Friday, August 17, 2012

Luigi's Flying Tires Getting Changes . . . Already!


Luigi’s Flying Tires Getting Changes . . . Already!

Luigi’s Flying Tires is an updated version of an old Disneyland ride called Flying Saucers. You sit in oversized tires and float around on a cushion of air like a giant air hockey puck. From the start this ride has had long lines and has been met with mixed reviews.
Luigi’s Flying Tires is getting changes just two months after opening. There are several reasons for the changes. These changes were confirmed by a report of the Orange County Resister Newspaper.

Change one:
The Beachballs have been removed. There are two reasons for the Beachballs being removed. One problem with the beachballs was people stopping to grab Beachballs slowed down loading of the ride. Also there were reports of people being slightly injured by Beachballs that had been thrown very hard hitting them. In fact a friend of mine was hit in the back of the neck and went to Guest Relations to file a concern about the safety of the beachballs and was taken to First Aide for ice to place on her slightly stiff neck.

Change two:
The original design of the tires called for a joy stick controller to direct the tire. During testing it was found to be confusing to the riders and the joy stick was removed in favor of a directional leaning method for control. Now the guests lean to control direction of the tire. The actual mechanics for the joy stick were not removed when the ride was opened. The spin control device weighs around 20 pounds and is now being removed one vehicle at a time so the ride vehicles will be lighter and therefore move faster. The removal of the joy stick spin control device should be finished by early September and will not require the ride to be shut down.

I do believe the beachballs added a festive touch to the ride and were fun to toss around. I agree that people slowed down loading to grab a ball to toss at other guests. Once the ride started you had almost no chance of getting a ball unless someone tossed it at you and you were able to catch it. Because of the thickness of the tire you could not reach out and just grab a ball that was floating next to your tire.

I can also see how an over enthusiastic guest with a strong arm might toss a ball hard enough to hurt someone. I know some people get so competitive and want to playfully thump their friend or any other guest so they toss hard thinking it is just fun but in truth it can hurt if the ball hits in just the wrong spot. I know there are some people that just don’t care if they thump someone too hard. Some think it is just a game and people should just suck it up. They don’t think about other people’s feelings and limits. Some people have problems such as arthritis or fibromyalgia and a strong tap/thump that might be nothing to you might be very painful to them. These problems are not something you can see at a glance nor are they depilating enough to keep a person off of a ride such as Luigi’s Flying Tires.

As far as the balls are concerned I believe a few unthinking and yes rude people ruined the fun for everyone else. If people had just tossed the balls around as they could without trying to give others a thumping we might still have the beachballs to add a festive feel.

Having the spin control removed and the weight reduced should speed up the ride and therefore make it more fun. I hope it does speed it up as I felt from the first it was a slow moving ride and needed more zip.
Both of these changes will only slightly change the ride but together will alter the ride from a festive gathering to more of an air bumper car feel. Until the changes are complete and all I’ve ridden it again I’ll reserve judgment on how the changes effect the rides over all feel.

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