Disney theme parks have long been known for their eye-popping technology, from Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom to the nightly fireworks spectacular that includes a multimedia projection mapping of the famed Cinderella Castle in the heart of the Magic Kingdom. This week Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando will debut its third nighttime fireworks show, “Happily Ever After.”
The new show “will combine the latest in fireworks, pyrotechnics, lasers, hand-drawn animation, original music, a new theme song and much more,” according to a Disney announcement. “All of these elements will work together to tell a heart-tugging story about the importance of chasing your dreams, no matter what, and finding your happily ever after.”
“Happily Ever After” will take guests “on an emotional journey as favorite Disney characters set out to pursue their dreams, encounter obstacles (and villains!) to ultimately prevail and find their ‘happily ever afters.’ The show also encourages guests to pursue their own dreams and never give up,” according to the announcement.
Disney Parks Live Entertainment first used projection mapping in 2010 with the launch of “The Magic, The Memories & You,” a nighttime show that combined guest-submitted photos with different colorful layouts that were projected onto Cinderella’s castle.
Magic Kingdom Projection Mapping
Disney officials took projection mapping to a new level with “Celebrate the Magic” in 2012, and projection mapping technology then expanded to Disney Parks around the world. Today, projection mapping is used in a variety of Disney attractions, including “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” and the seasonal “Jingle Bell: Jingle BAM!” show.
“With projection mapping technology, you can create an immersive environment for guests, taking them inside the films of Disney,” said show director James Silson. “It enables us to flood the palate and give our guests an opportunity to experience many of our characters’ worlds in the same show.”
Those characters and film settings will run the gamut from hand-drawn sequences of classic Disney characters including Ursula, Aladdin and Princess Tiana to more recent ones including “Tangled,” “Moana,” “Zootopia” and “Big Hero 6.”
To create the most technologically advanced projections for Cinderella Castle, Disney Parks Live Entertainment partnered with experts in the field to bring the show to life.
“It’s not paper; it’s not a cell,” said art director Ryan Kravetz. “The physical structure of this castle as our starting point is a really powerful medium to be using.”
Speaking of living happily ever after, those who’ve been too busy preparing for InfoComm 2017 perhaps have forgotten the show will be in Orlando. That means a group outing to see some of the coolest and newest technology in action isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Here’s a live stream of the debut of the Happily Ever After” projection mapping show at Walt Disney World:
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