One of my lesser-known obsessions is animatronics, especially the stuff which comes out of Disney. For example, the other day I saw this-
and I felt honest-to-god very sad, although admittedly that may be just the pandemic and the lockdown and the uncertainty getting to me.
But hey, while we’re on the subject of Disney animatronics, let me tell you the story of one of my favourite ones! This one:
Poor, poor Yeti. Disney had such high hopes for him and he was SO expensive. I mean, look at him moving! That sort of technology doesn’t come cheap. They built a whole rollercoaster around him! Heavily promoted him as one of the most sophisticated robotic creations out there! And then he broke.
Now the Yeti is in “Disco Mode” which means he basically has a light under him to give the illusion of movement. Because if he actually moves too much, he’ll damage the actual rollercoaster itself and, uh, we don’t want that. The Disney corporation also surprisingly considers that human lives > one multi-million hairy boi. So for almost a decade now, the Yeti has been unmoving while it lurks over passengers.
Here’s what the Yeti’s boss, I mean Imagineer Joe Rohde, said about the situation back in 2013:
“You have to understand, it’s a giant complicated machine sitting on top of, like, a 46-foot tall tower in the middle of a finished building. So, it’s really hard to fix, but we are working on it. And we continue to work on it. We have tried several ‘things’, none of them quite get to the key, turning of the 40-foot tower inside of a finished building, but we are working on it… I will fix the Yeti someday, I swear.
So that got me thinking… Disneyworld is obviously closed for the time being. Maybe, ONCE the coronavirus has retreated to a safe distance (human lives still > one multi-million hairy boi) they could keep Animal Kingdom closed for just a little bit longer, depending on how things go with regard to opening very crowded places, and finally/safely fix the yeti?
Anyway here he is in his original glory back in 2006.