Well, we don’t envision a future where the robot pirates are going to eat any park guests. But, according to a piece in
Disney wants the robots in its parks to come alive. One goal: Setting them free from the confines of the rides and letting them wander walkways to turn the parks into, as one executive put it, "inhabited places." https://t.co/UGlTjq0Cjw— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 19, 2021
Imagineering has already shown off their prototype Baby Groot in a series of videos. But that walking animatronic is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s coming. According to the article, Disney’s newest robotics initiative, codenamed “Project Kiwi,” is about “extreme Marvel and
The most fascinating tidbit from
So what does this mean for the future of Disney theme parks? Imagineering is confident that these advances won’t mean that robots will replace cast members who portray Disney characters. Why get a robot to play Elsa or Cruella when you can get a real live human to do it? But it does mean characters that humans can’t believably play might go the Groot route. Imagine a Baby Yoda, or even a grown-up Yoda, walking around Galaxy’s Edge? Or for that matter, any non-human
And some things will be combinations of real live humans with animatronics. Imagineering previewed exoskeletons made for oversized characters. We spotted a wampa from
And this is the future. We don’t think iconic attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion will ever go away. But it’s clear that, at some point, the old ’60s animatronics will be replaced with more believable and mobile ones. No more swashbucklers and happy haunts just standing in place. In 10 years’ time, those rides might have entirely new robots inside. Ones that will blow away even the most jaded 21st-century kid.