Disneyland's new trackless ride uses barcode technology

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 10:45am

Disneyland's new Mystic Point area will feature a trackless ride system, operated by the barcode technology used at supermarket checkouts.

The theme park has lauded the ride one of the "most sophisticated" attractions it has built worldwide.

The 32 cars, which travel through the zone scheduled to open in May, will be controlled only by Wi-fi and radio-frequency identification sensors, rather than tracks.

Greg Hale, chief safety officer of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said the high-tech system would use a "unique" frequency that could not be interfered with by normal gadgets, such as smartphones, or the Fire Department's radio signals.

The five-minute ride - up from the average three-minute trip in other areas - will travel through some of the zone's 13 show scenes, incorporating 40 visual effects using 36 projectors.

Mystic Point is billed as home to "mysterious forces and supernatural events in the heart of a dense, uncharted rainforest".

The trackless cars will take visitors through the haunted house-themed Mystic Manor, where explorer Lord Henry Mystic displays the artefacts he has collected on his travels.

Disney's decision to abandon tracks is understood to be part of its strategy of diversifying guests' experience.

By using sensors, the cars can travel more flexibly, meaning they do not have to take the same route every time - giving visitors an incentive to take the ride several times.

Hale reassured those concerned about the new technology that the park had stringent safety checks, including unannounced inspections of the facilities.

He said there were more than 1,000 checks every day by 200 engineers and technicians.

Hale urged travellers to be patient when rides were suspended for such inspections, stressing it was imperative to maintain safety.