Saturday, 30 November 2013

Grand parade

We watched the Grand Parade today. Very impressive! I'll post some pictures when I get home.

Some of the cast swooped and whirled as if they were on a motorised platform, and I'm guessing that they were indeed. So I thought about how I'd design such a thing.

A circular base, with four six-inch wheels driven independently by electric motors, controlled with a microprocessor. But that leaves the question of how do the witches control the motion?

My first thought was, someone else remote controls them. But that's not going to work with sudden changes of direction; the witch will fall off if she isn't expecting it. I can see both her hands, so she can't be using hand controls. Then I thought foot controls, but that won't work when she's making sharp turns. So I don't know.

Then I thought, she's waving a magic wand. There could be a couple of buttons in the base that control the motion via wires that run inside her sleeve.


  1. I was impressed by the movement of the cast as well when we went last year. I thought they must be using Segway's, concealed under their costumes. Would take some practice to get as good as they are, but would be a lot of fun.

    1. I don't think you could get the spinning effect with Segways. And the control wouldn't be possible, would it?

    2. I think by moving their weight based on the intended direction it should work and give them the control. They did seem to be leaning forward before moving forward, and leaning back prior to stopping. Spinning on the spot is a good question, never seen a Segway do that, but maybe the Disney Imagineers have modified them a little.

  2. The answer was staring drS in the face!! They had Magic Wands!! Thats how they did it :)