New Attractions on the Way! Disney Files New Patent

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A group of people riding Walt Disney World's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Credit: Disney

Disney’s at it again, and this sounds like it could be a ton of fun!

Admiral Ackbar in 'Star Wars': Rise of the Resistance
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney Imagineering has always been on the forefront of making impressive and immersive attractions for their theme parks the world over. From the days of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and the lifelike Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, to the outstanding innovations of the multifaceted ride systems used in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, people have been astounded at what Disney, and more specifically, the Imagineers have done, and with good reason!

rise of the resistance stormtrooper room
Credit: ITM Rebekah B.

Related: Disney Files Patent, Teases Glasses-Free 3D Experiences

Though not without their own issues, rides like Rise of the Resistance, or Star Wars: The Millennium Falcon – Smuggler’s Run test the limits of what is technologically possible. On the Disney+ documentary, The Imagineering Story, Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge, who worked on the fantastic ride that puts you behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon revealed that they were actually working ahead of available technology:

“We knew we needed this to be near cinematic quality imagery, rendered at a high frame rate, in real time. That was not technology that exists. We started marching down that path with the expectation that by the time we were getting ready to open it would all work.”

Millinium Falcon Smugglers Run
Credit: Disney

Well, Walt Disney Imagineering is at it again! Just today, the Orlando Business Journal reported that a new patent had been filed by Disney for yet another new ride system, and one that’s sure to shock more than a few guests in the future:

“The patent, “Park Ride with Drop Swing Propulsion,” describes a system where a ride track can be transferred from an elevated track to a lower track with the ride vehicle on it, where the ride can continue on the new track system.”

In a departure from the recent trend in trackless ride systems, this new patent is focused more on classic attractions like roller coasters, and water rides “in which vehicles are configured to ride or roll”. This being said, an innovation like this would be something that guests at any Disney park the world over have never really seen. Often, rollercoasters use track switchers for loading, off-loading, or to facilitated multiple tracks, and therefor more ride vehicles, but it’s always been seen on a horizontal switcher. A ride with this sort of switcher would be a games changer when it comes to roller coasters!

Expedition Everest ride vehicle ascending
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Patents Technology For a Locker That Moves Around the Parks With Guests

While the patent didn’t say what ride this new system would be used for, there is plenty in the works at the Disney parks, and plenty for which this could be used to amazing effect. This would also be an outstanding way to switch up the formula for a type of ride that most park goers have felt is kind of predictable. This isn’t the first time Disney has flipped the script on rollercoasters however: way back in 2006, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain opened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, and featured a surprise track switch and an immediate roll backwards, as your vehicle descends into the mountain behind you.

Which ride do you think this could be for? Let us know in the comments below!

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