Disneyland Paris

The United States-based Disney parks have been no stranger when it comes to introducing new technology into their entertainment offerings. From projections, not only on Cinderella Castle but down Main Street USA to a flying BAYMAX complete with rocket thrusters. However, one form of technology that Disneyland Paris has introduced has yet to be utilized within the US-based parks. Could the introduction of a brand new night-time show at EPCOT be the perfect time to bring drones to Walt Disney World?

Now, you may be thinking, “Walt Disney World had a drone show in the past.” Indeed. In 2016, there was a 5-minute-long holiday drone show shown at Disney Springs called Starbright Holidays. However, drone technology has dramatically improved in the past 7 years. Not to mention, drones have not yet been utilized within any of the parks at Walt Disney World. 

Starbright Holidays
Image: Disney Parks

Many other theme parks are already utilizing drones in their night-time shows. Disneyland Paris first introduced drones as part of their 30th-anniversary celebration. The park recently added a new Marvel show with 500 drones, projections, light, music, and pyrotechnics. This is the first daily drone show at a Disney park.

In the states, parks like Dollywood and Holiday World have also begun offering night-time drone shows. Dollywood was the first park to offer a night-time drone show back in 2021, and Holiday World followed suit in 2022 with its Holidays in the Sky show. Both shows are set to return this summer.

Holidays In the Sky
Image: Holiday World

There are several benefits to including drones in night-time shows. After the initial purchase of the drones, there is a low recurring cost. In addition, drones leave no debris or pollution in the air. Fireworks, however, leave debris, produce excessive smoke, and have regular recurring costs as new ones must be shot off each night. They can also offer more creativity and distinct pictures that fireworks alone cannot achieve, and there is less chance of accidents or fire. Finally, drones are quiet. This is a benefit to young children and those with PTSD who may be overwhelmed or upset by the loud noises that accompany fireworks.

Likewise, there are drawbacks to utilizing drones. The first is the high initial costs and additional training required to manage the drones. They also come with insurance stipulations and certain regulatory approval requirements. One issue that could be problematic for a park-like EPCOT is that drone displays are best enjoyed from a particular viewing area. This could potentially cause problems as EPCOT’s night-time spectaculars are shown from World Showcase Lagoon and are viewed from all around the park. However, this is certainly an issue that Disney could creatively tackle. 

Avengers Drones Disneyland Paris
Image: Disney Parks

So, should EPCOT utilize drones in the upcoming night-time show that will follow the return of EPCOT Forever’s return this spring? There have been rumors that drones could be utilized in this new show, but nothing has been confirmed. It seems that this could be Walt Disney World’s opportunity to bring drones to their parks.

While there are a few potential issues, the success of this technology at other theme parks and the benefits of utilizing drones prove this could be a great investment for Walt Disney World. It would be incredible to see the use of Disney characters and the celebration cultures take center stage with music and projection effects and lighted pictures in the sky. It is likely that even if we do not see drones in this new EPCOT nighttime spectacular, it is only a matter of time before they make their debut in the US-based parks.

Do you think EPCOT will be the first US-based Disney park to introduce drones and are you excited for the upcoming night-time spectacular? Should Disney utilize drones in EPCOT's new night-time show? Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll or by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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