Category: Test 1, 2, 3…


See for Yourself!

Another attraction at the park, which I am not familiar with, Journey into Narnia – Prince Caspian, is an exciting adventure that ends with actually meeting Prince Caspian! The Disney website describes the attraction as, “Enter through the portal and see what rich enchantment the Disney Imagineers have created, working side-by-side with the filmmakers to produce this extraordinary three-dimensional extension of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” It sounds like this attraction allows you to actually experience the film in an unusual and exciting way. The Imagineers purposefully added this interactive attraction to the Hollywood Studios theme park because it is something people know they can not experience anywhere else. They get to see the real props used in the movie, and they get an up close look at their knowledge of the film. This is exiting for Narnia fans! This would be especially exciting for families because they get to test our their knowledge of the movie!

Here is a picture of the handsome Prince Caspian at the Journey into Narnia – Prince Caspian. What little girl wouldn’t be excited to meet him?!

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Have you ever noticed that when you walk into Hollywood Studios and then pull out your handy map, you find yourself with a few different options? Unlike most of the Disney parks, Hollywood Studios does not seem to give guests a suggested starting or ending point. In other parks, such as Magic Kingdom, all of the guests typically walk in the same direction around the park. Everyone starts heading down Main Street, stops to take their picture in front of Cinderella’s castle, and then continues in a clockwise direction toward Adventureland. Guests then move along through the lands until they get to Tomorrowland, and then eventually end up back at Main Street to buy souvenirs on the way out. Hollywood Studios does not have an organized, defined layout like that. Instead of having the circular layout like those other parks, it was designed based on the “hub-and-spoke” layout, similar to Disneyland. It is more like a bunch of streets put together to give the feeling of an actual motion picture studio. This park is also considerably smaller than Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.

Hollywood Studios is quite different from most other Disney theme parks in that it does not try to create fantastical environments. Instead, it is designed to make guests feel like they are part of the movie making process. Hollywood Studios is one of the more realistic and informative parks. This park specializes in giving guests the feelings of being behind the scenes, rather than in the movie itself. The layout of the park is crucial to effectively creating this environment. As guests walk down streets that appear similar to those in Los Angeles and view original movie sets, they experience the magical world of Disney in a different way than ever before. It is as if Disney used Hollywood Studios to experiment with new park layouts and to create different environments than those in their other parks.

Toy Story Midway Mania marks the greatest achievement of Disney Imagineers to date. The technology used to immerse the riders in the world of Toy Story is absolutely impressive.

The technology used in Midway Mania marks a new step into the digital age. An army of 150 PCs controls the game and incorporates a vast network of Ethernet and wireless technology. This integration of top-of-the-line technology has created one of the most advanced and immersive 4D experiences available.

Every different part of this ride was carefully researched, thoroughly developed, and perfected to create a system that allowed for an amazing experience. For example, the rope used for the shooters was created for both durability and enhanced feedback. The technology behind the rope and the shooter is an amalgamation of many different technologies that were brought together for this ride.

The most interesting aspect of this ride is the game logic. An artificial intelligence system that is able to program the game specifically for each rider. The game logic is one of the first of its kind used in a Disney park and it was first tested in Hollywood Studios.

The overall controls and mechanics that power Toy Story Midway Mania were researched and developed to first be used in this ride. Hollywood Studios provided the testing ground for this technology that has opened the door for many more possibilities. The Imagineers have out-down themselves in the creation of this ride and have developed 4D technology that has created the next-genration of theme park attractions. In-line with the immersive nature of the Disney Parks, in general, I believe this technology will pave the way for the future of completely engrossing attractions. Attractions that will create a world that can be experienced through both the body and the mind.

Check out this video of the ride:

Disney’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is designed to immerse its riders into the music of Aerosmith. The Imagineers were able to create a place where music goes from a purely auditory medium to one that incorporates all the senses. The riders sit down into “limos” and speed through the streets listening to Aerosmith. The experience is heightened by, not only, the speed but also the vast array of neon lights as well. When the Imagineers first created the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster it was their first ride to include 3 inversions and a high-speed launch in any Disney park.

The launching mechanism of the ride mirrors the operating mechanisms of the Shikansen, or Bullet Train, of Japan. Using high-powered opposed electromagnets (one attached to the track and another attached to the “limos” themselves), the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is able to accelerate from 0 – 57 mph in exactly 2.8 seconds. As the riders enter the first inversion, they experience 5 G’s of force (compared to astronauts who feel 3 G’s of force in a space shuttle at lift-off). At other turns and inversions, the riders experience 4 G’s of force. This mix of massive thrill and great music is what makes the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster a completely memorable experience. The development of this technology helped in the mechanisms for Mission: SPACE.

The Imagineers adapted such advanced technology to a theme-park attraction in order to create a space of heightened sensory experience. Just as music breaks sensory barriers in the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, the Disney Imagineers broke certain sensory barriers when they created this ride. Sound becomes something you can experience physically with your entire body and not just your ears. The Imagineers were able to develop technology that was specifically designed to heighten the rider experience. The fusion of music, visual images (neon signs), and the feeling of speed, gives the rider an experience they can never forget.

This picture is of a “limo” being launched by the electromagnetic catapult called an LSM catapult:

To read more interesting facts about the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster visit the website: http://www.rocknrollercoaster.com/secrets.

The Great Movie Ride is where Disney Imagineers mastered their skills in the creation of Audio-Animatronics. As the riders are taken from movie to movie, they encounter many different characters brought to life through audio-animatronics. These robots look practically real and communicate with the riders directly, allowing the riders to become participants in the experience of the ride itself.

While many different audio-animatronics can be seen in many different attractions in many different parks, it was through The Great Movie Ride that the Imagineers presented a new type of Audio-Animatronic, the A-100. These new types of Animatronics gave the animator greater and faster control over the movements of the robot. Also, these new Animatronics were designed to absorb the inertia of a moving body better, resulting in quicker and more fluid motion. This, of course, added to how life-like these robots appeared. The Wicked Witch of the West, the first A-100 installed in a Disney park, is considered to be a favorite among the animatronics created by the Imagineers because of her fluid movements that correspond perfectly with her dialogue and, of course, her life-like appearance.

Check out this video of the Wicked Witch in action: 

 

The A-100 Animatronics have continued to be upgraded and improved, but it is that technology that powers the Audio-Animatronics of other rides like Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean and EPCOT’s Universe of Energy.

The dedication of the Imagineers, once again, led to the creation of an absolutely breath-taking experience that continues to be a favorite among park visitors. It is through this dedication to the rider experience that the Imagineers were able to develop and perfect the technology that now runs some of the most popular rides in Disney World.

When it comes to technology and machinery, the Tower of Terror uses a very impressive system. Disney’s Imagineers used technology that existed in other Disney parks, but perfected them for the purpose of creating a ride that simulated an exaggerated free-fall.

The Tower of Terror uses a pair of large motors (12ft. tall, 7ft. wide, 35ft. long) to move the elevator carts through the 130ft. long elevator shaft. The cart can reach maximum speed in less than 5 seconds. The free-fall experienced in the ride is actually not a free-fall at all. These powerful motors push the carts down even faster than they would travel in a free-fall, in effect, heightening the overall experience. What makes this motor system even more impressive is that it gives Imagineers the ability to change the course of the ride (from ascending to descending and vice-versa) and to reprogram the course of the ride every time there is a new set of riders.

Another interesting aspect of the Tower of Terror is the 5th Dimension floor. While the appearance seems to be rather intricate, the technology behind it is rather simple. The entire room is made of mirrors, thin fabric, and optic lights, generating its ghostly appearance. The cart that moves the riders forward through this floor is, however, a pretty advanced piece of machinery. The same technology used in EPCOT’s Universe of Energy ride was perfected for the Tower of Terror: the Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGV). The AGVs are self-controlling carts that don’t need a track. They also carry their own battery packs and can charge them as well. These carts are what make the eerie experience of the ride possible. They ferry the riders through a path that would normally be impossible for a traditional track. This technology that has been perfected in the Tower of Terror has made many different rides possible and has allowed for the creation of an extraordinary rider experience.

Check out this animation that walks you through the path of the AGV through the course of the ride: http://www.towerofterror.org/media/agv-animation.

This diagram shows the different parts of the Tower of Terror. When the AGVs enter the elevator shaft they are loaded onto larger carts. This entire mechanism is called the Vertical Vehicle Conveyance (VVC). The VVC is what allows the large motors at the top of the shaft to control the movement of the carts.

Hollywood Studios offers several shops that sell non-Disney memorabilia. With shops (and attractions) for Indiana Jones, Muppets, and Star Wars merchandise, Disney expands the scope of the universe within the park. By including other franchises (not only in merchandising), Disney can give guests a more complete view of Hollywood. Guests know that Disney does not solely make up the film industry (though it may appear otherwise sometimes), and Disney’s acceptance of other franchises validates Disney’s illusion of Hollywood in this park. Hollywood Studios is unique in that, unlike the other Disney parks, the sole focus is not on Disney. It is here that Disney can try new things and not worry about potentially disturbing the nostalgia that guests have for some of the older people.

The force is strong with this attraction.