Disney has filed a patent for a system that would allow ride vehicles on gravity-based attractions to change their position during the course of the track.
The system would allow fast moving roller-coaster vehicles to face left or right during the ride. This technology is rarely found on fast moving rides due to charging issues, making the development a new innovation.
The patent application is titled “Roller Coaster with Passenger Compartment Motion Powered Through Stored Onboard Energy.”
The patent explains that the technology can be integrated into existing rides: “a ride can be updated and modified by providing new show or visual features along the track that are visible not only as the vehicles travel in the DOT [direction of travel] but also on one or both sides of the track.”
Disney’s proposal uses a bus bar charging system with a track-based capacitor plate to charge during loading and unloading periods. By spacing out charging stations and using as many as possible, the ride vehicle will have power to swivel on its axis throughout the ride.
In summer, Disney filed a patent for “moving floor” technologies to enhance VR experiences. The patented solution will create the sensation of walking infinitely in a finite area.
Disney was granted 195 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2016, placing the company 176th overall in terms of patent grants earned that year.
Some patented advances eventually show up in the parks. Others hint at future attractions on the drawing board. Most never see the light of day.
Images courtesy United States Patent and Trademark Office