Disney Developing New Exoskeleton for Character Meet and Greets at the Disney Parks. Disney is well known for using innovative technology to enhance their theme park experiences for guests and as the science grows, so does their options! The entertainment company recently shared that a new project, named Project Exo is working on developing exoskeletons for character meet and greets at the Disney Parks. The suits would be made on lightweight materials that mimic real-life motions and allow for entertainment cast members to appear as larger-than-life characters, particularly from the Marvel movies.
Though Disney has yet to share a formal list of characters being developed in Project Exo, a behind-the-scenes look indicated that the Mad Titan Thanos and The Incredible Hulk are on the shortlist. Walt Disney Imagineering has made some incredible and jaw-dropping experiences for guests, with a heightened interest in robotics and authentic animatronics that put guests into the worlds of the movies we love from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, Fox, and more.
For the exoskeletons specifically, Disney is utilizing 3D Printing technology that allows for repeated use of malleable material, such as vinyl and TPU plastics, to give an authentic look and movement to characters that will become available in future meet and greets. The new designs would have been impossible to create with the standard foam and metal-framed suits currently being used by entertainment cast members.
The new suits will also be safer for cast members to use and will prevent injuries to entertainment performers in the parks, making for a better experience for both the guests and CM’s. For characters who are too small to be played by entertainers, Walt Disney Imagineering is also developing new animatronics that move freely on their own (with a little help from an engineer with a remote at a distance.) Now we will be able to meet and greet with small characters such as Baby Groot, and potentially characters such as Yoda and Grogu down the line. I would also LOVE to see animal companions such as Doug from Up, Pascal from Tangled, Hei Hei and Pua from Moana, Remi from Ratatouille, and more traveling with their humanoid friends!
Another hope I have for the application of this technology would be improvements made to existing character meet and greets such as the Toy Story characters, Genie, Jafar, Ursula, Disney Junior characters, and more. We have already seen this applied to characters from the main Mickey Mouse cast, particularly during shows and parades, but how incredible would that be to see this widespread around the parks?!
Check out a closer look at Groot below and be sure to check back here at Chip and Company for updates and all things Disney!
Featured Photo Credit: Disney / Walt Disney Imagineering