Disney Parks name Panasonic as official projection technology partner

January 5, 2017, 2:35 PM · Disney Parks has signed a deal with Panasonic that makes the company's Panasonic Projection Imaging Systems the "Official Projection Technology" of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

Disney fans knock rival Universal for using screens so many of its rides, but the fact remains that Disney employs a lot of projection technology in its new attractions, too. Panasonic's press releases notes that its projection systems are used now in several Disney attractions, including Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure Park, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, and at Frozen Ever After and the Gran Fiesta Tour at Epcot. The company's projection tech also will be used on the upcoming Na'vi River Journey in Pandora – The World of Avatar, at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

If you're thinking, "wait a minute, those aren't screen rides," then Disney Imagineering has done its job in hiding the tricky ways it is employing projection technology to animate faces on its next-generation Audio Animatronic characters, as well as to drop animated characters into physical space on rides such as Finding Nemo.

This is hardly Panasonic's first official presence in a major theme park, of course. Let's not forget that Panasonic once owned Disney's rival Universal, back in the days when Panasonic was known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Matsushita bought Universal's parent MCA in 1990 then sold it to Seagram's in 1995. Panasonic continued to sponsor the Terminator 2:3D show in the parks for several years after that, too.

Replies (6)

January 5, 2017 at 2:46 PM · Who supplies their televisions? I'm surprised Panasonic isn't named as a television supplier.
January 5, 2017 at 11:27 PM · In terms of screens, there are two big differences between Disney and Universal. One is that Disney has less rides that are dominated by screens. They may use screens and projections for certain visual effects, but the bulk of Disney's attractions offer more than that. Universal has too many rides that are 80-90% screens.

Secondly, Disney has been building non-screen based attractions in recent years, whereas Universal hasn't done so since Forbidden Journey.

And no, I'm not just a Disney fan. I'm a Universal fan, too.

January 6, 2017 at 2:28 AM · Fact is the rides with the longest lines at 3 of their 4 parks use mainly screens to tell the story.
Epcot: Soarin, Test Track.
DHS: Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Star Tours.
AK: Expedition Everest.
January 6, 2017 at 7:02 AM · O T: How does Expedition Everest mainly use screens? It only uses one projection element throughout the duration of the ride! Also, Tower of Terror subtly uses screens but uses mostly physical sets and practical illusions to immerse the riders.
January 6, 2017 at 10:34 AM · Yeah. OT is delusional if he thinks that TOT and Everest are "screen-based" attractions.
January 8, 2017 at 9:07 AM · No, the problem with the Universal attractions lately have been they are just lazy clones of their Tram ride.

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