LAKE BUENA VISTA,
Fla. -- Lucky is a dinosaur: an
Audio-Animatronics dinosaur and the first Disney character of its type
to walk freely and personally interact with children and families.
After a prototype test period in California, Lucky made his "on
stage" debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom
on May 6, 2005.
When he debuted at Disney’s California Adventure, Lucky had crowds in
“prehysterics.” He’s one of several high-profile attractions being
imported to Walt Disney World Resort from Disney theme parks around
the world in 2005 as the Florida Vacation Kingdom honors “The
Happiest Celebration on Earth,” a global salute to the 50th
anniversary of California’s Disneyland Resort.
After five years of effort, Walt Disney Imagineers unveiled this major
breakthrough in the creativity and technology of Audio-Animatronics
figures known throughout Disney theme parks. Up until now, these
figures could sing, talk, move and duel with swords -- but they could
not walk. With this latest innovation, Audio-Animatronics figures can
walk and move independently for the very first time.
"Lucky represents a leap in our ability to deliver stories in ways
that are personal, up-close and interactive -- and as a result, more
magical," said Bruce Vaughn, vice president of Research and
Development, Walt Disney Imagineering.
The next-generation Audio-Animatronics figure is the latest step in
the technology pioneered in Disney theme parks 40 years ago. In 1963,
singing birds and flowers made their debut at The Enchanted Tiki Room
at Disneyland Resort. Some of the best-loved Audio-Animatronics
figures found in Disney theme parks and resorts today are Mr. Lincoln,
Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hopper the grasshopper from "It's Tough
to be a Bug."
Advances in computers, software, miniaturization and electric
actuation, combined with determination and creativity, enabled
Imagineers to achieve what many said simply could not be done. By
shifting the technology behind Audio-Animatronics figures from
hydraulic to electric, Imagineers "freed" the figures from large
hydraulic pumps and motors.
Lucky the dinosaur is the latest innovation of the "Living Characters"
initiative of Walt Disney Imagineering -- a focus on creating
increasingly life-like characters capable of engaging in personalized
experiences with guests. Scheduled for a visit to Disney's Animal
Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort next spring, Lucky was created by
a team of engineers, animators, computer programmers and artists.
Lucky walks on two legs, stands approximately 9 feet tall and 12 feet
long, and pulls a cart of flowers. He loves people and balloons, and
signs autographs (his signature is a four-leaf clover). Lucky can
laugh, sneeze, snort, grin, bray, bellow and occasionally gets
Walt Disney Imagineering is the unique innovative organization that
creates -- from concept through construction -- all Disney theme
parks, resorts, attractions, cruise ships, real estate developments
and regional entertainment venues worldwide. Imagineering's unique
strength comes from the teamwork and syntheses of more than 1,400
creative and technical professionals representing more than 140