Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Luigi’s Flying Tires Reworked

Luigi’s Flying Tires Reworked

          Luigi’s Flying Tires is one of the new rides in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. Luigi’s is a reworking of the short lived Flying Saucers of Disneyland’s early years.
          The Flying Saucers did not last long at Disneyland because of maintenance problems, ride load time and slower than desired movement of the saucers. It was thought that these concerns had been addressed and corrected with the design of Luigi’s Flying Tires. Sadly, during early play testing it was found that the joystick ride control was confusing for the average rider. The joystick spin control was disabled and the joystick removed. Instead of a joystick guests are instructed to lean in the direction they wished the tire to go. Even with these changes there is still some confusion and problems with the ride.
          When Luigi’s Flying Tires opened, June, 2012 with much fanfare there were beach balls in with the tires to add color and energy to the attraction. From the very beginning there were three concerns about the attraction. First, the tires did not fly with the speed or ease of control that guests had anticipated. Second, some guests (usually teenagers) would get over excited when throwing the beach balls, tossing them too hard and causing discomfort for guests that were hit in the back of the head and neck. Thirdly, guess slowing down to pick up the beach balls as they loaded the ride slowed down loading of the ride. For the next three months Imagineers and management worked on correcting the problems.

          The problems caused by the beach balls were the easiest to correct by simply removing the beach balls. This protected guests from over exuberant teenagers and sped up the loading of the ride. After the beach balls were removed engineers went in and removed the unused spin control that had been left in the tires after being disabled when the ride was reworked before the original opening. The removal of the spin control from all the tires was finished mid-September, 2012.The removal of this piece of equipment lessened the weight of each tire, increasing speed and making it easier to control.
          While this is still not one of my most favorite rides in the park I enjoy it and find it a perfect addition to Cars Land. It is also a good ride to take younger children who are too small to ride Radiator Springs Racers on while other family members ride Radiator Springs Racers.
While some may find it a reworking of a failed ride of the past that should be removed, I think it is a good ride and should be kept for future guests to enjoy. It may be possible with future adaptations to speed up the ride and make it easier to control the tires. I look forward to seeing what changes may come to the Luigi’s Flying Tires in the future.

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