Patent Application Indicates Disney is Developing a Technology for Interactive Games on Vehicles, Could be Implemented on Walt Disney World Buses

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From the Disney Skyliner to the new Walt Disney World buses with character wraps and charging ports, Disney is always trying to plus transportation offerings. A new patent application hints that Disney is looking to create an interactive experience for guests while riding said vehicles.

From the patent application:

One aspect of the present disclosure relates to sequential storytelling across a set of one or more vehicles such that interactive experiences that have narrative, leveling, or other persistent or shared aspects may be presented to users over a set of sessions in which the users (individually or as a group) are passengers in the set of one or more vehicles. As used in this context, “storytelling” may refer to broader presentation of interactive media than simply audible, or even visual, recitation or representation of a story. The users may include a first user. The first user may be provided with interactive experiences on the set of one or more vehicles. The interactive experiences may be provided by a set of virtual content and/or other content. The virtual content may provide a digital game (such as a video game), a video, and/or other interactive media. A set of physical effects may be provided concurrently with the set of virtual content. The physical effects including one or more tactile effects, environmental effects, and/or other effects. The physical effects provided concurrently with the set of virtual content may be correspond to the context of content provided by the set of virtual content.

What’s most striking about the application is the description that the progress can be saved and resumed at any time on any applicable vehicle. What these vehicles will be is unknown, but this quote from the application gives some hints it may be for Walt Disney World Transport buses:

Vehicle(s) may be one or more of a car, a bus, a shuttle, a train, an airplane, a vessel (such as a ship), and/or other vehicles. In some implementations, vehicle(s) may be a motorized vehicle. In some implementations, vehicle(s) may include one or more autonomous vehicle, semi-autonomous vehicle, non-autonomous vehicle, and/or other vehicles.

The vehicle condition may specify one or more vehicle engine condition, tire condition, suspension condition, fuel conditions, and/or other conditions. The vehicle condition of the first vehicle may be determined based on output signals of the one or more sensors of the first vehicle. The output signals of the one or more sensors of the first vehicle may convey the vehicle condition.

The operation mode of the vehicles may specify driving settings, vehicle dynamics, and other settings in the vehicles. The operation mode may specify whether the vehicle may be operating in one or more of a performance setting, efficiency setting, comfort setting, and/or other settings. The operation mode may specify whether the vehicle may be operating with passengers. The operation mode may specify whether the vehicle may be operating on a street, a highway, a parking lot, dirt road, and/or other locations in the real world. The operation mode may specify whether the vehicle is parked, turned on, in reverse, in motion, and/or other in other operation modes.

The vehicle status information specifying one or more of a real-world location, operation mode, vehicle condition, operating route, operating time schedule, and/or other information of the individual vehicles in the set of one or more vehicles. The real-world location, operation mode, vehicle condition, and/or other information of the individual vehicles in the set of one or more vehicles may be specified by one or more sensors and/or systems in the individual vehicles.

Now, the patent application also discusses how the virtual content will be displayed in or near the vehicle. Much like Soarin’ Around the World or other 4D attractions, effects like lighting or wind would be used to immerse guests:

The environmental effects may include a change in temperature, a change in lighting, a blast of air, and/or other effects. The environmental effects may be provided by one or more lighting systems, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and/or other systems in a vehicle and/or around a user. The change in temperature may include increasing or decreasing the ambient temperature around the user or on a given body part of the user. The change in lighting may include increasing or decreasing the light intensity around the user or at a given location. The change in lighting may include changing the color of lighting around the user or at a given location. The change in lighting may include turning a lighting system on or off.

The set of physical effects may be provided concurrently with the set of virtual content. The set of physical effects may be associated with the set of virtual content. The physical effects provided concurrently with the set of virtual content may be correspond to the context of content provided by the set of virtual content. By way of non-limiting example, if a virtual content provided include an airplane flying through the clouds, the physical effects of a decrease in temperature around the user, a change in the lighting, and/or other effects may be provided concurrently with virtual content.

The simulated space, or the screens used to display the simulated space, could appear in a variety of ways:

The simulated physical space may be in a three-dimensional space, two-dimensional space, and/or other simulated physical spaces. The simulated physical space may depict an environment. In some implementations, the simulated physical space may include a head-up display (HUD) overlaid on the three-dimensional, two-dimensional space, and/or other simulated physical spaces. A HUD may comprise of one or more of a mini-map, menu, one or more application information readings, and/or other information.

This interactive game can be utilized in a private game or as a multiplayer experience as described below:

The digital game may be a video game with one or more of a single player component, multiplayer game component, and/or other components. For example, the digital game with the multiplayer game component may be one or more of an online game a multiplayer game, a local co-op game, and/or other games. The digital game with single player component may be one or more of the online game, an offline game, a single player game, and/or other games.

The multiplayer experience seems to not be limited to the single-vehicle but rather across any specified connect vehicles in the fleet:

The user(s) provided with the virtual content providing the digital game with a multiplayer game component may participate in the virtual content with other users in the set of one or more vehicles or the first vehicle of the set of one or more vehicles. For example, the passengers (e.g., the user(s)) of the set of one or more vehicles may participate in the persistent or shared game together to achieve a common (e.g., shared) or private (e.g., unshared) goal in the game. The persistent or shared game may be provided by the first virtual content.

The passengers of the set of one or more vehicles may be in a same game session of the shared game and may interact with one another in the same game session. The passengers of the set of one or more vehicles may be in the same vehicle of the set of one or more vehicles and/or different set of one or more vehicles when participating in the persistent or shared game together.

To summarize, this technology appears to be connected to a user device (i.e. smartphone) to allow a user to interact with the environment simulated in or near the vehicle via screens or projectors. As a way to enhance the interactive game or experience, physical effects like lighting changes or wind will be used to add a sense of reality.

Also, the interactive experience will have “stages” or “levels” and the user can save their progress at any time and restart at the same point via any connected vehicle.

As always, patent applications are not guaranteed to ever see the light of day, but it is always interesting to see what technology Disney may be developing for their theme parks.

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Derek Sterling

Contact Derek at [email protected]

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Andrew
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Andrew

This screams SWGE in terms of creating an immersive 24/7 experience from hotel to “transport” to park

Armchair Imagineer
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Armchair Imagineer

This makes me think about the new themed star wars shuttle taking guests from the Galactic Starcruiser hotel to Batuu. Seems like this type of technology could be used to make something like that more engaging and interactive, particularly given that the screens (“windows into space”) will already be available to gamify. If you extended that out the the fleet of buses, imagine if each bus had a “theme” where you had a virtual drive through a specific environment. For example, the Frozen bus would show scenes from Arendelle through the “windows” as if you were driving across this landscape,… Read more »

Susannejozefiak
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Susannejozefiak

Disney needs to stop working on all these new ideas and start working on fixing and taking care of all the things that are not kept up with at the parks. From 10 years ago to today the parks have declined a lot. Of being clean and helpful workers. Broken down rides and just over all appearance of the parks. They have all gone down hill. But they keep on raising prices and adding new things which are even looking like they need attention. Toy story land paint pealing off parts of the rides. And the gondolas. Wait till they… Read more »