While the galaxy is anxiously awaiting the new Star Wars Land, Disney Imagineers are still making additions to the ever-popular Cars Land. Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters opens on March 7, exactly where Luigi’s Flying Tires used to be. While this ride wouldn’t be construed as E-Ticket by many, it is certainly unique; it is the first – and so far, only – trackless ride in the Unites States.
Some of Disney’s newer properties have rides that operate trackless already – such as Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disney and Ratatouille at Disneyland Paris. On a trackless ride, the passenger vehicle is free from rails or guides and instead is controlled by a computer system. With this technology, rides have the potential to be smoother and certainly less predictable to the rider who has become used to watching the rails to see what’s coming up next.
Disney specializes in story. So, of course, Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters has a story behind it.
The mostly-forgettable character, Luigi, from the Cars franchise has invited his cousins from Italy to a big dance celebration in Southern California.
What you will see is 20 different 1959 Fiat 500s, each with a unique face and personality, moving around the dance floor, not unlike, say, the Mad Tea Party ride. Their personality comes through the way they dance. That’s right, during each ride, every single car follows a different path; this is a great display of the strength of the trackless ride system. In fact, for such a seemingly simple ride, the complexity of ride experiences are extremely unpredictable.
There are 18 different dances that you might experience on the ride, and 20 different experiences within that dance. You might find yourself in a car that shows-off in the middle of the dance circle, or one that zooms around looking for its place at odd times. You’ll never know which one you’ll get because the algorithms move around between cars, halting your ability to try out all the possible combinations by requesting certain cars. This is a move that should help the people loading the cars, especially when dealing with annual pass holders who want to rack up the different experiences quickly.
Cars Land has only been open for a few years, and yet they are already finding themselves changing out one of the three major attractions there. Luigi’s Flying Tires was a ride that seemed by many to be destined to flop. It was basically a remake of the old UFO ride at Disneyland Park, which few people today have ever ridden. The ride had jets of air shoot up through the ground, making ride vehicles billow out on cushions of air and float around, bumping into each other. The problem was that the ride wasn’t very controllable, exciting, or enjoyable.
If Disneyland’s history from the 90s through the early years of California Adventure has shown us anything, it’s that Disney Imagineers are more likely to make missteps when they are working on many rides at once. Many of the rides that opened with California Adventure have been removed or replaced in its short lifespan. Cars Land opened with the most astounding scenery ever seen at a Disney park, but only three rides, one of which has become a “must ride” for visitors. The Flying Tires was never a great way to spend your time waiting for your Fastpass to the vastly superior Radiator Springs Racers.
While Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters sounds like a major improvement by every measure, some park guests (and park workers) will likely be annoyed by the endless repetition of, what Disney calls, “delightful Italian songs.” From the sounds of the video that Disney released, these delightful songs sound more like musical caricatures sung by a voice actor with a pretty bad likeness of an Italian accent. A similar problem haunts another Cars Land ride, Matter’s Junkyard Jamboree, where park guests are subjected to wretched “square dance” songs sung by either Larry the Cable Guy or someone who was paid to sound like the likely nominee for Most Irritating Sounding Person Alive.
Despite this possible issue, the ride sounds groundbreaking by most measures. The early reviews in the press and the video that Disney released this week show us that there is a lot to be excited about. As the Disneyland Resort continues to grow, it continues to refurbish and refresh, illustrating one of the strengths of the entertainment giant: not only does it innovate with new areas and properties, it also fixes what it already has going for it.
Are you excited for this new ride? Let us know in the comments!
Source: Disney Parks Blog