The Innoventions pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot is set to host its very first ride, with The Sum of All Thrills likely to open within weeks.
Sponsored by Raytheon, The Sum of All Thrills will allow guests to design their own rollercoaster, jet plane or bobsled ride. They'll then be able to "ride" it on one of four robot-arm simulators. Originally announced as opening this Fall, Screamscape reports that Disney has begun the process of recruiting cast members to operate the ride.
The ride system used is the Kuka Robocoaster, which seats guests on a KR 1000 Titan robotic arm originally designed for industrial use. The same system is also set to be used for the flagship dark ride at Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it opens in 2010 - though the Epcot version will be stationary, unlike the Potter ride which will also move along a track.
Like many attractions at Epcot, The Sum of All Thrills has an educational theme. In this case, it is part of Raytheon's MathMovesU program, which is designed to engage middle school students in math and science. The experience is designed to show that basic skills picked up at school can be applied to stunning engineering feats such as rollercoasters.
The new ride may sound familiar to Disney-goers, as CyberSpace Mountain at the DisneyQuest "indoor theme park" allows guests to design a rollercoaster before boarding a simulator to ride it. However, the Robocoaster should offer a very different experience to the pitch-and-roll simulator used in the existing attraction.
You can keep an eye on the opening dates for new attractions over at Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch".