Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Vehicles Use Trackless GPS Technology
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When boarding one of Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters, guests join in Luigi’s family gathering, as his cousins “dance” in the tire yard behind his Casa Della Tires shop.
When Cars Land opened in 2012, one of its three new attractions was Luigi’s Flying Tires, a reincarnation of the Disneyland Park’s short-lived Flying Saucers, a Tomorrow-land attraction that lasted five years in the early 1960s. Imagineers retreaded the concept of hovercraft bumper cars, using a system similar to an air hockey table, as the basis for a tribute to the Radiator Springs resident Ferrari fanatic.
Luigi’s Flying Tires turned out to be an example of nostalgia being better than reality; the tires accelerated very gradually and were tricky for first-time riders to control. Word got out that Luigi’s was less than life-changing, and lines dwindled substantially in the years after the tires debuted, despite how glacially slow the attraction was to load.
In early 2015, Disney shuttered Luigi’s to reimagine the attraction. It reopened in 2016 as Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. Guests still first queue inside the Casa Della Tires shop (where memorabilia from Luigi’s and Guido’s careers is on display) and then pass through a garden of automotive-inspired topiaries before approaching the attraction itself, which occupies the same outdoor arena. However, instead of giant tires, small open-top cars (with the franchise’s signature cartoon faces) serve as the ride vehicles. And instead of controlling their destiny, this time passengers are just along for the ride, as the cars spin and “dance” autonomously around each other in unpredictable patterns.
The ride vehicles move freely around the dance floor without the aid of tracks, thanks to GPS technology. They use the same trackless ride system found in Aquatopia and Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disney Resort. Overall, it’s an impressive effect, even though the total ride time is short. The mildly chaotic dance sequences, which include some fun near misses with other cars, put it a notch above the other simple B-tier rides like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.
Touring Tips for Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
Luigi’s draws a crowd, and even if it is more efficient than its predecessor, capacity is still limited. Try to ride during the first or last hours of the day. Also see our post on Cars Land here.
Cars Land is only one of seven themed lands at DCA. For more information on all Disney California Adventure rides and for planning your trip to Disneyland, check out The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland by Bob Sehlinger, Seth Kubersky, Len Testa, and Guy Selga Jr. If you are interested in the history of Disneyland, the Disneyland Story by Sam Gennawey brings you the evolution of Walt Disney’s dream into reality and how the park has changed since its beginning until now.
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