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Heard about “trackless” rides?
Beginning in 2000, Disney began deploying rides, both indoor dark rides and outdoor, free-motion rides, which, instead of rooting riders on a traditional fixed track, employ sensors on the ground and an array of local positioning systems. WiFi, GPS, even, reportedly, barcodes are among the technologies being used to give ride vehicles a freer range of motion.
One of the chief pleasures of this technology has been the roll-out of vehicles that move in unanticipated ways, spinning and bucking in synchronization with narratives: as one ride developer of my acquaintance puts it, this “articulates” the ride, making riders feel more like participants rather than passive onlookers.
Another virtue is that multiple rides on the same attraction aren’t repetitious. Carriages propel riders to different locations in a room, creating a range of experiences so that repeat trips are different experiences.
I have been fortunate to visit each of Disney’s five far flung parks with a trackless ride. In order of best to least-best, here’s a brief, trackless ride around Disney’s 21st century world.
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Mystic Manor. Hong Kong Disneyland
This 2013 stunner is not solely a showcase of trackless technology, but, more significantly, uses it to amplify one of Disney’s most satisfying non-movie themed rides. Mystic Manor’s storyline is set in motion by a mischievous, child-like monkey named Albert who fiddles with a forbidden magical music box, causing Disney-esque mishaps to ensue. Being freed from a track, riders in carriages are immersed in differing degrees of the mayhem Albert has caused as they travel through rooms and down separate hallways …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle