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  1. #1

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    How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Random question, perhaps...but something that fascinates me. How important are themed vehicles to you as part of Disneyland/DCA attractions?

    A breakdown of the different types of vehicles in use may be in order:

    Attraction vehicles where they are themed fully to attractions: The boats in pirates come to mind, as you are boarding initially a vehicle to take you through a swamp, and they look currently appropriately "weathered". The Peter Pan pirate ships also apply, and of course the Big Thunder trains, and Space Mountain rockets, and Mr. Toad's motorcars, and the Matterhorn bobsleds and submarines for Nemo, the service elevator in Tower of Terror.

    Attraction vehicles that are neutral, or merely exist to take you through a attraction without being specific to theme: Haunted Mansion's Doombuggies spring to mind, and the Small World boats...you get the feeling these just exist in order to bring you through the show, and that's about it. I'd also include in this category, Soarin over California. It gets called or at least referenced as a "hang glider" type thing, but it's really just there for riding in, not the look of it.

    Attraction vehicles that have theming, but are not specific to what you actually experience: Alice's caterpillars and the wooden carts in Pinocchio and Snow White are the primary examples here. They are themed, but in no way really are neccesary or pivitol to the attraction.

    Vehicles that are the attraction solely in and of themselves: And here, I mean rides that primarily are around for the ride itself...no real scenery. This covers a lot of ground....the teacups, Dumbo, the Astro-Orbitor, the bumper cars over in DCA, and I'd argue, California Screamin, which is mostly a unthemed roller coaster.

    Your thoughts? How is the balance of all these different types, and is it even important overall? Which kinds do you favor?
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Ride vehicle choice is very important in a lot of cases. Under normal circumstances, the first and best choice is always going to be one that fits in perfectly as a believable part of the environment. For example, Soarin' works as it is...but imagine if your vehicle felt like a hang glider! The more integrated the vehicle is into the attraction, the more you feel like you're part of it.

    But there are other concerns. HM's doom buggies are not perfectly in-theme, but there needs to be a way to direct the guests' views in certain directions, and the Omnimover system is a great people-eater, and they are designed in such a way that they sorta disappear into the environment of the attraction, so it gets a pass.

    Peter Pan actually bugs me. Maybe I'm missing something, but...why am I flying in a miniature pirate ship over London? Not that I can think of a better option, since the whole point is that the kids fly without vehicles, and that's not feasible for the attraction...but still, it annoys me a bit?


  3. #3

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post

    Peter Pan actually bugs me. Maybe I'm missing something, but...why am I flying in a miniature pirate ship over London? Not that I can think of a better option, since the whole point is that the kids fly without vehicles, and that's not feasible for the attraction...but still, it annoys me a bit?
    I think what they're going for, and this isn't a perfect fit, since they show it in the attraction at the very end, is the bit with Tinkerbell making the ships fly for the trip back to London. That would be my guess as to the inspiration...but then they go and show that happening at the end. But it's the most likely, given it's very specifically a pirate ship, and Hook's ship is seen flying in the end of the film.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    I definitely favor the fully themed vehicles. I love themed vehicles and unique ride systems they're one of my favorite things about Disney rides and something that's often a major focus of my armchair imagineering ideas.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Ride vehicle choice is very important in a lot of cases. Under normal circumstances, the first and best choice is always going to be one that fits in perfectly as a believable part of the environment. For example, Soarin' works as it is...but imagine if your vehicle felt like a hang glider! The more integrated the vehicle is into the attraction, the more you feel like you're part of it.

    But there are other concerns. HM's doom buggies are not perfectly in-theme, but there needs to be a way to direct the guests' views in certain directions, and the Omnimover system is a great people-eater, and they are designed in such a way that they sorta disappear into the environment of the attraction, so it gets a pass.

    Peter Pan actually bugs me. Maybe I'm missing something, but...why am I flying in a miniature pirate ship over London? Not that I can think of a better option, since the whole point is that the kids fly without vehicles, and that's not feasible for the attraction...but still, it annoys me a bit?
    Somehow I knew you'd defend the HM vehicles.

    Don't get me wrong though, I don't think there's anything wrong with the ride vehicles at HM, and in fact I think most of the rides at the resort have appropriately themed (or unthemed) ride units.

    We could, of course, get nit-picky... but I'll try not to

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Themed ride vehicles really help when they are transporting you into the story. TOT for example, could you really see Rod Serling saying, "This as you may recognize is a regular ride vehicle" it just doesn't work! When you are in the elevator, you feel as if you have just walked into the story. Otherwise it would be unbelievable. In Mr.Toad, you're supposed to be Mr.Toad so i don't see why you should not be in a motor car, it was his favorite car in the movie. Think about replacing the motor car with just a regular ride car not themed or anything then the story would be a mess.

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Peter Pan makes sense to have the ship, as that was how the movie ended out. Snow Whites vehicles are not actual carts (though it would make sense to have mine carts as the dwarves worked in a mine) but they are themed after the seven dwarves wooden beds which is why they all have a name on the front. For the most part I think the ride vehicles all fit in appropriately, especially in the dark rides. And as Data said, the doom buggies may be theme-less, but they do pretty much dissapear into the darkness so it almost feels as though there aren't many people around you.


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    Cool Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Very interesting. I've never thought of it that way.

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkfairycthulu View Post
    I think what they're going for, and this isn't a perfect fit, since they show it in the attraction at the very end, is the bit with Tinkerbell making the ships fly for the trip back to London. That would be my guess as to the inspiration...but then they go and show that happening at the end. But it's the most likely, given it's very specifically a pirate ship, and Hook's ship is seen flying in the end of the film.
    Its because they couldnt afford pixie dust after adding the loop to space mountain.

    Actually, the vehicles are almost the favorite part of the ride for me. I know some arent that important, like said doombuggies, but I cannot get enough of those picture spots with a vehicle outof its place. I have no idea why but they are just awesome. some people love characters, I love vehicles.

    Btw, I think a BTMRR trainwould be great repurposed as a comfy couch.
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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    I would put the Peter Pan pirate ships and the Alice caterpillars in a separate category: vehicles themed to the attraction but not integrated with it.

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Definitely. Themed cars are totally important. Imagine Indiana Jones without the jeep exterior. Or BTMR as just plain cars. My personal favorite themed car that I've seen is the Journey to the Center of the Earth shovel car-things at DisneySea.

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Quote Originally Posted by RocknGuitar View Post
    Definitely. Themed cars are totally important. Imagine Indiana Jones without the jeep exterior. Or BTMR as just plain cars. My personal favorite themed car that I've seen is the Journey to the Center of the Earth shovel car-things at DisneySea.
    Those are great aren't they. Very unique ride vehicles.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
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  13. #13

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    Nice question. BUT the catepillars do makes sense, as when you go outside during the ride, its the catepillar moving on the leaves.

    LOVE the ships on peter pan, and the way the sails are shapped allows you to view certain scenes. I think of the ship going down to where tic toc is about to swallow Hook.

    Also, you might say that the Doom Buggies are unthemed, BUT they serve a few different purposes. The black color keeps them hidden from other guests in the same area, and keep them from detracting from the show. The shape of the Doom buggies also help focus you on in the direction of the show, and the size of the vehicle help keep this attraction more intimate, than larger vehicles.

    Not sure if you mentioned the cabs in Roger Rabbit, but those add to the show, more than most, but still keep the ride intimate.

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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    The themed ride vehicles are one of many special touches that make DL so unique. Sure, we could hop in a random vehicle and be zoomed through Alice, but how much cooler is it for everybody to feel like they're actually a part of the ride as opposed to an observer? As for HM, the doom buggies do make sense (especially now that you've explained them) but they are a bit more boring than most. Having said that, I mentioned that ride vehicles make you feel like you're part of a ride... in HM you truly are supposed to be just an observer, at least in my opinion.
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    Re: How important are themed vehicles/ride systems?

    I believe the goal of a themed vehicle is to support the theme of the given attraction while still being functional and not distracting. I find Screamin and the current Small World to be very distracting. My hope is that someone hires an individual who has a basic sense of color coordination... because a lot of the distraction can be fixed with proper non clashing color combinations.
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