Disney may be able to adjust ride experience based on fear levels, according to new patent

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Technology, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

According to a new patent filed last week, Disney is developing a way to customize their rides based on fear levels.

The technology would allow Disney to monitor guests’ heart rate, facial expressions, skin temperature, voice stress, eye movement, and gestures while on a ride. “If the heart rate measurements from [a] sensor indicate that guest is frightened, control system will route car to less-frightening ride segment,” the patent states. “In contrast, if the heart rate measurements indicate that guest is bored, control system will route car to more-frightening ride segment.”

Disney’s original patent for the technology was approved in October, but a new one was filed on Thursday that would allow the company to use it in any environment. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney’s new patent was reviewed by Terry Sanks, a registered patent attorney in Orlando. “They’ve filed something now that is broader,” he said. “Disney isn’t limited just to theme parks. They could be wanting to use it in other venues, like cruise ships.”

Disney would likely be able to collect much of the data about guest experience via MagicBands, which were reportedly inspired by Nike SportBand. Nike’s product syncs electronically with a heart rate monitor and pedometer. For Disney to collect this kind of data, guests would be required to sign a waiver.

If the patent becomes a reality, it will be interesting to see if Disney uses the technology on existing attractions that place riders side-by-side in one car. For example, when you’re traveling through Haunted Mansion in Doom Buggy, you and your ride partner could be having totally different reactions to all those grim grinning ghosts. The same goes for many of Disney’s more thrilling rides, like Expedition Everest and Tower of Terror.

Of course, Disney files patents on a regular basis and this doesn’t necessarily mean fear-based ride experiences will make it to the parks. However, it’s definitely something on the company’s radar.

What do you think of Disney’s new patent? Would you like to see this technology in the parks?

Source: Orlando Sentinel

1 Comment

  1. Cece

    This is not a good idea. Some people have higher or lower pulse rates based on physiology or medical differences that have nothing to do if they are scared or not. If they want to offer different levels of “scare”, they should just have an optional queue or some sort of button to select at the ride start. Something along the lines of how they do Mission Space maybe. Also, not everyone gets those annoying Magic Bands (I don’t), so why limit a customized experience to just those patrons? There are also privacy issues concerning medical information that need to be considered. We already have too much personal information floating out there, I don’t want my vital signs uploaded in the Disney cloud.

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