How to fly Luigi's Flying Tires
Written by Robert NilesOf all the new attractions in Disney California Adventure, Luigi's Flying Tires holds the most re-ride appeal for me. Why? Not only is every ride different on Luigi's, it's one of those rare and welcomed attractions where your input makes the difference in your enjoyment of the ride.
Published: June 19, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Luigi's Flying Tires rewards you for paying attention back in your math and physics classes. The tires themselves float on a cushion of air, like a puck on an air hockey table. But it's up to you to make the tires move around the platform. Take a look at this video:
For the TL;DW (too long; didn't watch) crowd: As you lean to one side, you're tilting the tire, changing the angle of the underside of the tire relative to the platform. That changes the angle at which the air coming up from the platform is hitting the underside of the tire, pushing the tire to one side. That is what moves your tire around the platform.
The trouble is, if you lean too far to the side, the edge of your tire will hit the platform and the friction between the tire edge and the platform will bring you to a stop. So you've got to find a balance that gives you a push without scraping an edge and slowing to a halt.
It's easier for beginners to get the feel for the ride if you go alone. But if you're in a group, breaking up is going to reduce the ride's hourly capacity and blow up the line - so at least try to get everyone in your group to work together when you ride. Select a leader who'll make the decisions when to shift direction, and try to steer your tire in a circle for a moment so everyone can get a feel for the ride when you start.
That's Tire Flying 101. Now let's move on to more advanced flying technique!
Remember momentum. If you keep leaning in one direction, your momentum will build, moving you faster across the platform. If you need to change direction, try to do so gradually, so you don't scrub off your speed with a sudden change in direction.
Watch for traffic. The last thing you want to happen is to get boxed in by a bunch of other tires. Look for open spaces on the platform and aim for them.
Use traffic to your advantage. This is the really cool part of the ride. If you remember force vectors, here's your chance to test that in a theme park. Look for tires going in your general direction, and try to glance off them to get a get a momentum boost. If you're really good, you might even be able to get your tire to start spinning when you do. Be careful, though. If you hit the angle wrong, you'll lose your speed.
As crowds settle down in Cars Land this summer, I recommend going to get a Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass first thing when you arrive in the park at opening. Then go make Luigi's your first ride in the morning, as it doesn't have Fastpass and a low hourly capacity will result in some pretty long waits later in the day. Keep riding Luigi's until the line backs up over 15 minutes or so, then move on to Racers, or wherever else you'd like to do in the park. But take a moment to think about the physics before giving Luigi's a try. If you know what you're doing, Luigi's Flying Tires can be one of the more unique and delightful ride experiences you've ever had in a theme park.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Previous article: How to see what you want on Facebook
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive