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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss Put your hands up!! ?? in the Ask The Experts forums; Hey! I have a question for my fellow WDWRadio-ers. I'm one of the people that will put their hands up on any roller coaster... I know many people do. I'm ...
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    Disney2000's Avatar
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    Put your hands up!! ??

    Hey! I have a question for my fellow WDWRadio-ers. I'm one of the people that will put their hands up on any roller coaster... I know many people do. I'm about 6'1 and I was wondering... Would my hands hit on any of the roller coasters in WDW? I think Disney would have taken this into consideration while designing the rides, and I know you can touch the tunnels in space mountain (I don't recommend it on the textured tunnel unless you'd like your fingertips ripped off...). I was just wondering because I know that some of the Over/underpasses on Everest and BTM especially (and space mountain too.) look close enough to make me put my hands down... Anyone know/have any experiences?

    Just Wondering...
    The Golden age never was the present age… but with human liberty we can fulfill the promise and meaning of America. To everyone a chance. To all people, regardless of their birth the right to live, to work, to be themselves, and to become whatever their visions can combine to make them. This is the promise of America...And I foresee the American adventure to continue for a long, long time!
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    Re: Put your hands up!! ??

    You will be fine putting your hands up. I do that too and I'm 6'4".
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    Re: Put your hands up!! ??

    I have no problem. But then again, I'm only 5'2".

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    Re: Put your hands up!! ??

    Ok, not being a roller coaster rider, why do you put your hands up?
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    Re: Put your hands up!! ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney05 View Post
    Ok, not being a roller coaster rider, why do you put your hands up?
    I'm not sure why everyone does it, as I'm sure we all have our reasons. I do it sometimes as well, but like most, I tend not to think about it at the time. I think that primarily, it's a statement of daring. It's a person's way of making that bold statement of "I'm not scared of this ride, and I'll show you by putting my hands in the air to prove that I'm not holding on!"

    But more than that, I think that from a physics point of view, it makes the ride's physical effects on your body a bit more exaggerated by lifting your center of gravity.

    Imagine for a moment one of those Weebles toys from the 1970s - the roly-poly ones that just kind of wobble around but you can't actually knock them over (Remember the tune? "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!") That is because their center of gravity, the "average" point of their mass, so to speak, is so close to their base (in fact, it's IN their base), and therefore it's impossible to disrupt their balance. Their center of gravity is always going to be located directly over their bases. This is an example of positive stability. You can push it over, but it will come right back and promptly right itself.

    An example of negative stability would be more like a spinning top, in which the toy's center of gravity is moved up away from the base. The greater the distance between the base and the center of gravity, the greater the natural tendency will be for it to tip over. Can you stand a top on it's pointy base without spinning it? Probably not, unless it was crafted flawlessly to be perfectly balanced, and you take exceedingly careful effort to ensure that it is placed perfectly and that nothing disturbs it. This is negative stability. If you were to disturb it, even just the tiniest bit, the center of gravity will no longer be centered over the base, and it will fall over, becoming more and more unstabilized until it lands on its side, in which case now its center of gravity is part of its base, and is now stable again.

    We as humans are subject to these same laws of physics. In order to stand upright, we need to balance our center of gravity (approximately the level of our hips) over our base (our feet). If this is disturbed, we will fall over, or at least be unable to stand without pushing or pulling on something for assistance. To test this theory, stand up straight. Now bend forward at the waist and lean your head and torso forwards. You stuck your butt out backwards as you did this, didn't you? If you didn't, you would have fallen over forwards. What about if you lean your head and shoulders to one side of your body? You extend your hips in the opposite direction to counterbalance yourself, don't you? These are all just examples of how we need to keep our center of gravity balanced on top of our bases. And as I've described with the spinning top and the Weebles, the closer your center of gravity is to your base, the more stable you are.

    But what if we had a way to change our shape? What if we could do something to make our physical form more Weeble when we wanted to be more stable, or more spinning top when we wanted to be less stable? Can we do such a thing? Sure! Now perhaps we can't move it very far, but what if we were to take the mass that makes up our arms and hands, and placed them as far above our heads as possible. Does this not move our average center of gravity further up our bodies vertically. It may only move a few inches from around the level of our hips to perhaps around the level of our abdomen, but it makes a change nonetheless. And in doing so, it lifts our center of gravity further from our base (normally our feet, but if we're sitting, out butt is our base) and makes us less stable.

    Riding a roller coaster is fun because it is thrilling. It subjects our bodies to a series of forces that our bodies don't get to experience as we go about our normal lives. Rapid accelerations, sudden climbs, descents, and tight turns will push you around in your seat, and might leave you feeling momentarily weightless, or perhaps like you weigh several times your actual mass. Some people like to put their hands up as a way of saying they are being brave, but whether they know it or not, they are simultaneously making themselves less stable on their bases, and therefore will be slightly more susceptible to the forces of the ride to enact themselves upon their bodies. Not to mention the fact that are not holding on to anything.

    So believe it or not, by lifting your hands in the air on a roller coaster, you're not just showing that you are brave, but you're actually making the ride's effects on your body slightly more exaggerated, more thrilling... even if only by a tiny bit.

    This concludes our lesson for today. Please read over what we've covered, and you can probably expect a quiz on Wednesday. Class dismissed.
    Last edited by MainStreet, USA; 05-10-2009 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling errors.
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    Re: Put your hands up!! ??

    Leave it to a fellow pilot to give such a detailed explanation.
    When you wish upon a star.....
    LAUGHTER IS TIMELESS, IMAGINATION HAS NO AGE AND DREAMS ARE FOREVER.
    Adults are only kids grown up, anyway. WD
    ...That's the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up. WD
    "For those who get it, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation will do."


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    Re: Put your hands up!! ??

    Hey, I teach 6 days a week, so why should Sunday be any different?

    And Lord knows we spend enough time studying weight and balance effects.

    I remember when one of our training managers had a baby, our flight department chairman put out an email to all the flight instructors and management personnel announcing the "on time arrival" of the child, and then went on to say, "For weight and balance purposes, he weighed in at 8 lbs and 1 ounce, and is precisely 20 inches along the longitudinal axis."

    We certainly are a unique bunch of airheads.


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    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
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    Re: Put your hands up!! ??

    WOW. That made my head hurt, but I think I know what you mean. When I put my hands up on everest (when going backwards and when going down the big hill) I feel alot more force on my body than when I don't have my hands up. You almost feel like your hands are being forced down... right?
    The Golden age never was the present age… but with human liberty we can fulfill the promise and meaning of America. To everyone a chance. To all people, regardless of their birth the right to live, to work, to be themselves, and to become whatever their visions can combine to make them. This is the promise of America...And I foresee the American adventure to continue for a long, long time!
    ~The American Adventure, EPCOT Center

    Are you 23? I am!

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