A new patent application that was discovered this week has sparked a good bit of buzz in the Disney fan community. The patent is for a unique styled gondola type vehicle supported by cables and winches that can move thru a specified space via a track. Some have described it as a giant version of the suspended, robotic camera system used at most major football games seen on TV nowadays. In the application there were a couple of different variations of a concept vehicle and attraction. The first, would appear to be a transportation type vehicle/attraction almost like a newer version of the old Skyway attraction.
The second variation would appear to use the same suspended gondola car, but is on a circular track and remains stationary. Of the two, this one got my wheels turning on feasible ways it might be used in the parks. Take a look at the drawings and description.
FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate another embodiment of a cable-suspended vehicle ride system similar to that shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 but using one track combined with three carriers each providing a winch to support and position a passenger vehicle (e.g. to alter cable lengths while the carriers are selectively moved about a path defined by the track to provide a wide range of vehicle positions (or work spaces)).
When I saw this and read the description, it triggered almost immediately something I saw sometime back at jimhillmedia.com. Jim wrote an article about Unrealized Epcot rides, in which he discussed several attractions that were at one time on the drawing board, but never made it to reality. One such of these attractions was a new concept using the Circlevison technology in use at the China and Canada pavilions. Here’s the description, with pictures following:
|Once these Epcot visitors got inside, they would have been treated to a unique variation of Disney’s CircleVision 360 show. These WDW guests would have found themselves standing on board a vibrating recreation of the passenger compartment of a Japanese bullet train. And — by looking out through the over-sized faux windows in this passenger car — these folks would then have been treated to a high speed travelogue. As some of Japan’s most beautiful scenery continually whizzed by all of the windows.|
Just thinking out loud here, but if the open spaces on this are encircled with walls, then they could project moving images on there from almost anywhere, including Japan as if riding the bullet train attraction here, or as some have speculated they could re-create different scenes from Avatar as if moving through space on a ship or flying in a “skybus” over the surface and thru the mountains of Pandora, or anywhere else. Since this is just a patent application, anything is possible here, and what exactly (if anything) Disney will ultimately do with it, remains to be unknown, at least for now.
Note: It has been brought to my attention that this patent application was filed June 8, 2010.