On this day in 2003 - Lucky the Dinosaur, the first Audio-Animatronic figure to walk freely and interact with park guests, debuted as a test in Disney's California Adventure.
Approximately 8 feet tall, Lucky was a green biped dinosaur who pulled a flower-covered cart and was led by Chandler the Dinosaur Handler (a fellow dressed as a wizard). The dinosaur was the very first free-roving creation dreamed up by Disney's Imagineers. The flower cart Lucky pulled actually concealed a computer and power source. Lucky was capable of moving, vocalizing (in Dinosaur language), and responding to guests! Imagineers went as far as adding thumping sounds that were in sync with Lucky's feet to simulate what a heavy dinosaur may have sounded like when moving.
In Summer 2005, Lucky made appearances at Disney's Animal Kingdom (in DinoLand USA of course). He was then moved to Hong Kong Disneyland for the park's grand opening.
Lucky wouldn't be spotted again until the D23 Expo in 2009 - but his technology enabled another free-roving attraction - Muppet Mobile Lab to wow park guests at various Disney theme parks around the world.
Advances in computers, software, miniaturization, and electronics have enabled Disney Imagineers to create some amazing things. What will the future hold?
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