ORLANDO, Florida -- Disney has filed a patent for a rotating roller coaster vehicle.

  • Patent filed for rotating roller coaster vehicle
  • Design would allow vehicle to change position along the track
  • Ride system would also include power source 

The patent application titled "Roller Coaster with Passenger Compartment Motion Powered through Stored Onboard Energy" shows designs for a ride system that would allow the coaster vehicles to change position during the course of the track.

In slower-moving rides, bus bars (electrical conductors) are used to provide power and allow vehicles to rotate. But those systems aren't effective for fast-moving rides with sharp curves or steep drops.

Disney's proposed system would use "storage devices" mounted to the vehicles to provide power, allowing the vehicles to rotate left or right.  The storage devices would be recharged by charge stations located throughout the track.

With the ability to turn, the system would allow riders to see more thematic elements along the way.

Could this new technology make its way into Disney parks? Well, signs point to the new Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster at Epcot. During a presentation at D23 Expo Japan earlier this year, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek said the coaster would feature a "new innovative ride system."

The ride, which is set to debut in 2021, will also be one of the "world's longest enclosed roller coaster."  

Disney hasn't officially said how the patent will be used, if at all.

The upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy coaster is one of several projects in the works at Disney World.

A Star Wars-themed land is set to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2019 as well as Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a Mickey Mouse-themed attraction.

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