Oceaneering: Creating the Ride Systems that Changed Theme Parks

Written by Doug Barnes. Posted in Destinations, Disney, Features, Orlando Parks, Podcasts, SeaWorld Orlando, The Seasonpass Podcast, Universal Hollywood, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

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Published on December 11, 2014 at 12:01 am with 5 Comments

In 2013, SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin introduced a ride system that has changed everything we know about motion based entertainment.  The Revolution Ride System finally showed the world that there are no limitations to what a dark ride can do.  The slogan for the vehicle is “Infinite Possibilities,” and early demonstrations solidify the bold statement.

Of course, this is always the goal for Oceaneering; continuing to shred the envelope that they have consistently ripped up for the past 20 years.  They are the leaders in innovating new improved technologies to entertain the masses.  Yes, they were the group responsible for successfully redesigning a bunch of mechanical sharks to jump out from underwater to scare thrillseekers on Universal Studios Florida’s JAWS! attraction.  And yes, these are the guys responsible for the Evolution ride system that is currently operating in The Amazing Adeventures of Spider-Man and Transformers: The Ride in Universal parks all around the world.  However, what the Revolution has achieved that the Evolution, nor has any other motion based ride system, is operating as “Tru-Trackless,” which is remotely without a track guiding it.

With an artificial intellegence to navigate on its own path, not restricted by the vehicle in-front of it, or the patron needing extra loading time beside it, the Revolution Tru-Trackless Ride System is able to avoid these capacity challenges and keep through-put at a maximum pace at all times without slowing down.  A theme park operations dream!  It’s a marriage of the trackless system, similar to the vehicles used in many Disney Park attractions (Pooh’s Honey Hunt, Mystic Manor, etc.), and the Evolution system.  The Revolution is truly the most advanced ride system made to date.

Dave Mauck, Vice President and General Manager of Oceaneering Ride Systems, is always looking to push technology forward, and finding new ways to bring themed entertainment designers visions to a larger than life result.  I guess that is what you get with someone who was working with Remotely Operated Undersea Vehicles before he was, in his words, bitten by the theme park bug in 1992.  And to understand the Theme Park Industry, Oceaneering can’t be successful with just manufacturing high sensory, motion based mechanics, but it’s also the understanding of the operations and logistics of how a theme park functions, which is where Bill Bunting, Manager of Business Development for Oceaneering Entertainment Systems, steps into play.  Bill has a long history in on-site operations and project development with the biggest company in theme park development, Disney!  With years of experience in ride development, installation, and start-up with various attractions including Epcot, Disneyland Paris, and the Disney Cruise Line, he brings knowledge and expertise of market research, product development, branding, marketing, and sales efforts to the Oceaneering team.  Bill understands the goal of Oceaneering’s developments–“Helping Storytellers Move Your Audience.”

So enough of all the blabbering from me, why don’t you hear from them yourself, in this very special Season Pass Podcast episode, recorded during the 2014 TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) Summit at the Disneyland Resort earlier this year.  The Revolution Tru-Trackless Ride System and the Oceaneering Ride Systems Team are Thea Award recipients and once you hear their story, you’ll understand why.

About Doug Barnes

Doug Barnes is a Life Long Fan of Theme Parks and Roller Coasters as well as a fan of Podcasting. Doug has spent his entire life living and meandering under the California sky; regularly attending many parks including Disneyland, DCA, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (AKA-Marine World), California's Great America (AKA-PGA), and more. Doug has toured all over the country in search of Great Themed Recreational Fun including Florida, Ohio, Texas, Nevada, Indiana, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Missouri & more. Aside from his duties as master of ceremonies for the MiceChat Podcast, Doug owns the critically acclaimed Season Pass Podcast: http://www.seasonpasspodcast.com/

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  • TVsRobLowe

    I’m hearing impaired. Can you type it out?

    • Hi TVsRobLowe, unfortunately, our podcasts are anywhere from one hour to two and a half hours long, so it equates to typing out a small novel (this episode would take about 80 pages to display). I hope, that sometime in the near future, we’ll have the ability to text script our shows, but, as of right now, it has to remain as a radio show only. My apologies for the unfortunate situation. Thank you so much for commenting.

      -Doug

    • AvanteGardens

      Thanks Rob for trying to get them to provide it in print, I’m on your side. I can hear fine but I don’t like sitting through the fluff in podcasts to get to the one piece of new information. I would rather have it in print. I thought this was a print article, but the introduction was just there to psyche you out.

  • wendygirl1979

    Thank you for this interview! It’s so cool to hear a company dedicated to dark rides as their mission, and I agree that more regional parks should be looking into bringing back this form of entertainment. The field is wide open right now, with the new Knott’s and the Six Flags’ animatronics. I’m ready to see some dueling out there!

    • Thank you so much wendygirl1979 for the kind words. I think that is one of the most important messages from Oceaneering in the podcast. The economic evolution of dark rides is happening and what they have already shown us in their efforts with Six Flags for the Justice League rides is truly exciting. Regional parks shouldn’t have to compete with Disney and Universal, but they can take a note from them, and create greater attractions and memories with these special rides. Thanks again for the comment and listening to the show.

      -Doug

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