Hey Thrill Seekers,
There have been many rumours ‘flying’ around about how Disney are planning to patent a ‘vertical load and launch roller coaster’.
Disney have always been quick to patent loads of idea’s that their clever ‘imagineers’ create. Lots of people have been keeping an eye on what Disney are planning for its next patent which was filed a few years back for a vertical load and launch coaster. Since the U.S Patent and Trademark Office published it back in September it has got everyone’s ears pricked and we are all watching Disney’s every move.
Basically, from what we know, the patent will allow for improvement on existing flying coaster technologies which will be done by adding multi-level loading bays for visitors to enter the ride from different levels. The cart will be stationed vertically making it heaps easier to position yourself ready for the ride.
“The flying roller coaster is a relatively new ride for amusement parks, and ride designers have faced several challenges including how to load and unload the vehicles and then place the passengers/riders in a prone or flying position.”
There are quite a few flying coasters around a great example being Manta at SeaWorld – guests board this coaster by sitting down in a seat, restraint harnesses come down and then the seat is pulled up resulting with it being parallel to the track.
Some issues that have been raised in a snippet from the patent:
First, the loading and unloading positions can be quite uncomfortable as some existing designs require the passengers to lie down in the vehicle. Second, many flying roller coasters have vehicles with complex actuator assemblies that are used to position the vehicles or seats in a flying position after passenger loading is completed. This increases manufacturing and maintenance costs for these rides. Third, all of the passengers load the vehicles or cars of the coaster train from a single station (or single horizontal platform) — such an arrangement fails to provide any privacy for the vehicle passengers during loading and unloading. For example, each passenger has to share the pre-ride experience with a large number of people (i.e., the entire capacity of the train rather than just those in your family or group that may be entering a car or vehicle to experience a ride).
The patent hints at the coaster being launched vertically from the get go. Instead of having to lay down to get in position for a flying coaster ride Disney seem to be re-designing the whole experience. Riders would be required to just sit down in the seat and lean back against the (hopefully a padded) back of the seat. Sounds a lot more comfortable to me than sitting down, being flung forwards or backwards to get in position.
The patent documents also stated that
“Also, the loading can be much more private or intimate for those entering each vehicle as each vehicle is provided its own loading platform,”
There has also been lots of speculation around this new patent such as does this mean a new attraction? Are they going to incorporate it into a existing attraction? Who knows! Unfortunately we are just as much in the dark as you are until Disney officially announces anything.
Disney have not yet announced anything to support the rumours regarding this particular patent and a lot of Disney patents are never acted upon but this idea seems to good to just chuck in a pile don’t you think?