Sunday, March 14, 2010

Will a TRON Bikes Attraction come to Disneyland ? - With great TRON Legacy Wallpaper Pictures

TRON Legacy will be released next December and everybody awaits its release with excitement. Considering that we had to wait 28 years to have a sequel to the original picture the excitement is quite logical but on Disney fans forums the big question is: "When WDI will build a TRON attraction?" Even more: "Why not have a TRON bikes ride on Disneyland - or WDW Magic Kingdom - People Mover track?"

On a certain point of view the question makes sense: this kind of ride would need a long track and the People Mover have it. But as we will see, it's technically a bit more complicated. Before i go further please note that all TRON pictures in this article are "wallpaper" pictures - except these recently released pictures showing WDW monorails featuring TRON Legacy art. Click on them if you want to get them in big size for your desktop.

To comeback to a TRON bikes attraction what you don't know is that a "bike race" ride was envisioned by WDI Imagineers ten years ago, and although it didn't had a TRON theme it looked exactly like the TRON ride that fans can dream about... The ride was called "Rocket Bikes", was part of the Sci-Fi City project for a newly designed Tokyo Disneyland's Tomorrowland - and probably the best Tomorrowland concept ever.

Designed by Imagineer Eddie Sotto this great Rocket Bikes ride had two "intergalactic" bikes with two people on each. Racers from all over the galaxy come to compete in the ultimate off-world race! The bikes were launched on a elevated platform front wheels off the ground for a race at high speed all around Sci Fi City, maneuvering through Cratertown, crashed space ships, Space Mountain and the "Cosmic Way" and in real competition with one another, all with onboard music themed to your ride. Think about a bike race where the People Mover is right now at WDW with two bikes side by side and you have a pretty good idea of how the Rocket Bikes ride would have been. Oh, and i've forgot to tell you that just like a real bike, your team leaning into the curves helped determine your place in the race. And also that the start of the race would have been "rocket launch" with flames coming out of the bikes booster engines!

The TDL Sci-Fi City Rocket Bikes would have been a great E Ticket ride...but it was never built. Why? Well, the Sci-Fi City concept was absolutely great but probably not that cheap. And as at the same time TDL was building Tokyo Disney Sea i supposed they've reached the point where they had to do a choice, financially speaking. And now that Universal choose to name "Sci-Fi City" one of Universal Singapore lands i'm afraid that TDL will never have a land called like this...

But let's come back to a TRON Bikes attraction. Could it be possible to re-design the Rocket Bikes concept for a TRON ride? Technically, it's probably possible...although the new design of the TRON bikes - with a hole at the center of the wheel - will be a brain teaser for WDI Imagineers. And not to mention that in the movie the driver literally lay down on the bike - which of course was not the case of the guests on the Rocket Bikes concept.

And could it be possible to put the ride on DL or WDW People Mover track? Well, the reality is that the rocket bikes were originally intended to be on the DL Peoplemover track!..BUT the banked turns and clearances did not work out, and it would have been the same at WDW. The fact is that you can't have vehicles at high speed racing on the People Mover track as it was not designed for that when WED Imagineers built it, back in the 1960's. It has been a problem with the Rocket Rods ride and it would be one with a Rocket Bikes ride. It's sad to say but it seems that the track can only accept vehicles at slow speed. Of course if WDI was destroying everything and build a new track it would be different but the price for this would be probably outrageous for Disney suits. The other challenge that made the ride difficult to build was the ride capacity per hour. Imagineers had to link trains of bikes together or do some fancy timing to get the numbers up...

This is why WDI Imagineers took the concept to Tokyo Disneyland where, unfortunately, the ride was not built. By the way, do you know that the Rocket Bikes concept was inspired by Knott's Berry Farm soap box racer ride? In that ride you compete with one another and it was a huge success at Knott's for that sole reason.

So, even if the Rocket Bikes concept would be perfect for a ride inspired by the TRON Bikes, i'm sorry to say that chances to have it build on DL or WDW People Mover track are so low that i wouldn't bet a dime on it. It's sad, but it's the reality.

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Pictures: copyright Disney


Marco Antonio Garcia. São Paulo, Brazil. said...

Very sad indeed! Tomorrowland at both parks need some new E-ticket attractions.

DisWedWay said...

I remember going to Knott's to see the new Rolly Crump and Steve Kirk designed Berry Tales attraction and then the Cycle Ride, which looked like older Indian/Henederson style bikes of the 20's which I love. As a Fireman/Farmer, my grandfather drove a belt driven Harley. I know that attraction had problems and It's sad that Eddie's original replacement Soap Box Derby vehicle was turned into racing logs by management. Tron has an Academy Award winning actor now and hope it gets an E ticket attraction next at Disneyland.

Anonymous said...

I assumed this would probably be the case given the fate of the Rocket Rods....and in some ways I don't mind...*IF* they ever start up a new People Mover. I like the slower pace--it's nice sometimes to have a ride that lasts longer than a minute and a half.

That said, I do think a TRON ride could be rockin' fun. I would think more along the lines of a simulator ride where you have video screens all around you with movie scenes whipping past at breakneck speeds. The actual ride vehicle would rock back and forth/up and down--and perhaps move among 5 or 6 rooms so that there is some variation along the way (each room could have differing props and screens in different locations to simulate different environments). Maybe this will be Disney's first Kooka arm ride?

Brer Dan

Anonymous said...

sounds like a vekoma booster bike attraction. looks almost like the tron bikes. only its not unique anymore.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing Eddie Sotto still gets sole credit for things he did not design. It's time to start asking other Imagineers the reality of who designed what.

Alain Littaye said...

I'm always pleased to credit the right persons....when i know who they are.

As for the Sci Fi City project i'm sure there is plenty of WDI Imagineers who worked on it but the only one i knew was Eddie Sotto. If anyone can tell me the names of others Imagineers who worked on Rocket Bikes i will be pleased to give them the right credit.