A recent patent filed by Disney shows that they are working on a whole new type of attraction for their theme parks. Consisting of a ride vehicle with four seats, the vehicle can be moved in any direction determined by the occupants of the vehicle.
The ride technology has been designed with guest interaction in mind, with the patent stating:
Recently, there has been an increasing demand for rides that allow the participants to interact… Hence, there remains a need for a new attraction (or ride as these terms may be used interchangeably herein) that allows or even forces passengers of a vehicle to collaborate to effectively or successfully control operations of their vehicle. In some preferred examples, it may be useful for the attraction to be designed to require collaboration of the vehicle passengers to maneuver a vehicle in a particular ride or attraction space to participate in a game, to achieve a particular goal for a play space, to move along a ride path while avoiding obstacles and other vehicles, or the like.
According to the patent, the ride would allow two or more guests who would all have a controller of some sort in front of them to help control the direction of the vehicle. The attraction would be trackless, meaning riders could move the vehicle in any direction to achieve the desired objective.
The direction of the vehicle would be determined by using some formula aggregating inputs from all riders or by assigning each user one direction of motion. The type of attraction used was not specified, but images in the patent seem to suggest it would be an interactive game requiring users to work together to achieve some end goal.
As always, patent applications may never be used in a Disney theme park, but they do give us a rare look behind the scenes of the technologies being developed by Disney.