Controlling the Beat

The Rock’n’Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith underwent a lengthy rehab last fall. The result? Guests are raving again about the light effects synchronized to the soundtrack of the coaster cutting through the thick smoke which once again fills the whole soundstage housing the coaster. In other words: the rehab brought the coaster back to its original standards.

But there are additional, more subtle improvements such as a retouched paint job for the waiting areas (e.g. on the wall guests are facing in the long corridor after the pre-show) – plus one huge improvement for the cast members working at the attraction.

Guests in the final waiting area inside the coaster station are entertained by loud rock music, a light show and all mixed with the sounds of the launching trains complete with screaming guests. As entertaining as this is for guests who do not spend more than a couple of minutes here, cast members not only have to work in these surroundings when assigning seats to guests and  loading the trains but also when in the coaster control “booth”. Afterall, it is not really a “booth” but just a slightly raised platform which is located in one corner of the station, right between the load-area and the launch track, next to the queue line – giving guests the unique experience of taking a close look at the coaster controls (even so the real controls are mixed with fake screens and controls to make them look more exciting).

To allow cast members to concentrate better and safeguard their hearing they were giving ear plugs to use while assigned to any position inside the load station of the coaster, including the control position. However, especially in the later position it is of extreme importance that the cast members can concentrate, especially if an emergency occur. Terefore, during the latest rehab of the coaster, the open, raised control platform in place since the parks’ opening in 2002 was replaced with a closed control booth. However the booth offers huge windows not only for the cast memebrs to look out into the station but also in their back and on the side, facing toward the queue area, offering guests the option to look inside (where the real controls are still mixed with fake controls and screen to make it look more impressive for guests).

The enclosed control booth allows cast members a reprieve from the constant light show and loud music when assigned to this vital position to better communicate and concentrate. First time guests will be hard pressed to notice that the booth was added more than 6 years after the attractions’ official opening.

2 Responses to “Controlling the Beat”

  1. James says:

    Wow, have they really repaired the whole lightshow? That seems a bit unbelievable considering that it wasn’t really close to being fully repaired in early November 2009. If it has, then great! But I won’t believe it until we have a video or pictures proving it.

    As for the new control booth, it looks fine! I’m glad that guests are still able to see all the controls. I know that they have fixed all the station effects too which is fantastic.

  2. Dirk von Diringshofen says:

    Hi James – from what I could see the experience was really up to the original standards again when I rode it over New Year’s. However, considering how much time has passed since the show was fully functional it would plainly spoken be unbelievable if I would claim that each and every last light bulb was there fully working.

    P.S.: you got a great website about R’n’RC!

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