Disneyland details IR technology behind ‘Glow with the Show’ Mickey Mouse ears for World of Color and beyond

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Theme Parks

Since Disneyland first debuted the new “Glow with the Show” Mickey Mouse ear hats in June, many fans have wondered how this high-tech Disney magic works. Operating in sync with World of Color at the Disney California Adventure theme park, the ears light up in a rainbow of colors.

In a video released today, Disney Creative Entertainment Technical Director, Chuck Davis offers insight on how the LED-based Glow with the Show ears work:

“The base control infrastructure is infrared, just like your TV remote,” explained Davis. “The viewing area is divided into zones, about 40 zones, and each of those zones is able to be sent individual commands to the hats within that zone. The hats themselves have a unique serial number and so with the combination of the unique serial number and the zones, we can create geographic spacial effects where we wipe colors from right to left or from the front of the audience to the back, or the middle to out. We can even control one ear differently than the other ear.”

Video: Glow with the Show ears debut at Disney California Adventure

But Disneyland has bigger plans for the new Mickey ear hats. “We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the technology here at World of Color with the hats,” said Davis. “The hats have the ability to interact between each other. They also have other places that you can take them and things can happen.”

The Glow with the Show ears also currently work outside World of Color, illuminating in time with stage lighting during the Mad T Party and also throughout Cars Land.

Video: Glow with the Show ears during Mad T Party

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