Disneyland Tests New Measuring Device

Sarangel

<font color=red><font color=navy>Rumor has it ...<
Joined
Jan 18, 2000
No more standing on tippy-toes or using mouse ears for extra inches. No more haggling with ride operators over a few centimeters. Disneyland is going high tech with the way it measures a kid's height.

Soon, children will be measured with an ultrasound beam that sizes them up in seconds. The new device bounces a beam from a paddle placed on top of the child's head, then lights up white, orange, blue or green--colors that correspond with wristbands indicating which attractions are safe, depending on the kids' heights.

A green Goofy wristband, for example, tells parents and ride operators that children can ride on all attractions. A white Mickey Mouse band means children can ride only attractions that have no height restrictions. Park officials say the ultrasound device is faster, more precise and tourist-friendly.

"This allows them to be checked one time rather than at each individual attraction," said Jim MacPhee, vice president of attractions and guest service operations at the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland already requires children to be a certain height to ride some attractions as a safety precaution.

Some of the park's faster and more jolting rides are not designed for small children. Until now, the children have been measured at each ride, where lines on signs or posts show how tall riders must be.

The new system does not change any height policies; it just streamlines the process, measuring the children once and ensuring that undersized kids cannot slip through the system.

Disneyland has been testing the device since Dec. 5. Guest response was so positive, MacPhee said, that the question is no longer if the ultrasound beam will be used, but when and how.

The measuring device--which looks a bit like a small traffic light pole--is making its way around park sites while officials decide how many they need and where they should be used. For now, at least, the bands are not required for any rides, and the traditional measuring charts are in place.

So far, the wristbands are only at Disneyland, though they will probably be used at California Adventure and Disney parks in Florida.

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For the full story, Click Here
 

YoHo

If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.
Joined
Nov 1, 1999
This sounds cool.

I mean, its not a new ride or anything, but talk about enhancing the SHOW on a fundimental level. It streamlines things for the guests and for Disney.
 

HBK

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 21, 2000
This is the type of stuff Walt would be proud of.

Six flags has been doing the bracelett routine for the past two seasons. A great timesaver. The fact Disney is doing it isn't what I think Walt would be proud of....it's the use of the technology. Any park can have a yardstick. Disney takes the next step and pushes the technological envelope. Kinda like using a monorail when a bus gets the same result. Both methods of transportation get the guest from point A to point B. But it's so much cooler with the monorail. Same thing.

Very neat, and BRAVO to Disney for this.
 

DVC-Landbaron

What Would Walt Do?
Joined
Jul 21, 2000
Well said HBK!!!

Any park can have a yardstick. Disney takes the next step and pushes the technological envelope.

Do you remember when little surprises like this were all over EPCOT!?!? How cool if they went back to that philosophy.

Thanks for pointing this out. It is indeed one of those little things that I would have noticed years back that set Disney light-years ahead of the crowd. It just reeks of the "Disney Touch", doesn't it?

:bounce:
 

HBK

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 21, 2000
Thanks for pointing this out. It is indeed one of those little things that I would have noticed years back that set Disney light-years ahead of the crowd. It just reeks of the "Disney Touch", doesn't it?
Too bad they haven't been able to capture more of this in their latest offerings. Really makes the shortcomings of DCA & CarnyRama stand out.

:(
 

All Aboard

Por favor mantengan se alejado de las puertas
Joined
Oct 21, 1999
Oh My Landbaron and HBK!! Please oh please give me a break here!!

The use of a paddle and ultrasound exposing the weaknesses at DCA and Dinorama?!?!?! How absurd.

First, I applaud the use of the wristband concept. A real time saver that should have come around long ago.

But, the whole ultrasound thing is a bit of overkill. And, seems a bit more susceptible to user error than say something like a really cool display of Disney characters where the kids measure up to them to see which level they achieve. That's got an element of fun. Some funky paddle and the use of ultrasound would be lost on my daughter and most others at the ages where measurement is required. Other than RnR, most kids are big enough for every other attraction at WDW by the time they are about 6 years old.

But really guys, exposing weaknesses? You're stretching big time now.
 

DVC-Landbaron

What Would Walt Do?
Joined
Jul 21, 2000
Who said anything about exposing weaknesses??!! I certainly didn’t. What I was lamenting was the cool little ‘gismos’ that EPCOT had when it opened and was supposed to keep giving us. Remember? Cutting edge technology? What happened to that concept?

This height-measuring device is nothing more than a ‘little gismo’ that puts on a cool show. It could all be smoke and mirrors for all I care. The point is the concept is cool.
Some funky paddle and the use of ultrasound would be lost on my daughter and most others at the ages where measurement is required.
Does she go alone? Do you send her to the ride (or measuring spot) and tell her you’ll meet up for lunch at the Poly? The SHOW, of this little gismo, is for the accompanying adult!!! Not the kid!

I guess I really miss the kiosks that let you make reservations. And I especially miss the promise of things to come. The anticipation of cool things, little things, that we would see on the next trip. Such lost potential. But I guess it’s hard to put that kind of thing on a balance sheet. :(
 

YoHo

If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.
Joined
Nov 1, 1999
Exactly Landbaron, never mind that fact that as the Article states, the yardstick, manual, characters with a hand stuck out system has been proven TOO INACCURATE.
gcurling, they specifically didn't want to do what your suggesting, because its too easy to cheat the system.
 

HBK

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 21, 2000
The use of a paddle and ultrasound exposing the weaknesses at DCA and Dinorama?!?!?! How absurd.
No Greg...it's absurd that the only time the company goes the extra "un-needed" mile is something as simple as a virtual yardstick. And I'll stand by my statement. DVC didn't make mention of it at all.

My point was this: Disney used go the extra "un-needed" mile in everything they did. That seperated them from the Six flags of the world. Now it seems they are content to just do enough to get by.

I was excited by this article because it was a change from the "just enough" mindset. Like I said, any park can use a yardstick.

So what at DCA or CarnyRama makes you say "WOW they didn't need to do that, but it's really cool!" The only thing I can think of is Soarin...

But, the whole ultrasound thing is a bit of overkill
So is a monorail, but I don't recall see you complaining about that.
 

dmfuru

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 13, 2000
Soon after they introduce this measuring device you will see posts on the Attractions board stating that they (the devices) measure inaccurately and that some 41" kid was told he was too short to ride BTMRR (et al).
 

HBK

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 21, 2000
Soon after they introduce this measuring device you will see posts on the Attractions board stating that they (the devices) measure inaccurately and that some 41" kid was told he was too short to ride BTMRR (et al).
I'd bet someone will have a yardstick handy to resolve disputes. I would imagine the biggest problem will be with parents whose children are too small, but were able to cheat the system in the past, and now they can't.....so a child who "cheated" his way onto Big Thunder may be told now he can't.
 

Another Voice

Charter Member of The Element
Joined
Jan 27, 2000
[Sigh] I’m shoved into the role of cynic once again…. (no comments, please)

“Rumors” speculate that the sudden enthusiasm for accurate height measurements has a less “magical” origin. At the first of this year, California adopted somewhat stiff amusement park safety laws in the wake of the ‘Columbia’ and ‘Toontown Spin’ ride tragedies at Disneyland. The Cal-OSHA board has not been all that deferential to Disney in most matters and their demanded list of changes to the ‘Roger Rabbit’ ride were lengthy and expensive. The board can, and does, **** down rides and entire areas. And if pushed, they can shut down entire parks.

Part of the board’s mission is to make sure that the parks actually enforce the height & weight restrictions for rides. This became even more urgent after a death this summer at Knott’s Berry Farm. Even Disney – with a brand new park filled with height restricted rides – has run into trouble with both its enforcement and safety of its rides (by the way, anyone for a spin on ‘Mulholland Madness’?).

And you should also remember that this is California, where the lawyer is listed as dangerous wildlife along with the grizzly bear, the great white shark and the rattlesnake. There have been more than a few cases where it’s been argued in court that it’s not the parents’ responsibility that poor, suffering Johnnie went on the ride (despite the fact that he stood on his toes with extra high sneakers while his mother browbeat the poor teenage ride attendant so Johnnie’s father could sneak the child past). No, it the responsiblity of the large, cash-rich corporation to judge whether the kid is appropriate for the ride.* Yes, the lawyers contend, they should be punished to the tune of a quarter billion dollars for such despicable actions!

Suddenly, been able to prove that 46 inches really is 46 inches becomes highly cost effective.


* - another interesting class of lawsuits is starting to appear – the “mental anguish” ones. The “you didn’t tell me the ride was scary, and now little Johnnie has nightmares. His life-long suffering can only be calmed by large infusions of cash into the parent’s checking account” kind. These will be interesting to watch.
 

All Aboard

Por favor mantengan se alejado de las puertas
Joined
Oct 21, 1999
So, I'm in the extreme minority on this one. Not the first time.

Landbaron, you are right, you didn't say it. HBK did:
Really makes the shortcomings of DCA & CarnyRama stand out.
That statement really got me and yes I do think that's an absurd cause and effect. I'll bet there's far more technology at DCA than in a paddle and ultrasound.

I think the whole concept is a good one, don't get me wrong. What bothers me is that it pulled out some of Disney's harshest critics who in turn hung their hats on it as a shining example of lost potential elsewhere. To me, that's a HUGE stretch. Sorry to flame up, but that conclusion was really out of left field.

As for accuracy. I don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to me that placing a flat object on a round noggin and having it be exactly parallel to the floor is not that simple a task. A half inch tilt in any direction could make a very meaningful difference. What about the fright factor? I'm not sure what this thing looks like, but some of the little kids (those testing for the Barnstormer for example) might be afraid of it.
 

YoHo

If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.
Joined
Nov 1, 1999
Actually AV, I kind of knew that was the situation, but its still interesting. I work with some So-Cal residents and they Universally blame the parents and kids for all those incidents (Roger Rabbit comes immediatly to mind). So the normal people understand. Also, I was under the impression that Disneyland did not implement, (or implemented only a few) of the Requirments that Cal-OSHA requested.
 

YoHo

If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.
Joined
Nov 1, 1999
One would assume that they Take the average of all points on the paddle and determine height that way. this would be completely accurate (as long as the measurer kept the paddle reasonable perpendicular to the ground.)
 

HBK

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 21, 2000
Rumors” speculate that the sudden enthusiasm for accurate height measurements has a less “magical” origin.
My feeling is the fact that they are using technology which isn't really needed (a yardstick with a paddle at the top does the same thing). It's the fact that they chose to utilize technology which sounds to be cutting edge, and it's un-precidented to my knowledge.

I really see this as similar to the monorail. Walt could have used trams, busses & trains to move guests from point A to point B. But he didn't want the ordinary, it'll do. He wanted something which people could associate with his park and his company. When I think of monorail, I think of Disney.

I think this is along that same concept. When people who visit Disneyland notice these devices cropping up elsewhere (probably for the accuracy reasons AV alludes to) they will associate them with Disney.

Other parks have yardsticks to measure your height. Disney has some type of new contraction which is really neat. Other parks have busses. Disney has monorails. Other parks look like they were made with errector sets. Disney parks (usually) look like storybooks brought to life.
That statement really got me and yes I do think that's an absurd cause and effect. I'll bet there's far more technology at DCA than in a paddle and ultrasound.
This is why I think my feelings aren't coming across correctly. I'm not trying to compare the technology from a spinner to the paddle & ultrasound.

My point is the paddle & ultrasound are "fluff" added to a menial task to make it neat (and apparently there are other business reasons as well). The parks & rides opened in the past few years are missing this layer of "fluff". That's my point, and in my contrived thought process, it makes the missing fluff stand out.
As for accuracy. I don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to me that placing a flat object on a round noggin and having it be exactly parallel to the floor is not that simple a task. A half inch tilt in any direction could make a very meaningful difference. What about the fright factor? I'm not sure what this thing looks like, but some of the little kids (those testing for the Barnstormer for example) might be afraid of it.
Keep in mind I've never seen this, but I would imagine it looks similar to a scale at the doctor's office. The paddle is probably attached to a pole and you stand on a pad. The CM lowers the paddle until it's touching your head.
 

sandramaac

<font color=blue>Needs to look harder...<br><font
Joined
May 12, 2001
One comment though--kids really hate those wrist bands. They get itchy,and when you sweat they get more annoying. Perhaps they can use soemthing different. Because most of the time kids pull them off.

Comments anyone
 

raidermatt

Be water, my friend.
Joined
Sep 26, 2000
So what at DCA or CarnyRama makes you say "WOW they didn't need to do but it's really cool!" The only thing I can think of is Soarin...

I haven't been to 'CarnyRama' since 9/00, so I can't really comment. Actually, I can make one. The Boneyard children's playground is much more elaborate than it needed to be. Most kids are just as happy with some monkey bars and tanbark. They don't need fossils embedded in the rocks, dinosaur noises when you step on rocks, etc. (My apologies if the Boneyard isn't part of CarnyRama)

As for DCA:

California Screamin' - A "steel" roller coaster made to look like a wooden coaster. Why? They could have just built a wooden coaster. But they wanted one that could do things wooden coasters can't. So they built a steel coaster, but in a way that makes it look wooden. This required a great deal of extra steel and detail that wasn't necessary.

I also like the way Screamin' is lighted at night, along with the Ferris Wheel (name escapes me at the moment). In my opinion, this is very well done, and could have been much less elaborate.

The large pool/lake in front of Paradise Pier. Does not have to be there, and certainly could have been smaller, yet it helps the beach theme.

Grizzly Peak - A mountain of that size does not have to be built in the shape of a bear head. It could have been made like any mountain, and most wouldn't have given it a second thought.

Waterfall/display in plaza outside Hollywood Backlot. A very nice thing to watch, that could have been less elaborate.

I'm not saying DCA is perfect. Its far from it. But there are some wonderful Disney touches there. It just needs a few more, as well as some more 'meat'.
 

HBK

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 21, 2000
I haven't been to 'CarnyRama' since 9/00, so I can't really comment. Actually, I can make one. The Boneyard children's playground is much more elaborate than it needed to be. Most kids are just as happy with some monkey bars and tanbark. They don't need fossils embedded in the rocks, dinosaur noises when you step on rocks, etc. (My apologies if the Boneyard isn't part of CarnyRama)
I agree about the playgrounds throughout Disney (and IOA for that matter). Very well done. Unfortunatly the boneyard was built before the company become so blatant in the "do as little as possible" methodology. CarnyRama is the newest addition to Dinoland USA. It's made up of a spinner with a Triceritops theme and the under construction whirling mouse kiddie coaster. Take a look at WDWMagic.com for photos and more info.
California Screamin' - A "steel" roller coaster made to look like a wooden coaster. Why? They could have just built a wooden coaster. But they wanted one that could do things wooden coasters can't. So they built a steel coaster, but in a way that makes it look wooden. This required a great deal of extra steel and detail that wasn't necessary.
I'm not really going to argue that one. The mask for screamin didn't need to be done but it was. I'm not sure of the WOW factor to hiding the steel but I'm not going to argue it with you. Point taken on Screamin.
Grizzly Peak - A mountain of that size does not have to be built in the shape of a bear head. It could have been made like any mountain, and most wouldn't have given it a second thought.
You're starting to lose me here. DCA is supposed to be a "theme" park. Making the bear's head is the theme of the area, and it was needed to be the park's ICON (although I think DCA may be suffering from the same problem as MGM was....a lack of 1 definitive ICON for the park. Is it grizzly peak, the "hidden" mickey in screamin or the postcard?).
Waterfall/display in plaza outside Hollywood Backlot. A very nice thing to watch, that could have been less elaborate.
Haven't seen it....can't comment.
 

seashoreCM

All around nice guy.
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
>>> carneyrama

So Disney is becoming a theme PARK as opposed to a THEME park?

Does Triceratops Spin really have less decoration than Dumbo?

Mountain that looks like a bear's head as seen in the distance? Fossils carved in every which stone and cliff? Rocks that make dinosaur sounds when stepped on? A huge tree with animal figures sculptured on its trunk? However cute these may be, the kids love them and they make Disney uniquely Disney.

The electronic yardstick makes things more consistent although it probably could still be subverted a little. Also nothing prevents a parent from tearing off the wristband and, half an hour later, putting the child through again for a second opinion.

More Disney tips:
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Heard at a lecture held by the Institute of Transportation Engineers: "By putting in this state of the art signal system, the traffic engineer determines the traffic flow at the intersection instead of some detail officer."
 








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