We recently found out about engineer, inventor, and all round amazing guy – Lanny Smoot (via the excellent newsletter from The Prepared), and just had to share. From working at Bell Labs to Disney, Smoot’s career is impressive any way you look at it; he’s both prolific and imaginative, and has brought so many wonderful ideas to life. If you’ve visited the Disney parks, you’ve likely benefited from Lanny’s inventions.
Read more about his life and work from this 2021 post Disney Parks Blog, which celebrated Lenny receiving his 100th US Patent.
Seventy-four of Lanny’s patents were from his research and inventions at Disney. Some of his favorite creations are included in past projects like Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure and “Where’s the Fire?” at Innoventions, both formerly at EPCOT; current projects including many of the special effects guests love in the Haunted Mansion, the lightsabers used in Star Wars Launch Bay, the virtual and interactive koi ponds at the Crystal Lotus Restaurant at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, the Fortress Explorations interactive adventure at Tokyo DisneySea, and “Power City” at Project Tomorrow in the post-show area for Spaceship Earth; and upcoming projects like the new state-of-the-art lightsaber and the lightsaber training experience, both of which will be a part of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser multi-day experience coming in spring 2022 to Walt Disney World Resort. In addition, many of Lanny’s inventions haven’t yet found a home in Disney parks and resorts including patents for new ride systems and 3D displays where you don’t need to wear 3D glasses.
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