KEY POINTS

  • Over the next three weeks Walmart will be putting on a series of holiday drone light shows across the U.S. 
  • They will be livestreamed across social media on Dec. 5
  • Tickets for close-up spots must be reserved beforehand, which will allow families to watch from or next to their vehicle

Walmart has found a new way to celebrate the holidays in the era of lockdowns and social distancing: high-flying drone shows put on at physical locations and streamed for online viewing. 

The shows will use almost 1,000 Intel drones to form complex shapes in the night sky, moving in time to Christmas songs like “Frosty the Snowman” by Bing Crosby and “Run Run Rudolph” by Kelly Clarkson.

“After a particularly tough year, we want customers and communities to enjoy a moment of rest, peace and hope,” said William White, Walmart’s chief marketing officer in a press release. “We’ve been finding ways to help families enjoy seasonal traditions in a year when they thought it might not be possible.”

Never one to miss a merchandising opportunity, Walmart will also be airing a holiday shortly before the show, “DreamWorks Trolls Holiday.” Local DJ’s will get a chance to perform as well.

The aerial light shows announced in late November will finally be beginning Dec. 4, touring the U.S. at eight locations from Kansas to Arkansas over the next three weeks. Here’s the full list of times and locations for the in-person shows, according to Walmart’s release:

  • Friday, Dec. 4: Kansas City, Kansas at Kansas Speedway
  • Saturday, Dec. 5: Dallas, Texas at the Cotton Bowl
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9: San Antonio, Texas at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • Thursday, Dec. 10: Doswell, Virginia at Kings Dominion
  • Sunday, Dec. 13: Phoenix, Arizona at Phoenix Raceway
  • Wednesday, Dec. 16: Charlotte, North Carolina at Carowinds
  • Friday, Dec. 18: Sacramento, California at Sleep Train Arena
  • Sunday, Dec. 20: Fayetteville, Arkansas at 112 Drive-In

People hoping to see the show up close will have to reserve free tickets here, while they’re available. Families will be able to watch from their cars or from designated viewing areas next to their cars in order to ensure proper COVID-19 precautions are maintained. 

family-watching-drone-show Walmart's 2020 Drone Holiday Show Photo: Walmart

If the in-person events are impossible to see, there’s no reason to fret. The show will be live-streamed on Dec. 5 at 7:40 p.m. EST across Walmart’s various social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

This “blurring [of] the line between art and technology” is just the latest effort from Walmart to integrate drones into its business. A drone delivery service for product fulfillment was begun in September.