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Attraction layout

Laying out an attraction. Copyright The Walt Disney Company.

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Video transcript

Once we're happy with our beat sheet and with the ride system that we've chosen, it's time to start laying out the path of the ride vehicles. We break down our whole attraction into individual scenes. In each scene we have one or more story beats that the audience gets to experience. So we have to lay out the track so that each scene has time to play out without ride vehicles backing up the ride. Let's find out more from our Imagineers about how we design the layout of our attractions. Our challenge on every attraction when we're laying it out whether it's pirates or racers or any of our attractions is fitting this this unlimited world that you're used to from the books and the movies into a teeny tiny little place and building that exists within our parks. The first thing you want to think about is the story and what scenes are you wanting to show. What scenes are gonna advance you from the beginning - the exposition - all the way to the finale. And we'll typically place those scenes around in the real estate we have available in the right building and then weave the track in and out of those scenes. And so once you kind of set those up, it really helps you understand how you want to move through those scenes. The lay out of Radiator Springs Racers is challenging as probably any of them. Part of the attraction you are actually outside and you're experiencing the land and then you go into a show building for an interior experience. We wanted to build the entire town of Radiator Springs inside this building. It's challenging to to weave all that into the building but not end up with a ride space where as you enter the building you can see it all at once you want to present it to the guests in an orderly fashion. So, often when you're laying in an attraction, you just start. We start with pieces of track of how fast how tight can it turn? How quickly can it move through a particular space? And we start drawing those pieces like they're puzzle pieces. And you start moving those pieces around and connecting them together and drawing them out on paper, put tracing paper on top of that trace it over here, put another one over here. How is that going to fit in the building? Okay here's the big the size of the building we're gonna have. This is gonna be able to fit here so that means that we can do this. And you try to put the puzzle together on the table, just like you're doing a jigsaw puzzle. I guarantee you your first path isn't gonna work, but that's okay. That's why it's called a first path. Now you see where it does work and where it doesn't work. You'll start to say, "Boy I really like what I did here where sort of comes back on itself, that's sort of neat." Great, you're gonna keep that, "Oh I don't like over here where it comes against - it's too close to the wall - I really need more space because I want to have a scene that's bigger or I really want to add a scene where I've got a big screen I get to project into." So you'll start to push and pull and squeeze to fit the entire ride into it. We have a whole group called pre-visualization, and they allow us to look at a ride before we build the ride. And depending on the type of level of design we're at it could be very, very early in the process and all you're seeing your big white blocks that represent the scenes that you're going through or it could be very, very detailed all the way down to seeing the individual bricks on the side of a building that you're going pass in a scene it just depends on what level that you need to go into to help communicate your idea. And then we usually never back with the paper on the table again and then start that process again until we find something that at least fits in the building. Different designers use different approaches. If I already know it's gonna be a dark ride and I've got a constant speed vehicle that's gonna go 4 feet per second and I want the ride to be three minutes long well that means my track is gonna be exactly x-number feet long. Well I can take a piece of string that's that long and now sort of weave it onto a piece of paper and see what I can fit inside the box because I know the vehicle traveling on a piece of string is gonna go the right speed and it'll take out the right amount of time in the ride. There are also a lot of factors that go into layout designs that aren't immediately obvious. Do you want your guests to see one another? Is that part of the experience or is it very important that they always feel like it's very intimate and they're their only ones in that space. Often people forget the things that you don't see when you're on an attraction, but when you're in one of our attractions they'll also be maintenance areas. A place where we can take the vehicles off and work on them while the ride is still in operation or a way to get vehicles off and get them back on without taking the ride down. The ability to evacuate the attraction if you have a loss of power or a breakdown of the attraction. Well, that has to be designed into your experience. Well that's that's additional space that needs to be taken, that's additional ride track that needs to be placed inside your building. We also have to think about reach envelopes which is making sure that there's a clear enough space around a vehicle that no guests writing could touch something or reach something that might potentially harm them. Fitting them in is the magic of what our people do when they're laying these out. It's how do you how do you create the impression of unlimited space within the confines of a physical building. And so we use different technologies, light, dark, sound a lot of times - smells to create the sense that you're in a very large, very immersive space. When you're really winding your ways through the narrow corridors of a building. So, layout is where art, story and engineering really come together to create unique experiences that take our guests breath away. In the next exercise, you'll have a chance to start designing the layout for your own ride. As you do this, feel free to revisit earlier parts of this lesson to modify your story basin scenes.