Lucky press release

Apr 17, 2005 in "Lucky"

Posted: Sunday April 17, 2005 by WDWMAGIC Staff
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Lucky is playful, affectionate, responds to his name, loves his toys and weighs a healthy 450 lbs. Lucky is a dinosaur: an Audio-Animatronics dinosaur and the first Disney character of its type to walk freely and personally interact with children and families.

After a prototype test period in California, Lucky the Dinosaur will make his "on stage" debut at Walt Disney World Resort in May 2005, kicking off a 3-month visit to the theme park.

Lucky's new habitat? DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney's Animal Kingdom, of course, where he'll be cared for by Chester and Hester Diggs, the wacky "proprietors" of Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama! a "mini-land" with midway games and rides.

When he made his first appearance at Disney's California Adventure, Lucky the Dinosaur had crowds in "prehysterics." No bones about it, he's one of several high-profile attractions being imported to Walt Disney World Resort from Disney theme parks around the world in 2005 as the Florida Vacation Kingdom honors the "Happiest Celebration on Earth," a global salute to 50 years of Disney theme parks.

After five years of experimentation, Walt Disney Imagineers in 2003 unveiled this major breakthrough in the creativity and technology of Audio-Animatronics figures known throughout Disney theme parks. Up until then, these figures could sing, talk, move and duel with swords -- but they could not walk freely. With this latest innovation, Audio-Animatronics figures have the capability to walk and move independently.

"Lucky the Dinosaur represents a leap in our ability to deliver stories in ways that are personal, up-close and interactive -- and as a result, more magical," said Bruce Vaughn, vice president of Research and Development, Walt Disney Imagineering.

The next-generation Audio-Animatronics figure is the latest step in the technology pioneered in Disney theme parks 40 years ago. In 1963, singing birds and flowers made their debut at The Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland Resort. Some of the best-loved Audio-Animatronics figures found in Disney theme parks and resorts today are Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hopper the grasshopper from "It's Tough to be a Bug."

Advances in computers, software, miniaturization and electric actuation, combined with determination and creativity, enabled Imagineers to achieve what many said simply could not be done. By shifting the technology behind Audio-Animatronics figures from hydraulic to electric, Imagineers "freed" the figures from large hydraulic pumps and motors.

Lucky the Dinosaur is the latest innovation of the "Living Characters" initiative of Walt Disney Imagineering -- a focus on creating increasingly life-like characters capable of engaging in personalized experiences with guests. Lucky was created by a team of engineers, animators, computer programmers and artists.

Lucky walks on two legs, stands approximately 9 feet tall and measures 12 feet long. He loves people and balloons. Lucky can laugh, sneeze, snort, grin, bray, bellow and occasionally get hiccups.

Walt Disney Imagineering is the unique innovative organization that creates -- from concept through construction -- all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions, cruise ships, real estate developments and regional entertainment venues worldwide. Imagineering's unique strength comes from the teamwork and syntheses of more than 1,400 creative and technical professionals representing more than 140 diverse disciplines.

Fun Facts

Lucky the Dinosaur is 9 feet tall and weighs 450 lbs.
Lucky is the first Disney Audio-Animatronics figure to walk freely.
Lucky can sniffle, burp, hiccup, sneeze, yawn, cough, giggle, snort, purr and talk.

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