Changing Planet

New Holiday Drone Show: 4 Billion Color Combinations will Light Up the Sky

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography.

Intel and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced yesterday they are collaborating on a spectacular new holiday experience that premieres on November 20 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Using all-new Intel Shooting Star drones, the “Starbright Holidays” show will paint colorful images across the sky during the holiday season. This will be the first time a drone show of this scale has been performed in the U.S.

Photo © Intel Corporation
Photo © Intel Corporation

“We are excited to work with Walt Disney Imagineering to bring a fresh and innovative approach to its world-renowned light shows,” said senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group, Josh Walden. “Together, we worked to tackle a new frontier in entertainment, picturing the sky as our canvas and flying lights as ink.”

Photo: Intel Corporation
Photo: Intel Corporation

Overhead an aerial ballet of holiday-themed animations will sparkle in the night sky using Intel Shooting Star drones. The performance will be accompanied by a specially orchestrated score of seasonal classics.

Photo: Intel Corporation
Photo: Intel Corporation

 

When combining the cutting-edge technology from Intel and the limitless creativity from Disney, the two companies were able to rethink what’s possible and create an amazing new entertainment experience.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Intel on this exciting entertainment experience,” said Jon Snoddy, Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development Studio Executive. “By combining our technological capabilities, we will be able to light up the sky this holiday season.”

Photo © Intel Corporation
Photo © Intel Corporation

 

Did you know? Fun facts:

• The Intel Shooting Star drone features built-in LED lights that can create over 4 billion color combinations in the sky.
• The drones can fly for up to 20 minutes.
• The show will feature 300 drones in each performance.
• The drones are splash-proof and can fly in light rain.
• Teach drone weighs only 280 grams (0.617 pounds) – less than the weight of a volleyball.
• All 300 drones can be controlled by one computer and one drone pilot. However, there is always a second pilot on hand as backup.


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Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos. Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others. Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe. You can travel to Colombia with Kike: www.colombiaphotoexpeditions.com

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