Originally posted in the MiceChat Gold Mythbuster's club. (join today!!!) Right now there aren't many members so I did all this work for seemingly nothing. I decided to post it here so all can smile and perhaps correct my poor science.
I give you: The Goat Trick.
I almost didn't get to do the myth at all. It was looking like Thunder Mountain would be closed when I was there, but luckily it opened and I got to ride 12 times. That's right 12 times.
So... here we go then.
1. There is a very real difference with the goat trick depending on where you sit. As I sat on the front row I couldn't really feel anything at all. Each car you go back you feel the sensation more, peaking in the very back row.
What causes the sensation? G-force ladies and gents, g-force. You see, when you ride around the "goat bend" you feel a real lateral g-force. (I don't know the exact g-force you feel. I'm not a real mythbuster and as such I don't have the bevy of cool tools they have) Lateral g-force is like you feel on Muholland Madness and other "crazy mouse" type coasters. But when you turn your head toward the goat, your inner ear, which is where you feel how the g-force affects you, makes your body feel as if it is being pushed backwards rather than sideways (like the force you feel during the take off in California Screaming)
The reason the further back you sit the greater the sensation? Simple. You are going faster past the goat in the back seat, hence more g-force (see photos in the posts below).
2. One good point of having the ride closed for most of the day was the chance I got to really talk to some great Cast Members. Three to be exact. All three knew what the goat trick was and they all suggested riding in the back seat to get the best sensation.
Because of Fastpassmountain calling the back seat the "Baxter" seat I had to ask if they called it that. One CM heard it called that before, the other two had no idea why it would be called the Baxter seat in the first place.
When asked if the ride was developed with the Goat Trick in mind, they all agreed that it couldn't have been. The Goat of the goat trick was left over from previous Fronterland attractions. While everyone agreed that it was a fantastic coincidence, it really couldn't have been anything else.
Which is interesting when looking at...
#3. I tried to duplicate the goat trick on the following rides. Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, California Screaming, Muholland Madness and Tower of Terror.
The idea is not to try and see a goat and then feel the g-fore push you in a way that inhances the experience, it's to see if a reposition of your body, goat or not, can do it.
Space Mountain: Nothing really worked for me on this. Looking everywhere, turning my head in all directions on the turns, it just didn't give a different sensation.
Splash Mountain: I discovered that if you lean forward during the duration of the drops then you get a sensation similar to the goat trick. I call it the Turtle trick because you stick you neck out like a turtle.
Indiana Jones: During the blind turns in the dark, if you turn into the small of the turn, that is to say the inside, then the sensation is enhanced a bit, but not in any significant way
California Screaming: Due to the harness, it is very hard to turn anything anywhere, however during take off I noticed that if you either plaster your head to the back of the seat as hard as it can go, or try the turtle trick by pushing your head forward during the duration of the take off, the sensation is greatly enhanced.
Muholland Madness: Nothing I did seemed to make a difference, other than hurting me more.
Tower of Terror: This suprised me. I put my head between my knees during the drops and got a sensation very similar to not only the goat trick, but of bungee jumping. Seriously you got to try this.
Anyway, while sensations can be duplicated, they are not really the same idea as the goat trick, that is to say, changing a lateral G-force into a horizontal G-force. It is unique to Thunder Mountain.
So, that's myth confirmed! The Goat trick is real and unique to Thunder Mountain.
The photos below show the goat trick in the front seat and in the back seat. The photos are taken once a second.
First from the front seat
So. 14 seconds on the front row.
And the last row
And only 8 seconds from the back row. A considerable difference.