Disney files patent applications to use drones at parks

Drones would be used during nighttime entertainment, application says

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - Disney may soon use drones to enhance its nightly entertainment, according to three patents filed last week.

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The patents indicate drones could carry marionettes, projection screens, and even act as flying pixels.

Al Ducharme runs Hoverfly Technologies, which designs and manufactures drones uses in film and television production all over the world. He says GPS technology would allow Disney to run identical shows nightly.

"For what they're going to want to do, they're going to want to preprogram flights to hold marionettes or large production screens," he said.

Ducharme said the smaller quad-copters start at around $1,000, and depending how elaborate and the lifting capacity, they can go well into six-figure costs.

And while some tourists expressed concern about the safety of drones flying overhead, Ducharme said the technology is reliable.

"I'm sure Disney will cordon off an area to fly drones over," Ducharme said. "With any kind of technology, be it a roller coaster or a drone, you have to take safety into consideration."

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Disney told Local 6 that it has no comment about the pending patent.

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