Dark ride on a Disney cruise ship?

November 21, 2017, 9:15 AM

I have no idea why this popped in my head but it certainly got me thinking. Granted I know space is limited on a cruise ship, but do you ever see the possibility of a dark ride premiering on one of Disney's cruise ships?

Replies (17)

November 21, 2017, 11:56 AM

With Pandora, Disney already has a working relationship with James Cameron. Maybe one of his other movies could be adapted?

November 21, 2017, 12:46 PM

^But I thought Universal had the theme park rights to Terminator


November 21, 2017, 2:00 PM

I think Tim is referring to a Cameron movie more fitting for a cruise ship.

Edited: November 21, 2017, 4:37 PM

On the crazy theme-park-ship idea apparently water based dark rides were a safety issue, so its version of Its A Small World would have been an omnimover.

November 22, 2017, 7:59 AM

^^Added the sarcasm tag.

November 22, 2017, 10:14 AM

I never imagined a water based ride of any kind but it just seems like something Disney would do for the sake of saying they did it. If they can do full stage productions on a ship, why not an omnimover style dark ride? Something original for the genre.

November 22, 2017, 11:06 AM

I think the best Disney could do would be a simulator ride in vein of Star Tours. Large scale dark rides take up too much space on cruise-liners. Such space could be better used for more rooms or upcharge entertainment options. It would be very cool to see a great dark ride in a cruise ship, but is probably not likely to ever happen. A dark ride in a theme park works due to the open and free-roaming nature of a theme park. This is something which doesn't exist on a cruise ship. Everyone is confined to the same space everyday, so most guests would ride the dark ride once and never return.

November 22, 2017, 2:01 PM

To bounce off Blake's comment, the best solution for a dark ride on a cruise ship, if a ship big enough for one were to ever exist, would have to either be interactive or have some other element of random selection, a la Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

As for motion simulator rides on cruise ships, Carnival and MSC have motion theaters on some of their ships, so I don't see why Disney shouldn't put a simulator ride on one of its future ships (even if it is a clone of any of their existing simulators).

November 26, 2017, 6:57 PM

I think space is limited, especially on a Disney ship.

November 26, 2017, 8:29 PM

If you look at the water slides they have on board, a roller coaster would not be unreasonable. As for a dark side, I agree that a simulation ride would be the best bang for your buck space-wise

November 26, 2017, 9:33 PM

Like others have said, a simulator attraction would be the best fit for a cruise ship. Space requirements are much less with that type of attraction, and with the ability to switch ride films easily it could provide repeat entertainment. If a full dark ride were installed, it would likely be very small (no bigger than Disneyland's Fantasyland dark rides) and based on interactivity rather than storytelling.

And no, there is absolutely no way you'll ever see a legitimate roller coaster on a cruise ship. There is a huge difference between a 200 pound rider in a fiberglass tube and a multi-ton train on steel tracks.

November 27, 2017, 2:53 AM

AJ, good point about the weight, does make it pretty unlikely (although as the size of cruise ships increases so rapidly, who knows what is possible in the future).

What is maybe more likely is Castaway Cay being developed more. This is Disney's private island in the Bahamas that their cruise ships dock at. I don't know how many days of the year it is visited, but as their cruise line expands an exclusive ride there would be a way of ensuring busy ships.

November 27, 2017, 11:00 PM

Perhaps a big roller coaster is out of question, but a family coaster, with 4 people cars instead of trains, could be a possibility. There are many of then in shopping malls, and you could use advance materials to make it less heavy.

November 28, 2017, 1:09 AM

While weight is certainly a factor, it actually has less to do with the weight and more to do with the dynamics of the ride, particularly lateral forces. As an example, let's assume we have a turn of radius 50 ft and we're going around it at 20 ft/s (about 13 mph). If a 200 lb rider on a waterslide goes around that turn, the centripetal force is going to be about 1600 lb. By comparison, a wild mouse car (which weighs about a ton with four riders) is going to have a centripetal force of 16000 lb...ten times as much. Because centripetal force is proportional to velocity squared, if the speed is doubled the force will quadruple. If the turning radius is halved, the force will also double as the two are inversely related.

For an example of why this is a problem, try swinging a 2 lb weight around, and then try swinging a 20 lb weight around. You'll notice that it takes a lot more effort to control the 20 lb weight. Now, think about that force being applied on the top of a cruise ship. Not only could it be problematic if the ride isn't securely anchored, it would also be sufficient to rock the ship. At minimum, this will cause problems on the ship. Theoretically, if the application frequency was just right, it could result in the ship capsizing.

The only way you'd ever see a full size roller coaster on a cruise ship is if it is a shuttle coaster that is centered on the ship. This could be possible if the height and weight aren't an issue. Otherwise, I could maybe see something like a smaller version of an alpine coaster, but never an actual roller coaster like you'd see in a typical theme park. It's still highly unlikely, particularly as waterslides are much cheaper, but theoretically possible.

November 28, 2017, 7:06 AM

Thanks for the mathematical insight AJ. Just wondering, as a fan of the "SS Disney" idea... do you think this would also preclude a roller coaster on a supertanker that only operated its rides in port? Would the potential for rocking make it unfeasable/dangerous, or would the stationary position mean its not much of an issue?

November 29, 2017, 12:01 AM

Chad, I could see it working on a ship in port, particularly if the ship used some type of anchoring device to rigidly attach itself to the dock and/or seafloor. It's also worth noting that the SS Disney has a small roller coaster in the design, but it is buried deep within the ship. Rotational forces are much less if the ride is located closer to the axis of rotation, so excessive rocking would be less of a problem with this setup. I still don't know about operation out at sea, but in port with a proper anchor would be fine.

On a typical cruise ship, it would be impractical to put any type of significantly sized roller coaster on a lower deck. A stock wild mouse, for example, occupies about 500,000 cubic feet, which is probably 5-10% of the total interior space of an average size cruise ship.

November 29, 2017, 7:14 AM

This is as close as it's ever going to get! :D


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