Disney Patents Next Generation of Water Flume Ride; Showcases Moana-Style Implementation

    Disney has filed a patent for a next-generation water flume ride system. More specifically, Disney describes a 2-dimensional guiding system that will allow a water-propelled boat to change points of view beyond the current forward-locked view that water flume rides currently present.

    Rides like the newly rethemed Tiana’s Bayou Adventure allow for a single view, locked on the direction of travel. This means that ride designers have a limited number of areas where they can place show scenes and a limit as to how dynamic the show scenes can be. Scenes to the right and left of the boat are limited in the sense that they are not often presented directly in front of guests and require guests to turn to see the scene as they pass by.

    To that end, Disney has patented a ride system that keeps many of the traditional water flume elements such as water-propelled movement, but combines it with a new 2-dimensional guiding system.

    First, here’s a look at a traditional approach to water flume rides, where a central guide wheel travels down the middle of the flume with guide posts below. This system is not the one used for rides like Tiana’s Bayou Adventure due to the nature of the large drop, but it is similar to other water rides.

    In Disney’s patent, they look to upgrade to a square guiding bogie at the bottom of the raft. The bogie can then be used to turn the boat using unique, underwater elements that turn the bogie, thus changing the perspective of the raft. As you can see, Disney is using a single-hull outrigger canoe that is very similar to the one that Moana utilizes in the first movie.

    As seen from above, an underwater guide element would sit below the raft, and then change the direction that the raft is pointed without changing the direction of travel of the traditional, water-propelled flume-style ride system.

    This next-generation flume ride system would allow for tighter turns, more thrilling effects, and a more controlled point of view for sets and scenes on either side of the direction of travel. In the patent, Disney says that they are able to change the orientation of the vehicle while still maintaining a traditional water-propelled ride system. This is essentially a low-tech, flume-style version of the controlled-spin “StoryCoaster” that Disney has implemented for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

    As to where we might see this implemented, there are rumors of a Moana water ride coming to Magic Kingdom, or a Lion King water ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Walt Disney World has not announced anything for Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom (yet) to suggest that these rumors will come to fruition. That said, Disney is looking to invest heavily in its existing theme parks over the next ten years to the tune of $17 billion at Walt Disney World alone.

    In a since-changed replacement concept for DinoLand USA, a Moana-themed boat ride was showcased. The ride system appeared to be designed to be a Tiana’s Bayou Adventure-style log vehicle, but that was always subject to change.

    Interestingly, this is not the first time that Disney has gone to Moana for water ride patents. Back in November 2022, we covered a motion simulator ride system that would create a Star Tours-style ride base, but in a large dome that would fully immerse guests.

    Disney Patents Boat Motion Simulator Ride System, Sailing With Moana in Immersive Projection Dome Used as Example
    Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond

    Looking for more cool water ride patents? Check out Disney’s patented “Capturepult” system below that could allow for a much better water flume ride experience.

    Disney Patents “Capturepult” Mechanism for Water Rides
    Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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