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Sum of all Thrills

On October 14, 2009, a new attraction opened in Innoventions East at Epcot (near Electric Umbrella). "Sum of all Thrills," presented by Raytheon, promises to be a real crowd pleaser and I predict long lines as more people discover this innovative ride.


Innoventions East

Sum of all Thrills Entrance


"Sum of all Thrills" allows guests to custom-design their own roller coaster, bobsled, or jet plane experience, then ride it. Some of you might remember a similar attraction at Disney Quest called CyberSpace Mountain, but I can assure you, this is far more elaborate.

Before riding, you might want to check out the warning sign and the test chairs to make sure you'll fit.

Warning Sign

Test Chairs

Your adventure begins in a briefing room. Here your hosts, Grace and Spencer, provide instructions on how to design your thrill ride. While doing so, they make a strong pitch for studying math and science and how these courses will give you the tools you need to build cool stuff like skyscrapers, high-performance racecars, and especially video games. Parents will appreciate this message that is intended to motivate their young.


Briefing Room

Grace and Spencer


After the briefing, a cast member hands everyone a small plastic card and directs you to an electronic drafting board.


Boarding Pass

Design Tables

Design Tables


The first task, swipe your card. This will associate you and your design so the computer can recreate your ride once you've completed it. After selecting a language on the touch-sensitive screen, you choose what type of thrill ride to develop. The options are Bobsled for a tame encounter, Roller Coaster for a mild ride, and Jet for the intense experience.


Adventure Choice


The next screen provides track options. Loops, corkscrews, hills, dives, and slaloms are all on the menu. You'll get to select three track layouts in all.


Track Sections


Next you use an electronic ruler and knob to design the intensity of the hills and the speed in which to traverse them.


Ruler

Speed Knob


Once your design is complete, you give it a name (like Winter Avalanche) and then a cast member directs you to a second floor boarding area. Here you are asked to take EVERYTHING out of your pockets and store them in a free locker (key locked).


Locker


Now it's time to board. Attached to a significantly impressive robot arm are two seats. After you're seated, the cast member lowers a large apparatus over your head. While doing so you are told that there is an emergency stop button located between you. If at any time the ride becomes too intense, you can slap your hand down on this knob and the ride will immediately stop.


Seats


Within each apparatus is a television monitor. Here, an animated video recreates the ride you designed. In the corner of the monitor is a small insert picturing your riding companion. The device even creates "wind" to add to the realism.

The only way to accurately describe this attraction is to show you the robotic arm in action. Note, there are no riders in the video I filmed. For those of you who are curious, the music in the video is "The Rocketeer."



I've ridden this twice. Once with my friend Andrea and once with my friend Donald. On both occasions, I let them design the attraction. Being cautious, both of them opted for a tame experience. At the end of the ride, both of them said they would be more daring on their next visit. I will note that my head did bang against the padded head rest during the journey. This was a little uncomfortable. But other than that, I had a great time and can't wait to ride again. I also want a more intense ride.

The Sum of all Thrills only has four robotic arms, each holding two guests. In other words, the attraction has a low capacity. I predict that as word of this attraction spreads, it's going to become extremely popular. I suggest making this one of the first things you do when arriving at Epcot.

You may be wondering why Raytheon, a defense contractor, is sponsoring the Sum of all Thrills. This new attraction will be a core component of their MathMoveU program with an initiative designed to engage middle school students in math and science and help create the next generation of innovators for the United States. Representatives from Walt Disney World and Raytheon have been working to bring this experience to fruition for about 2 1/2 years. The initial sponsorship agreement will last 3 years.

Disney's Official Press Release

The previous post in this blog was Maharajah Jungle Trek.

The next post in this blog is Tiana's Showboat Jubilee .

Comments (33)

Craig:

Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Deanna:

Wow, this looks pretty cool. I love the connection to math and science for kids. I wish Expedition: Everest had an emergency stop button for when it gets too intense!

Thanks Jack!

David Santo:

Jumpin' Jack!

This ride looks pretty cool. My Disney World "to-do" list just got a little bit longer.

- It's "interactive" like all the kids dig these days.

- And for the theme park commandos that are faint of heart (literally) like myself, I get my own emergency stop button?

Me likey mucho!

Dude, you earned you mouse ears long ago, but this fine blog entry ads to your legacy.

You da man!

Dave

Lynn Johnson:

Jack -
Thanks for the update. My youngest son is a Secondary Math Education major in college. He says the new Raytheon math program program is all the talk among educators, and his school will be looking at it in their education classes soon! We all are looking forward to experiencing this new attraction. Ethan (our son) says Raytheon is on the cutting edge of new math curriculum and can't wait to see what they have done at Disney World. Thanks for the great video. To quote Ethan, "Math ROCKS!"

dusty:

jack do you think a old war horse like me could ride it ? i mean goofys barnstormer gets me queasy.

Jack's Answer:

My initial response is to tell you to avoid this ride. However, if you design a mild coaster, you might be okay. Also, the ride does have an emergency STOP button that you can activate if it becomes too rough.

Kevin:

Jack,

You have no idea how much this attraction pleases me. It so totally seems to fit in with Epcot's main mission statement of education mixing with entertainment, and making the whole thing interactive. This seems like Soarin' on steroids!

But a question: if a simulator like Star Tours makes me queasy, will this be okay? I usually do fine on the "mild" version of Mission Space, but I wouldn't mind trying out a slightly intense roller coaster simulation.

Fast Passes? Single Rider Lines? I find it fascinating that we don't know much about this ride yet. Disney really snuck this one under the radar.

Jack's Response:

When Disney opened Turtle Talk with Crush, they did not promote this new attraction to any extent. They knew the capacity was small so they didn't want to encourage more people than they could handle to seek out this show. I think the same thing is true with the Sum of all Thrills. The capacity is also very small and Disney doesn't want hoards of people cramming into Innoventions East.

There are no Fast Passes or Single Rider lines. This is not a "traditional" Disney attraction. This is more of a demonstration.

I still don't know who to recommend this attraction to. I have only ridden it twice, both somewhat tame experiences. But since the ride has an emergency stop button, I would tell you to "go for it."

MaryAnn Eckenrode :

Jack, I am really glad you did this. I usually don't go to this section of Epcot. This will be the first place we stop. Thanks.

Jack, I have been reading about this ride/experience for a little while now, and glad to see that it is finally here. I imagine that you are correct about the lines that will form once word gets out about it, which should be about now. :)

Definitely will be on our "to do" list for our next visit.

Thanks for the info!

Karen:

We were lucky enough to be able to experience this attraction while at Disney. It was awesome and both of my children, ages 10 and 8, fell in love with it.

trav:

This ride deinately sounds like it has the potential to attain "E-Ticket" status! With this, Test Track, Crush, Mission Space, Soarin'....It's going to be tuff figuring where to go first!

As always, Jack, keep us posted on all things WDW!!

David:

This sounds exactly like the DisneyQuest ride - even down to the screen to develop the ride.
Can you expound on the "more elaborate" ride experience?

Jack's Answer:

This ride is very similar to the Disney Quest ride. But the robot arm has a much larger range of movement. If you watch the video I create, you can see this. Given a choice, the Epcot version of this ride if far superior to the Downtown Disney version.

Danielle Harmon:

Jack,

Thanks for the review! I can not wait to experience this on our next trip. What a thrill for my son, who is science and mathematically inclined, to see the cool things you can do with the subjects! I LOVE that Epcot makes learning fun. I have always believed that if we show kids more practical applications of math and science, rather than traditional rote methods, more would enjoy the subjects!

Awesome job, once again!

Danielle

Sandra:

Thanks for the heads up on the new ride! Just wondering if it is a motion simulator ride or if it is actually a moving ride? Thanks!

Jack's Answer:

I'm not exactly sure what your question is. This is a motion simulator. If you watch my video, it will be crystal clear what this ride is all about.

Molly Hess:

You must be 48" to ride the ride at all and you must be taller than 54" to ride any design that is inverted. My children (both 48")designed a jet ride that did not invert, but really all they could see was sky. They would have preferred a different selection, but liked the ride overall. Also, you get to keep the card as a souvenir! On the back of the card is information about www.mathmovesu.com, which gives you additional activities on their website once you're home.

Jenny Sperandeo:

I cannot wait to ride this in November when I am at WDW with my family. This simulator looks AWESOME!! It will be the first ride we rush to. It's great to watch Epcot expand to provide more "thrill" rides for everyone.

Richard Mercer:

Thanks for the review! I knew there was a math connection but wasn't sure about the details. Now hold on tight and let those parametric equations rip!!

Stacy Reed:

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! That is amazing Jack, In 5 Weeks we will be at WDW and I'm sure my Husband and my Nephew will be sure to try this as will I. Thanks for the Video portion of your Blog it was amazing to watch how it all comes to life with the robot Arm. You always have such wonderful and informative blogs to read you are my Favorite. Hope to run into you at WDW 5 Weeks from today we will be Walking Down Main Street U.S.A have a great day Jack.

Jeremy Hunt:

Man, I didn't know about this and I can't TELL you how pleased I am, about the ride, and the sponsorship.

Epcot is probably my favorite park, and I've long thought the Innoventions area was neglected and substandard. This attraction and the partnership perfectly captures what I think Walt wanted for this park.

Love it! Thanks Jack - can't wait to try it.

JH

Charissa:

Did this exhibit replace the Waste Management exhibit? I have two little boys who are very much looking forward to the garbage and recycling display. Our trip is 11/30-12/7/09. Thanks.

Jack's Answer:

Good news! Waste Management is still there - right across the aisle way.

Mike S.:

Jack,

Nice review as always. The pictures and video really help with getting a feel for this attraction. I have a couple of questions about the process of designing and riding it. Since two people ride together, do they design it together as well? Or does one person do the designing and then someone else just joins them on the ride part?

Thanks,
Mike

Jack's Answer:

Both participants stand at the "drafting" table. One person can design the entire coaster, but it really should be a collaborative effort. Even though one person might be "pushing the buttons," input from both parties can be considered.

Stephanie:

Do you know if this ride is open during the Magic Extra Hours in the morning or evening?

Thanks so much!

Jack's Answer:

I do not know if this is open for Extra Magic Hours, but I suspect it is not. Normally, Innoventions is not open at this time, so unless Disney makes an exception, I wouldn't count on it.

Donna:

My husband rode this last week and loved it. It was later in the day,around 5:30, and there was only a 15 minute wait. The cast member said it is much more crowded in the morning. The evening we were there was an Extra Magic Hours night and no it was not open as Innoventions closed at 7:00:(

I have a Middle-Schooler who is taking Advanced Math, so I was very interested in finding out more about Ratheyon's math program. They have a website, www.mathmovesu.com, where kids can solve age-appropriate math and science problems. Once all the problems are solved, you take a ride on a virtual "RollerJetSled." My kids absolutely love it. The only downside is the app takes a long time to load. I have DSL and it took almost 2 full minutes.

Melissa:

When I went down to Disney this past weekend, I felt obligated to put Sum of All Thrills on my to do list because my boyfriend's brother works for Raytheon (he had nothing to do with designing the ride). Lucky for me, this obligation turned out to be a really fun attraction!

I designed a roller coaster, and even though it went upside down three times, it was not that intense. I was very restrained with the speed knob, and as someone who loves thrill rides, I would probably be more daring if I did it again. For those worried about the intensity of the ride, I remember being told at least twice that the ride I designed went upside down before being strapped into the robotic arm.

It truly did feel like a roller coaster, because in addition to the movement of the robotic arm,there was a monitor showing the "track" up ahead. I highly recommended it!

Bernie:

Just got back from a week in the parks and stumbled across this attraction. It was a lot of fun for my wife and me.

There isn't as much in terms of math and engineering as is suggested in the briefing video, but that's fine.

The experience is VERY smooth (hydraulic robotics, I think). We designed in as many times upside down as we could and it was great fun.

A great feature is the display screen in your "hood." In addition to seeing the path unfold before you (with loops, rolls, and drops), you also see the face of your companion in a small quadrant, so you can watch their face in b&w as they grin and as their hair flies with gravity. (And one wonders if your companion were to "take ill" what THAT would look like...)

The space is cramped, but that was fine with us. You have NO access to your companion (aside from the small b&w screen you are watching them on), but that's okay too.

Absolutely a 10 on the fun scale.

(Oh, and one more thing. There are lockers available as you are entering your capsule, so you can stash your camera, pocket change (in a provided bowl) and anything else. They give you a wrist band with key for retreival afterward.)

Joanne S., Frederick, MD:

Jack: Thanks for another interesting blog and video. Loved the music with the video, too. Very inspiring. You have a real gift when choosing the musical selections to play with your videos. I like that you use music that is not as well known. You must have quite a collection of Disney music!

Laurie:

Thanks for this update. We don't usually spend a lot of time in innoventions since the kids are older. We loved Cyber Space Mountain. Can't wait to visit this in just 23 days.

Alexandra:

Is there a weight limit on this? I am so looking forward to this, but am worried for my friend, he was really upset that he was not able to ride on the Segway.

Jack's Answer:

The warning sign mentions nothing about weight. However, it does say that because of the seat's configuration, certain body shapes and sizes may be prohibited from riding. The seats are form-fitting and I suspect that a larger person would not fit. Be sure to have your friend use the seat mockups outside the attraction before getting in line.

David:

Great article. We just came back from Epcot last week and had a chance to ride this. My 9 year old daughter and I were taking in the Food and Wine Festival when I overheard a couple of people talking about this. I asked a cast member about it and he pointed us in the right direction. However, being later in the day the wait was very long and we decided to come back the following morning when the park first opened and try it then.

The next morning, we got right in (maybe the second or third in line) and tried it out. My daughter (who just made it pass the 54" height requirement for loops)and I opted to try a couple of mild options mixed in with a more wild one. We had so much fun with this that we went right back in line opting for all of the wildest options. By this time, the rest of our family came in and we tried it a third time, which was enough for me because I was starting to feel a little nauseous.

All in all, it was a great experience. The hands on approach really makes a difference in making each experience unique. I am always a fan of hands on experiences because ther's something great about putting control in your own hands (we're also big fans of the Kim Possible experience and "Where's the Fire?" at Innoventions). I would love to see more similar experiences around the parks.

Lauren:

I had read about this attraction prior to its opening, and was bummed it opened the week after our trip in October. So when we returned this past weekend, this was tops on the list. We rode it three times and every time the line nearly encommpassed the entire que area. Even so it took only about 30 minutes to complete the entire experience. My daughter is not much of a thrill ride person, so we started out very mild with the bobsled and eventually progressed to the roller coaster including inversions. She loved the roller coaster, and can't wait to go back and create a completely wild jet ride. I really liked how the training video emphsised all the cool things one can do using math and science. See algebra is important in the real world!

Beth:

Hi Jack -

My husband and I rode this for the first time this past Sunday. Wanting to make sure we got the most intense ride we ended up choosing the roller coaster and went upside down 6 times!! I was a little nervous at first but once they put the screen down in front of my face I was fine. It was a great ride; really fun! However, I don't think I would choose to go upside down again quite so many times because I actually felt a little motion sickness when I got off! Definitely a must do though.

Thanks for the great article as always!

Sarah:

I rode "The Sum of All Thrills" for the first time today. It was FUN! I designed a more "wild" coaster (One loop, double hill). One thing I like is that when you design a coaster with a loop, the computer will ask you if you are sure you want to go upside down, and you have to press yes or no. Then, once you get to the simulator, the cast member will again confirm whether or not you really want to go upside down, so they give you a chance to change your mind about the design.

However this ride is not for larger people. I'm just over 5"9, and about 220 pounds last time I checked, and I barely fit. Fortunately, they do have test chairs right beside the line.

I really, really like "The Sum of All Thrills" and recommend it for all thrill seekers.

Jenn:

I rode this attraction with my husband in November 2010 and while i really enjoyed it, I must caution curvier ladies to try the test seat before heading in. I am a definate pear shape and at that time I wore a size 18 pant. I barely fit in the seat and had to kind of wedge myself in with an extra push. We're returning to WDW at the end of this month and unfortunately I went up a size so I will definately be avoiding this attraction. I must stress again that I'm hippy - apple shapes will probably have less trouble - but if you're concerned try the test chair - it'll possibly save some potential embarrassment.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 22, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Maharajah Jungle Trek.

The next post in this blog is Tiana's Showboat Jubilee .

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