VIDEO - Disney and Intel debut new 'Starbright Holidays' drone show at Disney Springs

Nov 17, 2016 in "Starbright Holidays"

Starbright Holidays Intel Drones
Posted: Wednesday November 16, 2016 8:08pm EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

Cutting-edge drone technology took to the skies over Disney Springs earlier this evening, as Disney and Intel debuted "Starbright Holidays."

The 5 minute show features 300 Intel Shooting Star drones, intricately choreographed in 3D space over the lake at Disney Springs, and all synchronized to holiday music.

Making use of Disney's recently acquired FAA license to allow drone shows on its property, "Starbright Holidays" is the first time a drone show of this size has been performed in the United States.

The video below shows a preview of "Starbright Holidays," performed November 16 2016 at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World.

The collaboration with Intel also marks the public debut of Intel's latest drone product specifically designed for entertainment purposes - the Intel Shooting Star drone.

Designed to be lightweight, the Intel Shooting Star drone is composed of a Styrofoam body and plastics and weighs in at just 280 grams, or less than the weight of a volleyball. The purpose-built quadcopter show drone is also equipped with LED lights that can create over 4 billion color combinations and easily be programmed for any animation. With the improved software and interface, a light show can now be done in a matter of days, instead of weeks or months. Additionally, all 300 Intel Shooting Star drones can easily be controlled by one computer.

“We are excited to work with Walt Disney Imagineering to bring a fresh and innovative approach to its world-renowned light shows,” said senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group, Josh Walden. “Together, we worked to tackle a new frontier in entertainment, picturing the sky as our canvas and flying lights as ink.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Intel on this exciting entertainment experience,” said Jon Snoddy, Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development Studio Executive. “By combining our technological capabilities, we will be able to light up the sky this holiday season.”

Disney has been actively developing drone technology for use in its theme parks, with many patents pointing towards the goal of bringing drones to its nighttime shows. This collaboration with Intel is a first step, with Disney looking to advance the technology further, with floating pixel payloads, called a Flixel. Read more about the Flixel drone patent.

Tonight's show was a preview of what is planned to be a longer show. The tentative schedule calls for 3 shows per night, from November 20 2016 through to January 8 2017. Viewing areas are located along the waterside promenade between Characters in Flight and House of Blues.

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Phil12Feb 07, 2017

Obviously hidden cables must have been attached to a very effective set of decelerating suspenders worn by the Electropop Diva.

ford91exploderFeb 07, 2017

But HOW did Matt Groening get that for the Simpsons episode, Or was Lady Gaga's performance influenced by the Simpsons

Nubs70Feb 07, 2017

Let's think about the jump. How could she jump, attach cables, and hold microphone while.accelerating at 9.8 m/sec^2?

ABQFeb 07, 2017

NRG is off out of the way, next to the Astrodome with little in the area but parking lots and no tall buildings. From a distance, they're probably not as visible as you'd think.

DisneyJeffFeb 07, 2017

I thought that there would have been some leaked drone footage. With thousands of colorful lights floating over Houston, I would have thought that someone would have noticed. :)

JoeCamelFeb 07, 2017

No footage "leaked" but the fact she was on the roof did. Easy to control the video when the responsible party is the only one that has it and you only have to hold it safe for a week.

JoeCamelFeb 07, 2017

It did leak. There were questions about a rooftop performance way before the event.

halltdFeb 07, 2017 They were all taped.

Biff215Feb 07, 2017

That may be true (not sure it applies to drones), but Intel said it was due to unpredictable weather. In other words, they didn't want to experience any issues while the world was watching. Can't blame them, look how long it took Disney to fine tune their show. There's video on Twitter taken from inside the stadium that shows Gaga suddenly appear in spotlights. Clearly she didn't jump from above last night. Pepsi and Intel logos at the end looked CGI to me but I could be wrong.

drizgirlFeb 07, 2017

Game day had a "no fly zone" over the stadium. The drones had to fly before that was in place.

JoeCamelFeb 07, 2017

Yes she jumped - last week! Onto a foam pad. The lowering was done after she was lifted in the dark about 70 feet then the spotlight lit her and she started squirming

ToTBellHopFeb 06, 2017

Were you there?

donsullivanFeb 06, 2017

Correct. The whole segment with the drones behind her was pre-recorded last week. Update: According to Intel, the owners and pilots of the drones the version that was broadcast was recorded on January 30.

EvilChameleonFeb 06, 2017

The jump was absolutely live.