One of the most epic drone light shows occurred this month in the skies over Santa Monica, Calif., and it featured Baby Yoda (erm, Grogu). A Disney drone light show was held to celebrate National Streaming Day, which was on May 20.
National Streaming Day is a somewhat made-up and highly-commercial holiday to celebrate all things streaming: movies through sites like Netflix, music through products like Spotify or Pandora, podcasts and more. And Disney, which recently launched its own streaming service called Disney+, used the commercial holiday to get in on the action and promote its streaming services, including that and others like Hulu and ESPN+. But given the epic-ness of this Disney drone light show, we’ll take it.
You can rewatch the show — through streaming, no less — via online video sharing site YouTube. Watch the Disney drone light show here:
The show features all sorts of Disney and Disney-adjacent symbols. But most importantly, the absolutely adorable Baby Yoda (officially named Grogu) was recreated in drone form. Other symbols recreated in drone form included a Captain America shield to embrace the Marvel side of Disney, a baseball bat to celebrate ESPN, and a woman from Handmaid’s Tale, which streams on Hulu.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Baby Yoda in the sky via drones. Last year, a brilliantly creative photographer used a single DJI Mavic Pro to create a Baby Yoda image in night sky via the technique of light painting.
And this is far from the first time Disney has used drones. The company filed patents as early as 2014 relating to drone tech. Just last year, Disney filed an innovative patent that would incorporate flying robots into their live theme park performances, where drones would be smart enough to respond to the environment and trained actors in it, rather than reliant on a pre-programmed flight plan. That means the drone won’t “go” until, say, an actor finishes responding to their cue.
And in 2016, Disney held live drone light shows at its Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. For that show, Intel and Disney partnered up to create what was called the ‘Starbright Holidays’ drone light show. Interestingly, that was the first ever large-scale drone performance in the U.S.
Although drone light shows (for now) are usually more expensive than fireworks — that’s mostly only because drones are still a relatively new technology. Many experts predicts that very soon the cost of a drone light show will soon become far cheaper than fireworks. After all, it’s a one-time cost to buy the drones, as opposed to fireworks where you have to buy new pyro for every show. Not to mention, drone light shows are generally considered more environmentally friendly.