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

Nov 17, 2016 in "Starbright Holidays"

Starbright Holidays Intel Drones

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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Article Posted: Nov 16, 2016 / 8:08pm EST