Anyone who has visited Avengers Campus this summer has probably noticed the animatronic Spider-Man performing acrobatic leaps over the park’s rooftops. And if the work of Disney’s Imagineering brigade continues apace, we will be seeing even more robotic versions of beloved characters coming to the studio’s theme parks over the next few years.
Several Imagineers discussed the projects they’re currently working on in a new profile for The New York Times. A lot of their work is currently on display at various Disney locations. The team previously made a big impact with their Na’vi shaman animatronic, which can be found at Pandora – The World of Avatar in Florida. More recently, their Hondo Ohnaka robot garnered significant attention when it was unveiled as part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The Imagineers continued to dazzle fans back in April when they offered a glimpse at a newer animatronic modeled after Baby Groot (nicknamed “Project Kiwi”) from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. However, it sounds like they’re planning something much bigger.
The designers are also working on Project Exo, “a high-tech effort to enable interactions between theme park visitors and large-scale characters.”
When asked about a potential Hulk animatronic, the Imagineers replied with silence. Additionally, they seemed to confirm that mechanical facsimiles of Star Wars staples like Wampas and even Grogu/Baby Yoda are on the way. The technology is still a work in progress. Regardless, all of the Imagineers remain dedicated to providing an immersive experience for park guests.
“A new trend that is coming into our animatronics is a level of intelligence,” said senior Imagineering executive Jon Snoddy. “More believable. More outrageous.”
“We want to create incredible experiences outside of a show box,” added fellow executive Leslie Evans. “To me, that’s going to be next level. These aren’t just parks. They are inhabited places.”
Are you excited to see what the Imagineers come up with? Which animatronic characters do you want to see in the Disney theme parks? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: The Final Gauntlet
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