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How Disney and Intel created a flying palette of light-up drones

November 30, 2016, 11:42 AM · So did Disney get 300 drones to fly into the sky above Disney Springs, then choreograph them to fly together in changing patterns to create Walt Disney World's Starbright Holidays show? Here's the inside story, from Disney:

In the video, Disney Imagineers confirm what many fans had speculated — that the inspiration for the show came from that iconic moment in the Disney animated hit Tangled with the floating lanterns over the kingdom. Disney partnered with Intel, who developed the special "Shooting Star" drones that perform in the show.

And this is a performance. Yes, it's an exercise in computer programming, aeronautics, engineering, and stagecraft, but what part of mass-market entertainment isn't highly technical in its production these days? We've all become so accustomed to seeing incredible imagery on screen in movies, television, and video games, that it's a treat to watch the reaction on Disney guests' faces when they recognize that these floating points of light above the West Side of Disney Springs are real and that they're watching a video effect come to life. To me, that's as much fun as watching the show itself, which, c'mon now, is pretty darned captivating on its own.

How often do you see something truly new and unique in entertainment? Thanks to the teams at WDI and Intel who put this show together, now we can.

Replies (5)

November 30, 2016 at 12:31 PM · This looks interesting, not sure how impressive 300 drones can be, maybe 3,000 drones would be impressive. This won't replace the fireworks, but maybe they can be combined.
November 30, 2016 at 1:04 PM · Is this show now running regularly ? And if so, what days/times ?
November 30, 2016 at 4:42 PM · Every night at 7pm and 8:30pm. I think it's only running through the holiday season.
November 30, 2016 at 6:40 PM · We watched it twice last week. Once from the walkway to Rainforest cafe and once in front of Bongos. The view was much better from Bongos. The shows were 5 minutes long and started at 7:00 and 8:30 PM.
December 1, 2016 at 7:28 AM · 7 pm and 8:30 pm daily for a limited run.

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