Disney takes a new approach with Audio Animatronics on its Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Published: April 29, 2014 at 10:03 AM
It's a "new look" because the Dwarfs on the Mine Train won't be the purely practical animatronics we've seen until now on so many Disney theme park attractions, with sculpted features driven by mechanical processes. On the Mine Train, the Dwarf animatronics will blend mechanical features with 3D computer animation, apparently projected upon the mechanical animatronics themselves.
A Disney Imagineer works with one of the new computer animation Audio Animatronics on the Mine Train. Photo courtesy Disney.
From what some insiders have said privately, it's getting these animatronics timed just right that's been keeping the park from getting the attraction ready to open to the public, rather than an issue with the ride system itself. But as the movie industry long ago moved to CGI (computer generated imagery) to get the widest range of detailed effects in film, perhaps it's appropriate that Disney's now turning to CGI-style elements to make its signature animatronics appear even more lifelike.
Insiders also report that once Disney nails down these effects on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it will might begin adding these "CGI animatronics" on other attractions, starting with the Fantasyland dark rides.