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  • Speed at which rides move

    While on a recent trip to the park, we encountered something that was very strange. We went on Mr. Toad (that in itself isn't the strange part. Love the ride). It seemed like the ride was in high gear. The car whipped around the corners and through all the scenes. In fact most of the ride we seemed to be ahead of the dialogue in each area. My question; Is it possible for the cast members to speed up the ride? Or was I just feeling like it was faster than normal? We went on it again later in the day and it felt normal.

  • #2
    Just the dialog out of sync. ?

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    • #3
      We felt the same thing when we were on PP at WDW. We barely had time to see everything!

      We thought maybe they sped them up to speed loading and increase riders/hour when they had to 'social distance' the riders. At least that's our 'conspiracy theory'.
      "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

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      • #4
        I have experienced these speed changes on rides many times over the years. Also I have experienced dark rides running slower as well. I think some has to do with making up for down times and one ex CM friend of mine had said he heard rumors they had quota's but that is third person rumors so though I would not be shocked I do not know if it is true.
        Last edited by Starcade; 09-15-2021, 12:24 PM.
        Disneyland Fan since the 70's

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AhpalovestheDuck View Post
          Just the dialog out of sync. ?
          No. not just the dialog. The car seemed to be moving way faster. Enough to cause us to slide around in the car a bit. I originally chalked it up to it had been a few years since I had been on the ride... but then after we rode it later in the day and it seemed normal I started to wonder

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          • #6
            INTERESTING
            Here ,I thought it was me......... speed change on dark rides...........
            After reading some the post , I can see Disney doing that........to get more people increase riders/hour.
            It would not surprise me, a bite !
            Soaring like an EAGLE !

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            • #7
              It would be pretty easy to vary the speed of nearly any ride that operates on a mostly flat track.

              The cars have electric motors mounted in the frames and get their power from 'crane rails' that are usually in the center of the track. These rails have semi concealed electrical busbars in them and the cars have carbon brushes that are in contact with the busbars thus transmitting power to the motors.

              The car motors can be either AC (Alternating Current, like the outlets and lights in a building) or DC (Direct Current, like the 12 volt system in a car or truck).

              The speed of an AC motor depends mostly on the frequency of AC power fed to it. The standard in the US is 60HZ, this means that the polarity changes 60 times every second. There are devices called VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) that can change the 60HZ into just about any HZ. If the HZ is increased, the motors will run faster, if it is decreased they'll run slower.

              The speed of a DC motor depends mostly on the voltage it's fed and to a lesser degree, the load imposed on it. Since the load is fairly constant, higher voltage = faster, lower = slower.

              Another way to change the speed of the ride is to have the motors run at a constant speed and have a transmission with selectable gear ratios, much like a manual transmission in a car or truck. One issue here is that all ride cars need to be in the same gear so to change speeds the entire ride would need to be stopped then dry-run after changing gears.

              Changing the AC frequency (HZ) or the DC voltage can be done while the ride is running as all cars would respond the same.

              Another issue is that with a free running car, there are sensors that detect when a car has passed. There are timers in the control system that will stop the ride if a car is too early or too late. This is to prevent a collision if one car stops and the others keep moving. The timers would need to be adjusted based on the speed of the cars.

              The ride control can easily handle this and in the case of varying the speed of the motors, it would be automatic but with changing gears, it would need to be entered into the computer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by micromind View Post
                It would be pretty easy to vary the speed of nearly any ride that operates on a mostly flat track.

                The cars have electric motors mounted in the frames and get their power from 'crane rails' that are usually in the center of the track. These rails have semi concealed electrical busbars in them and the cars have carbon brushes that are in contact with the busbars thus transmitting power to the motors.

                The car motors can be either AC (Alternating Current, like the outlets and lights in a building) or DC (Direct Current, like the 12 volt system in a car or truck).

                The speed of an AC motor depends mostly on the frequency of AC power fed to it. The standard in the US is 60HZ, this means that the polarity changes 60 times every second. There are devices called VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) that can change the 60HZ into just about any HZ. If the HZ is increased, the motors will run faster, if it is decreased they'll run slower.

                The speed of a DC motor depends mostly on the voltage it's fed and to a lesser degree, the load imposed on it. Since the load is fairly constant, higher voltage = faster, lower = slower.

                Another way to change the speed of the ride is to have the motors run at a constant speed and have a transmission with selectable gear ratios, much like a manual transmission in a car or truck. One issue here is that all ride cars need to be in the same gear so to change speeds the entire ride would need to be stopped then dry-run after changing gears.

                Changing the AC frequency (HZ) or the DC voltage can be done while the ride is running as all cars would respond the same.

                Another issue is that with a free running car, there are sensors that detect when a car has passed. There are timers in the control system that will stop the ride if a car is too early or too late. This is to prevent a collision if one car stops and the others keep moving. The timers would need to be adjusted based on the speed of the cars.

                The ride control can easily handle this and in the case of varying the speed of the motors, it would be automatic but with changing gears, it would need to be entered into the computer.
                Geeeee
                I knew
                that you the person who would knows-
                GOOD INFORMATION my Friend
                I just know it was mostly on the frequency of AC power fed to it.
                But I don't think ,it's ride operator that have control....but what do I know
                Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                • #9
                  I seem to remember controlling the speed of the subs & Jungle Cruise boats in the 1980s, and I've heard that the Space Mtn. vehicles are affected by the weight of their riders.

                  But I'm really responding to this to ask Disney to speed up the Small World boats so the current 14-minute cruise with its wonderful but repetitive song gives guests even more to see than they can take in during a 10 or 12-minute ride. Guests so inclined could always ride it again to be sure they saw everything. The higher capacity might even console some of those who drove or flew hundreds of miles, paid over $100 for each family member to get in, then couldn't get on Rise of the Resistance with its insufficient capacity. (Disney should open Rise up at 6am every day & keep it open till midnight to please more of their guests.)
                  Last edited by jcruise86; 09-15-2021, 05:38 PM. Reason: typo

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                    I seem to remember controlling the speed of the subs & Jungle Cruise boats in the 1980s, and I've heard that the Space Mtn. vehicles are affected by the weight of their riders.

                    But I'm really responding to this to ask Disney to speed up the Small World boats so the current 14-minute cruise with its wonderful but repetitive song gives guest even more to see than they can take in during a 10 or 12-minute ride. Guests so inclined could always ride it again to be sure they saw everything. The higher capacity might even console some of those who drove or flew hundreds of miles, paid over $100 for each family member to get in, then couldn't get on Rise of the Resistance with its insufficient capacity. (Disney should open Rise up at 6am every day & keep it open till midnight to please more of their guests.)

                    So, maybe they could install a 'white water rapids' mode? That would be interesting!!
                    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                      I seem to remember controlling the speed of the subs & Jungle Cruise boats in the 1980s, and I've heard that the Space Mtn. vehicles are affected by the weight of their riders.

                      But I'm really responding to this to ask Disney to speed up the Small World boats so the current 14-minute cruise with its wonderful but repetitive song gives guest even more to see than they can take in during a 10 or 12-minute ride. Guests so inclined could always ride it again to be sure they saw everything. The higher capacity might even console some of those who drove or flew hundreds of miles, paid over $100 for each family member to get in, then couldn't get on Rise of the Resistance with its insufficient capacity. (Disney should open Rise up at 6am every day & keep it open till midnight to please more of their guests.)
                      Good point made - weight factor of the rider , does have bearing on speed
                      and way how the vehicles run.....I agree
                      Last edited by Eagleman; 09-14-2021, 04:54 PM.
                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                      • #12
                        I heard that the Haunted Mansion got a speed bump to increase riders-per-hour numbers, and that was the reason that some of the Ghost Host narration was removed. The speed increase caused some of the narration to talk over itself.
                        Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                          I've heard that the Space Mtn. vehicles are affected by the weight of their riders.
                          This is 100% true! It's not an insane difference most of the time, but it does vary a couple seconds depending on the weight. You can tell how fast you're going on the turn before the "Big Drop" where it sounds like the music glitches out a little bit. That's because the vehicle has to adjust for the speed at which the train is moving to hit the beat right as the drop happens. Go ahead and listening next time you ride, you might notice it! The slower you go, the more times it has to repeat the same measure of music a couple of times to get the timing right. Same goes for if your car is heavy except it uses less and less measures the heavier you vehicle gets.

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                          • #14
                            Yes...quite a few attractions have variable speeds to adjust for capacity where as others have ride vehicles that can be added or removed.

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                            • #15
                              So that's why they were installing outboard motors on Storybook Land Canal Boats.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Bob Weaver View Post
                                So that's why they were installing outboard motors on Storybook Land Canal Boats.
                                All we now a new trill ride....speed boat in ,Storybook Land Canallol
                                Soaring like an EAGLE !

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