Disney looks to take live theme park acts to new heights with drones

The 'Mouse House' has used drones in limited form the last three years

Disney is looking to take their live performances in theme parks to new heights, according to a recently published drone patent.

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The patent from Disney Enterprises, Inc., which was filed back in September 2019 and is titled “Aerial Show System Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Energy To Animate Creative Show Element,” includes various drawings which suggest the drones will be used to move and animate flying objects.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Patent

According to the patent’s abstract, the aerial show system would be used to make sure the unmanned drones, or UAVs, that are utilized in future shows at Disney theme parks are hitting their cues and doing what is required of them by using non-UAVs or ground-based systems connected through a central show control system to track them.

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Disney noted that their show and display designers have already begun to implement the drones in their productions by having them carry static set pieces or help trigger other show effects through a pre-programmed set of movements. However, the current drone technology has experienced problems when it comes to syncing with other production elements.

"Modern aerial display or show productions have increasingly complex human performance and show effects, and, to date, it has proven very difficult to synchronize these elements with UAV pre-programmed flight paths," Disney wrote. "The show production may be simplified to make a UAV appear to hit certain marks at the same time as other show elements, and this lack of tight synchronization may cause the appearance of UAVs within an aerial display or show to be perceived as arbitrary and disjointed."

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The company utilized drones back in 2016 as part of its “Starbright Holidays” Drone Light Show at Disney Springs.

Recently, Disney also unveiled drones dressed as X-Wings which appeared in the sky over Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge as part of the dedication ceremony back in December for its latest Star Wars-themed attraction, Rise of the Resistance. The drones, however, only appeared for the one night.

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A spokesperson for Disney did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.

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