Dollywood, one of the top theme parks in the world, named after American country music singer Dolly Parton, is hosting drone-powered light shows until July 31 as part of its 2021 Summer Extravaganza. This drone light show, which is integrated into a choreographed fireworks show, is rumored to have cost half a million dollars to produce. A new video from Intel offers a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day preparations to create an amazing and safe show.
The drone light show at Dollywood kicked off on June 25th. Each evening, around 400 dancing drones take to the skies to create breathtaking animation for the Dollywood theme park.
Drone light show concept
The concept and planning of this audiovisual treat took over a year to complete. Cyndi McCormack, Vice President of Guest Relations at Dollywood Park, said: “For a while we were convinced that we were offering something that had never been before. When we heard about the drone light shows, we thought it was an incredible way to integrate music into our storytelling. And what could be better than launching an image into the sky in a way that most people haven’t seen yet?”
Intel, whose drone light shows have graced some of the world’s biggest stages, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Coachella Music Festival and the Super Bowl, was the clear choice as a technology partner.
Darren Press, who works for Intel on Emerging Growth & Incubation, explained, “The idea for an Intel drone light show starts with a customer idea. The Dollywood team had some ideas and worked with our animation team to figure out what the show drone should look like.”
Each base station can accommodate up to six Intel drones, which have a flight time of five to six minutes.
behind the scenes video
A new video released by Intel gives a detailed look at how the drone light show comes to life. The video shows hundreds of drones being set up on the runway each day before the start of the show, where each drone is individually inspected for visual damage. People from Intel keep an eye on the weather forecast and wind changes. They also constantly scan the sky for intruders into the airspace.
Intel technology, meanwhile, is sophisticated enough to allow a drone show with one pilot and one computer at the push of a button. Therefore, before this button is ready to be pressed, a lot of effort must be put into managing the project and ensuring flawless coordination. Otherwise, the show may face global disappointment, which, for example, was experienced by the organizers of an unknown Chinese company in charge of the drone show in Chongqing, China, half a year ago. According to eyewitnesses, then something went wrong and some of the drones just crashed into a skyscraper and fell. Here is one of several videos of this incident:
Or here is another case of loss of control over a swarm of UAVs that occurred recently. On June 16, 2021, during a drone light show held as part of a major beer festival in China, drones began to fall en masse, resulting in injuries to the audience, and the show organizer lost several hundred drones. It is known that 1000 drones were involved in this show.