Interactive Telescopes
Walt Disney World / EPCOT / World Showcase

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Walt Disney Imagineering had an idea of putting telescopes on the lake at the World Showcase in EPCOT. But in Disney style, a regular telescope wasn’t enough. They also wanted to find a way to make the scopes interactive so that a guest could not only view one of the counties across the lake but also hear information about the country they were seeing. Earlier participants in the “Interactive Telescope” project pursued directions which among other things, incorporated optics made by the same company that manufactured the “Hubble” satellite. As you can imagine, this drove cost through the ceiling with an optics package cost, which exceeded the entire telescope project budget.

Our team came in with a redesign which carried a more classic telescope look and used off the shelf existing optics. This along with precision design and machining of brass and aluminum components produced a durable telescope that could withstand even the harsh environment of a family amusement park.