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View Full Version : Disney Boat Ride - Source of Propulsion?


Jinx
02-25-2010, 10:17 PM
Maybe I'm overlooking something, but what propels the boat in the Disney ride, "It's a Small World"? The water seems to have little to no current, and the boat seems to have no motor. Is the boat on wheels, and an electric motor silently pushes the boat along?

Joey P
02-25-2010, 10:20 PM
It's on a track.

I assume it has a motor that with wheels either riding the track or the floor that drive it. I suppose it could also use a cable or chain to pull it along, I'm not sure, but there is a track under the water.

Johnny L.A.
02-25-2010, 10:27 PM
The It's A Small World ride uses flume pumps. The water appears to be still, because the boat is moving with it.

Jinx
02-25-2010, 10:29 PM
Flume pumps? Please explain, if you would (to make this OP complete).

Jinx
02-25-2010, 10:33 PM
If you ever taken Disney's riverboat ride around Tom Sawyer Island, you will notice the boat seems to dock like a real boat. So, is this boat ride actually for real?

Johnny L.A.
02-25-2010, 10:38 PM
The ride is a 'flume ride', in which a boat floats along with the current in the same way a log moves down a flume. Whereas a log flume is powered by gravity, amusement park rides have to be a closed circuit. So to move the water, pumps are built in to push it along. I know that on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I have felt the water jets on the bottom of the boat.

Colibri
02-25-2010, 10:43 PM
If you ever taken Disney's riverboat ride around Tom Sawyer Island, you will notice the boat seems to dock like a real boat. So, is this boat ride actually for real?

I didn't think we really needed two separate threads about Disney boat rides, especially since the original title just referred to boat rides in general, so I have merged this one with the previous one on "It's a Small World."

Note that Johnny L.A.s post before this one is in reference to "It's a Small World," not the Tom Sawyer one.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Jinx
02-25-2010, 10:45 PM
I didn't think we really needed two separate threads about Disney boat rides, so I have merged this one with the previous one on "It's a Small World."

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Thanks...good idea! My apologies for two similar posts...

Jinx
02-25-2010, 10:47 PM
The ride is a 'flume ride', in which a boat floats along with the current in the same way a log moves down a flume. Whereas a log flume is powered by gravity, amusement park rides have to be a closed circuit. So to move the water, pumps are built in to push it along. I know that on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, I have felt the water jets on the bottom of the boat.

I agree. But, on "It's A Small World", I do not feel it. Maybe it is weaker and/or I am more engrossed by the scenery to notice???

Johnny L.A.
02-25-2010, 10:55 PM
Here's a photo (http://www.mouseplanet.info/gallery/d/79161-1/IASW1-091308-AVP.jpg) of the IASW flume. Note the 'trench' in the middle. I don't know if the boats have keels that stick into it, or if they have a pair of wheels. In any case, they're carried along by the moving water.

The paddle boat is actually run on steam. It has a Diesel generator for electrical power. The boat runs along an I-beam.

DrDeth
02-25-2010, 10:58 PM
The only self-guided boats in DL are the canoes and rafts.

Joey P
02-25-2010, 10:59 PM
Ahhh, yes, I remember now seeing the jets here and there keeping the current moving, but IIRC there was a track to keep it on course.

Washoe
02-25-2010, 11:12 PM
I don't know if the boats have keels that stick into it, or if they have a pair of wheels.

I donít know if this will shed any light on the matter, but the reason the ride was recently closed for an extended period of time is that the canal had to be deepened. The reason for this (as explained to me by a park employee) is that Americans have become so fat since the ride was first constructed that the boats were scraping the bottom. Iím guessing that if they are on wheels then this wouldnít be an issue, since the wheel would support the boat. But then again, the boats may still have wheels and the rideís functioning is dependent on a certain amount of buoyancy being present for the wheels to turn freely.

Johnny L.A.
02-25-2010, 11:19 PM
Iím guessing that if they are on wheels then this wouldnít be an issue, since the wheel would support the boat. But then again, the boats may still have wheels and the rideís functioning is dependent on a certain amount of buoyancy being present for the wheels to turn freely.

I was guessing that the wheels (if they exist) might be mounted horizontally, so that they roll along the sides of the trench.