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  1. #1

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    Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    I got to thinking about an entirely new type of ride that would be a new type of ride technology and how nifty it would fit something like Tron or Tommorowland. Then I realized that I wasn't sure if Disney actually invented any ride technology any more?

    There are lots of companies developing ride technologies out there and it probably makes more sense to purchase ride technology and adapt it than to try and come up with something original yourself.

    So what was the last ride technology that Disney actually invented?

  2. #2

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Hmm... I want to say the EMV for Indy.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Disney invented such famous technologies as the Peoplemover, the flume system behind Pirates and IASW, the flying saucers technology, Indy's EMV's, the omnimover, and can even be credited for the specific flume system in Splash Mt. Aside from that, many of the simpler dark rides also have systems designed by WDI.

    The latest is probobly the next gen Test Track system being put into Radiator Springs Racers.

  4. #4

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Back in the 50's, 60's and possibly 70's Disney basically invented every ride they made or introduced it to theme parks for the first time. Skyway, Matterhorn, Monorail, Small World/Pirates boats, Omnimover, Peoplemover, etc. These days they don't seem to be as interested in innovative ride systems.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garthilk View Post
    I got to thinking about an entirely new type of ride that would be a new type of ride technology and how nifty it would fit something like Tron or Tommorowland. Then I realized that I wasn't sure if Disney actually invented any ride technology any more?

    There are lots of companies developing ride technologies out there and it probably makes more sense to purchase ride technology and adapt it than to try and come up with something original yourself.

    So what was the last ride technology that Disney actually invented?
    Disney's Imagineers are probably constantly coming up with new ride technologies. Unfortunately, they no longer appear to be able to follow through on them any more. They have lost their lead to Universal (Spiderman, Harry Potter) and haven't made any apparent moves to challenge them.

    I would assume that Disney just hasn't had the initiative to spend the money that a new technology would entail. Their reluctance to loosen the pocketbook is eventually going to make it difficult if not impossible to catch up.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    R and D is expensive. It's cheaper to let someone else develop it and buy it off the shelf.
    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    I don't blame Disney for not creating new technologies as it was much easier for one company to do it all back in the day. Now, because of all the very technical details such as software, hardware, advanced materials, it makes more sense for a company which specializes in working with these things to build for Disney.

    Its to bad they can't do it themselves, but the financial cost of doing so probably doesn't ensure any stronger a finished product.

  8. #8

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    I don't blame Disney for not creating new technologies as it was much easier for one company to do it all back in the day. Now, because of all the very technical details such as software, hardware, advanced materials, it makes more sense for a company which specializes in working with these things to build for Disney.
    I definitely disagree with you here. The new Monorails were farmed out to a "company that specialized" in building them, based off an out-dated chassis design... and we all know how that turned out.

    I do think that Imagineering is designing new ride systems all the time, but the corporate leaders take one look at the price tag to install them in the parks and quickly look the other way...

  9. #9

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    The Tower of Terror was also original tech.. being an elevator that moved forwards and backwards, as well as up and down, along with the random drop sequences that the WDW version has.

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Quote Originally Posted by noleafclover1980 View Post
    The Tower of Terror was also original tech.. being an elevator that moved forwards and backwards, as well as up and down, along with the random drop sequences that the WDW version has.
    Original yes, but WDI went to Otis Elevators and Inductran Corp to help them with the technical bits.

  11. #11

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Didn't they invent the ride system for Soarin' Over California as well...

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    ^All but the projection and film technology as I understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenhopeful View Post
    I definitely disagree with you here. The new Monorails were farmed out to a "company that specialized" in building them, based off an out-dated chassis design... and we all know how that turned out.

    I do think that Imagineering is designing new ride systems all the time, but the corporate leaders take one look at the price tag to install them in the parks and quickly look the other way...
    There have been several notable failures by outside contractors, but Disney too has made some mistakes in complex mechanical design. The key is finding an outside contractor who shares the pride and vision you do so you can trust them with creating a final product that is exactly what you wanted.

    It should be noted that the situations behind failures are always complex. Speculation is Murphy was being pushed past her limits, and the Monorail manufacturers were given incomplete sketches for the chassis Disney contracted them to recycle. These are not signs of the incompetence of every company but Disney, they are rather the product of an ever more complex world.

    For every Murphy, a Yeti, for every Monorail a Rocket Rod.

  13. #13

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    They also invent certain parts of rides like the light boxes that project the Nemo characters on the subs

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    When it comes to researching and developing new ride systems, Disney is noticably derailed, but not completely off track. Disney invented the dry for wet technology used at DLPs Crush's Coaster...and soon to be incorporated into DCAs Little Mermaid ride (in a considerably upgraded form). It also invented the 3-D CG projection system for WDWs Mickey's PhilHarmagic, and the trackless ride system at Tokyo's Pooh.

    Perhaps one problem that exists is one of perception. Yesteryear, all technological improvements were lavished on one park...Disneyland. Now that there are a growing number of Disney parks, it seems like less advancement when formulating an opinion that is skewed by the park or resort that one attends the most. The EMV ride system is a technological Disney benchmark.

    Nevertheless, Universal Studios parks are starting to innovate more noticeably in each of their parks/resorts than Disney.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Is Disney a Ride Inventor?

    Disney is a large conglomerate im sure they are connected to some other company that does R and D for them that they are using to come up with these new attractions
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