As they conceived Epcot, many new types of ride vehicles had to be invented, the standard omnimover would not give the Imagineers what they were looking for. One of these attractions ended up with a vehicle that is rotated on a bed of air. Which attraction would you guess that would be?
The answer is The Universe of Energy! The new concept of the traveling theater allowed for something never done before at Disney, the combining of different types of experiences: film, live action, and special effects. But, it also added a level of complexity to the mix, how could they build the attraction with large traveling theaters which had to change directions easily in such a small space.
Disney developed the turntable. These turntables had to rotate 80 tons of traveling theaters quickly and quietly. The turntables are able to do this by using 60 air bags mounted under each turntable. The air bags are inflated which raises the theater about 1 inch and excess air provides a layer of air between the vehicle and the floor below. This process virtually eliminates any friction and allows for a small motor to turn the 80 ton theater.
So, have fun riding on the giant hockey puck next time you ride the Universe of Energy.
Looking for more Trivia – be sure to check out TIGGERIFIC TUESDAY TRIVIA, hosted by Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, My Dreams of Disney, and Heidi’s Head!
Wow, I had no idea. Disney sure can solve any problem!
Wow! I never knew that! Thanks for the info…I feel like I know a hidden secret!
That’s amazing! I wonder just how many patents for inventions Walt Disney & his Imagineers own.