ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal has filed two patents for what could become new tower rides at its parks.

The first patent published July 25, calls for an interactive tower ride that would allow riders to interact with each other as well as the environment around them.

One image included in the patent shows at least four ride vehicles on opposite sides of the tower that could hold multiple passengers. Not only would the ride vehicles drop like most tower rides, they would also tilt side to side.

Passengers will have some control over the motion of the vehicle, according to the patent, with ride vehicles featuring "user input devices" or controls.

Elements such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), special effects and/or projections would also be used to create an "immersive environment with which the riders may interact."

Depending on how the ride vehicles are positioned, riders could either face screens or other riders in opposing vehicles. When riders are facing each other, their actions could "affect the experience of the riders" in other vehicles, the patent states.

Riders might also be able to trigger "air blasts, cold wind, heat, water spray" and other effects.

The second patent published on August 1, the same day as Universal's "Epic Universe" announcement, is for a rotating tower ride.

 

 

The ride would consist of rooms stacked on top of each other. The ride system would lift and rotate vehicles in and out of the rooms, according to the patent.

Each room could include a variety of show elements, including animatronics, projections and displays.

Ride vehicles could also take a number of possible paths, creating a different experience for each rider.

It's unclear if or how Universal would use this technology in its parks.

Universal and other companies like Disney file hundreds of patents that never actually come to fruition.

Currently, Universal is working on a new park in Orlando. And while Universal hasn't officially said what rides or lands will be incorporated into Epic Universe, concept art provides a few hints.

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