Rockin’ Out on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

by | Jul 27, 2020 | Disney History, Disney Parks and Resorts, Lists and Trivia, Uncategorized

Back in high school, I played guitar in a rock and roll band. We covered a lot of Black Sabbath and Aerosmith. It was the 90s, but apparently we were attempting to appeal to girls in the 1970s. We were terrible, but we had dreams of seeing our names in lights. In our imagination, we had fantasies that someday we’d be sharing a stage with Aerosmith. The closest we ever came was seeing them in concert on their Nine Lives Tour. Sadly, we did not have backstage tickets.

Fret not, dear reader. All was not lost. As always, Walt Disney World was there to make dreams come true. In 1999, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith opened in Disney-MGM Studios (now known as Hollywood Studios). The attraction opened in grand fashion, with a private party featuring the members of Aerosmith and artist Denny Dent. Guests were brought to the party in a stretch limo and a handful of Guests even got to ride the coaster with members of the band.

Interestingly, Aerosmith was not Disney’s first choice for the coaster. The original concept was to feature the Rolling Stones. There was only one small problem: they were too expensive. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards both expressed interest, but wanted $10 million a year for the rights. Other bands were also considered. Disney approached U2, who declined, and Kiss (also too expensive). That brought them to Aerosmith. Luckily, the “bad boys from Boston” loved the idea and collaborated on the creation of the attraction.

Sitting on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, Guests are greeted to the attraction by an enormous Fender Stratocaster outside the building. The keys of an enormous keyboard sit at the base of the guitar. A poster of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry also hangs on the facade. A special insider tip: take a close look at the poster. There are hidden Mickeys there.

After entering the building, Guests find themselves in the studios of the fictional G-Force Records (a clever allusion to the five G’s of force Guests will soon experience on the coaster). An assortment of rock and roll memorabilia and posters can be seen, The RFID in your Magic Ban also means that your name may just appear on one of the posters.

The next stop is inside the actual recording studio. An assortment of instruments are scattered about the room behind glass. Further back in the room, the members of the band are crowded together in the control room. The band’s manager rushes in, informing the group that they need to get going, or they won’t make it to their concert. Lucky for all involved, the ever altruistic Steven Tyler insists that they can’t simply leave all the Guests behind. He insists they all be given backstage passes to the show. The manager promptly hops on the phone and arranges for a super stretch limousine to pick you up.

The “limo” is your ride vehicle, and each one holds 24 passengers. At any given time, there are five different limos in rotation. The soundtrack that accompanies your ride depends on which vehicle you board. If you have time to check, the license plate number on your vehicle will tip you off about what songs to expect:

1QKLIMO: “Nine Lives”
UGOBABE: “Love in an Elevator” (Rollercoaster) and “Walk This Way”
BUHBYE: “Young Lust”, “F.I.N.E.*” and “Love in an Elevator” (Rollercoaster)
H8TRFFC: “Back in the Saddle” and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”
2FAST4U: “Sweet Emotion”

Once you’re strapped in, get ready. A traffic sign flashes lines like, “Traffic Bug You? Then STEP on it!” an, “Detour Ahead Get Ready To Rock!” Steven Tyler gives a countdown, and then you’re off. Utilizing electromagnets, your vehicle launches from zero to 57 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds. At that speed, most what you see as you race to the concert is just a blur. Billboards and other Hollywood landmarks glow around you, but they’re sporadic. For the most part, you’re just racing through the dark. Also, you might not want to get too comfortable. Once the coaster starts, the entire experience lasts around 75 seconds.

When you’re done, you might just feel dizzy, a little nauseous, and completely exhilarated. Congratulations! You now know what it feels like to be a rock star!

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