Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Little Spark--007: License to Thrill

Be sure to check back soon for a Spark of Inspiration update on this wonderful piece of concept art!

Prepare to get shaken, but not stirred (see what I did there?), in 007: License To Thrill, an all new action packed ride that puts you in the seat of a stunt driver for the newest James Bond movie, coming soon to The Walt Disney Studios Park!

FYI: The name is not original (as you can probably see above). It actually comes from an old Paramount Parks attraction that was released to correspond with the opening of Tomorrow Never Dies (great movie by the way). From what I understand, the attraction was a bummer, but the name was great, so I decided to borrow it unless I can come up with something better...

007: License To Thrill will replace three attractions in the current park (an article I should probably post soon haha), Soundstage 1, The Improve Theatre, and the Sound Attraction in what is currently The Attraction Studios, leaving the I Love Lucy Tribute Show and Studio P&G the last remnants of what was The Attraction Studios. With the opening of the James Bond ride comes a new name for the area, The Action Studios. Eventually those two attractions will be replaced as well, with what though I’m not quite sure yet…but that’s a story for a different day.

Using Test Track technology, the ride will put guests in the seat of James Bond, where they'll dodge explosions, speed through oil slicks, and crash through walls. In order to make it appear you're actually chasing someone, the vehicles will be timed so that they are "chasing" the vehicle in front of it. In other words, if there are 10 vehicles, then vehicle 1 will "chase" vehicle 10, vehicle 2 will "chase" vehicle 1, vehicle 3 will "chase" vehicle 2, and so on. This timing will be done by having the cars load as if they're a Peoplemover attraction (the vehicles never stop). If for some reason the vehicle did need to stop, for a handicap person, etc, there'd be a pit stop over to the side where that person would be able to load, and the attraction wouldn't be stopped.

Walking up to the ride, you’ll find pretty much what you see in the above concept art, the only difference being a soundstage behind the fa├žade (much like Star Tours in DHS).

-The Queue-

Once inside of the soundstage, guests will find themselves on set of the latest Bond picture, standing inside the lobby of MI6 headquarters. On overhead monitors throughout the queue, a director preps guests for their big role as double-O agents working alongside Bond in his big blockbuster picture. Throughout the queue, guests will see agents and other MI6 employees going about their business, some CM’s, and some AA’s. After winding through the Lobby and hallways, guests will finally find themselves in the Briefing Room. Entering the room guests will find that giant screen seen in the picture below (from Quantum of Solace) and a M animatronic (played by Judi Dench) standing in front of it.

-The Preshow-The director will come on screen, explaining that this is everyone’s first shot and making sure everybody’s ready. From the right side of the room you’ll hear, “QUIET ON THE SET…AND ACTION!”, and suddenly the room will go dark, with a spot light shining on M, who will begin to debrief your mission: to stop a group of terrorists with bio-weapons from reaching their destination, London Heathrow Airport. Suddenly a James Bond animatronic (played by Daniel Craig) will enter the room through a door on the right. M will say something along the lines of, “You’re late 007”, to which he will respond, “Sorry, I was just getting to know Ms. Money Penny a little better”, or something along those lines, though I’d want it to be more humorous (haha yeah, I know, I’m reeeeally bad at writing scripts lol). She’ll explain how we’re going to be working along side Bond, and will then tell us to move along to the Q-Branch Labs.

-The Load Area-Entering the Q-Branch, a large, bright, warehouse looking-room, guests will find a Q animatronic (featuring the late Desmond Llewelyn) on a platform above the empty Aston Martins that drive into the room (the cars will have 2 rows of seats, sitting 3 across). He explains the special features of the cars, how they’re controlled from MI6 via GPS Sattellite, bulletproof, and include a grenade launcher inside of the headlights. Of course, once guests are buckled up, Q will, as always, beg of the agents to, “...Please return the car in one piece this time (sighs)…”

-The Ride-

Zooming out of the Q-Branch Labs and onto the streets of London, Bond comes over the radio, explaining that the car guests’re tracking is right in front of them, and how he’s a street away so as not to give up our cover and make it appear obvious that the car is being followed. Weaving around corners and zooming through alleys and back streets, still keeping their distance, the car you’re following suddenly zooms into the old abandoned (enter sponsor’s name here) warehouse. Speeding after them into the warehouse, the car is nowhere to be found, but whispering can be heard from over some crates and boxes. Suddenly, henchmen pop out from behind the boxes, firing away at your car (which can be felt/heard through holes in the car shooting air just as in GMR on the walls during the gangster scene). “We’ve been caught! Quick, get out of there!”, Bond shouts as guests crash through a warehouse wall and back onto the London streets. From there, the chase is on, and the real fun begins. Guests follow the car out of London and into the British country-side, dodging past pedestrian cars, hitting other bad guy vehicles and flipping their car over, slipping through oil slicks, etc, until guests reach the final straightaway with the car they’ve been playing tag with right in front of them, but about to go into a tunnel. Bond comes over the radio, “Now’s our chance! Q, use the grenade launcher, quick, we won’t get a shot like this again, they're speeding into the tunnel!” “Alright, alright 007, we’re locking onto the target…now! Aaaaaaaaand, FIRE!” All of a sudden, the car in front of guests appears to go up in flames! Of course, it doesn’t really, as the car in front is holding the load of guests in front of us. In order to create the illusion, two separate unload areas will be created, and when the car is “blown up”, guests will have really zoomed into the unload area, where a steel door has slammed shut behind them just as quickly as they zoomed in. Most of the effect will be created with smoke, though Flames will be included. When your car is “blown up”, you will have zoomed into the unload area over. Does that make sense? Haha I suppose it is kind of confusing. Once inside the tunnel, everythings pitch black, then the director yells, "AND CUT!" and suddenly, the lights turn on, and you're back in the soundstage. The director, along with Daniel Craig, tells you what a great job you've done, thanks you for your hard work, and to be sure and enjoy the rest of your day at The Walt Disney Studios Themepark.

Well, there you have it! Any comments, critiscims, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully you get a pretty good sense of what I'd want this attraction to be like.


  1. Very intereresting reading. thx


  2. very interesting reading too! I love James Bond!