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LPWire: Disney Debuts New Safer, Quieter and More Environment Friendly Fireworks Technology

Disney Debuts New Safer, Quieter and More Environmentally Friendly Fireworks Technology; First Major Pyrotechnics Breakthrough in Decades

After years of research and testing, Walt Disney Imagineering has perfected a new innovation in fireworks launch technology, marking the pyrotechnic industry's first major breakthrough in decades.

The new technology uses compressed air to lift fireworks, virtually eliminating the need for smoke-producing black powder and other materials at launch, significantly reducing ground-level smoke and noise while continuing to provide a highly entertaining show. The air launch system debuted when the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, recently unveiled its new summer fireworks show, "Disney's Imagine -- a Fantasy in the Sky."

"The development of this cutting-edge science is the result of many years of hard work, testing and a long-term initiative," said Walt Disney Imagineering Chief Scientist Dr. Ben Schwegler. "We are proud to be pioneering this innovative and beneficial technology."

As a recognized industry leader and the world's largest producer of fireworks shows, Disney is in the process of donating all seven patents associated with the new air launch technology to a non-profit organization so these patents can be licensed to other pyrotechnic providers.

Those efforts are being applauded by the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), www.americanpyro.com, a nationwide advocate of fireworks safety standards.

"It is commendable for Disney to share this breakthrough with others," said Julie Heckman, APA Executive Director. "This environmentally friendly air launch technology demonstrates how Disney continues to set a high standard in the fireworks industry."

Disneyland in California is showcasing the air launch technology which is planned for other Disney parks around the globe. The advance is another important step in the Company's ongoing commitment to improving its technologies, including fireworks.

"Our creativity extends to all parts of our business, especially to the magic of technology," said Don Goodman, president, Walt Disney Imagineering. "The Imagineers who tackled this challenge are thrilled with the breakthrough -- and they're already working on the next advancement."

The innovation comes from Imagineering's ongoing commitment to "raise the bar" with each new project. The Research and Development team is now turning its attention to developing next-generation low-smoke substitutes for black powder and other materials, which have been used in pyrotechnics for hundreds of years.

"We are delighted to be the first park to showcase this technology, "said Matt Ouimet, president of the Disneyland Resort. "Walt Disney began the tradition of fireworks at Disneyland nearly 50 years ago and this innovation ensures generations will enjoy the shows for decades to come."

About Walt Disney Imagineering

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.

--Posted June 28, 2004
Source: Walt Disney Imagineering