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Disney tosses ride's beach balls

They apparently led to longer waits for Luigi's Flying Tires at California Adventure.

September 20, 2012|By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
  • Visitors ride Luigi’s Flying Tires at Disney’s California Adventure Park. The beach balls apparently slowed down the loading and unloading of riders.
Visitors ride Luigi’s Flying Tires at Disney’s California… (Mark Boster, Los Angeles…)

Tweaks and adjustments are common in theme park attractions.

The abominable snowman was not added to Disneyland's Matterhorn Bobsleds until more than a decade after the ride opened in 1959.

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was remodeled in 2006 to include the likeness of Johnny Depp, who played Capt. Jack Sparrow in the popular movie series.

The latest adjustment is to a new Disney California Adventure Park ride — the theme park has gotten rid of Luigi's Flying Tires' beach balls.

The ride that puts visitors on giant tires that float on a cushion of air opened in June with dozens of colorful beach balls that bounced on and between the floating tires. (Often they bounced on the riders, as well.)

The balls apparently slowed down the process of loading and unloading visitors from the ride, making the wait for Luigi's Flying Tires longer.

"We regularly make modifications to our attractions to provide our guests with the best possible experience," said Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown.

She said other "creative elements" may be added to the ride in the future, but declined to elaborate.

Luigi's Flying Tires replicates a Disneyland ride from the 1960s — the Flying Saucers — that put visitors on personal spacecraft that floated on a cushion of air. But that ride was removed after only five years because of mechanical problems. And it didn't involve beach balls.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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