Audio animatronics is defined by the Walt Disney Company as a robot with paired movements and sound recordings.  They add depth and magic to the attractions they appear in. Walt Disney first started developing audio animatronics in the 1950s, with the help of Lee Adams, an electrician working for Disney. The technology was further explored with the help of Roger Broggie and Wathel Rogers.

Here are three trivia questions that harken back to the early days of Disney’s audio animatronics.

  1. What was Disney’s first use of audio animatronics in an attraction?
  2. What was Disney’s first use of audio animatronics in a film?
  3. What was Disney’s first use of audio animatronics as a person?

And the answers are:

First use of audio animatronics in an attraction – Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Disneyland, 1963

Image: Disney

When you visit this tropical hideaway, you’ll be serenaded by a cast of over 150 birds, flowers, and tikis.

First use of audio animatronics in a film – Mary Poppins, 1963

Image: Disney

Everyone’s favorite magical nanny interacted with two animatronics during the film – one was a robin that perched on Mary’s finger and whistled a tune, and the second is the parrot head handle of Mary’s umbrella.

First use of audio animatronics as a person – Abraham Lincoln, New York World’s Fair, 1964

Image GIF: Disney

Walt Disney famously introduced Mr. Lincoln to the world in the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Mr. Lincoln was duplicated for Disneyland in 1965.

Audio animatronics are much more technologically advanced today, and they are common in all Disney parks, but in the 1960s they were brand new and truly unique.

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