So, you’re watching C-SPAN, getting a taste of the NASA Information Technology Summit, and naturally there’s a presentation by Walt Disney Imagineering about the new Fantasyland project in Florida.
Jack Blitch, Vice President and General Manager of Walt Disney Imagineering – Florida, made an appearance at the NASA conference to discuss the use of technology in planning new attractions. Not to be snarky, but I think the old WED model shop in the 60s and 70s could have probably figured out when there was a stray girder poking out of the structure, but I digress.
Blitch’s demo is actually a pretty interesting look at how WDI operates in the modern age; since most of what we know of Imagineering comes from Walt’s days, via his televised walkthroughs of their workshops, it’s interesting to see how computers have changed the process. Around 1:10:00, Blitch shows some of the models of the new Little Mermaid attraction in Fantasyland (including that elusive fifth dimension of space/time – money!) and there’s even a brief VR walkthrough of the queue and part of the attraction. It’s an amazing little peek at what we have in store for the future.
Note that Blitch only mentions Mermaid, the “Be Our Guest” restaurant, and the dueling Dumbos as part of the expansion. This is indicative of a number of changes underway with the expansion plans, which we’ll discuss soon. Also note the irony that this Summit is taking place in National Harbor, Maryland – the site of Disney’s announced but currently MIA resort project.
Not to go too avant garde here, but isn’t this the sort of thing that maybe we could stand to see a little more of? Heaven knows that instead of soft-selling us the gauzy-lensed propaganda videos featuring heaps of magic, dreams, wishes, and princesses, Disney could regularly give us a look at the real magic like this. It might appeal to some fans, don’t you think?