Pneumatics puts on the brakes at Disney's Splash Mountain
The log ride at Splash Mountain (Disneyland and Disney World)
drops guests more than 50 feet from the ride's highest
point. Since the log reaches speeds of 40 mph, deceleration
must be accomplished quickly and safely so that the log can
continue through the ride's winding, water-filled channels.
A pair of 40-ft pneumatic brakes at the bottom of the drop are
used to slow down the log. The brake pads are completely under
water, and each is actuated by eight air bags.
Each bag is essentially a
length of high-pressure hose that has been sealed at both
ends, with a valve located in the middle. Pressurized air
entering the bags causes them to expand and push upward on the
pads. The hose is rated for 200-psi service, but system
operating pressure is only 60 to 90 psi. When actuated, the
pads contact the underside of the log, and friction gradually
slows the log down to the desired speed.
Any application that does not require electricity, and can
stand up to the effects of water without posing a threat to
How Pneumatics Improved this Application: