Hey Thrill Seekers,
Disney have recently submitted a patent for a new roller coaster car design and it is verrrrrrry interesting.
This new patent is rumoured to be specifically for the cars that are going to feature in the new Guardians of the Galaxy rollercoaster coming to EPCOT. Bob Chapek, Disney parks and resorts chairman, has said in the past that the GOTG coaster will have a ‘revolutionary ride system’ and the patent shows a system that is just that! It shows a design that will allow the cars to rotate on an axis throughout the ride sequence. This means that vehicles on gravity based rides can change position during the experience.
For example; if used on the upcoming GOTG coaster, riders would switch from facing left to right to follow with the natural direction of the track or to enable them to see props and displays better.
You may be thinking ‘i’ve been on plenty of rides in Orlando where the ride car swivels’ but if you think about it, the technology is always used on slow rides. This is due to an issue with charging the ride cars as they require a power source during to power the rotations. The patent shows charging docks in the loading area, throughout the track in a few places and at the unloading area. The docks will likely be added to the typical bus bar system that most rides have for charging.
Why is this exciting? Well a coaster that will change the riders visual direction as it travels over the track at high speed would actually be a great addition to the Disney parks and they can then use it for future coasters, as well as add them to existing rides to update or change them which would not only be cheaper but would mean rides are out of use for a shorter period of time. This goes to show that Disney have a focus on creating attractions that can be updated and changed without having to completely change the basic structure.
The patent is called “Roller Coaster with Passenger Compartment Motion Powered Through Stored Onboard Energy,” I have copied some images of the patent below:
But I do have to admit something here, i posted back in December about this coaster and said i thought it would be a motorcycle style, suspended family coaster or even a boomerang coaster but in my defence i did also say ‘it looks as though it will be a launch coaster experience and there has recently been some rumours that it would be a Mack Spinning Coaster. (like Cobras Curse at Busch Gardens which is a Mack ride)’ I think i managed to cover all bases there 😉
As we always say, submitted patents do not mean that they are even approved let alone being put into practise but we thought it was a pretty interesting one to look into, especially if it is being used for GOTG which we are MEGA excited about!