Walt Disney World by no means has the most intense roller coaster rides but the massive 40+ square mile
resort provides the widest range of opportunities to collect data. For extreme thills, check the Six Flags
Kingda Ka roller coaster that's 456 feet tall and reaches 128mph.
For mere mortals visiting WDW, here are a few notes of interest regarding the top ride attractions:
- Mission Space: Located at Epcot,
Mission Space is a motion simulator ride that creates the conditions an astronaut feels during a launch into space. The
acceleration experienced during this ride is not the greatest in magnitude compared to other Disney venues. However, the
forces the guest are subjected to are the smoothest of any other ride at WDW. Mission Space uses centrifugal forces on the
ride "capsule" to simulate the g-forces of a rocket launch. The perception of weigthlessness and movement are achieved
by rotating the ride capsule and shifting the gravity vector.
- "Blast off" is 2.2g for 10 seconds and the fling around the Moon is 2.2g for 4 seconds.
- The portion when it feels like zero g's is actually a rapid transition from the 2.2g back to 1 g.
- A cast member said that guests are subjected to 2 g's during Mission Space so our observations are within reason (Wikipedia states 2.4g's).
- Test Track: The General Motors sponsored
ride takes the guest on a ride through simulated automotive test conditions, such as suspension tests, high speed cornering,
acceleration, and braking. The most exhilarating portion of the ride occurs during the quick acceleration to 65 mph and banked turn
around the outside of the building.
- The switch back turns near the end reach 0.6 g's lateral. This is similar to the stated claim during the ride of 0.75 g's.
- The peak g-force occurs during the high speed loop around the building reaching about 2.2g's and averaging 1.75 g's (RMS g-force in this case).
- Rock'n Roller Coaster:
This indoor roller coaster located at Disney's Hollywood Studios features a 0 to 60 mph launch in only 2.8 seconds, which
then leads directly into a loop.
- The launch peaks at 1.6g's.
- Over 3.5 g's entering the loop and 3 g's exiting the loop.
- The remainder of the ride reaches about 2.5 g's in the turns and corkscrew.
- Tower of Terror:
The Twilight Zone themed elevator ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios runs an elevator up and down several times in a random sequence.
- The fastest rise of the elevator reached 1.6 g's and lasted about 3 seconds.
- The ride sequence had 8 drops. The longest drop lasted about 2 seconds.
- Expedition Everest:
This roller coaster at Animal Kingdom zips through Mount Everest searching for the ellusive Yeti. The ride features a backwards
roll through the dark and an 80 ft drop.
- The roll-back reachs about 2.7-3g's.
- Coming out of the big drop outside the mountain reachs about 3.2 g's.
- Space Mountain:
This all-time classic Disney roller coaster ride opened in 1975. Unlike the newer rides (Everest, Rock'n Roller Coaster,
etc), the Space Mountain data includes a lot of noise probably due to the old tracks. Picking out transitions, turns,
and drops is difficult. The acceleration data plotted below illustrates the difference in the quality of the rides
between Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Mission Space and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. The red line in the plot is
a 0.4 second moving average of the RMS data, which helps remove some of the excessive noise. Overall, the biggest g-force
on Space Mountain is about 2 g's midway through the ride.
- Big Thunder Mountain:
Similar to Space Mountain, BTM has a lot of noise because of the rough ride. Again, the biggest g-force is about
midway in the ride and reaches 2 g's.
Part II: Feel the Disney Burn
Addendum 1: Universal Studios Orlando
Addendum 2: Return to the Mouse
Addendum 3: The Hulk Roars into action at Islands of Adventure!
Back to the Introduction