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  1. #1

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    Types of trackless ride systems

    I have a question for our friends who are armchair imagineers.

    What type of trackless ride systems currently exist?

    I know of the GPS/LPS and ETF's Mystic Mover and and Multi Mover technologies, but I was wondering if there was anything else?

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  2. #2

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Tower of Terror in Florida uses RFID pucks buried in the floor.

    The parades use a version of this as well to track which audio cues should be ramped in or out of "regions" of the parade route.

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft16 View Post
    Tower of Terror in Florida uses RFID pucks buried in the floor.

    The parades use a version of this as well to track which audio cues should be ramped in or out of "regions" of the parade route.
    Those dont work anymore, havent worked since Jan of 06, at WDW that is, Disneyland has sensors at each gate, Small World and Egghouse, that are like tracking devices to let audio central know where each float is. Then each float is already synced to audio central. Audio Central controls what audio goes where and when. Audio Central is more commonly known as DECS (Disneyland Entertainment Control System)
    Last edited by SparkyLD; 01-19-2008 at 10:17 PM.

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Interesting, I would have thought that the floats would have some sort of GPS system and a way to send the information back to the central computer.
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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    heres the link for ETF Ride Systems: http://www.etf.nl/ride/ride.htm

    Their ride system where you get to take different paths to find Fairy Tale characters sounds pretty good. I wonder how many people can ride it per hour?

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    InterAction Technical Data Ground surface ride 1.000 m2 and more Application Indoor Ride capacity per hour 720 - 960 persons Typical vehicles guidance lenght 150 - 200 m Ride vehicles Trackless, battery powered Vehicle capacity 4 persons Typical no. of vehicles 5 -15
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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    That number can be messed with. If Disney or someone offered to pay more for a system with the same capabilities that carried a much larger capacity it could be done.

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicBear View Post
    Interesting, I would have thought that the floats would have some sort of GPS system and a way to send the information back to the central computer.
    DEP uses something quite different to sync the audio, so does SpectroMagic. They use something called DTMF (Dual Tone Multiple Frequency) over a very low radio frequency. The audio data is sent to each unit in the form of DTMF ( more commonly used in touch tone telephones). This is what syncs the audio. Each unit has the audio digitally stored on board.









    Last edited by SparkyLD; 01-20-2008 at 04:19 PM.

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Wow thats cool.

    I would love DL to get some updated ride vehciles for some of the Fantasyland dark rides. Being able to rotate would, IMHO, improve Snow White and make it more exciting.

    I know that Sally Corp has created the shooting gallery rides where you don't get to the end unless you make a certain score. That would be cool.
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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Universe of Energy and The Great Movie Ride use trackless ride systems, not sure of specifics of how they work though

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyLD View Post
    Those dont work anymore, havent worked since Jan of 06, at WDW that is, Disneyland has sensors at each gate, Small World and Egghouse, that are like tracking devices to let audio central know where each float is. Then each float is already synced to audio central. Audio Central controls what audio goes where and when. Audio Central is more commonly known as DECS (Disneyland Entertainment Control System)
    The Disneyland Parade Route had a few more sensors than just at the parade gates while they were running Electrical Parade - you can see them in the road, a 6X6 iron electrical box cover and a sensor loop cut across the pavement filled with grey sealer. I'd have to go map them out, but I recall still seeing one at the Egg House gate, one or two going up Main Street (at Center Street?) and one at each end of the Hub...

    The ones north of the Hub by the Matterhorn, and along Small World Way would have been removed (or buried under the surface) when they repaved with the diamond patterned concrete, since the DEP had long "glowed away" by then. But they haven't repaved Main Street recently, except for patches when they redid the storm drains a few years back.

    And I don't think they had the audio recorders on the floats, since they were synched way too tight to the same audio base tracks on the fixed PA systems. Any tape flutter or power anomalies between the float and the fixed speakers, and you'd hear it, and if they were off by even milliseconds they would zero-beat and sound all sorts of odd.

    (They've used this as an effect on old Rock records - listen on headphones and it sounds like the room is spinning...)

    But a simple wideband FM receiver and amplifier can be made reasonably bulletproof. And they can use delay lines on either or both signal paths to make sure the wired circuits to the speakers and the wireless signal to the floats both arrive in phase.

    It's much more likely that the various soundtracks were broadcast seperately by dedicated FM Transmitters off the master multi-track tape, each float unit had a dedicated receive frequency for "it's" soundtrack and vocal tracks, and the control board faders switched the fixed parade route speakers to the right track as the float unit went through an area.

    Oh, and as to "trackless" vehicles, they can also follow a wire antenna buried in the floor with a set of pickup coils. Or an optical sensor following a painted line, or... Lots of ways to accomplish the same thing.

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post
    The Disneyland Parade Route had a few more sensors than just at the parade gates while they were running Electrical Parade - you can see them in the road, a 6X6 iron electrical box cover and a sensor loop cut across the pavement filled with grey sealer. I'd have to go map them out, but I recall still seeing one at the Egg House gate, one or two going up Main Street (at Center Street?) and one at each end of the Hub...

    The ones north of the Hub by the Matterhorn, and along Small World Way would have been removed (or buried under the surface) when they repaved with the diamond patterned concrete, since the DEP had long "glowed away" by then. But they haven't repaved Main Street recently, except for patches when they redid the storm drains a few years back.

    And I don't think they had the audio recorders on the floats, since they were synched way too tight to the same audio base tracks on the fixed PA systems. Any tape flutter or power anomalies between the float and the fixed speakers, and you'd hear it, and if they were off by even milliseconds they would zero-beat and sound all sorts of odd.

    (They've used this as an effect on old Rock records - listen on headphones and it sounds like the room is spinning...)

    But a simple wideband FM receiver and amplifier can be made reasonably bulletproof. And they can use delay lines on either or both signal paths to make sure the wired circuits to the speakers and the wireless signal to the floats both arrive in phase.

    It's much more likely that the various soundtracks were broadcast seperately by dedicated FM Transmitters off the master multi-track tape, each float unit had a dedicated receive frequency for "it's" soundtrack and vocal tracks, and the control board faders switched the fixed parade route speakers to the right track as the float unit went through an area.

    Oh, and as to "trackless" vehicles, they can also follow a wire antenna buried in the floor with a set of pickup coils. Or an optical sensor following a painted line, or... Lots of ways to accomplish the same thing.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    Oh i know about those sensors in the street, they are in-operational and not used anymore, thats why i didnt mention them. THe floats auto sync themselves when they pass the sensors on the gates, because the float drivers turn on the audio themselves before going out and turn it off after they step off. Thats what the sensors at the gates do, its syncs the audio thats already turned on ob-board the unit.

  12. #12

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Sparky is sort of right and sort of wrong. It's true that the electrical box covers with a sensor line cut through the pavement are no longer used. Instead, for all of the Disneyland Resort Parades, each float has an ID tag, and there are sensors at the start and end gates. So to keep track of where the floats are between the start and end gates, each float has an extra caster that acts as the "wheel counter". Based on the number of rotations on the wheel from when the float goes out the gate, the distance traveled on the parade route is calculated and matched up to zones on the parade route. But no, the sensors on the gates do not sync up the float audio. The sensors only establish a starting point from which to calculate the distance traveled by a float on the parade route, and thus determine which audio track should be playing from a given speaker on route. Floats are synced up way before they go out the gate. Syncing up the float audio is discussed below.

    As for audio, to keep it in sync, they basically use SMPTE time code. The diagrams shown above are a partial diagram of how it works, but do not show the entire system. Each float has a clock that stays in sync with the computers in Audio Central via SMPTE (broadcast over radiowaves). You also have data communication between the floats and Audio Central (think a modem) that tell each float what music should be playing and when. By keeping the audio stored on the float, you can have higher quality audio and fewer dropouts. If you broadcast audio via wide-FM, you lose in sound quality and are subject to dropouts and interference. Any temporary drop in the signal of broadcast audio, and it reflects immediately in what's playing from the float. But keep the audio stored digitally on the float and it can keep playing even during somewhat long periods of no communication with the Audio Central computer.

    Long ago when the Electrical Parade was in Disneyland, they did use wide-FM to broadcast audio to the floats. But since it came to DCA, they've been using the SMPTE time code based audio systems for EP. So for the last few years, Block Party, Parade of Dreams, A Christmas Fantasy, and Electrical Parade have all used the same type of audio systems. (Minor note--a few of the Alice Unit Bug floats in EP have just simple sound effects loops that do not need to be synced up.)

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    this is more of a question about the track. does anyone know the details on the storybook track? my mom and i were trying to figure out how they are attached why they dip so low when you get on and when you 1....2....3....up??? just a random interest while waiting in line.

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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    See and here I would think it would be easier to use GPS to deliver exact coordinates and deliver sound per location. Not Sat GPS, simply localized antennae GPS which is able to refresh much faster providing almost real-time tracking. Provided you can account for the few second delay you should be good.
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    Re: Types of trackless ride systems

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    See and here I would think it would be easier to use GPS to deliver exact coordinates and deliver sound per location. Not Sat GPS, simply localized antennae GPS which is able to refresh much faster providing almost real-time tracking. Provided you can account for the few second delay you should be good.
    Remember DOSH. Disney enjoys keeping all of its parks up with DOSH (California) codeing as well as have first rate safety systems in rides. In the event of a power outage a LPS (Local Positioning System... the one you're referring to) would fail in the event of a power outage posing a safety issue. Disney has tried to use an LPS system in the past, and has turned it's head the other way due to the safety hazzard. Although... I believe that they do have an LPS system somewhere out in the pacific (?)

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