According to our friends over at The Orlando Business Journal, Disney has filed a patent for a new type of ride system. The new system will have riders hang below a track, while swinging on a pendulum. According to the patent, the new system will have riders swinging on pendulum, on an arm 3-30 feet long, while going through different show scenes along a powered coaster track.
A track-based swing ride system providing passengers a unique swinging ride experience. The ride system includes a ride track that supports a moving bogie coupled to the ride track that includes a drive assembly driving the bogie along a ride path defined by the ride track. The ride apparatus includes a pendulum arm pivotally coupled at a first end to the bogie, whereby the pendulum arm is suspended below the ride track and moves along the ride path with the bogie. The ride apparatus includes a passenger vehicle coupled to a second end of the pendulum arm opposite the first end of the pendulum arm. To provide the swinging sensation, the ride apparatus includes a roll driver rotating, concurrently with the drive assembly of the bogie, the pendulum arm about a roll axis extending through the first end of the pendulum arm.
The patent also describes the ride as having a swinging motion, “similar to swinging on vines with Tarzan or swinging on webs with Spider-man”.
So, let’s break it down a little more here. We know that Disneyland is getting a Marvel section, which already includes Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. That section is also said to include a new Avengers launch coaster. This very well could be that coaster. Tarzan? Yeah, maybe…but that property isn’t really the hot ticket it was 20 years ago. Spider-man and the Avengers are about to be very big in the next year, with Avengers 3 and 4 hitting theaters, and with Spider-Man Homecoming being a huge hit.
The patent also shows the ride layout and ride swing path:
What kind of ride will this be? Very clearly a coaster. But what kind? Judging on the illustrations alone, and other speculation from other sites, this coaster looks to be a mix up between an inverted coaster and a pendulum flat ride. Think of it as a mix between Dueling Dragons (with the train below the track) and Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. You will ride with your feet dangling, and the ground below you, but will take the corners with a huge swing or tilt like Seven Dwarfs.
So, where does Guardians fit in? Earlier this week, it was revealed at the Epcot 35th anniversary event that the Guardians of the Galaxy ride that is replacing Energy Encounter will be a new coaster. The coaster will have an all new ride system that has never been seen before. That’s huge news! It’s the first coaster at Epcot, and will effectively have a coaster at every single Disney park on the planet. Epcot is the only one that currently does not have a coaster. Additionally, rumors say that the coaster will launch riders off into a huge show building, where they will encounter a wild ride with the Guardians. Well, if that doesn’t sound like our new system, I don’t know what does.
It also makes for a great mix up between the attractions in the different parks. At Disneyland in California, you’ll be able to swing along with Spider-Man and the Avengers. In Florida at Walt Disney World, you’ll be able to go on a wild space ride at Epcot with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Keep in mind that this is pretty much speculation at this point, but new attractions were announced for Epcot and Disneyland at this year’s D23 Expo.
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