Talking animals, cars in love, jealous toys – Disney animated films make children’s fantasies a reality. And at the Disney theme parks, visitors of every age can find themselves set down in the midst of movies like Cars and Toy Story. It looks easy and playful, but behind the scenes it calls for the very latest technology.
[…] The Cars Land theme area, with its Radiator Springs Racers racecourse and two more rides, is the latest attraction at the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, near Los Angeles. In electronically controlled convertibles, visitors to Radiator Springs Racers zoom through the set, meeting up with the talking autos from Cars. In that box-office hit from Disney subsidiary Pixar, a cool race car gets stranded in the fictitious small town of Radiator Springs, where it finds true friendship.
Most visitors to the amusement park know the highly colorful kids’ movie. But what very few of them know is that it was ultramodern Siemens technology that made their action-packed, computer-controlled joyride possible. It took five years from the conception to the opening of Cars Land. Disney invested a total of US$1.1 billion in the park, almost a fifth of it in the racecourse built with Siemens equipment. Money well invested – since Cars Land opened in June 2012, visitor figures have skyrocketed by 25 percent. And hotels in the neighborhood report significantly higher numbers of overnight stays.
Infrastructure by Siemens
Siemens provides a safe experience in more than just the race cars. The company is responsible for the entire electronic infrastructure on the nearly five hectares that Cars Land covers – in a wide range of functions, including energy distribution solutions, automation, and control systems. »This is the biggest success in our partnership with Disney to date,« says Tim Black, head of sales at Siemens Industry in Southern California.
For its part, Disney takes advantage of Siemens expertise to produce the perfect illusion. »We at the Walt Disney Company are a group of storytellers. We need our partners’ collaboration to tell our stories with the aid of their technological expertise,« says Russell Oja, who coordinated the Walt Disney Company’s collaboration with Siemens for Cars Land. It was only the joint involvement of creatives, park employees, and technology firms that made the attractions so perfect, he reports.