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Tower Of Terror (UPDATED, PLEASE REREAD)

Discussion in 'How do they do that?' started by MattyMitch, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Tom

    Tom Tom

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    Typically, and I think this is true of the Tower, the CM at load simply pushes a button when their load station is "ready". That signals the master ride control computer that Lift Alpha (for example) has a guest on every number and that they're ready for the safety spiel. Once the computer knows that an AGV is so many seconds away from being ready to load, it triggers the safety spiel, rotates the faux Floor Dial from 13 to 1 (to imply the elevator is coming down to get you from the 13th floor), and then opens the doors when the vehicle is in place.

    So, if a group of riders is queued up pretty quickly on their numbers, the CM may hit the "Ready" button and it may take a while before anything starts, since your vehicle may still be backing away from Unload, right below your feet.

    On the flip side, if your group takes forever to assemble, the CM may hit the Ready button and the safety spiel start right away. Sometimes, the doors open while the spiel is going, if the delays are causing a log jam. In those cases, the lift was likely sitting behind the doors already.

    Once loaded and seatbelts have been confirmed, CM will hit a "Ready to Dispatch" button. Again, all that does is tell the computer that it can take this vehicle, when the system is ready for it. Sometimes you'll go immediately, other times there might be a slight delay, while it allows the previous vehicle to get far enough ahead to clear a safe path.

    Other buttons will manually start a safety spiel, or some other pre-recorded spiel. Some signal the control tower. Some is a microphone control so the CM can make his/her own spiel or announcement. Another is likely a KILL switch. One might manually open the doors.

    Then, a variety of indicator lights tell them things, like when a vehicle is nearing load, or if it's ready to dispatch. A good CM can glance at the console and know what's going on instantly. He'll know how long until his vehicle arrives, so he can pace his queuing accordingly, thus resulting in a seamless process for the guests.
     
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  2. Tom

    Tom Tom

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    Adding one is fairly seamless for Tower, I believe. The computer knows you're adding one, so it starts adjusting spacing of vehicles. At some point, they'll open a door in the unload corridor and it will drive out onto the track, then back into the lift to head up to load. Guests at Load have no idea that AGV had just been in a garage. It just slipped in line.
     
  3. MagliteL13

    MagliteL13 Member

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    Unless the bellhop disables the doors (which is possible) or one of a few other situations, the doors will always open when the VVC is at load with an AGV in it. This is a safety feature should anyone be in the AGV. I'm saying this as a former bellhop who has ridden the AGV from unload to load.

    No microphone-- there is a phone which is tied to the clearcom/telex system run throughout the building in order to communicate with other bellhops. There are two 'stop' buttons- an estop and door stop. The door stop is intriguing as it can be triggered a number of different ways including that of a normal elevator--waving your arms to stop the doors from closing.

    Spot on!

    Adding/Removing/Swapping an AGV is actually a pretty intensive process involving coordination between maintenance, tower, unload, and both loaders. Without going into too many specifics, maintenance manually adds it and tower has to tell the ride how many AGV are online.

    Another thing to clear up-- there is one maintinence bay on the echo side. Foxtrot has storage for 1 AGV and not a full blown bay. The rides are linked in a pathway which can be seen if you "chicken out." After going down the elevator, in the themed hallway you would go over a bridge.

    It's easier to add/remove load lifts-- and each can hold 2 AGVs (one in the lift, the other on the unload floor ready to enter). That's why Delta will sometimes not be operating when it's slow.

    Hope that clears some things up!
     
  4. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    Could you add more info about the e stop and door stop. Also what are the other buttons/lights. And when adding an AGV i though the back log would simply back up in the area between unload and the show shaft. Thanks for all the info on it though!!
     
  5. MagliteL13

    MagliteL13 Member

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    I'd love to talk about the panels, but I think any more information about it would be borderline and not purposeful.

    Most of what I've said can be viewed in Martin's Ultimate Tribute to ToT. I highly recommend watching it!
     
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  6. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    Could you send a link?
     
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  7. Tom

    Tom Tom

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  8. Tom

    Tom Tom

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    Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen (or I just didn't realize I saw) the load doors open prematurely - as in, open and have an AGV sit there while guests were being queued up. I can probably attribute that to both the ride control system and the CMs doing the loading.

    That's what I was thinking of. I knew there was some sort of com device. And now that I think of it, I guess I've only ever heard the CMs just raise their voice to make announcements at load...never actually over a speaker.

    This makes way more sense than adding an AGV in real time. Just turn on or off a load lift, instantly changing capacity.

    The door stop just keeps the doors at load from closing. Whether the CM needs to re-check something, a guest is misbehaving, or someone/something is in the path of the doors. Sort of like hitting the DOOR OPEN button in a real elevator. But like Maglite said, the doors also use traditional sensors like real elevators.

    E-Stop is basically a kill switch. You hit that, the whole thing stops. Typically reserved for stopping the ride for safety reasons, among a few other reasons. You don't hit it "for fun" though.
     
  9. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    I don't understand what could happen to trigger an e stop at load.

    Also thinking back when I rode the ToT i can't remember feeling as if i was boarding on the '2nd' floor. So how is the AGV placed at load for there not to be a gap between the AGV and loading bay.
     
  10. MagliteL13

    MagliteL13 Member

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    An estop at any attraction has different, but similar consequences-- all motion stops. Period. Some attractions will kill show effects, some also turn on work lights, some just close all breaks. It's been a while since I've watched Martin's ToT video, but I'm fairly certain it shows footage of an AGV going into the load lift VVC at the unload floor-- that or I've watched it too many times from tower controls and am mixing up my videos Either way, watch that video! No more replies until you do! ;)
     
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  11. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    Ive watched it... I couldnt see some of the things you were describing. I actually felt the video lacked some of the details i wanted to see. So going back to my previous question, whats the loading bay layout. What I really need (dream) is to go on a 1 to 1 backstage tour id love to see it all and ask loads of questions :p.
     
  12. MagliteL13

    MagliteL13 Member

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    http://towersecrets.com/how-the-tower-of-terror-works/ <-- great site with lots of accurate information

    As for the control panels, I still feel this is not the place or the time to discuss the actual buttons or layout, much less what they do. Short of actually being a bellhop, knowing exactly how to operate the attraction safely and the functions of the buttons are something that should be left in a discussion offline. It's not something, for safety reasons, which needs to be published online in any fashion. I hope you understand.
    Anything else, I'll be more than happy to answer in my 15 years of attractions experience in 5 of the parks in the Orlando area. :)
     
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  13. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    I never thought ofthat ! I suppise someone could tamper with it. What parks did you work at?
     
  14. Rob562

    Rob562 Well-Known Member

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    A friend who is a former bellhop was doing a morning ride-through and was accidentally advanced past Unload by the CM stationed there (who thought they were just cycling empty vehicles). Then his AGV stopped before entering a Load shaft because they'd stopped cycling additional vehicles after his. He couldn't get out because it's unsafe to do so with the system still powered up, so he had to yell until a CM in Tower Control (or the office depending on which side it was on) heard him through the wall and they could cycle the ride more to bring him back up to Load.


    That probably explains the backstage lights-on photos I saw a while back that showed a bunch of tool chests on the Unload floor next to the Load lifts, presumably on the Foxtrot side. At the time I thought it was just so they could do work on an AGV overnight if they didn't have room to pull it into the shop. But now that I know there isn't a shop on Foxtrot side I guess those tools are there for when it's easier to do simple maintenance on-track when the system is powered down without having to bring the AGV all the way over to the shop.

    -Rob
     
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  15. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    For the guy stuck in the AGV... I thought they have cameras and mics so your heard and watched the whole ride.
     
  16. Tom

    Tom Tom

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    Cameras, yes. I'm not certain about audio everywhere. But if nobody in operations knew there was someone riding, they would have no reason to be monitoring the cameras constantly and could have easily overlooked the CM.
     
  17. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    This screenshot is off towersecrets.com
     

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  18. Tom

    Tom Tom

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    Nice!
     
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  19. MagliteL13

    MagliteL13 Member

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    Riding from unload to load is something that used to be done during training (can't speak for if it's done now). There are cameras which monitor the AGVs entering the load lift VVCs on the unload floor, not to mention the cameras in the load lift VVCs.

    To my knowledge, there are no attractions that actively monitor audio. All of the VVCs, just like real elevators, have phones in them with a big red "speaker" button. Sitting in row #2 towards the outside, you'll notice a weird cut out in the AGV's cage. It's so whomever is sitting there can answer the phone in the VVC should it ring. They are tested daily.
     
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  20. MattyMitch

    MattyMitch Member Original Poster

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    Is it about knee level/just under seat on the side? I think I remember it. Also does the control room ring it or is it just the control pannel on load shaft? I also thought that they just made announcments over the speakers.
     

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