magic Kingdom
We already profiled The VOID virtual reality experience that will bring a Star Wars attraction to Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA and Disney Springs in Orlando, FL, but there were 10 other participating companies in the 2017 Disney Accelerator program graduating class. Each company demoed… Read More »2017 Disney Accelerator teams demo day results
A new documentary looks at Walt Disney, the man, and his pursuit of futurism in his life and work. The perfectly titled, “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow: The Futurism of Walt Disney” is available to watch for free online The film interviews various historians, former Disney… Read More »Documentary captures the futurism of Walt Disney
The projects coming out of Disney Research these days is astounding. The latest takes images drawn in coloring books and renders them in augmented reality as a fully realized 3D model. I think I would have been a lot more interested in drawing if my… Read More »Disney Research turns coloring book characters into animated 3D models
We recently looked at seven attractions that Disney will likely never build again in their theme parks, everybody told me that while the list was accurate, it was also depressing. Today I want to offer a little more hope (in most cases) with ten technologies I expect to see in Disney use in its resorts and attractions soon.
I wrote about some of these in my book “Dispatch from Disneyland” back in 1999 by extrapolating from some very early experiments Walt Disney Imagineering was doing a the time. It’s great to see some of these becoming less speculative fiction and more non-fiction.
1. Increased personalization – This is one of the true promises of MyMagic+ and the RFID and NFC chips that make it possible. As a guest, you won’t just just hear or see your name or image in an attraction, but attractions will change their environment around you based on your preferences. For instance it could adjust sound level, brightness, scariness factor, etc.. Disney can analyze your shopping, dining, and attraction patterns and make suggestions on merchandise, food locations, and attractions may have have missed or when a short line is available for a suitable attraction. The list is pretty much endless and the technology to do most of this is here today.
2. Augmented reality – We’ve seen limited use of virtual reality in Disney Quest, but AR is more about laying facts, data, experiences on top of our existing reality resulting in a more immersive, connected experience. Aurasma is just a parlor trick compared to what we could see here. 3D Augmented Reality is in the near future. There are any number of demo videos out there, here’s a semi-recent one where it’s easy to see some of these ideas translated into theme park experiences.
3. Self-driving Podcars – Yes, it’s the future WALL-E warned us about, but just like the Monorail was the future of transportation back in 1959, the autonomous self-driving podcar is the future of all transportation. Walt Disney World is the perfect place to model this. I wrote a little about this before. The technology has become much more advanced in the last 18 months and Google even has a prototype vehicle which would work perfectly within the confines of Walt Disney World. Come on Bob Chapek, make it happen as your first big move as new Disney Parks & Resorts Chair.
4. Minority Report / Corning Glass – In the not too distant future any surface can be made interactive. Remember this video from Corning?
Yeah, that was 2011. They’re getting a lot closer to making it ready for retail. But first, it needs to show up in a showcase location, and really what better location that Disney, right? I mean you could redo EPCOT’s FutureWorld in this stuff and really blow everyone away.
5. Drones – The burrito drone may seem like a practical joke, but in a resort setting like Walt Disney World, having delivery to your room or spot at a water park by drone is a real possibility. Doesn’t have to be food either, could be lost magic bands, a toothbrush, a special gift from Mickey Mouse. Not sure how this would work inside an attraction, but I trust Disney’s Imagineers to figure it out.
6. Haptic feedback / ultrasonics – This technology will allow what you see in the virtual / augmented reality space to feel real to the touch. Disney Research has been doing a lot of work in this area and I expect to see it brought to theme park attractions in the not too distant future (maybe even in Avatar).
Saschka Unseld, director of Pixar’s latest animated short, dishes on the making of The Blue Umbrella including the use of the new Global Illumination System: [W]e used the Global Illumination technology that Monsters [University] used as well. So that helped us massively in getting everything… Read More »How Pixar Used Light in its Short – The Blue Umbrella
If you’ve been following this blog closely, then you know quite a bit more about the Next-Gen MyMagic+ program Walt Disney World is expected to be rolling out soon – no one quite knows when, it keeps getting delayed as Disney makes adjustments based on… Read More »Tom Staggs Presents MyMagic+ to Technology Conference
If you missed the news, Thomas Staggs has made Disney’s most clear statement to date on exactly what NextGen will bring to the parks. The guest will encounter it via the MyMagic+ program. There’s a fairly good write up on the program by Brooks Barnes in the New York Times.
There was also this bit officially released by Disney:
With MyMagic+ Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is taking another step forward to evolve “how” guests experience Disney Parks and is using technology to make it easier than ever before for guests to make the most of their Walt Disney World visit. Many of these efforts fall under the umbrella of MyMagic+, which has the ability to connect nearly all aspects of the guest experience and make it better for everyone, at no additional charge.
A new website and mobile app called My Disney Experience provides a one-stop shop for all things Walt Disney World throughout every phase of a guest’s vacation. It will enable guests to:Read More »MyMagic+ – NextGen Rollout Questions, Answer, and more Questions