Luigi’s Flying Tires an Extinct Attraction soon!
WDI has had to walk carefully around some powerful Imagineers to get out of the starting gates. The result is that Luigi’s Flying Tires is now slated to close on Sunday, January 11th to be remade into an all new ride, in the shortest amount of time possible.
John Lassetter continued to put his considerable influence behind the Flying Tires attraction, even though Mary Niven’s operations team at DCA felt the ride was a real turkey. In that previous 2013 update we told you how DCA Cast Members leaving their shifts were surprised to find Imagineers at Luigi’s after the park closed testing remote controlled Guido characters. The remote controlled Guido forklifts acted as battering rams who would bash into the tires and help move them around the attraction. That idea continued to morph artistically at WDI, while the Operations team in Anaheim schemed to do away with the ride permanently due to the low customer-satisfaction scores it receives and the unfortunate track record of injuries from people tripping while they try to climb into the cumbersome vehicles. John Lassetter’s dream of reinventing the Flying Saucers from his youth never quite worked well, and everyone in Anaheim and a growing group in Glendale knew it but didn’t have the guts to tell Lassetter.
But after lots of political footsie with Imagineers, TDA has now gotten their wish and the original Luigi’s attraction is planned to close just after Christmas. The current plan is to replace the Flying Tires and the oddball and easily overlooked “Festival of the Flying Tires” backstory with a new attraction that removes the need for the riders to steer their own vehicles. A fleet of 1950’s Fiat cars, ostensibly Luigi’s extended family visiting from the old country, will spin and twirl around the floor in a choreographed musical production number in the new ride tentatively called “Luigi’s Festival of the Dance”.
The new ride will keep the existing tire showroom building and indoor queue, and use a version of the WiFi controlled system that guides autonomous vehicles through the Ratatouille ride at Disneyland Paris and Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland. The massive fans and deep basement that powered the Flying Tires ride system will be put into mothballs, while the new ride is built literally on its grave. If the aggressive schedule from WDI pans out, the new ride could be up and running by the Christmas season of 2015, just under a year from the time the Flying Tires closed.
There’s no word yet whether they might get Fiat to sponsor the Luigi’s Festival of the Dance ride, although that would probably upset the bigwigs at General Motors who have been in recent talks with TDA to once again sponsor at least one attraction in each Anaheim park. When the Star Wars Tomorrowland plan was officially dead and buried earlier this year, WDI began contemplating an updated version of Autopia that would fit perfectly with a GM sponsorship. Autopia and/or a GM sponsorship of Radiator Springs Racers, with those soaring Cadillac tailfins, are on Disney’s wish list of corporate agreements now that GM has exited its dark bankruptcy era and has money to spend.
When I interviewed Bob Gurr about the flying saucer ride, he said it sucked, and this version sucks too.
Some of that interview is below – GO TO 5:04 to see the part I’m talking about