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Disney patents new ride track system technology (by Richard Bilbao)

The Walt Disney Co.’s latest ride patent looks at how to add a new level of surprise to the theme park experience.

The patent, “Park Ride with Drop Swing Propulsion,” describes a system where a ride track can be transferred from an elevated track to a lower track with the ride vehicle on it, where the ride can continue on the new track system.

The patent states that theme parks’ current portfolio of rides such as roller coasters have given way to dark rides — attractions built inside a building — due to technological advances in storytelling for dark rides. Better stories and immersion in dark rides help theme parks sell that the rider is entering the world being recreated.

Here are other patents filed by Disney this year: