Disney’s new design for theme parks roller coaster with the ability to jump tracks has coaster junkies enthused, excited, shocked, and stunned, all at the same time.
Though fans of Disney Parks don’t always relish the idea of change in the parks, most can eventually find a way to roll with those changes once they realize that change is the predecessor to any new theme park addition, whether it’s a new take on an old ride or a brand-new attraction altogether.
A Disney Parks fan, I am. A coaster junkie, I am not.
Line the inside of a Disney Parks coaster car with velvet and fur, craft the lap belts from cashmere, and forge the safety bar from pure gold if you want. I’m happy as a clam standing in the “watch zones,” applauding you for your bravery.
So when reports about Walt Disney Imagineering’s design for a roller coaster with the ability to jump tracks surfaced, I paid little to no attention–at least as a lover of coasters. However, the wow factor of the prospect of such an attraction did create within me a curiosity that would have put Alice to shame in Wonderland–curiosity that begged two questions: how did they do that, and why would anyone be so stupid as to attempt such an experience?
(There was one more question, but that will spoil this whole piece, so I’ll wait.)
Earlier this week, the report was shared by an Instagrammer who simply calls himself, Wealth. After perusing his profile, we can only assume it’s because he asserts himself as a wealth of information. Be that as it may, the user shared a post with a few grainy photos all about Disney’s patent for a roller coaster that jumps across an open space in the tracks.
It continues as follows:
Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) just filed a patent for a roller coaster that jumps the track. This means the rollercoaster will fly through the air during part of the ride, with no track under it. It is rumored to be completed by 2030! Would you get on this ride?!
Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) just filed a patent for a roller coaster that jumps the track. This means the rollercoaster will fly through the air during part of the ride, with no track under it. The classic video game Thrillville: Off the Rails had a roller coaster that jumps the track on the cover of the game. This was a crazy idea that no one actually thought could work, but now Disney is trying to make that dream a reality.
The Instagram post even includes some sketches of the coaster cars and tracks–some more detailed than others.
The sketches feature words and phrases like “drive assembly,” “onboard energy storage,” “charging element,” and “track-mounted capacitor charge plate,” lending themselves to describing the components of the tracks and the coaster cars.
The post struck fear in some who viewed it, as evidenced by the many comments posted in response to it.
“How?? Wind gust variations, body weight variations, miss the track by 1/4 inch and everybody on that ride is dead!” posted one user.
“Imagine the wrong weight distribution,” began another comment. “Disney trying to crash their stock price further than it already has.”
In another post, a user commented, “A good amount of the rides at Disneyland kept breaking down this week; please fix your current rides before you focus on a new one.”
As of the time of this post, the Instagram offering has amassed more than 172,000 likes. The post also caught the attention of the fact-checker extraordinaires over at Snopes.com on Thursday, who went to work immediately to prove, debunk, or label otherwise, the post about Disney’s newest “flying” roller coaster design.
Ultimately, Snopes determined the story to be one that originated as satire on the site MouseSteps.com, though many who choose to get their news only from online social media platforms found the post very believable indeed–which goes along with that third question I had but didn’t share so as not to spoil the post. And that is, after all, who would believe such a tale, even if it is about the expert storytellers at Disney Parks?