January 6, 2009

New Technology for Car's Radiator Racers!

Great news for theme park fans wanting Disney to use some groundbreaking technology! A highlighted excerpt from Bob Iger's interview with Fortune magazine is below. The entire article can be found here.

"Cars" may be exhibit A of Disney's franchise machinery at work. Three years after the movie came out, sales of licensed merchandise are running at more than $2 billion annually. A "Cars" sequel is in production. Disney will soon launch an elaborate Cars virtual world. But the biggest bet on "Cars" is Cars Land, a 12-acre stretch of Disney's California Adventure theme park set to open in 2012.

On a Monday afternoon not long after Iger's trip to London, he was at Disney's famed (and so hush-hush there's no sign outside) Imagineering offices in Glendale, Calif. He was joined by John Lasseter, who was enjoying the early buzz on "Bolt," the first decent Disney animated film in years, and one on which the Pixar folks had made major modifications.

Lasseter and Iger were eyeballing wood and foam scale models of Cars Land. The biggest draw in the mini-park will be a ride featuring animatronic characters from the movie and "cars" that go 40 miles an hour but seem much faster in places, thanks to new projection technology. Lasseter crouched as he made his way through the 1/8 scale mockup, adding his own sound effects for each twist and turn. "Look at this! Have you seen this, Bob? Lean down and take a look. It's like the movie, except you're there."

Upstairs, designers were doing what's called "pre-viz" work, wearing headgear that allowed them to explore a virtual 3-D rendering of the ride and stroll around (or fly above) Cars Land."

After visiting the Blue Sky Cellar last week, I cannot wait for this attraction! My trip report with photos is coming soon...

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

No comments: