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INTERCOT > Theme Parks > Disney's Animal Kingdom > Dinoland >Lucky

Lucky the Dinosaur

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 hiccups.

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 diverse disciplines."


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