What you are looking at are forty-two projectors, all preparing to be installed in the Eastern Airlines-sponsored ride If You Had Wings. This Tomorrowland attraction operated in Florida’s Magic Kingdom from 1972 to 1987, and consisted of a whimsical, musical Omnimover trip to various ports of call serviced by Eastern. For those who missed it, the ride’s closest modern analogue is EPCOT’s El Rio Del Tiempo; its ride system was similar to the Haunted Mansion’s Doom Buggies or Disneyland’s Adventures Thru Inner Space. Much like El Rio Del Tiempo, most of the ride consisted of dimensional sets combined with background projections – hence the need for all these projectors.
The 16mm automatic projectors were constructed by the Studio Machine Shop at the Disney Studios, and contained a continuous loop of film (the loops can be seen hanging vertically in the glass windows of the machines on the left). The Walt Disney World projectors were special in that they were designed to be operated and monitored remotely; the Magic Kingdom’s central computers, called DACS (for Digital Animation Control System), could start and stop the projectors, turn their lamps on or off and report malfunctions like broken film loops or burnt-out lamps.
If the film loops did break, the projectors would shut off automatically (automagically?). Upon repair, the projector would cycle through to the start mark on the film and wait for a command from DACS. When restarted, the projector would then sync back up with the other projectors in the attraction.