Disney Files Several Patent Applications for Drone Use in the Theme Parks

It sounds a little bit like something straight out of science fiction, but Disney recently filed three patent applications related to drone use in its theme parks.

The three patent applications are for: Aerial Display System with Floating Pixels, Aerial Display System with Floating Projection Screens, and Aerial Display System with Marionettes Articulated and Supported by Airborne Devices.

Aerial Display System With Drone Articulated MarionettesAerial Display System With Drone Articulated Marionettes

The first application is for a "mulit-drone" system to hold up a projection screen. The screen would display "flixels," which is Disney Imagineer speak for floating pixels.

The application states that these projection screens could eventually replace nighttime fireworks.

The third application is the most futuristic sounding as it is would utilize multiple drones that were attached to larger-than-life marionette puppets that would then be able to "walk" and/or "fly" while being controlled from the ground.

The patent applications states: "This is a significant improvement over prior flying characters, which typically were provided in the form of parade or other blimps/balloons filled with hot air or other gases and that had little and/or awkward articulation of any movable parts."

The three patents were applied for by Clifford Wong, James Alexander Stark, and Robert Scott Trowbridge, all of whom are Disney Imagineers.

Sounds interesting to us - what do you think?

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stevenw wrote on Tue, 09/02/2014 - 13:22:

stevenw's picture

"Replace fireworks"?! Don't you dare!

As for drones over large crowds, I bet Disney lawyers will have something to say about that.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 09/02/2014 - 16:45:

Kristen K.'s picture

It seems to me that as the largest buyer of fireworks in the country, and an innovator in the industry, Disney will not likely get ride of fireworks entirely. This however could really enhance the shows. I would be crushed if all of the fireworks went away.

kywildcatchick wrote on Wed, 09/03/2014 - 01:03:

kywildcatchick's picture

I love new technology and love that Disney will do it right or get it right! I would hate to see the fireworks go but a combination of both could be pretty amazing.

John wrote on Wed, 09/03/2014 - 13:41:

John's picture

Disney was testing them at World of Color this weekend. You could see one flying. I was told that it was to check if there was interference.


Dipak Kharayat wrote on Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:12:

Dipak Kharayat's picture

Here is a video showing how awesome these shows are going to be - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO5b_SxObbQ

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