A while back Disney filed patents to implement drones into their nighttime shows. Diagrams showed drones carrying large, presumably cloth, characters that would be illuminated and appear to dance in the night sky.
Disney has also been testing floating lanterns using drone technology. The first application of this should be in Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light show coming this year. A video recently posted by Guinness World Records shows yet another potential application of drone technology that Disney could take advantage on in their nighttime shows.
The video shows dozens of drones flying together autonomously to create shapes, patters and changing colors. It is pretty amazing to watch. Considering this video is more of a glorified tech demo, one could only imagine what a Disney Imagineer could do with this tech.
Drones are a very hot topic regarding safety and security. This technology could only be used when winds are mild and far away from guest areas. That leaves Animal Kingdom's rivers, Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon and even the Magic Kingdom's Seven Seas Lagoon as potential options to display such a show. Epcot has been rumored to receive a replacement to IllumiNations in the coming years, that could be our first look at this technology fully realized in the parks. Check back often to see the latest on this topic.