LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 29, 1999) -- For nearly 30 years, Aerosmith has been on top of the charts. Now, the legendary group is on top of the world -- Walt Disney World -- as the five members of the rock band rolled into the Disney-MGM Studios today to officially open Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Thousands of fans welcomed the band to the theme park for a Hollywood-style motorcade and handprint ceremony. The group then boarded the indoor roller coaster which bears their famous name and took the ceremonial first ride -- a twisting, turning trip through the Hollywood Hills.
Later Thursday, Aerosmith was scheduled to appear at a private gala at the theme park to celebrate the attraction's opening.
The five members of Aerosmith teamed with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the thrill ride that features a high-speed launch of 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, three inversions, rock-concert lighting and a specially recorded Aerosmith soundtrack thundering from 120 onboard speakers in each coaster train -- all firsts for a Walt Disney World attraction.
"This thrilling new attraction is a perfect fit for Disney-MGM Studios and its celebration of show business -- film, television, theater, animation and now music," said Walt Disney World president Al Weiss. "And Aerosmith, with its multi-generational, international appeal and ever-youthful approach to rock 'n' roll music, is a fantastic match for this new thrill ride."
Formed in the early 1970s in Boston, Aerosmith (Steven Tyler, vocals; Joe Perry, guitars; Brad Whitford, guitars; Tom Hamilton, bass; and Joey Kramer, drums) is more popular today than ever before. In fact, the global appeal of this internationally renowned band continues to grow, thanks to the recent release of its chart-topping, multi-platinum studio and live albums ("Nine Lives" and "A Little South of Sanity"), a #1 smash hit single from the motion picture "Armageddon" ("I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"), a Grammy Award and a stunning live performance at the 1999 Academy Awards. The band has sold 80 million records in its 26-year career.
"When you've toured the world as much as we have, it's a real thrill to find a new audience," said lead singer Steven Tyler. "Coming up with a soundtrack for this Disney ride really brought the kid out in all of us and has given us the opportunity to play audio gymnastics with our music."
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, located near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror on Sunset Boulevard, represents yet another breakthrough in Disney theme park rides.
"Once again, Imagineers are at the forefront with this technologically progressive attraction that fuels awesome thrills with the power and allure of rock 'n' roll music," said Ken Wong, president of Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative design and development division of The Walt Disney Company.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith surprises guests with unexpected twists, turns and high-speed revolutions along its darkened tracks. The attraction begins with a tour of the fictional G-Force Records, where guests encounter the band finishing up a studio recording session. After being invited by the band members to see them in concert, guests climb aboard a 24-passenger "super-stretch limo" and swiftly accelerate into the Hollywood night.
Guests aboard each "Limotrain" will encounter nearly 5 Gs as they transition from launch to loop at the ride's first inversion. (By comparison, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle experience 3 Gs at liftoff.)
The enclosed experience will remain dark while featuring individually lit Southern California landmarks -- 365 days a year, rain or shine.