Route 66 Simulation

Aug. 20, 2012
So how did Disney design and complete the 12-acre Cars Land attraction in seven years? Simulation.

Called DISH, for Digital Immersive ShowRoom, this was the irreplaceable technology for Disney imagineers in the design-planning phase of Cars Land. The DISH technology uses four projectors to create an interactive three-dimensional environment—with the help of special stereo 3D glasses.

Kathy Magnum, vice president and executive producer of Cars Land Imagineering says, “We (Disney) laid out the track with our ride engineers and did the ride speeds. We put the animated figures in and put the sets in, and we rode and tweaked it quite a bit. So that was very valuable. “I can’t imagine actually doing another project again without doing that first. It saves you in so much guess work, down to script writing and how long we’re going to see an animated figure.”

Magnum used the technology once before on the Finding Nemo ride. DISH relies, in part, on head-tracking technology to lock the 3D image to the perspective of a particular user. Sensors on an imagineer-modified hat let the computer track every movement of the person wearing the hat.

>> Click here to read Automation World's coverage of how control design combined with imagination created DIsney's Radiator Springs River ride.