Mickey Mouse Just Flew Over Me: Disney Takes on Drones (Assignment 4)

by omar daouk.

There is no question that Hollywood stands to gain tremendously from the use of drone technology. Think about it; the demand for drone use (primarily as a replacement for expensive and dangerous helicopter shots) is so high that studios are more than willing to pay more than $15,000 a day to rent and have someone operate drones for filming purposes.

But can drones just be used in the entertainment biz for filming high-level shots?

Walt Disney has recently revealed that they have filed 3 different UAV-related patent applications for use of drones in their multi-million dollar theme parks across the globe. And no, not for surveillance purposes, but for creating aerial light displays, holding up mega-sized projection screens, and controlling large animated 3D puppets. This would replace traditional fireworks, actors paid to wear costumes and interact with visitors, and 2 dimensional projectors.

Here are the 3 patents that they filed for:

This is a pretty innovative solution to entertaining a new age of consumers on vacation. Granted the legal complications that already exist with Drones and entertainment, and the upcoming wave of complications Disney faces with the legality and restrictions of drones used for entertainment park displays, it will not be an easy battle. But putting that aside, imagine having a projector up in the sky that you could look up to see. Or a giant, 3D Disney character walking about the park and interacting with other drone-controlled creatures. Below are some of the images that they used in their patents that demonstrate how drones will work in this context:

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The possibilities are endless. If you can’t imagine how it would work, here is a simple video demonstration:


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