New Disney patent adjusts attractions based on passenger expressions

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PHOTO VIA CHRIS HARRISON ON FLICKR
  • Photo via Chris Harrison on Flickr
Thrill-seekers and scaredy-cats, get ready to have completely different ride experiences when you hop on that coaster at Disney.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a Disney patent Thursday that hints at attractions customizing the ride experience to passengers' emotions.



The patent, called "Sensing and Managing Vehicle Behavior Based on Occupant Awareness," describes a system using a camera that would read a rider's facial expressions and then alter the course of the attraction to increase or decrease speed, add spins, change display scenery and more to improve the experience for guests.

PHOTO VIA U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
  • Photo via U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The technology could change ride content to make it appropriate for different age groups, or change the course of the ride depending on whether the passenger is looking for thrills or not.



The ride could also take into account preferences the passengers have already selected prior to riding and have saved on some sort of wearable ID, like a MagicBand.

Guests might also be able to select certain paths throughout the ride, like ones that have the best scenery or the ones that can be completed in the shortest amount of time.

Disney has previously filed patents for puppets controlled by drones and a foot scanner that could track high-traffic areas and send merchandise and food carts to popular locations.

Disney hasn't announced any plans to build or alter an attraction to test this new technology, but in the meantime, we're imagining what It's a Small World would look like with a fast and furious makeover.

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