Disney’s Festival of Fantasy (and Tech) #WearableWednesday

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Costumes Hit the Runway at Magic Kingdom: Raven

I was recently at Disney World and couldn’t believe the amazing tech I was witnessing, from Magic Bands and hydroponics,  to program-your-own rides. They are a fine example of STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, Mathematics). The maker side of me wanted to learn more, and after some tech hungry tweeting, I was finally connected to someone that worked for Disney. They told me about some amazing costumes in their Festival of Fantasy parade that are incorporating 3D printing and other digital techniques. I missed the parade due to fear of crowds, but what I did get was a link to Joe Kucharski’s, Tyranny of Style, which gives astounding detail on their process. Joe is a costume designer himself and knows well the issues facing designers when things need to be transportable, durable, sun resistant, comfortable, and of course, over-the-top. So, get ready for a thrill.

The parade is a collaboration between Disney Creative Entertainment and costume designer, Mirena Rada. Mirena was embarking on the creation of a Raven mask, with the help of Lisa Hanusiak, Materials and Process Engineer for Disney. Lisa was able to connect her with appropriate artists along the way for this involved project. They started with a 3D origami program to create a paper prototype. This version already seems amazing to me!

FOF Sea Shell Head Piece Costume DesignFrom there they moved on to a 3D sculpting program, creating the gentle filigree work. Then it was off to the 3D SLS machine. The finished print is so exciting, because once painted, it really resembles ornate metal work. The addition of Swarovski crystals, turns this piece into a fantasy headpiece.

Raven Head Piece ProcessAlthough I’m a member of hackerspace with a 3D printer, I have never witnessed a process as intense for a finished piece. So often we try to DIY ourselves, and this is proof of the power of collaboration. Imagine having a 3D artist create your render and another artist who specializes in painting finish your piece — it’s just heaven. Of course this takes time, organization and the ability to let go of ego. It reminds me of the message I heard so often at Disney World, “No, it’s my pleasure”. People are taught to work together, to do it efficiently, and to do it well. Engineers and artists may not always speak the same language, but when they can agree to work together, surprising things occur. Looking forward to more work like that. You can start your own collaboration for a fantasy parade with our LED Stego Flex Spike Hoodie. Time to find someone who has a MakerBot!

Spike Hoodie


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