Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Sum of All Thrills

By Kyle Rupinski

Epcot's The Sum of All Thrills is towards the back of the Innoventions building on the right. After the short pre-show detailing how the company behind the ride (Raytheon) and how to build your coaster, you move to the "Design Lab" where touch screen table tops help you build your coaster. There are lots of choices for your coaster, starting with "Bobsled" "Roller coaster" and "Jet" (bobsled is the mildest, jet is the wildest). From there, you have four parts of your coaster to build, and with each part you get four different track pieces to choose from. This is where the physics comes in. You are given an interactive ruler & knob to control how high you coaster goes and how fast it goes. BUT if it's too high, too fast, or too slow physically, you will have to fine tune your dimensions.

After choosing finishing your coaster, you name it and swipe your card. From here, you go up to the simulators. These alone are very cool. They look like a giant robot arm with two seats at the end. A cast member will put all of your belongings in a locker, and upload your coaster to the simulator. Once seated, a hood gets pulled down over your seat. In this hood there is HD video & sound, a small fan, and a camera, so either the person you are riding with or the cast member can watch you.

The simulators are very realistic, and they definitely mimic things like high speeds, bends, and loops well. At the end of your ride, they factor in a few things and come up with your "Sum" of your thrills. I thought I managed to max everything out and received a score of 936 one ride, though a cast member told me the highest they've seen was 1200.

All of this may sound nearly identical to the roller coaster builder at Disney Quest. Though it is very similar, this ride is a lot more modern and high tech, making it a cooler ride. It will probably stay as a very little wait ride for now, though it has the potential for having a very long line (long pre-show, waiting for people to make their coasters, only four simulators). It's certainly something to check out, however.

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