Today In Disney History ~ July 29th
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is an enclosed launched steel roller coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort and at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris (where it is called Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster avec Aerosmith). As the attraction’s name suggests, the coaster features Aerosmith members, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, and Brad Whitford.
The Florida attraction opened on July 29, 1999 and is located at the end of Sunset Boulevard, an area of the park which also features The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The Paris attraction opened on March 16, 2002 in the Backlot section of the park; it is currently the fastest roller coaster in France. As of July 2008, Hanes is the attraction’s presenting sponsor.
The coaster accelerates from 0 to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds (making this the second-fastest attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort, behind only Test Track). The riders experience 4.5 G as they enter the first inversion, more than an astronaut does on a space shuttle launch. Both versions of the attraction feature five trains, although only four can run at one time.
Cast member previews for the ride were initially held the last week of June, 1999. On 29 July 1999, the ride officially opened with a special, invitation-only party, with Aerosmith as the guests of honor. Winners rode to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in stretch limousines and were treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet and bar. After a special performance by painter Denny Dent, winners got the chance to ride the roller coaster with one of the Aerosmith band members. At the exit of the ride, outside of the gift shop, there hangs a picture from the special event. The paintings Denny Dent made of the five band members hang in various employee office locations on Walt Disney World property.
The pre-show has changed from when the attraction first opened. Currently, band member Joe Perry would ask “Chris” to “grab my black Les Paul.” A Disney cast member in the pre-show area would then pick up and remove a black guitar signed by Joe Perry from the set. The script uses the unisex name “Chris” so either a male or female could play the part. Although not used as often as when the ride first opened, the position is still used from time to time (generally, if the attraction is overstaffed). The film also includes a roadie saying “Hey Joe, I’ll get it for ya” as a backup, in the event that a cast member is not available for the part.
In 2007, the queue was modified to accommodate single riders in addition to FASTPASS.
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