Disney character meet-and-greets and other experiences could be changing in a BIG way…literally!
We’ve seen some incredible technology already in use in Disney World and some amazing technology potentially on the way. From an animatronic of Spider-Man that can actually fly through the sky to figures that have incredibly real movements, we’ve seen some great things already, but recently we got a closer look at one major project that could change character meet-and-greets forever.
If you’ve never heard about Project EXO, then you are missing out. Back in 2021, Disney released a video showing some Imagineering tech that could support some HUGE character interactions. Essentially, Disney revealed that it has been working on some things that could bring oversized characters to life. Anyone getting Yeti vibes here?
Later in 2021, at a D23 event, Disney shared a true first look at this tech. With Project EXO, Disney has developed technology that has pneumatic assist at key joint areas. With this tech, the weight of the exoskeleton goes to the legs so the performer doesn’t have to bear all of the weight on their own shoulders or backs.
They’ve also been working on 3D printing muscles to make for some really realistic character encounters.
This could change the game when it comes to meeting really large characters in a larger-than-life type of way. That’s why we were pumped that we got the chance to see some of this up close at the D23 Expo!
In an exhibit from Walt Disney Imagineering’s research and development team, we got a closer peek at Project EXO!
While there, the Cast Member explained that they have been working on 3D printing musculature. The examples behind the Cast Member actually show the evolution of the muscles from things that sort of worked to more of the end product.
When you combine this with some of the other tech they’ve been working on to bring large characters to life, you get Project EXO. The Cast Member there shared that Disney is really excited about how this project will enable them to bring large-costumed characters into the parks in the future.
Which characters specifically? Well, the Cast Member said there were TOO many to name! What do you think? Will this end up being the starting point for a huge Hulk meet-and-greet? Or maybe a yeti outside of the Matterhorn or Expedition Everest? Who knows!?
The exhibit from Imagineering also showed off some stuntronics prototypes and other work for that area.
Essentially, these were some of the building blocks for what eventually became the flying Spider-Man stuntronic fans can see at Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure Park.
That’s just a taste of some of the neat technology Disney has been working on. If you’re curious to know what the future of the parks might hold, check out our full post about the patents and permits that could be hiding some of Disney’s BIGGEST announcements.
We’ll be covering EVERYTHING you need to know about this year’s D23 Expo, and we have a feeling there will be a lot in store. We’ve already heard about a NEW Tiana restaurant, gotten a peek at the NEW Tiana ride that’ll take over Splash Mountain, and seen the Walt Disney statue coming to EPCOT.
Plus, we’ve checked out the massive Te Fiti figure coming to the Moana attraction in EPCOT and learned about a new Tiana-themed store coming to Disneyland soon. And the Expo hasn’t even officially kicked off yet!
It’s going to be a wild ride for the next few days, so be sure to check back with us for ALL the updates!
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What do you think about this new tech? Tell us in the comments!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. We were invited by Disney to attend D23 Expo as media. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ
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