Disneyland characters finally speak to park-goers after years of silence
Families travelling to Disney California can now converse with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck, who appear to have been given the power of speech.
Video footage has emerged of the characters regaling guests with stories as part of a new meet-and-greet service that is being trialled at Disney California Adventure Park.
The characters had previously posed silently for cheesy photos and given the odd hug, but now they can properly chew the fat with visitors.
It’s not the first time Mickey Mouse has been able to engage in banter – multilingual Mickey can shoot the breeze in several languages at Walt Disney World, Orlando – but it’s the first time we have heard from Minnie and Donald.
There are as-yet no details on how the characters have gained the power of speech, or if their vocal cords are just pre-recorded soundbites, but it’s certainly one of the more welcome technological innovations at Disney, which last year started developing a foot-tracking technology that would allow the company to follow customers around its attractions.
The Walt Disney Company, owner of the Disney theme parks, secured a patent for the system, which would scan and photograph customer’s shoes and allow park authorities to track punters through the Magic Kingdom.
According to patent documents, the data could then be matched up with information about guests – such as names, hometowns, favourite Disney characters, etc – and used to create “a customized guest experience”.
Disney claims it has no immediate plans to employ the technology.