The happiest place on earth is made possible by Disney luminaries — including people like Lanny Smoot.
Smoot works as Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development Imagineer and wears Disney’s highest badge of honor in technical research as a Disney Research Fellow. Lanny Smoot has worked for Walt Disney for over two decades and is the creative mastermind behind the technologies at attractions such as Madame Leota’s floating head seen in the Séance Room at the Haunted Mansion attraction, Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, and the virtual and interactive koi ponds at the Crystal Lotus Restaurant at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney Parks reports.
“We’re always trying to give our guests new experiences – things that they have not seen anywhere else in the world. I’m proud to be a part of the research and development organization at Disney because we are constantly adding to our parks, our cruise ships, and more,” Lanny Smoot said, according to Disney Parks.
“Some ideas that we create won’t ever be seen by guests,” Lanny added. “We pick the best of our technologies to finally roll out, and we’re constantly inventing, and constantly trying to live up to Walt’s dream – that our work will never be done as long as we have guests to entertain.”
A Record-Breaking Number of Patents
Lanny Smoot has acquired 102 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The achievement is the most earned by anyone working at The Walt Disney Company and a rare achievement for inventors. Lanny Smoot has pushed the boundaries of what is possible at Walt Disney by placing technologies at the forefront of innovation. Lanny Smoot alongside his team have created never before seen technologies, interactive systems, and special effects being enjoyed by millions of families across parks, cruise ships, and consumer products.
“I am always proud when I finish any creative endeavor when I invent something new that people haven’t seen before. I received my 100th issued patent. As a matter of fact, I am actually up to a 102 now and this puts a stake in the ground as a really exciting accomplishment,“ Lanny Smoot said in a video interview, according to Disney Parks.
How Larry Smoot Supports Next STEM Leaders
Lanny Smoot wants to pass his baton to the next generation of innovators. Creating a new gateway, Lanny Smoot creates mentorship opportunities for minority students looking to dive into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Lanny Smoot believes technology can create a better reality for others and Disney’s attractions and student pathways serve as affirmation “the work was all worth it.”
“We need to give young students – especially Black students and people of color – experience in these fields,” Lanny Smoot said, according to Disney Parks, “The Walt Disney Company is digging deeply into this by making sure that we mentor diverse young people, and I’ve done that many times myself.”