Disney makes an appearance at the World Science Festival
And there was science — physics, chemistry, biology, computer science and environmental science. The imagineers (imagination + engineers, get it?) brought out a roller coaster simulator to show how G-force works to put the thrills into the ride and keep the rider in his seat, even when hanging upside down.
Liquid nitrogen and a giant air blaster pushed out fog. The creepy atmosphere was aided by dark lighting, a cemetery scene and eerie music, helping to illustrate how a blend of science and art goes into all the special effects.
N.Y.U.’s Skirball Center auditorium was too small for real fireworks, but the imagineers were able to demonstrate how they get different colors into the shooting explosions by adding various elements like copper and strontium.
Audience members could also see how live human beings provide the movements and gestures for animated characters like skeleton pirates. Other volunteers took an elephant-sized G.P.S. tracking device and trekked out to Washington Square Park, while the audience tracked their movements via satellite.
What was great about these demonstrations is that they showed kids that sometimes science can be used to produce the things they love — wild rides, engaging stories, beautiful art and more.
Outside, there was a Disney animatronic dinosaur as well as the Magic School Bus and dozens of demonstrations, experiments, cartoon characters and scientifically-minded entertainments — at least before the thunderstorms started.