Disney has just filed a patent on a brand new ride system that will change guest experiences based on emotion.

As an example, the ride system could read facial expressions to see if guests are looking bored or excited and adjust the entire attraction as a result. This could include changes to:

  • Scenery
  • Increases/decreases in spinning
  • Displays/visuals seen in the attraction

In classic patent fashion a vision for how this works can be seen below:

The patent goes into a bit more detail on this:

The technology would allow rides to adjust show content appropriate for pre-teens, teenagers or adults; or for thrill-seeking and non thrill-seeking passengers. The control system may also operate the vehicle to address (e.g. even solve in some cases) motion sickness issues for passengers such as by adjusting speed or movement patterns of a vehicle. [Through RFID or some other identifying system] access one or more ride experience goals (or expectations) for the occupant. For example, the occupant may simply desire transportation while in the automated trackless vehicle and, hence, will not be wanting to interact with to be entertained by external display systems. In other cases, though, the occupant may have provided goals/expectations (e.g. by completing a questionnaire on a website or the like) that indicate they want to be educated during the ride, be entertained in a particular manner during the ride, be informed of sales on services or merchandise during the ride, and so on. In the same or other cases, the goals/expectations may indicate whether the ride experience should be thrilling, as smooth as possible, or something in between.

The ride/travel path may be selected to meet the occupant’s goals, such as to take the path that can be completed at this time of day in the shortest period of time, to take a path that has the best scenery, to take a path that moves past a particular set of display elements, and the like.

It is interesting to note the use of RFID and understanding guests needs through the completion of some form of questionnaire on a website. I wonder if Disney plans are to understand a lot more about each guests with future renditions of MagicBands in order to completely change attraction experiences as a result. It certainly sounds that way! Less interesting is the mention of being able to showcase available merchandise during an attraction, is anyone actually interested in that?!

Obviously all of this is speculation at this stage due to it all being contained with a patent but changing an experience based on prior knowledge of each guest and the emotion being shown during the attraction sounds intriguing, wouldn’t you agree?