Disney Patents New “Drop Swing Propulsion” Roller Coaster & Water Ride Experience

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A new patent filed by Disney describes a new “Drop Swing Propulsion” ride experience designed for roller coasters and water rides to create a new drop sensation. The patent outlines the need for a new ride experience for roller coasters and water rides – two types of attractions that Disney calls predictable and in need of innovation. In the patent, Disney creates a new experience that uses a swing drop to create propulsion for ride vehicles such as those found in roller coasters and water rides.

In this first image, we can see the swing motion in action, with a ride vehicle dropping from the upper “load-in track” to the “exit track” via the “linkage track”. Disney describes the motion as a “combined drop and swing motion” that eventually propels the ride vehicle forward at the lower elevation from “energy generated by the drop and swing of the linkage track section”.

Disney goes on to describe an implementation where a water ride is able to use the same drop swing propulsion experience to create a change in elevation.

While a drop track experience exists already in attractions like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, a “simple” drop still requires propulsion from a linear induction motor. This patent from Disney still accomplishes a change in elevation but utilizes physics to create forward motion via the drop and swing mechanism.

Another recently filed patent shows how Disney is focused on trying to create new experiences within the water ride attraction category. In the permit below, we can see a stationary water ride where Disney creates a boat motion simulator – perhaps for an implementation for a Moana-themed attraction.

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