Toy Story rides leave you buzzing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 November, 2011, 12:00am

Thrill-seekers will probably flock to Disneyland's Toy Story Land when it opens later this month, but the faint of heart - or weak of stomach - might think twice before boarding one of three rides built for the attraction.

The new rides are so jarring, park managers say, that they limited their duration to a minute each - any longer and passengers might be sick.

The rides comprise a whirling roller coaster called the Slinky Dog Spin, the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop - in which visitors will plunge from a 25-metre tower - and a ride named RC Racer that travels back and forth along a U-shaped race track.

Visitors might need to summon a little extra courage to try the RC Racer, which uses the same magnetic levitation technology found on some high-speed passenger trains.

It rises 13 metres then drops down again at full speed. Just as passengers start to get used to the swinging motion, the car stops and the ride is over. It all happens in about a minute, judging from a preview ride given to the media.

'During trial runs that we conducted, a lot more people started vomiting when the ride ran longer than a minute,' vice-president of public affairs Lo Bing-chung said.

Andrew Kam Min-ho, the park's managing director, said those seeking the 'most thrilling experience' should sit in the last row.

'If you can manage to open your eyes, you can see Victoria Harbour and Central when the car goes up the track,' Kam said.

But that proved easier said than done: on the media preview, some reporters managed to spot the sea, but most saw only a few clouds amid an epic wave of screams.

Toy Story Land - the first in Asia - will open on November 18. It is the first of three attractions planned by Disneyland as part of its HK$3.63 billion expansion. Mining town Grizzly Gulch is set to open next year, with Mystic Point to follow in 2013.

Meanwhile, a steam train that travels around the park derailed on Sunday. No one was onboard at the time, apart from the staff member who was driving it and who was blamed for mishandling equipment.

The incident inspired a bit of Disney PR magic. Managers put up a sign attributing the lack of service to 'refurbishment' - translated as 'touch up' in Chinese. Some visitors thought the term was euphemistic.

'It's Disney language,' said Kam, explaining the term. 'The word 'repair' would damage the aesthetic of the Disney story.''

The train will resume service on Saturday. Ocean Park in Aberdeen recently established a mechanism governing the reporting of incidents to the public. Disneyland has not said if it will follow suit.



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