Walt Disney Co. will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, which will likely feature the company’s best-know character, Mickey Mouse, in many different ways.
The company’s cartoon characters are as old as Disney (DIS) – Get Free Report itself, although before Mickey came around, there was a cat named Julius and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But Mickey Mouse would soon rule the company’s kingdom after his debut in “Steamboat Willie” in 1928. He has been so popular that people have wanted to meet the character dating back to 1931 when Disney costumed characters debuted in a traveling show “Mickey Mouse Idea” in Los Angeles, according to Mouseplanet.
Who wouldn’t want to get a chance to meet a giant famous mouse? Well, being able to meet and greet the famed Disney characters has been around at Disney parks since Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., opened in 1955. Not only can you meet the beloved characters, but you can get your picture taken with them and get signatures.
The ability to meet a beloved Disney character for children is part of what makes a trip to a Disney theme park so magical. The kids get to see their favorite characters brought to life off of the screen. While the characters look has changed over the years with better designs and outfit changes, the characters themselves are still true to their original artistic representations.
Time for a Disney Costume Change
Working as a beloved Disney character isn’t just about having a similar appearance because many costumes come with costume head pieces. The Disney cast members usually have to fit into a specific size costume and then also have to be able to maintain their character for an entire shift. Shifts are mostly eight hours but have frequent breaks because of how bulky and uncomfortable the costumes are, according to ParkNerds.com.
The world of costume design is evolving and may have a very exciting new feature, Head-mounted display (HMD). Disney Enterprises filed a patent for the system that would enhance the visibility for the cast member in costume, that currently has very limited visibility. Disney has held 6,045 global patents and 4,109 patents are still active. Patent filing is a long-drawn-out process that could take up to 18 months from the time it is filed until the time it is published, according to InsightsByGreys.com.
Visibility is limited and so is mobility while cast members are in costume that all character cast members in costume are sent out into the parks in pairs that are able to assist one another if something were to happen. If a cast member falls, they are to remain in character at all times, and if one gets hurt, the costumed cast member must be hurt in character. The advance of the HMD could result in less injuries and better interactions with guests while doing meet and greet in costumes with low visibility.
The patent also shows an HMD visibility being used for a character driving a car. This part of the patent may be used in Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif. The HMD’s patent pending design is to be worn over the eyes and head to replace the current viewpoint through a mesh area in current costume head pieces.
Disney Continues Improvements
Disney is in a constant state of reimagining its parks to keep the parks fresh for those who love to frequent the parks as well as those who make the trip a once in a lifetime excursion. Disney also seems to be in constant efforts to improve the situations its cast members find themselves in daily.
Cast members can endure hot costumes that can be hard to breathe in, even with ventilation. Disney takes the safety of its beloved characters in costumer very seriously and this patent can address some concerns. During the pandemic the character meet and greets went away, and with the return of them post pandemic, the most magical place on earth regains some of its normalcy.