Technology: It is always part of our magic

At Disney, we’ve always pushed the boundaries of technology and innovation to entertain our guests and create experiences that look like nothing in the world.

Walt Disney himself was absolutely fascinated by the technology of his time and the possibilities it represented for the film industry and theme parks. He invented the multi-plane camera and used Technicolor in his animated films … then he went on to create Audio-Animatronics Disneyland figures show “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” and “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.” That was just the beginning, and Walt’s curiosity, imagination, and ingenuity set the stage for the decades of invention and discovery that have followed.

Today at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, we continue to innovate by inventing and investing in technology and adopting what it can mean for a Disney experience: seamlessly integrating the physical, digital and virtual world to help you navigate our properties and platforms, immerse yourself in our stories, connect with those you love and share your unforgettable experiences with the world.

In recent years, our Imagineers have developed amazing technology for attractions such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and the acrobatic robot Spider-Man taking off on Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park. You may also have seen a bit of what they are working on for future experiences, including a “real” lightsaber that will debut in Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at the Walt Disney World Resort, a freely moving robotic Groot character or a full-size exoskeleton that can bring to life our greatest characters in ways you never thought possible.

Sometimes this technology takes center stage and inspires a sense of awe, while other times it plays a secondary but invisible role behind the scenes … but it’s always there, helping our cast, team, employees and Imagineers do magic.

While we start the 50th Walt Disney World Resort’s anniversary, we are excited about how technology will add to our celebration, and beyond. Today we announced a project with Amazon called “Hey, Disney!” With it, we’ve created our own custom wizard, with Disney stories, characters and more, all based on Amazon’s Alexa technology.

Whether you are at home or in one of the rooms at the Walt Disney World Resort, you will soon be able to use an Echo device to interact with your Disney, Pixar or Star Wars characters. “Hey, Disney!” it will make your vacation easier, more meaningful and more fun … and it will also entertain and delight you when you are at home. Raise the bar for immersive storytelling with authentic character voices, unique audio environments inspired by our movies and destinations, and over a thousand magical interactions to discover, so you can expect some surprises.

Soon we’ll have more to share about “Hey, Disney!” and other ways in which technology and innovation will continue to help us do magic and make a difference to Disney, differentiating ourselves in the world of dream vacations, renowned family entertainment, and innovative products and experiences around the world.

Like Walt, all of us who live at Disney today think it’s fun to do the impossible. Our curiosity and imagination always work overtime, inspiring us with dreams of what it might be and where we will go next. Technology opens new doors every day, presenting us with endless possibilities and a vision of the constantly evolving future. I hope you come make the trip; we are just getting started.

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