Pooh's Hunny Hunt
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|Pooh's Hunny Hunt|
|Opening date||September 4, 2000|
|Attraction type||Trackless Dark ride|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh|
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After the rise in popularity of Walt Disney's film adaptation of Winnie-the-Pooh, Disney Imagineers made plans in the late 1970s for a Winnie the Pooh attraction at Disneyland's soon-to-be renovated Fantasyland. However, in 1983, when the renovated Fantasyland reopened, a Winnie the Pooh attraction was notably absent. Seven years later, during a period when the character was undergoing a resurgence in popularity, plans for a Winnie the Pooh attraction were approved at Walt Disney World. Planners utilized an existing structure, that of the Fantasyland attraction Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
The next version of the attraction, considerably different in configuration, was Pooh's Hunny Hunt, which opened in Tokyo Disneyland. Due to a closure of all of the Skyways at Disney Parks across the world, including Tokyo, a space was left where the Fantasyland Skyway station once stood. With a budget of over $130 million, and featuring a never-before-used 'trackless' ride technology, Pooh's Hunny Hunt opened in late 2000 to large crowds and praise by many Disney internet fansites. To date, the attraction continues to have some of the longest wait times of any attraction at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort.
The queue for the ride zig-zags in front of the entrance, which is shaped like a giant story book. Once inside, the rest of the line is made up of the pages of the story book which tell various parts of the story. Guests then board big, 5-seater honey pots. These Honey pots travel through the ride in groups of three.
Upon leaving the station, and making a left into the ride, the Honey pots stop in a line in front of a short video which has Christopher Robin giving Pooh a balloon. The vehicles then enter a very large room themed to the blustery day. There are many sights in this room, and the vehicles take turns visiting the various scenes. Pooh is seen flying around on his balloon. Kanga and Roo, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, and Piglet are getting blown about the wind. As the vehicles unite to leave the room, Tigger bounces up and down behind a bush.
The honey pots then enter a dark room with three screens surrounded by trees. A swarm of bees flies through all three before Tigger comes in and starts singing and bouncing. The entire room, the trees, and the honey pots then begin to bounce with Tigger as he bounces from screen to screen. He then jumps up into one of the trees and the swarm of bees reemerges. The honey pots then go backwards down a hallway filled with branches. Tigger is seen clinging to one with a beehive stuck to his head.
The honey pots enter Pooh's house, where he is seen asleep with the balloon next to him. As he mumbles, the balloon grows the ears and eyes of a heffalump and the entire room vanishes into a starfield. Pooh then floats up into the air.
The vehicles then enter Pooh's dream sequence. This big room is filled the heffalumps and woozles that Pooh dreams about. This room is by far the most vibrant as the honey pots dance in circles with each other to a jazzy Heffalump band as colored lights and disco balls spin throughout the room. There are lots of vehicles in this room and whenever three enter, three leave. The leaving vehicles exit through the trunk of a giant heffalump which contains a tunnel. The vehicles go down the tunnel backwards as Pooh spins above and projections of Heffalumps and Woozles spin along the walls.
The last room is filled with honey and Pooh eats his fill while saying how much he loves to eat it. There is a scent of honey in this room. The vehicles then pass a big, closed storybook of the adventure and then return to the unloading area.
Pooh's Hunny Hunt utilises a trackless ride system developed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Although other trackless ride systems do exist on the market (such as ETF's Mystic Mover), Pooh's Hunny Hunt differs in that it utilises an array of sensors as opposed to a dedicated wire embedded in the floor. A custom local positioning system (LPS; not to be confused with GPS) is used to manage these sensors. The patented control system works by directional data being relayed from a master control computer directly to the vehicles which are fashioned to resemble honey pots. This data is then used to move an individual honey pot car through a complicated matrix embedded within the actual floor tiles. Every few seconds, the master computer generates a random path and ‘steers’ the honey pot in real-time, so as the cars roll through the ride the vehicles are, in fact, being told where to go. Because this system is in real-time, they can maneuver accordingly in just fractions of a second. This also allows for spontaneous yet synchronized ‘honey pot choreography’ with groups of honey pots (as many as 8 in a single show scene) appearing to ‘dance’ with the others, often timed with ‘beats’ in the music. Due to limitless variations possible, each journey through the attraction is unique. Overall, Pooh's Hunny Hunt is reported to have had a budget of $130 million.
Disneyland, Magic Kingdom and Hong Kong Disneyland all feature dark rides based on Pooh. These rides operate as The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and feature a more traditional track-based dark ride system.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mystic Manor
- Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy
- US patent 7739006, Gillula, Jeremy, "System and method for autonomous navigation in a ride vehicle", issued 2010-06-15, assigned to Disney Enterprises, Inc.
- Koppens, Ruud (15 November 2011). "ETF Ride Systems". The Coaster Crew (Interview). Orlando, Florida. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- "Mystic Mover". ETF Ride Systems. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Niles, Robert (21 April 2013). "Pooh's Hunny Hunt reviews". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Sim, Nick (3 September 2012). "Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland". Theme Park Tourist. Retrieved 16 May 2013.