NetworkWorld.com published a great behind the scenes technical look at Toy Story Midway Mania!, the very popular ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s California Adventure. The article, by Carolyn Duffy Marsan, mainly talks about the wireless technology that allows the ride vehicles to communicate with the graphics workstations that power the ride.
Disney is using 802.11 wireless technology, essentially the same thing you would use in your home or at the local coffee shop – only much more stable and secure. Wireless technology, although convenient, doesn’t always give you the most reliable connection, so Disney had to be sure that this would work for the ride. This is extremely important when you think about the information that goes over that network (including the position of the ride vehicles and where the firing mechanisms are pointed).
The graphics workstations – all 154 of them – are running Windows XP and are capable of rendering 3D images at 60 frames per second. This is pretty impressive considering that many modern video games run at around 30 frames per second (there are some that run higher).
Click here to read the whole article. It’s a very interesting read – even if you’re just a fan of the ride.