Disney formally announces expansion for Soarin' and Toy Story Midway Mania

Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 9:13 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Good news for fans of Disney's Toy Story Mania & Soarin' attractions: the wait should drop by late next year. Disney confirmed that the two rides with the longest lines at Hollywood Studios & Epcot are expanding by a third.

Read more and see photos from WKMG/Orlando.

Monday, March 9, 2015 9:39 PM

Well, I did clearly say that it was minutiae. :)

I think RCMAC nailed it up above, especially for Soarin'. They had to have been using operational data from California, for an attraction that was several years old in an (at the time) underperforming park.

Either they totally screwed up and didn't account for normal Epcot trends (afternoon park hopping as people leave the other parks for Illuminations), or they willfully built it under capacity.

As for "cheap"

This is the earliest thread I could find re: Soarin' at Epcot.

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/disney-announces-three-new-attr...or-orlando

(but I'm sure it's not the earliest, and/or definitive, just my inability to use the Search function). Some long standing members (Wahoo, and Rob Ascough) seemed to think it was a cheap move.

+0
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 2:45 AM

Jeff,

The real capacity per hour for Soarin' at WDW is more like 1100 people per hour. I was utterly shocked since I was expecting over 1200 guests an hour, but it was originally higher. They had to lower their theorical capacity due to the WDW crews just not being as efficient as they used to be. Figure 87 guests per show when its filled up, a nearly 5 minutes long film. The time to get the aerial frames up and down, the load and you're looking at that.

Adding a third theater was the original plan and I am happy they are finally doing it. I also expect them to start closing the original theaters after so they can change (I can't call it an upgrade!) the screens and projectors like they are doing now in California. They are moving away from a 48 frame per second IMAX HD system (with a a resolution estimated at over 12K! in digital terms!) to a digital projection with 4K projectors. Why downgrade? Because IMAX projectors and the film rolls are just so fragile. Going to a digital system will keep things simpler and prevent the recurrent dust on the film issue.

The opposite of Soarin' happened at Expedition Everest. After they went from running a maximum of 4 trains to 5, the ride crew is now so efficient that Disney officially raised the maximum capacity of the ride. They can now get over 2050 guests per hour on.

On the subject of "Cheap" rides like Primeval Whirl, the rides Reverchon delivered was so not ready to withstand Disney year round operation that they had to drop an extra million dollar on the ride to change all the track ties and bolts on the coasters. Disney also had issues with the Maurer-Sohne spinning coaster in Paris wearing out too fast and has had to do a lot of work to improve the ride.


+0
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 10:04 AM
Jeff's avatar

You're wrong. I've clocked the load times. I'm not saying they hit the interval every time, but I've seen it happen. I suspect at lowest they do 1,600.

IMAX film is a nice format, sure, but when you have to run it dozens of times per day, and you see 40-foot pieces of fuzz on the screen, that's not optimal.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:11 AM

Jeff said:

In practical terms, that's already going on at Space Mountain. I've never hung out at the "merge" point for Soarin', but if it's not the case, I think it's pretty close.

Space can mix when the FP+ flow isn't quite right, though the post-merge queue is long enough that they usually don't have to. Soarin' seems to have more than half of its capacity devoted to FP+, because the merge point consistently seems to use both sides for FP+ flow. That will probably continue at Soarin', because the third theater is going to be "straight ahead."

I don't know how/whether they can do the same with the new TSMM track. The experiments with FP+-only traffic sounded like they did not go well, so I suspect they'll have to come up with some way to provide FP/standby mixing, at least at the coarse grain.


+0
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:40 AM
Jeff's avatar

I'm not convinced that they're adding "1 track" for Toy Story, as I don't think everyone even makes the distinction that there are two now. But if you mirror image the other pair next door, you could simply route the south perimeter of the queue space to go to the new sets.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+1Loading
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 1:34 PM

Jeff said:

You're wrong. I've clocked the load times. I'm not saying they hit the interval every time, but I've seen it happen. I suspect at lowest they do 1,600.

IMAX film is a nice format, sure, but when you have to run it dozens of times per day, and you see 40-foot pieces of fuzz on the screen, that's not optimal.

I though like you until I asked someone who worked on the attraction and 1100 guests an hour is what I was told. The California version has more capacity for one simple reason: they have a single riders line that fills up every flight versus the Florida version that did away with the single riders after less than a month.

The dust and wear issue with the "fuzz" on the screen is the real reason why they are swapping the format. Plus, I suspect the new movie was shot in a digital format. In order to swap the movies once it premieres in Shanghai, they need to change everything to digital.

Rick Rothshild, who originally shot the Soarin' Over California movie is now freelancing and he shot a movie for the "Flyover Canada" attraction in Vancouver in 2013. Ride wise, it is a Vekoma/Brogent I Ride theater and the 8 minutes movie was a lot easier to film than Soarin'. Soarin' IMAX camera could only shoot 90 seconds of footage at a time before having change the cannister. With the digital camera used for Flyover Canada, they could shoot 11 minutes before having to swap the digital magazine. Pretty convenient when the shoot use a helicopter! IMAX is a beautiful format, but it is so difficult to shoot with and then maintain the equipment, digital has replaced it in the theme park world.


+0
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 4:46 PM
rollergator's avatar

Could they add another rail to the current configuration, logistically? Seems like it would involve a "taer down" of the existing ride - can you imagine DHS with one non-operational TSMM during construction?

I'm envisioning a new TSMM track replicating what they currently have.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

+0
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 4:52 PM
Jeff's avatar

Like I said, I think you just invert the entire layout in the next room. You take the bridge south instead of north, and off you go.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+3Loading
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 4:55 PM
rollergator's avatar

ainaM yawdiM yrotS yoT?

+3Loading

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2020, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...