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Future ride technology

Bill in Atlanta

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
With trackless rides now a reality, is the next logical progression a "choose your own path" type of concept? I've thought about this ever since I rode Horizons as a kid and got to choose which video ending to watch. It would be cool if you'd have enough sequential choices such that you'd never see the same ending twice.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
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Fury at Bobbejaanland in Belgium lets riders vote on whether or not they launch forwards or backwards.

To a small degree this also sort of happens with Antartica at SeaWorld. You choose Mild or Wild before boarding but the loading areas are able to dynamically change to either Mild or Wild to meet demand.

It's definitely possible, the big issue is more the amount of space required to make it really work. It would probably would better with a guide wire trackless system when there are switches instead of a true trackless system which typically have very large show spaces.
 

kap91

Well-Known Member
With trackless rides now a reality, is the next logical progression a "choose your own path" type of concept? I've thought about this ever since I rode Horizons as a kid and got to choose which video ending to watch. It would be cool if you'd have enough sequential choices such that you'd never see the same ending twice.
Yes and no...someone will probably eventually attempt it, because the promise is so cool but logistically and financially it's a tall order. What happens if 3 vehicles in a row want to go to the same scene? Now you have a bunch of scenes sitting vacant, and one scene that has to be shorter than it otherwise could be. Choosing your path requires multiple paths, which requires more space, which requires more money. And rides are already getting enormous with relatively few scenes.

contrast this with screens, reprogramable motion based, and projection mapping - where a ride can remain on a fixed path, but the content of the scene dynamically changed. It's not as cool, but it's a lot more practical. If there's a choose your own adventure ride ever developed I think you'd be much more likely to see it rely heavily on this. That was even the case with Horizons.

there might be an alternative where it's not a choose your own adventure per say with branching paths, but say one large environment (like a mansion) that you'll end up seeing the same rooms or most of the same rooms every time but the order is different. So like you see 6/9 scenes in an order partially or completely determined by you. Popcorn revenge, Symbolica, and the Scooby Doo ride all do a variant of this approach - albeit without rider choice. Throw in projection mapping and some rotating or otherwise movable props so that each room could do double duty as being two different scenes - that begins to look feasible. 9 rooms turns into 18 potential scenes of which you only see 6 in a pseudo controlled order...the real challenge then becomes how do you take that structure and have it make any narrative sense - with a discernible beginning, middle, and end with a emotional arc.

something like it will probably eventually be done, but it's a bigger challenge than it sounds.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
I agree screens are probably the way to go. Like Star Tours. I've also long thought the Muppets ought to have multiple versions, even if just parts of the show had some variation.

The Living with the Land used to be different each time when the boats had human narrators, the plantings also had more variety. (And there's Jungle Cruise, of course.) You didn't really choose the ride, but riders could ask a few questions about the plants.

I also miss the way WDW bus drivers used to tell jokes and personalize trips. It wasn't every ride, but the drivers would sometimes make conversation- jokes or WDW trivia. Then WD, more or less, forced them to play the dumb audio track instead. A considerable number of bus drivers quit, as I understand it. The small shuttle boat captains still get to talk to passengers a little. At Universal, the shuttle boat captains get to tell jokes and talk to passengers, which makes each trip unique. It feels a little more like an attraction and less of a commute, IMO.
 
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Giss Neric

Well-Known Member
I think 3D without needing glasses "permanently" will be the next thing. 2.5D in Runaway Railway doesn't convince me that much but it's still good. Mario Kart is using VR so I guess it's a step above 3D.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind, there's a trade-off between quality vs. capacity. "Choose your own path" doesn't really work when you want to push through 2,000 people per hour. The best solution is probably some kind of VR simulator that's kind of like the Oculus meets a theme park simulator. It could work, and could be cool, but I think it would be the kind of thing where you never really moved or left your station. I could see Mission to Space or Smuggler's Run as attempting to make this reality, but I think that they're both pretty lame. I'd want something where the vision was panoramic and not just a tiny little screen for Mission to Space, or the screen that's way too far away like SR.

If anybody's been to Hersheypark, the Hyperdeck is a cool experience. Its an upcharge video game experience, but its basically a really cool shooting game with Oculus style VR glasses with some natural effects thrown in to make it feel very real. I was thinking that Disney or Universal should try to take that concept, add some capacity, and add some more effects, and make it an included with admission ride.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Giving the guest a choice in the direction they go or the ending they experience would be fun, but it would also need a bigger building to operate those redirected pathways and more chances for malfunctions. I'm sure sometime Disneys looked at this and maybe they wouls work it oit. I know the variable ending scenes at ST was received well by guests and had them returning over and over to see all the options in the attraction. One night when we hit DHS at the right time and the lines were short, DS and I must have hopped back 10 times to get different scenes. So anything that gives the guests a chance for an unknown outcome will build excitement.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind, there's a trade-off between quality vs. capacity. "Choose your own path" doesn't really work when you want to push through 2,000 people per hour. The best solution is probably some kind of VR simulator that's kind of like the Oculus meets a theme park simulator. It could work, and could be cool, but I think it would be the kind of thing where you never really moved or left your station. I could see Mission to Space or Smuggler's Run as attempting to make this reality, but I think that they're both pretty lame. I'd want something where the vision was panoramic and not just a tiny little screen for Mission to Space, or the screen that's way too far away like SR.

If anybody's been to Hersheypark, the Hyperdeck is a cool experience. Its an upcharge video game experience, but its basically a really cool shooting game with Oculus style VR glasses with some natural effects thrown in to make it feel very real. I was thinking that Disney or Universal should try to take that concept, add some capacity, and add some more effects, and make it an included with admission ride.
Does anyone know how popular The VOID was at Disney Springs? I know it wasn't Disney running that show, but it is closed now so I wasn't sure if it was due to lack of interest or poor location or what.

VR simulators seem like they would make an experience much more individual. Part of the fun of rides, for me, is experiencing it with my family and seeing their faces. (Which is also a problem in rides with 3D glasses, of course.)

I agree that anything with an individual choice or touch is going to be a matter of balancing capacity and making sure it's worth it. Also individual choice seems like it would add to the number of vehicles, the number of stops in a ride, etc. which would add to the amount of maintenance and a larger possibility of operational errors.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know how popular The VOID was at Disney Springs? I know it wasn't Disney running that show, but it is closed now so I wasn't sure if it was due to lack of interest or poor location or what.

VR simulators seem like they would make an experience much more individual. Part of the fun of rides, for me, is experiencing it with my family and seeing their faces.
The VOID was shut down by Disney and had their licenses revoked because The VOID attempted to use their licensing agreements with Disney as collateral.

What if a VR ride included your family and you could interact with them as part of a group experience?
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
The VOID was shut down by Disney and had their licenses revoked because The VOID attempted to use their licensing agreements with Disney as collateral.

What if a VR ride included your family and you could interact with them as part of a group experience?
That could be neat.

I'm sure Disney or Universal or whoever could do something amazing. The Mario Kart ride sounds pretty interesting. But as a person who isn't crazy about screen-type rides anyway, personally I'd like to see some non-screen/AR/VR options for the future as well. Seems like the future is in screens for the time being though.
 

SteveAZee

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know how popular The VOID was at Disney Springs? I know it wasn't Disney running that show, but it is closed now so I wasn't sure if it was due to lack of interest or poor location or what.

VR simulators seem like they would make an experience much more individual. Part of the fun of rides, for me, is experiencing it with my family and seeing their faces. (Which is also a problem in rides with 3D glasses, of course.)

I agree that anything with an individual choice or touch is going to be a matter of balancing capacity and making sure it's worth it. Also individual choice seems like it would add to the number of vehicles, the number of stops in a ride, etc. which would add to the amount of maintenance and a larger possibility of operational errors.
My family and I really enjoyed The VOID. It seemed busy at the time (November 2019) and the experience was one of my favorites of the trip. The downside was the 'suiting up' with all of the equipment, and stepping out of the Disney bubble (namely the people working there were definitely not acting like cast members), but I would do the experience again, post-COVID.
 

SteveAZee

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind, there's a trade-off between quality vs. capacity. "Choose your own path" doesn't really work when you want to push through 2,000 people per hour. The best solution is probably some kind of VR simulator that's kind of like the Oculus meets a theme park simulator. It could work, and could be cool, but I think it would be the kind of thing where you never really moved or left your station. I could see Mission to Space or Smuggler's Run as attempting to make this reality, but I think that they're both pretty lame. I'd want something where the vision was panoramic and not just a tiny little screen for Mission to Space, or the screen that's way too far away like SR.

If anybody's been to Hersheypark, the Hyperdeck is a cool experience. Its an upcharge video game experience, but its basically a really cool shooting game with Oculus style VR glasses with some natural effects thrown in to make it feel very real. I was thinking that Disney or Universal should try to take that concept, add some capacity, and add some more effects, and make it an included with admission ride.
I could imagine a ride that has divergent paths built into it (like GMR) and the queue divides into various choices (A, B, C, etc) so there will be those looking for specific paths (to either revisit or experience for the first time) but people who are new would just move to whichever sub-queue had the shortest line. Seems like it would be somewhat simple to keep all the queues fully loaded most of the time and do divergent and convergent paths in ways that everything's always busy.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I could imagine a ride that has divergent paths built into it (like GMR) and the queue divides into various choices (A, B, C, etc) so there will be those looking for specific paths (to either revisit or experience for the first time) but people who are new would just move to whichever sub-queue had the shortest line. Seems like it would be somewhat simple to keep all the queues fully loaded most of the time and do divergent and convergent paths in ways that everything's always busy.
This is pretty much how Antartica works. The queue diverges into Mild and Wild and the computer is supposed to change up the loading areas to match the demand for each.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know how popular The VOID was at Disney Springs? I know it wasn't Disney running that show, but it is closed now so I wasn't sure if it was due to lack of interest or poor location or what.

VR simulators seem like they would make an experience much more individual. Part of the fun of rides, for me, is experiencing it with my family and seeing their faces. (Which is also a problem in rides with 3D glasses, of course.)

I agree that anything with an individual choice or touch is going to be a matter of balancing capacity and making sure it's worth it. Also individual choice seems like it would add to the number of vehicles, the number of stops in a ride, etc. which would add to the amount of maintenance and a larger possibility of operational errors.

Part of the technology of the Hyperdeck is that as you look around, you actually see every one in your party as avatars, and you see their movements as they're shooting the targets and are reacting to the storyline in sync with how they're moving in real life.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
I could imagine a ride that has divergent paths built into it (like GMR) and the queue divides into various choices (A, B, C, etc) so there will be those looking for specific paths (to either revisit or experience for the first time) but people who are new would just move to whichever sub-queue had the shortest line. Seems like it would be somewhat simple to keep all the queues fully loaded most of the time and do divergent and convergent paths in ways that everything's always busy.

With the technology and talent that we have out there, the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, Disney has a captive audience, and they're OK with Disney not investing in rides and just making the parks into a place to go to shop and eat. I think that Universal has shown lately they're more willing to actually invest in cutting edge ride technology.
 

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