Press ReleaseGeneral Disney

Josh D’Amaro Presentation @ SXSW 2023

For The First Time, Disney Parks Takes The Stage at SXSW 2023

Chairman Josh D’Amaro Shares Art & Science Behind Disney’s Timeless Storytelling, Glimpse into Innovations in Development

Presentation Reveals How Creativity and Innovation Spark Connection and Happiness

BURBANK, California – March 10, 2023 – Today at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro showcased Disney’s long-time commitment to innovation by pulling back the curtain on ways Disney creates intentional environments envisioned and built for happiness.

D’Amaro’s presentation, “Creating Happiness: The Art & Science of Disney Parks Storytelling,” was delivered at the essential destination for global professionals. SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals celebrating the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture.

“Disney’s 100-year legacy is built on the intersection of creativity, innovation, and storytelling,” D’Amaro said. “We’re humbled by the fact that millions of people choose Disney as their vacation destination every year to escape into our beloved stories. To our guests around the world, I want to tell you that we’ve only just begun.”

Disney Imagineers, the team behind making “broomsticks walk and cars talk” took the stage to share some of the unique and ambitious ideas that bring Disney stories to life and spark happiness for millions worldwide. D’Amaro and Disney Imagineers shared insights about how creating immersive environments, sensory-provoking food and music, visual effects, interactions with favorite Disney characters and world-class service from Disney cast members are all designed to bring people together to create their own stories again and again.

The “Creating Happiness” presentation included the unveiling of a brand-new prototype robot. Pushing boundaries of what characters can do in Disney experiences, the new robot demonstrated its ability to make dynamic maneuvers, including falling down and getting back up, as well as a somersault. The dynamic robot incorporates motion-capture data to create performances that evoke emotion, giving Disney Imagineers a new way to bring out a characters’ personality.

The presentation also included a behind-the-scenes look at another blue-sky concept from Disney Imagineers that lets fans have a live conversation with pixie-sized Tinker Bell. It’s the latest in innovations from Disney Imagineers to bring Disney characters, both big and small, to life in new ways. The Hulk character who appeared at Disney California Adventure Park in 2022 was also on display for the audience. This unique, exoskeleton allows performers to operate large, non-human characters.

Delivering more hope, inspiration and happiness is at the center of Disney’s next 100 years, D’Amaro shared. “We want to invent the future once again – together – drawing on a range of voices and perspectives that will help us continue to create even more happiness around the world.”

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