Dan Heaton

Published: November 7, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Oh man. I would love to ride any of these, and they're all so unique! I don't get why WDW or the DLR doesn't get something similar! Do they think people don't care? It's so weird to see new technologies going everywhere but the U.S. parks. Great overview!

Published: November 7, 2013 at 2:07 PM

If Imagination! gets reimagined at Epcot I hope they do it with trackless ride technology! I believe this could add a fun element to the ride and make interacting with Figment a lot more exciting!
James Trexen

Published: November 7, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Trackless rides are the way to go for the future, which is why I hope I have the support of my fellow TPI members when I propose we bring the worlds four trackless rides to the final four in the 2014 Best Ride tournament.

Published: November 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Thanks Bryan for writing such a great article. Do you know how trackless rides are powered? Are they similar to bumper carts or do they use batteries for each vehicle?

Published: November 7, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Winnie and aquatopia are 2 of my favorite attractions anywhere. I suppose a dry aquatopia would be rather boring. The entire thrill of the ride is that you don't know where you'll go or when you'll get sprayed by the hidden water jets. I went in July, got soaked and had a blast.
Robert Niles

Published: November 8, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Aquatopia and the one US installation of a trackless ride system (SeaWorld Orlando's Antarctica) illustrate the importance of marrying a great show with a state-of-the-art ride system in order to create a powerful attraction. Pooh and Mystic Manor take you to wonderful places and let you spend time with engaging characters. Aquatopia gets you wet (sometimes) and Antarctica spins you around inside a lava lamp. Both are okay, but not nearly as powerful as Pooh and Mystic.

In those cases, the trackless ride system allows designers to amplify the power of great encounters. But with Aquatopia and Antarctica, the ride systems are multiplying much smaller values, so you're left with lesser results.

Eric G

Published: November 8, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Dan Heaton - You need to remember that Disney doesn't foot the bill for the rides that are built at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Someone else is paying the price.

James Trexen - You've got one problem. None of the trackless rides are "World's Best" caliber. Sorry, man...

It's a good article, but trackless rides are over-hyped. There is so much more than makes a great ride than a trackless ride system.

While trackless technology opens up possibilities, there is yet to be a single ride of its kind that is arguably a "World's Best Ride". Maybe that will come in the future, but I'm doubtful that the trackless technology will be the single biggest reason that it earns that distinction.

James Trexen

Published: November 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Eric, I'm not voting for these rides because I think they're the world's best. I'm voting for them as a message to companies to use them more. Companies look at online ratings and tournaments and if they see a certain type of ride get love, then expect to see more of them in the parks.
Bryan Wawzenek

Published: November 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM

@68.199... - The vehicles in all of Disney's trackless rides run on batteries, because there's nothing physically connecting them to any part of the attraction (as opposed to a bumper car that completes an electric circuit with a pole that touches the ceiling).

@James and Eric - I think "world's best" is in the eye of the beholder. Mystic Manor is unlike any attraction on the planet (certainly that I've ever been on). It's surprising, funny and and a joy to ride again and again. Is it among the world's best? It depends who responds to the question.

To build on Robert's comments - at the end of the day, the trackless systems are a delivery method that works in tandem with the environment that surrounds the vehicles. It plays a role. So, the trackless ride system is not the main reason to ride Mystic Manor. But, the ride wouldn't be as interesting and engaging without it.

Anthony J

Published: November 10, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Great article. Pooh's Hunny Hunt is a great attraction! Mystic Manor looks like it really is too. These may or may not be the best rides ever (that's entirely up to your own opinion), but they are new ways to envelop riders in a story that has been completely underutilized in the U.S., save for a lackluster installation of the tech over at Antarctica in SWO.