ORLANDO, Fla. – You’ve probably seen one of the nighttime spectaculars at one of Central Florida’s theme parks.
Each show is choreographed to music that delights guests with fireworks, fountains and lasers.
Now imagine if you could add one more element to the experience: thousands of colorful drones. Theme parks around the world have within the last decade added drones to their parks, which add a new and unique multi-sensory layer to the production. Guests watch thousands of tiny drones dance in the night sky, creating images and characters that are brought to life.
Although none of Central Florida’s theme parks use drones yet, we could see them in the future.
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One company helping to lead the industry and bring drones to theme parks, sporting events and live performances is Dallas-based company Sky Elements. The company said it puts on about 400 shows a year, including showcases for MLB, FIFA and NASCAR as well as Independence Day parties, live concerts and the 65th Grammy Awards.
“We’re aerial entertainment, so a drone light show can be great for anything you can imagine,” said Kyle Pivnick, Vice President of Business Development. “You could do your next proposal with a drone show, you could also celebrate in a theme park by seeing your favorite characters 400 feet in the sky. Drone light shows are a perfect way to visualize everything you want and celebrate in any way you can imagine.”
At its core, Sky Elements calls itself a storytelling company that unites the worlds of creativity and technology.
On Wednesday night, in a breathtaking spectacle, Sky Elements demonstrated its prowess by orchestrating a dazzling display near the Orange County Convention Center during the IAAPA Expo. The synchronized swarm of 1,600 drones created formations including Earth, a cowboy, a dragon battling a knight and an astronaut outside the International Space Station.
The team also broke two Guinness World Record attempts in the process. The company earned the record after creating the world’s largest American flag and aerial logo made from drones. Sky Elements said this was also the largest drone show ever flown in the Sunshine State.
“Our team worked hard and pushed through the rain to make this show happen. We battled through the weather and flew an amazing show for an amazing audience,” said Ross Dusenbury, Sky Elements drone flight commander.
Each of the awe-inspiring designs showcased on Wednesday night was handcrafted and designed by one of the Sky Elements staff through a creative process.
During a sneak peek before Wednesday’s performance, the 30-strong SkyElements team offered a glimpse into the magic behind the scenes. In a meticulous operation, the team picked up, calibrated and staged the remarkable fleet of drones and set the stage for the extraordinary aerial display.
News 6 had an up close opportunity to witness this preparation and revealed the precision and expertise that goes into creating these captivating aerial performances.
The company said each of the drones requires about 10 square meters of space. To help with performance, each drone is armed with bright LED lights that are checked before take-off.
“The biggest concern is visibility,” Pivnick said. “We’re always safe with airplanes. You might see helicopters come by or planes land at the airport—we always want to make sure we’re operating at a safe level, no matter what. The FAA requires us to have three miles of visibility. So if we can’t see within three miles, we legally can’t fly the show. That’s their biggest limitation. Those drones don’t care if they get wet. We care about being safe.”
The rise of drone light shows and aerial performances marks a shift in the entertainment landscape, offering a unique and immersive experience on an unprecedented scale.
The next Florida drone show from Sky Elements is scheduled for December 7th in Fernandina Beach to coincide with the Dickens on Center festival. Sky Elements will be a prominent presence throughout the festival, enthralling audiences with their drone displays for two more nights on December 8 and 9, promising an enchanting experience for all attendees.
Click here to learn more about Sky Elements.
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