Robot of the Week: Disneyland

First things first: Disneyland itself isn't a robot, but the mind-bogglingly diverse display of robotics at this park makes it difficult to pick just a single Robot of the Week. This past weekend, I was joined at Disneyland (where I was celebrating my sister's birthday) by Will and his fiancee Diana, along with several other space geeks. I was blown away by the incredible mechanical beings surrounding me, and knew instantly that I'd found my Robot of the Week.

Let's go back to basics: the Enchanted Tiki Room.

(The best thing about Disneyland, of course, is that nearly every square inch of the park is documented in family videos on YouTube :)

The Enchanted Tiki Room consists of extremely basic robots, birds that bow back and forth, turn their heads, and have 1DF beak movement for singing. Simple, but particularly effective. Why? Because there are about 50 of them! But that's not all: the room is literally filled from floor to ceiling with simple robots that move their mouths, eyes, etc. Sure, it's pretty outdated, but it's hard not to find impressive, especially when you consider that the attraction was built in 1963.

The Tiki Room only scratches the surface of the robotics at Disneyland. There's the Jungle Cruise (1955):
(my photo)

And the Pirates of the Caribbean (1967):

And the Haunted Mansion (1969):
Disney - Frightened Groundskeeper - The Haunted Mansion

And It's A Small World (1966):

Disneyland is a veritable wonderland of robotics. And most of the aforementioned rides have been updated in recent years (the Johnny Depp addition to Pirates of the Caribbean is among the most lifelike robots I've ever seen). I could probably go on forever about the robots at Star Tours, Finding Nemo, Buzz Lightyear, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones.... there are just so many.

If you've never been to Disneyland (or any Disney park), I'd highly recommend getting on down there. And if you do, be sure to send me a postcard :)

And here's a couple extra bonus vids I found while scouring the web....

Imagineering the Haunted Mansion

Imagineering It's a Small World

And here are a couple videos I shot with my Blackberry at the park (sorry for the low quality, but these were too good not to share)...

Welte Style Concert Orchestrion

Mr. Potato Head at the Toy Story ride

blog comments powered by Disqus