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Thread: Rocket Rods

  1. #16

    • Dread Pirate Roberts #137
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    The Rocket Rods were just caught up in one of Paul Pressler's economic black holes, and what was supposed to be a real crowd pleaser ended up being a dysmal failure.

    The Rocket Rods were conceived by Tony Baxter as a replacement for the PM because Pressler's New Tomorrowland was lacking any sort of D or E-Ticket attraction (Alien Encounter and George Lucas's new 3-D would have filled that void in the original Tomorrowland design). Unfortunately, Pressler held the Imagineers to an exact $100 million budget for the ENTIRE land, and any deviation from that figure was prohibited. If the Imagineers needed something more for an attraction, they had to cut something out of another. Well to save money from the budget, Tony got GM involved and they agreed to put up $25 million of the ride's $50 million budget. But because of the Test Track fiasco, GM pulled out of the Rocket Rods sponsership. So Tony asked Pressler for the necessary $25 million extra. But Pressler, being the idiot that he was, did not give WDI ONE DIME above the set $25 million budget for RR. So, what DL guests saw was a $50 million ride built with $25 million. Corners had to be cut everywhere; from lack of research and testing of the ride system to the un-baked turns to the bare-bones queue area to the abandonment of most of the original effects. Needless to say, nobody at WDI was the least bit surprised when RR went down.

    So let this be a lesson to those feckless executives: if you're going to build something, put up the money and build it right the first time. These kinds of accounting tricks will NOT work in a field so artistically diverse as a theme park, and when your petty schemes fail your cries of blame will fall on deaf ears.
    Trivia: On April Fool's Day 2004, Disneyland guests found -- at the insistence of the board of directors -- the gigantic dragon featured in Fantasmic replaced with a gigantic Roy Disney (leading to a reprimand to the cast member playing Mickey Mouse when he hugged the giant instead of fighting it)

  2. #17

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    No one seems to realize that the ride was not a very good idea to begin with. Riding on an unbanked track that was never intended to be more than a tour, with all of the thrill of driving a Kia in a parking garage, perhaps isn't worth maintaining. If the ride was a 10 plus with a huge repeat line, then maybe they would have pushed to keep it.

    FYI- To be entirely accurate..The new ride was originally planned to be a Rocket Bike or dual racing motorcycle theme that would allow for leaning, racing and the wheelie, but it would not clear the interior spaces, so it was deemed (and rightly so) inpractical. TB then proposed the same dynamics as rocket rods as an alternative. the wheelie is all that remained of the bikes idea.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  3. #18

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    Hmm... who wants to go out in the middle of the night and pry someones brick out of the walkway.... Then make it dissappear and then say.... Haha....

    They should have been aloowed to have extram cash.... what did they think was ging on... the referbishment of TL at WDW got an overlay of special effevcts.. new spiels.. COP referbished... a clone film form paris.... & a new E ticker theater attraction.... (where most of that cash went too.) heck.. half the land wasn't efven finnished getting a retheme... look at the PM track near SM...

    Why spent cash on this stuff and not make it good.... If it can't be one good.. then dont replace it.... (DL should have gotten AE instead...)

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympicnut
    I was one of the rare breeds that enjoyed RR. I loved the sound effects it had. Hey I just had a thought, how about building a high speed "freeway" ride in DCA using the Rods? It'd fit that California theme (driving on a freeway that is) and if they build the track correctly the cars wouldn't have to speed up and slow down all the time. Hmmmmmmmmmm.....
    when DCA first opened they had a RR car out that people could sit in. It made me miss the ride even more..

  5. #20

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    Can anyone get into the matinence bay for RRs and see if anything in still in there???

  6. #21

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    I was also sorry to see RR close but mainly because it meant even less rides in Tomorrowland, not because I loved the ride. For those of you who did like it, could you explain what exactly you enjoyed about it? Seriously, perhaps I missed something the two times I rode it, and I'm genuinely curious.

    I remember nothing but zipping through the random tunnels of the old Peoplemover. There was absolutely nothing to look at! What was the story? What was the point? Just the thrill of the speed, which wasn't all that fast anyway? I thought the concept of a high-speed race-thru ride was great, but one has to race through something, not just empty black tunnels with minimum to no lights, sound effects, anything.

    My friend summed it up best for me when he disembarked the ride and said, "I don't think we'd even find that at a Six Flaggs park!"

    Again, did I miss something?

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance
    I was also sorry to see RR close but mainly because it meant even less rides in Tomorrowland, not because I loved the ride. For those of you who did like it, could you explain what exactly you enjoyed about it? Seriously, perhaps I missed something the two times I rode it, and I'm genuinely curious.
    Personally, I never did find anything about Rocket Rods that made it a unique experience that I would want to ride again and again. However, my daughter (7 at the time) fell in love with it. She would giggle and grin throughout the entire ride. When we would be in line, she would be so excited, she didn't care how long the wait, she just wanted to ride it again. Since it made her so happy, I loved riding it with her. There's nothing more special than seeing your child smile so wide. Because of this, I miss Rocket Rods a lot. Every trip to Disneyland she will still say, "I miss Rocket Rods." I feel bad because I also miss rides or attractions from my early childhood that are long gone. At least we have the ride tracks to listen too and reminisce!

  8. #23

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    I only rode it a few times. I always sat in the front and each time it was raining. The rain made it more exciting. Had I gone on it in sunny weather, I probably wouldn't be so fond of it.




  9. #24

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    I will say it gave an exciting feel to the land, to see those cars go speeding by every few minutes, it really made you excited to get on the ride

    but yeah once you actualy went on it you felt like "that was it"

    and the line amped you too o_o but the movies gave me a headache it was so long, I swear it felt like I was questing for that ride and then after that I'm like "all that quest and that's it!?! not even free pie?!"

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jspider
    yeah capacity was a big issue and it was compounded by the frequent breakdowns

    but not only was the ride tearing the track apart but I've read that it was causing structural damage to Star Tours and several other Tomorrowland buildings

    The constant vibrating did take its tole. The track and buildings around it vibrated so badly that it practiaclly shook stuctures apart. I read that the constant vibrating casued cieling panels to fall and pieces of plaster to fall from the cieling of the Sub cavern. Sections of the track started to sag because of the weight of the actual vehicles and components placed on the track. The axles in the cars shot a few things out into the Autopia queue a few times and the engines were constantly over-heating. If I knew this in '98, I would of put my hand against those pilars along the walkway to see how much it actually did vibrate when the passed by.

  11. #26

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    [QUOTE=AnotherPixie]Personally, I never did find anything about Rocket Rods that made it a unique experience that I would want to ride again and again.QUOTE]

    Ha! That is the entire reason WHY my dad comes to Disneyland with my mom and I, to see me smile. Personally, my parents and I did get to ride this attraction. We thought it was fun to be up there on the tracks and look over on the park. I thought it was fun to see the old cars in the waiting queue line and go up the escalator to where "space junk" is. It was a fun attraction, but nothing more, nothing less. It could have had more from what I recall, but it wasn't too terrible either. We did stand in line one time and encounter a 101 where they gave us passes to use to jump in line for another attaction. Overall I can't recall the details of it as much as I can for Superstar Limo at DCA that I rode less. You just got on, went, and got off.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyMickey
    First, the tires were custom ordered through GM, and cost upwards of $10,000 a wheel.
    AHAHAHHAHAHAHH that is the biggest laugh I have had in a long time. It was 10,000 dollars for the whole fleet to get replaced. There is no tire that expensive. They were most likely in the range of $500 for each.

  13. #28

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    ^^I didn't post that, AP2CM did.

  14. #29

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    I went on it several times... it was nothing special. The line absolutely sucked to wait in. The ride itself was tame. The only good thing about it was the view from atop Tomorrowland was nice... but went by too quickly to appreciate.

    I vote they tear the track down and stop taunting us with it.
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  15. #30

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    Short version: I'm glad it's gone. I'd much rather have Buzz Lightyear using that valuable real estate then a long endless line.

    If/when they put something new on the track, they should build the line underground. They could have it coil underneath the Space Mountain said of the PM station.

    As far as what type of ride should be put in there - it should be contantly moving so load times do not take as long, and IMO they should tunnel some of the outside parts. I would then have a new projection system to do a modern Tron-like speed illusion. Have the ride itself only go 10-15 mph, but have it feel like 45-50 mph.
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