Some past Disney attractions sucked, pressure is on for new Star Wars stuff

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

As Disneyland engineers tinker on top-secret designs for the park's new Star Wars Land, a mothballed attraction at nearby Disney California Adventure provides a stark reminder that even the most creative ride ideas can land with a thud, costing park operators lots of money and frustrating visitors. Luigi's Flying Tires was an ambitious effort that lofted visitors in tire-shaped bumper cars floating on a cushion of air — like an air-hockey game with humans. But the Cars Land feature was plagued by poor reviews and numerous injuries.

Read more from The LA Times.

I might be the only person on the planet who didn't have any trouble driving the tires at all; I thought it was fun, but not really worth the waits it usually generated. But, there is no way on God's green earth that that attraction cost $400M. The entire DCA expansion/makeover was $1.1B.

Yeah I was about to say...$400 million for that is worst than the Department of Defenses procurement of hammers. There is no way that is what that cost.

The figure I heard for Luigi's Flying Tires is around $100 millions. The reason I believe why it cost so much is that Disney waited too long to rebuild the ride, since sadly both Karl Bacon and Ed Morgan (founders of Arrow Development) passed away. Given the new technology in the 1990's, they told Disney not to wait to rebuild the Flying Saucers since they won't be around forever to do it. Now, both were not around when John Lassiter made it his vanity project and Walt Disney Imagineering struggled to design a barely functional attraction with abysmal capacity.

Another bad Disneyland failure were the Rocket Rods. It opened in 1998 and closed for "refurb" in 2000. What was the Rocket Rods? Picture 5 seaters cars going around the old Peoplemover track in Tomorrowland who reached speeds of 35 mph. Sadly, the budget (per Disney measure) was cut so bad the old Peoplemover paths was recycled with its flat turns, forcing the cars to accelerate to 35 mph... then brake to a 5-7 mph speed so they could go around the turns at the speeds they were designed for.

matt.'s avatar

The saddest part of Rocket Rods isn't the ride's failure, per se, it's that its skeleton is still hanging all over Tomorrowland like some sad reminder that something fun (the PeopleMover) used to be there. Sigh.

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