Originally published in Theme Park Insider…By Amanda Kondolojy, Tuesday, November 8, 2016 05:11
Just last week it was confirmed that the FAA issued a special waiver for Walt Disney World that will allow the resort to operate drones as a part of its regular entertainment offerings. And while we figured that this development meant that Disney could continue with a number of long-gestating projects that we’d see come to fruition in 2017 and beyond, we were surprised yesterday when Disney announced a brand new drone-based entertainment option coming soon to the resort. And perhaps even more interesting is where this new entertainment option will be happening
Drones invade Disney Springs in time for Christmas….
Though Disney Springs has already announced a number of new holiday offerings for 2016 (including a trail of Disney-themed decorated Christmas trees), Disney posted a cryptic video yesterday that features quick shots of drones moving into place to form a giant, floating Christmas tree.
While Disney did not confirm a name for this new entertainment offering, they did tease this experience briefly, telling guests to “Look to the stars soon at Disney Springs”. You can check it out for yourself below:
Why Disney Springs first?
At first, Disney Springs might seem to be a curious location for Disney to debut this new nighttime experience. After all, you might think that a new show featuring state-of-the-art technology would debut inside a theme park with much fanfare. However, debuting this new experience rather quietly at Disney Springs actually does make a lot of sense.
First off, Disney is probably hoping that by adding this experience to the shopping district, more holiday shoppers will stop by for a visit, which is of course of particular importance, as Disney has been going all out in recent weeks to get guests to spend more time in this area. With this newest addition, Disney Springs has more holiday-themed entertainment than ever before, and it will be interesting to see if guests flock to the resort this holiday season as a result.
However, beyond Disney’s desire to increase foot traffic at Disney Springs, premiering this new experience here is a great way to introduce this new technology slowly so it can be refined before making the leap to the theme parks. Disney Springs offers Walt Disney World Imagineers a lab populated with guests with which they can not only test the limits of this technology (and make adjustments as necessary), but also see how guests respond to drone-based entertainment in general.
When could we see this new option debut?
Disney has been testing this new show over the past few days, and based on the video above, it looks like this entertainment offering is pretty far along in development. And though nothing has been announced or confirmed yet, with Disney Springs debuting its other Christmas options next week, it seems likely that this new entertainment option will be introduced either alongside the shopping district’s other holiday events, or shortly thereafter.
Are you excited to see this new drone-based entertainment option at Disney Springs this holiday season? And what would you like to see this new technology used for in the future?
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