The second of the three major attractions in Cars Land is Luigi’s Flying Tires, which is themed like a tire dealership and banks on the fact that a tire (British “tyre”), lying sideways with a series of evenly spaced radial high-pressure leaks, will slightly hover.
It is rumored that John Lassitire was very interested in Cars Land having a remake of one of the classic Tomorrowland attractions, and after narrowing his choices to three (the Flying Sucers, the Phantom Boats, or the Paint Chip Hall of Fame), he chose the Flying Saucers. The original Disneyland attraction was only part of the park for about five years due to its tendency to break down, injure guests, and draw uncomfortable amounts of attention from silently hovering black helicopters filled with expressionless men in black suits. By using improved technology, having riders sign an injury waiver, and disguising the vehicles as tires, Imagineers were able to get past all of these problems.
After walking through Luigi’s nicely themed queue, guests are immersed in a series of visual and spoken instructions such as this one…
…spelling out the copious rules and suggestions for enjoying the attraction. For example, no trying to fly over the attraction’s barriers; no standing tires on their side, connecting them with axles, and building a monster truck; and you may not ride if you are pregnant, hoverphobic, or tired (pun!).
The vehicles themselves are fashioned to look like large tires. This is a big surprise to guests who have not been paying attention.
The tires hover under the influence of massive electromagnets embedded in the attraction’s surface. The up side to this method of levitation is that it is very powerful, allowing the vehicles to hover with even the largest guest or group of guests aboard. The down side is that after each ride the surface must be searched for keys, glasses, retainers, etc., that have been sucked off riders. Guests passing in wheelchairs may also find themselves irresistibly drawn to the attraction when it is in operation, and the entire area is instantly fatal to anyone with a pacemaker.
In addition to the attraction vehicles, Luigi’s is littered with huge, inflated beach balls, which do not float (since they are non-ferrous) but which guests can pick up and throw during the ride. Being hit in the face with a huge beach ball looks like this:
It is a particular irony that an American park named for California would have an Italy-themed attraction featuring beach balls made in China.
Tags: Luigi's Flying Tires