Disneyland removes beach balls, speeds up Luigi’s Flying Tires in Cars Land

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Cars Land, Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Features

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Published on August 20, 2012 at 4:15 am with 36 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • Lonnie0616

    Did I somehow miss the announcement that Indiana Jones was closing in the fall for 3 months? I don’t see BTMRR on the list yet but if it’s closed as Al Lutz reported, that is 2 major rides closed when I come visit in October.

    • BC_DisneyGeek

      People on Micechat are saying that the Big Thunder closure has been delayed until January.

      I’m not sure why they waited until the last minute to announce the Indy closure. Disney used to be pretty good about getting that sort of information out. If I were planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I might plan it around certain ride closures, and could be upset at the last-minute closure.

      • produceguy

        This makes me very very sad. I was sad that Big Thunder RR was going to be down, but could handle the news…. but Indy? I was going with people that will never be able to go again and it’s what I wanted them to see the most. Damn!

  • mratigan

    Thanks Andy

  • whamo

    I’m glad to hear the crowds are down. I’ll have to go to the park again, soon.

  • Erik Olson

    Thanks for the RoundUp! Did anyone get a price on those bat and teardrops candelabras?

  • DisneySam

    It seems interesting to me that Disney would go back to something that had originally failed in it’s inception so many years ago. You would think that with updates to engineering and technology that they could have come up with something to make it work better but as far as a ride goes it’s still basically just bumper cars riding on air, just as the Tow Mater rides seems to be a scrambler ride with better theming. I can’t judge too much because I haven’t been on either, however watching the video I saw people leaning in the vehicles but it was having no effect at all. It would be comical if it weren’t for all the money that was spent building the ride. Perhaps John Lasseter was just a little too nostalgic and let his love for a “classic” Disney ride get the better of him.

  • Hildy

    Umm. You said that the Luigi ride is faster now? My goodness it must have been practically at a stand still if that is faster. I was there in July but didn’t ride Luigi’s because of the wait time and we thought we would pick it up after all the grand opening rush had worn off a bit. I agree with DisneySam. Why would they re institute a failed ride from the 50’s? If it failed to engage people in the 50’s surely they couldn’t think it would please people in the 2000’s. I hate to be critical I loved Cars Land. It is truly amazing. Those rocks. My 12 year old daughter thought they were real. We live near red rock mesas and she couldn’t believe these were man made. It is truly a wonderful land. Themed so well. The cozy cones. So like the real ones. The sign Here it is. If you’ve ever traveled down the original 66 and seen all the real live things that this land is fashioned after – it is just amazing.

    Any word yet on what they will do in Hollywood Land? Needs something. Especially back there by Monsters Inc. Lots of property back there and it is almost always empty during the day. Needs a major ride and rethemed. Another roller coaster please.

    Wonderful update always the best part of my Monday morning.

  • ben1utah

    Wow. Luigi’s looks totally lame in that video. What a dud. Reminds me of the Tuck and Roll Buggies. Maybe they could keep the tire cars and put them on a track for use in some sort of dark ride built in the same spot. Most anything would be better.

  • FredSimmons

    “We probably underestimated how much people would demand Disney when they come to a park that has the Disney name on it.”

    Well, duh! That may be the biggest understatement of the century.

    If people wanted a non-Disney park, they could always go to Knott’s, Universal, Sea World, Magic Mountain…

    Is is really a surprise that people come to Disney parks for… Disney?

  • ayalexander

    well the thing about the tires is, they did fix a lot of the technological problems that they had in the sixties such as maintaining enough air pressure, proper air dispersing and the ability to hold up to two or three guests on one vehicle whereas the original saucers relied on air valves built into the floor to maintain the pressure, the vehicles were too small and heavy for proper air dispersing, and could only support one guest at a time. Plus since everything back then was operated manually, the air pumps had to be constantly checked during operation for faults, and the attraction operators had to operate the arm that pushed guests up against the side. Now the air pumps and ride mechanisms not seen by guests are all computer controlled with one touch of a button. They fixed some things, but I agree they should have foreseen safety issues like the easily unbuckling seat belts, the no step zone on the tires and the SLOW loading and unload process, plus the limited ride capacity. I had to give credit where credit is due.

  • ayalexander

    oh and another thing I wanted to add to my comment above, was that I think the tires are a success, but the only thing stopping people from not liking it is the HUGE line. If the line were under 30 minutes and somehow the vehicles went a little faster, then guests would be more satisfied. Otherwise it honestly was a good idea.

    • Actually, I don’t think anyone in the company really thinks that the tires are a success. Marketing and PR may be spinning it that way, but the guest research shows that the ride is not popular with the majority of guests. Cute? Yes. But not even close to being a success.

      This ride needs some major fixes, including perhaps a whole new ride system. Or better yet, a complete replacement. There is no failure in trying something new. Walt had many attractions not succeed. The ideas may have been good, but it just didn’t work out. That seems to be the case here as well. And I’m fine with that.

      Rather than dwell on fixing a ride that will likely never really be a success, they should go back to the drawing board and come up with something else. Something which enhances Cars Land and the story of the characters.

  • Wreckless Abrandon

    Is Glow with the Show Fantasmic! going to be a permanent thing? And same with WoC’s Glow? I would hope that it works with every show going forward.

  • TodAZ1

    I wonder if Bob Iger would adopt me?

  • disneymademoiselle

    Perhaps I needed a really good laugh, but the video of Luigi’s Tires had me in stitches!!! It’s scary to think it went slower than that.

  • [email protected]

    I guess we can finally say it. “I told you so !” From the very beginning alls I heard was that the flying tires was a mistake waiting to happen. They did not make it the first time. What in the world made you think they would make it this time ? Here we could be enjoying a dark ride, like ” The Ghost Light” or something. No…. We get a remarketed early 1960s flop. Cars land is such a great success for DLR and to put a negitive mark because of this ride is unfair. But, it is what it is. Ohh. almost forgot, Great Update Andy !!!

  • whitestrat

    Hatbox Ghost t-shirt!!!

  • Tinkbelle

    I’m so excited about more days for the Candlelight Ceremony! I’ve always wanted to be there for it and hope we will find a way to make it now that there will be more opportunities.

    I don’t really see a difference between the speed of the tires in the two videos. It does look more plain and boring without the balls, though. (We haven’t been yet, so I’m basing this all on the videos).

  • Myahlove1

    It shows both Casey Jr. and Storybook refurbs from Sep. 4-18th. Is this correct??? I thought they weren’t reopening until November?

  • Swisskapolka

    I guess I rode Luigi’s with low expectations, but I had fun when I rode it for the first time a few weeks ago. The line theming is great and I enjoyed watching folks try to move around and chase each other. Obviously a shorter line would make it more enjoyable — so hopefully the removal of the beach balls will help with that. Faster would be cool and maybe retooling the ride vehicle will help with that.

  • Hildy

    Man, I sure wouldn’t want to be in Disneyland that 2nd week in September. Looks like a lot of the rides will be closed.

  • Aaebert67

    Luigi’s seems so boring without the beach balls! It really livened it up. Now it seems like you just slowly drift around for a minute and a half.

  • Susan Hughes

    It’s nice to finally see some substantial progress on the new Fantasy Faire. I thought they were only going to build facades of the buildings, but it looks like they’re bona fide structures.
    Kind of makes me a little sad though. For the past few years the Princesses would make the long walk from Tomorrowland over to the castle. That was always an unexpected surprise for park guests. But it looks like the walk will be a thing of the past. And even sadder…no more Princesses by the castle. Throughout the entire resort, there is no more magical backdrop for a Disney Princess than the castle. Even the old (and new) Fantasy Faire can’t come close to the look and feel of a Princess by the castle.

  • SpectroMan

    As many have said for the past year….Luigi’s will be gone within 2 years. So, let’s just enjoy it now and document it so we don’t have to scrounge to find evidence of it 50 years from now like we’ve been doing with the Saucers.

  • Orange Co Native

    Luigi’s Flying Tires. A ride with a total lack of imagination. I don’t know. I can see that ride being ripped out within a year or two. The wait time is not going to be problem fairly soon as people ride it, experience it and go “I won’t being that ride anytime soon.”

  • Orange Co Native

    What I was meaning to say was “I won’t be riding that ride anytime soon.” That is what happens when you get distracted while you are writing.

  • GoneAway562

    It is a disappointment to not even be able to ride Luigi’s with the joysticks since I work in the shop that made them. I even took an extra one opening day to play a joke on the Castmembers, only to find out they werent there. :[

  • dsnygrl13

    Perhaps a viable alternative to the tires would be a standard bumper car ride with the vehicles shaped like tires?

  • Marko50

    Gee. There are sure a lot of negative remarks on here by people that haven’t even ridden the ride. I love it. Sure, I’d love a shorter wait. I’d also love a shorter wait for RSR, but I don’t see people saying, “Let’s rip it out because the line’s too long.”

    There are also people that don’t seem to understand why the Flying Saucers stopped flying. It’s because the mechanisms wouldn’t hold up. Not because they were unpopular. They weren’t. Every time I went on them, every saucer on the floor was in use. They weren’t brought back just because JL was nostalgic.

    • miceagefan

      We just visited Cars Land for the first time last week. Loved it all. Luigi’s was great. Loved the theming. No line first thing in the morning. Fun to figure out how to make it go. How many of us go on Snow White every time we are in the park? Not the fastest most exciting ride, but great theme and makes you feel good. I look at Luigi’s as the same. Kids love it and adults can too. The biggest surprise of Cars Land was Maters and Larry the Cable Guy. Loved him speaking spanish and LOVED the songs. So much fun. And of course Racers was amazing.
      My favorite part was Buena Vista Street. Can not believe it is the same place. Thanks to Disney for finally doing it all right.
      And pick up the Hat Box Ghost Halloween shirt quick! It is awesome. Will wear it all year.
      Finally Huge thanks to Andy Castro!! Love your column and the photos that are always in it.

  • Spongeocto4

    Thanks for the update!

  • AvanteGardens

    Im thinking the problem with Flying Tires isnt what they replicated from the Flying Saucers, its what they changed. Perhaps it was a GOOD idea to just have one rider, so you dont have to rely on your partner who is leaning the wrong way, and an even BETTER idea to have an arm that clears the air table of one set of vehicles so they can load while annother set of vehicles is in use. Would that also have just been too inauthentic to the cars land theme for JL?

  • pattimarie

    the pictures here are fantastic!
    i rode luigi’s twice a few weeks and and loved it. it doesn’t move consistently fast the whole time, but when it does fly, it’s really fun. when it doesn’t, it’s usually because people are leaning in different directions, or too far over. i loved the balls too. they were fun to watch and play with.
    as for the guests complaints, it’s really easy to nitpik when asked to do so. the fact that the line remains long says something about it’s popularity. i agree with whoever said that if the line were slower, people would like it better.

  • pattimarie

    meant to say if the line were shorter, of course.

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