Saturday, June 14, 2008

WDI Outsourcing Animatronics

According to a leaked memo from the heads of Walt Disney Imagineering, the company plans to outsource the creating of Audio Animatronic characters going forward. It's said that the highly specialized characters will still be produced by WDI in one of their facilities (like Mr. Potato Head from the new Toy Story Midway Mania rides).

This story about the announcement from O-Meon will fill you in on all the details.

Initially many Disney hardcore fans were upset with this news, but I'm not sure I understand why. Disney, along with Universal, Busch Entertainment, etc, already outsources many of the aspects of attraction design - and has for a long, long time now.

I mean just look at the coasters they build, they've outsourced those ride systems for years now to companies like Vekoma and others. I have to say that I don't really care who actually builds an Animatronic I see in a ride so long as it's there!

Plus, outsourcing should makes things cheaper, so maybe new rides and attractions will see more of the characters used, instead of the sparse amount we've seen in recent years.

And of course I've included a photo of Hopper, my all time favorite Animatronic.