Disney Parks ‘NextGen’ Patent Application Invites Big Brother for the Ride (Literally)

When Disney’s Art of Animation Resort opens this summer, its guests will be one of the first to experience the driving force behind Walt Disney World’s NextGen project — the room key. Instead of the traditional card key readers that most hotels use, guests at Art of Animation will access their room via RFID. Although some vacation destinations (notably Great Wolf Lodge) have already embraced the magic of RFID for years and have even taken it far beyond the hotel room, this gesture is particularly noteworthy because it signals the start of what we’ve already known to be coming and it’s just the tiniest tip of the largest iceberg this universe has ever seen.

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Disney Patent Puts New Spin on Traditional Carousel Design

Disney's Carousel PatentPictured here is a diagram taken from a recent patent application for a new breed of carousel from Disney Enterprises. At first glance, you’ll notice some interesting deviations from what we’ve come to known as a carousel, standard fare for any amusement park, even parks such as the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

What you may not notice at first, however — and it may not in fact be intentional in the drawing — is that the horses are backwards — at least for this side of the Atlantic. Traditionally speaking, American carousels travel in a counter-clockwise direction whereas European travel in a clockwise direction. So while you will generally see the horses face to the right at Disney theme parks (even at Disneyland Paris), these horses are facing the opposite direction.

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Innoventions’ ‘VISION House’ to Open in April; Will Feature Nexia Home Intelligence

Ingersoll Rand, a company that specializes in home efficiency and security with brands such as Club Car, Schlage, Thermo King and Trane, has announced it has an entered a partnership with Green Builder Media to bring its automation technology to the VISION House at Epcot’s Innoventions. The new exhibit, scheduled to open in April according to the announcement, will replace the House of Innoventions exhibit.

Making the announcement at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Ingersoll Rand says the new exhibit will feature products form Trane and Schlage offering heating/air conditioning and security features to the demo home.

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Disney Patent Application Adds New Dimension to Classic Dumbo Concept

TELESCOPING-ARM ROUND RIDE FOR AMUSEMENT PARKSAt first glance, the type of attraction proposed in Disney’s patent application #20110312428, titled ‘Telescoping-Arm Round Ride for Amusement Parks,’ should look strongly familiar to anyone who’s ever visited a Disney theme park. Demonstrating with airplane-themed vehicles instead of elephants, this invention by Edward A. Nemeth and David W. Crawford has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

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Disney Files Patent Application for True ‘Flight Simulator’ Vehicle

'Cable-Suspended Amusement Park Vehicle' by Disney EnterprisesArguably a theme park will need a lot of available land, or an expansion of sorts, to implement the type of attraction demonstrated in the recently published patent application titled ‘Amusement Park Ride with Cable-Suspended Vehicles’ (patent application US 20110300957).

As demonstrated here by what appears to be some sort of cable-car themed vehicle cruising through the streets of a metropolis, the vehicle, as invented by David W. Crawford and Edward A. Nemeth, uses multiple cables to control various aspects and positions of the vehicle itself.

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Disney Teases ‘Disney Studios All Access’ with Micro Website

Disney Studio All AccessThe Walt Disney Company is semi-quietly preparing to launch its much-hyped and talked-about ‘Disney Studios All Access’ (DSAA) offering which essentially allows fans who have purchased a Disney film to then access that film across all mediums and multiple devices, including on-demand streaming, at no additional cost — ever. The service was first teased in the guidebook for the 2011 Disney D23 Expo with not much more information than the service will be ‘coming soon.’ Late last week, a micro website with a teaser video (below) has been created to promote the new service which lists the following titles available at launch: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Toy Story 3, TRON: Legacy, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Tangled, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Wall-E, UP, Alice in Wonderland, Snow Buddies, The Lion King, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Enchanted, Secretariat, Cars 2, High School Musical 3.

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Patent: Disney Parks Promises Ability to Customize Attractions and Re-Visit Extinct Ones

If your visits to the Disney theme parks around the world leave you longing for the days of yore when your most favorite attraction ever was still around, or you feel the hankering to share those memories with your children who never were afforded the opportunity, your wishes may soon be answered, and that comes directly from Disney Parks Chair, Tom Staggs.

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Video: Talking Mickey Mouse Interacts with D23 Expo Attendees

Talking Mickey Mouse at Imagineering's Carousel of Projects at D23 Expo‘You must get great reception with those,’ said Mickey Mouse to a Mouse Ears-sporting attendee at the 2011 D23 Expo which took place last weekend. Gradually he stepped further away from the guest, asking the inevitable ‘can you hear me now?’ question over and over.

This is just one of the many interactions that took place at the D23 Expo in which guests got their first public, announced opportunity to speak with Mickey Mouse for the first time since Disneyland introduced the meet and greet character, decades ago.

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Disney, Carnegie Mellon Free MoCap Technology from Studio Confines

Traditional motion capture techniques use cameras to meticulously record the movements of actors inside studios, enabling those movements to be translated into digital models. But by turning the cameras around — mounting almost two dozen, outward-facing cameras on the actors themselves — scientists at Disney Research, Pittsburgh (DRP), and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have shown that motion capture can occur almost anywhere — in natural environments, over large areas and outdoors.

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CONFIRMED: Disney World Actively Restricting Use of Refillable Mugs

It literally sent shockwaves across the internet last year when we first reported that it appeared Walt Disney World was looking into closing current loopholes regarding the refillable mug system currently in place in which any cup could be used indefinitely at the soda fountain dispensers located in the food courts of the Walt Disney World resorts.

Most reactions seemed to side with disbelief or flat-out denial. Others were angered by the notion of what effectively amounts to nickel-and-diming guests with beverages Disney Parks gets for free (Coca-Cola does supply free syrup as part of an agreement with Disney, but there are obviously water, CO2 and electricity overheads). Some applauded the news while others argued as to whether using a refillable mug way past its expected end date amounted to theft or was truly unethical.

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