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Top 5 Disney animatronics you must see and where you can spot them

Things have come a long way since the 1964 New York World's Fair

Walt Disney was a man of many great ideas but his idea to create a robotic figure to mimic human or creature life is one of our favorites.

Of course, we're talking about the audio-animatronic. Disney World junkies know everything there is to know about the history of Disney animatronics but for those of you who are new here, we'll let the man himself break it down.

Of course, times have changed and technology has advanced tenfold. There is no longer a need for a vinyl record to save data and there isn't an actor standing in to create the movements for the figure.

Now everything is done through programming and computers. The new tech has allowed Imagineers to create near-life-like movements that look so real and fluid you may have a hard time believing they're made of plastic and wires.

Disney has come a long way with its animatronics. What used to be a character that could do one movement has evolved into a figure that can pronounce words, have distinct muscle movements and even walk.

We're going to break down our 5 favorite audio-animatronics at Walt Disney World and explain where you can find them.


The Na'vi Shaman of Songs

What has been referred to as Disney's most advanced Audio-Animatronic to date can be found inside the Na'vi River Journey. She can be seen singing a song in Na'vi as your boat slowly cruises past her. The figure is highly expressive, has fluid movements and extremely life-like features.

If you want to get an up-close look at this impressive figure be sure to sit on the right-hand side of the boat and have your camera ready.

Hondo Ohnaka

Inside one of Disney's newest creations is the galaxy's leading expert on cargo. Hondo Ohnaka prepares you for what may lie ahead as you board Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The character has fluid movements and moves around his elevated stage with ease.

For more info on Smugglers Run and how to pilot the Millenium Falcom, click or tap here.


The sea witch known for stealing Ariel's voice can be quite intimidating, that is as long as she keeps her head on tight. Ursula can be found under the sea on Journey of The Little Mermaid. While her appearance is brief, your time in her lair will be filled with enjoyment as you bounce along and perhaps even sing along to poor unfortunate souls.

Tiki Birds

The tropical hideaway known as the Tiki Room is home to over 220 audio-animatronic birds. The birds were a project that Walt Disney looked over and helped create. But birds aren't the only ones inside. The show also features a cast of singing flowers, tiki drummers and totem poles. Sit back and relax as your fine-feathered friends sing songs inside a traditional Hawaiian ceremonial hut. In true Disney fashion, things don't go quite as planned when the celebration angers the gods.

Lightning McQueen

If you're a fan of the Cars franchise then you should be front and center for Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The show features a stunning Lighting McQueen animatronic that moves around 360 degrees in front of a large video board.

Not sure if the show is right for you? Click or tap here to read about the racing academy and what you should expect.


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