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‘Chef Remy’ Audio-Animatronics Figure Remains in Epcot

posted on October 14th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Judging by online conversations, there’s some question about whether Chef Remy, one of our newest Audio-Animatronics characters, can still be seen in Epcot. The answer is, yes, you can still enjoy Chef Remy’s culinary talents.

“Bon Appetit from Chef Remy” at Les Chefs de France at Epcot was initially scheduled to end in September but his appearances have been extended.

If you haven’t experienced Remy’s hijinks, you should. The rat-turned-chef made famous in the Academy Award-winning film Ratatouille flirts, dances and entertains several times a week at the France pavilion in Epcot.

Chef Remy

Excitement around Chef Remy begins with his presentation — how he’s revealed. He travels table-to-table on a rolling gourmet food cart. Then a Maitre d’ lifts the lid off a silver-domed cheese platter to begin the show and the smallest Audio-Animatronics character ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering doesn’t disappoint. When Remy recently visited our table at Les Chefs de France restaurant, he didn’t leave until the entire group was laughing.

Check out Chef Remy for yourself in a video we recently created at Disney Parks.

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Filed: Disney Differences, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Hands, Eyes Convey Emotions For Disney’s Audio-Animatronics Technology

posted on October 6th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Quick…think about your last face-to-face conversation — how you used facial movements or arm gestures to show emotion. Disney Imagineers know humans often convey emotions with their hands, arms and eyes and tend to focus much of their Audio-Animatronics development work on it.

A first glimpse at how our three-dimensional figures can display emotions came in the Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion at the D23 Expo. Now, we’ve got more.

Animatronic Hand

Our newest hand prototype has 15 movable joints which is three times greater than a traditional Audio-Animatronics hand. Today, Disney Imagineering works with cutting-edge electronic servo motors to create realistic hands as well as arms. These compact mechanisms are able to move faster and with greater precision. In the past, Audio-Animatronics relied on pressurized air and hydraulics to generate life-like movements.

“Imagineers have been using Audio-Animatronics technology to bring Disney characters to life for over fifty years, and today we’re continuing that legacy of innovation and creativity by constantly creating new wows for the next generation of guests,” says Scott Trowbridge, WDI VP Research and Development.

Creating skin formulations for hands is also a highly scientific process that involves chemists, material scientists and artist. Imagineers often look to other fields for inspiration since a character’s skin must look as good as new after hundreds of thousands of hours of wear and tear.

Animatronic Eye

Imagineers realize that the eyes convey emotions and a two-foot eye prototype showcases our newest concept. It’s a new type of mechanism that uses electromagnets to create realistic eye motions. There is only a single moving part — the eye itself — and no wear points. That means faster, more realistic movement and longer life.

As Disney Parks continues to experiment and innovate, as with our newest Autonomatronics technology, we’ll certainly be talking about it on this blog. Stay tuned.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney Differences, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort