There is always going to be that ride or attraction at Walt Disney World that some guests won’t ever be able to ride because they’re too frightened or scared, but that may be all about to change. Mission: Space could be too wild. Avatar: Flight of Passage may be a bit too intense. Star Tours may be a bit too rough. Well, Disney is currently researching technology that may be able to adjust the intensity of a ride depending on just how frightened the guest is while riding.
One of the newest attractions at WDW is Flight of Passage in Pandora, and a number of guests have said it is a bit too much. They look at the ride as an intensified version of Soarin’ which has kept a number of people from being able to ride as they simply feel they won’t be able to handle it.
Mission: Space is one of the only Disney attractions which actually has one side that is tamer than the other, but more are necessary. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Disney Enterprises is looking into technology which will measure the distress and fear of a guest while riding an attraction and change it as needed.
Disney is seeking new patents for ride technology that will be able to choose a path or route for your ride vehicle whether you’re doing just fine or whether you’re frightened. Terry Sanks is a registered patent attorney in Orlando who reviewed the patent for Disney which was approved back in October.
“They’ve filed something now that is broader. Disney isn’t limited just to theme parks. They could be wanting to use it in other venues, like cruise ships.”
The patent applications will use technology to measure heart rate and could be used to monitor facial expressions, stress in the voices of guests, skin temperature, eye movement, and physical gestures. If a guest is overly frightened, they’ll be led down a tamer path while guests who are bored may be given more excitement.
As of now, Disney hasn’t said anything regarding these patents, and likely won’t say a word until they are ready. No-one knows if the patents will be used primarily in theme parks or in the resorts or even on the fleet of ships in the Disney Cruise Line, but anything is possible.
With Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and the new Star Wars-themed resort hotel coming in the future, this technology may prove to be extremely valuable.
It’s hard to compare the technology to anything as there aren’t many things like it. Disney patent applications detail how the heart rate of a guest could be used to give them a different experience depending on how they’re feeling while on an attraction.
“If the heart rate measurements from [a] sensor indicate that guest is frightened, control system will route car to less-frightening ride segment. In contrast, if the heart rate measurements indicate that guest is bored, control system will route car to more-frightening ride segment.”
This could work out in great favor for those who have been too fearful to ride certain attractions, but the possibility of backfire is also there. If a guest blinks at the wrong time or happens to yawn, they may be led down the tamer path rather than the more exciting one.
For now, it is very early on in this whole process as the patents were only just recently approved and there is much more research that needs to go into it all. This kind of tech could really help those who may be too frightened or scared to experience certain attractions. Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and resort hotels may end up gauging the fear and emotions of a guest to give them a better experience, but that is for the future to determine.