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Disney could help guests "feel fireworks"

Credit: WTSP
Fewer fireworks went off over Channelside this year.

Scott Greenblat lost his vision after a car accident in 1993. He was just a teenager. Now, at the age of 41, the news of Disney’s newest research project could help him relive some of his favorite childhood memories.

“I remember gigantic displays,” he said, recalling his trips to see fireworks at Walt Disney World in Orlando as a child. “I went from everything to nothing after the accident.”

The fireworks displays are some of the most memorable and recognizable moments for visitors to the iconic theme parks. Guests who are visually impaired may not get to feel the full breadth of

the experience.

They soon could get a better feel for what the light show is all about.

Disney is developing technology that is multi-sensory and could help visually impaired people to feel the rhythm of fireworks. According to the Disney research lab report, “Tactile effects are created using directable water jets that spray onto the rear of a flexible screen, with different nozzles for different firework effects.”

“This would at least give them a tactile way to explore and find out what is going on,” said Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind’s Chelsea Bridges.

“At this point in my life it would definitely help me relive those moments and help me recapture those exciting times that I’d been able to share with my kids,” said Gary Watson, who is gradually losing his visual due to complications with diabetes.

A YouTube video shows what Disney’s hope is for “feeling fireworks” plan. There is no timetable for when this technology could arrive in Disney theme parks. It is in the developmental stage now.

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