Disney has closed their theme parks because of Covid19 and the difficulties of social distancing in a space where people are supposed to get together. Coronavirus isn’t going to go away tomorrow, so what is the answer to opening the parks back up- and making it a magical experience? Does Disney already own the answer?
What does a Stormtrooper and a drone have to do with making the park safe? Well, we’ll share.
Suppose Disney makes real Stormtrooper helmets, that allow you to breathe highly filtered air on your visit? And suppose, we gamify your experience, by building in the same obstacle avoidance system that drones use to keep them from crashing? Every visitor would become a stormtrooper, complete with helmet and gauntlet gloves. Each helmet would be programmed to allow you to be within 6 feet of your family, but, no one else. An audible will go off when you are too close to others. You’ll be given a score that reads in your heads-up display in your visor on how you’re doing. The less contacts, the more rides, the higher the visitors score. The gauntlet gloves- when you make a push sign toward others- will send a signal to others helmets- and increase your score as well as warning them to stand back. People who don’t obey distancing, would eventually be told to return to base for retraining.
Would it be expensive to build the hundred thousand helmets and the gamification systems, sure, but, everyday the parks are closed is costing tens of millions. Estimates of the costs of the closures come in at half a billion. And that’s not including the rest of the tourism ecosystem of hotels, airfare, tourism.
Disney is full of imagineers, they’ve made money with creativity for years. Why not make the parks a true, full time, immersive experience?
And the best part? Who didn’t want to be a stormtrooper, at least once?