New patent application could mean exciting visuals at Walt Disney World

Disney is well known for its excitement and innovation, and it’s not stopping.

WESH 2 News uncovered a new patent application that could promise some exciting visuals at the park.

Ever since plans for Disney’s new Star Wars-themed land were announced, Disney fans have been fascinated with every detail.

Disney already offers guests experiences featuring Star Wars, but in the fall of 2019, a whole new land, “Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge,” will open inside Hollywood Studios.

WESH 2 News recently uncovered a newly filed patent application that is generating new excitement.

It appears Disney might be working on some pretty spectacular technology for its live shows.

The sketch in the application is of a “special effects system for generating a Midair Laser Blast Illusion.”

While the document’s description may be a bit complex, the principle behind the technology is not. The system uses a laser projected on a set path.

Alongside the projected path are machines with elongated support rods; on the end of those rods is a piece reflective mesh.

The machines rotate, sending the reflective surface on the rod’s end in a semicircular path.

Once the reflective surface intersect with the laser’s path, it appears as a bolt of light.

Many of these machines lined up in sequence create the illusion that the bolt of light is traveling down the pathway.

These machines rotate quickly enough that quest won’t notice them. From the viewer’s perspective, the only thing they’ll see is a colored cylinder of light travelling across a stage.

The paperwork does not directly refer to Star Wars, but does address the need to replicate special effects.

Disney states: “Many futuristic movies include battles where the actors operate laser-based props which produce laser blasts.” It goes on to describe the special effects system as being capable of generating “a lighting effect that appears as a bolt or streak of light, such as a green cylinder of light several inches long.”

The current technology for simulating laser blasts doesn’t replicate what is seen in the Star Wars movies, so there’s much speculation among theme park bloggers that Disney may be creating groundbreaking technology.

WESH 2 News reached out to Disney to see if it would confirm whether the patent application is for Star Wars. In an email response, Disney said many of the patent applications and projects they explore never end up as offerings, so at this time, they discourage speculation.

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