Lanny Smoot, Disney

Black Disney Imagineer Inducted Into Inventors Hall Of Fame 

Disney Imagineer Lanny Smoot, who has more than 100 patents, has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Disney Imagineer Lanny Smoot has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. 

Smoot is responsible for bringing the Haunted Mansion’s Madame Leota floating head and Star Wars lifesavers to life off the screen. In over four decades of work with the Walt Disney Company, Smoot has become a Research Fellow who has impacted Disney Parks.

In an article on the company’s Parks website, Smoot expressed his delight at being the second person in the Walt Disney Company to receive this honor after Disney. 

“As a lifelong inventor, I am excited, delighted, and humbled to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” Smoot said. “To be included alongside my childhood hero, Thomas Edison, and my lifelong role model, Jim West—the inventor of the electret microphone—is both exciting and humbling. And as someone who’s had the privilege of working at The Walt Disney Company, it’s especially meaningful to know that Walt Disney himself is also an inductee.”

Smoot has more than 100 patents, mainly involving attractions at the diverse entertainment parks. His accomplishments in theatrical technology have earned him numerous Thea Awards from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), leading to him becoming a TEA master in 2020. 

“At Disney Experiences, we’re committed to world-class storytelling, creativity, and innovation in everything we do, and Lanny Smoot embodies every one of those ideals,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of the program. “As Disney’s most prolific inventor, Lanny continues to amaze all of us with his artistic ingenuity, technical expertise, and endless imagination.”

Smoot is continuing to advance guest experiences in the parks and beyond. His latest project, the HoloTile floor, “the first and only, multi-person, omnidirectional, modular, expandable, treadmill floor,” will allow attendees to share in the attraction with seemingly unlimited distance.

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