There have been rumours floating around for quite some time that Illuminations: Reflections of Earth has been on Disney’s list of improvements for quite some time and it would seem that recent patents filed on the use of drone technology in the Disney Parks are only adding to further speculation on potential show improvements, perhaps even a replacement.
The show is one of the longest running shows in Walt Disney World, premiering on October 1 1999 and receiving little changes or additions over the years.
I will happily admit to saying that Illuminations is one of my personal favourite shows at Walt Disney World and I have fond memories of seeing the show right from its humble beginnings in 1999.
Disney have been talking about the use of drones in the park since way back in 2013 and more recently, (in October 2015) filed a patent that went into a lot of thew specifics on drone usage around the parks. Disney also touched on the specifics on how guest safety was a priority with any use of drone technology.
The drones are currently known as flixels and have the ability to be able to fly around a guided area, projecting light and colour into pre-programmed areas. With this kind of technology, it is easy to see how Disney could enhance firework and laser shows like Illuminations and Fantasmic.
The patent uses Epcot as a real example of how the flixel technology could work in a park (image below) and describes using up to 50 drones in a show each with a flight duration of around 5 minutes.
Fingers crossed that Disney are only going to be improving the show rather than replacing in its entirety. As mentioned, these are all rumours right now with Disney not announcing anything official just yet. If you are interested on the specifics of the flixel technology the full patent can be read here.
What are your thoughts on potential improvements or even a replacement of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth?