Ride Control Software
Splash Mountain, a flume ride featuring 8-passenger logs (4 seats), takes guests on an 11 minute ride through Walt Disney's 1946 classic "Song of the South", ending in a 40mph, 52.5ft (5 story) final drop!
As a Systems Engineer with Rockwell Automation, Sharon Fay worked with a team of Rockwell engineers and Disney Imagineers to develop the Splash Mountain control software. The software controlled the lifts, gates, and conveyors; tracked the position of the logs within the ride; and performed the emergency shutdown sequence.
The ride was designed to have "stack zones" as a way for the redundant ride control computers to keep track of the number of logs in the system, their exact location in the ride, and for possible e-vac purposes. The stack zones allow easier evacuation of guests in the event the ride would need to be shut down. If the two computers don't both agree on the millions of the commands being sent to the ride, they will stop the ride, giving the operators what is called a "ride stop".
Splash Mountain Zones
Fun Fact: There are two main ride control computers. If one more were added and linked, they would have enough computing power to launch a Space Shuttle.
Splash Mountain – Artist rendering