UPDATE: We dug up the patent that Disney has held for YEARS that makes this technology possible. Read more!
The day of reckoning has come, dear readers.
A friend sent us a link to these YouTube videos showing Mickey Mouse greeting a couple of fans at Toontown in Disneyland a couple of days ago and it appears that the technology first used in the character heads of the Dream Along with Mickey Castle show at Magic Kingdom may very well have found its way into the meet & greet scenario in a huge way (and with some further enhancements).
Please feel free to marvel as Mickey’s eyes blink, mouth moves and — most impressively — Mickey greets guests by name in the following clips.
This second clip is actually meant to be first as Mickey introduces himself to the group in the room, but we reversed it so we can provide it as a bonus to anyone whose jaw is still above the floor.
Please note that this does appear to be a test (or — perhaps more likely — a proof of concept) and it’s not likely that you’ll be able to just stroll into a meet & greet with Mickey and interact with him audibly anytime soon, although we certainly hope this will be the case at Disney parks worldwide and with additional characters. As it is, our friends at Inside the Magic have confirmed with the guest who uploaded the videos that Disney management was on hand filming the test and guests were required to sign releases of some sort.