Hoverdrome Receives Top Honors

After opening The Off-Road Raceway and The Queen's Berth (remote control cars and boats) at the Disneyland Hotel, the owners of Thola Productions, Doug and Don Williamson, wanted to create an entirely new remote control attraction: Hovercraft.

In 1988 the first prototype was on the table. The original design, with its batteries on board, presented several problems. A Hovercraft is a flying machine and the issues surrounding extra weight from batteries became obvious. Also, the batteries had to be changed numerous times a day and we knew from experience the craft would get damaged from being handled so much.

While looking for an alternative way to power the craft, Doug met the president of Computerized Processes Unlimited, Inc. (CPU), Bob Phillpott. Together they joined forces to develop a "floor pick-up" system so the craft could get all their power from the floor, eliminating batteries completely.

With CPU's extensive knowledge of computers and Thola's experience with remote control attractions, they soon integrated the power of the computer with many other aspects of the attraction. Now, routine maintenance procedures, parts inventory, cash control, etc. are monitored and organized electronically. In other words, if something breaks, the computer keeps track of how long it was down, what technician worked on it, and what parts need to be re-ordered. All of these things and more can be monitored via modem by our management staff. The only existing twelve station Hoverdrome attraction is at our research and development facilities in Laguna Hills, California.

In 1993 it was time to unveil The Hoverdrome at the IAAPA show. Even though only a small version of the attraction could be transported to the show, the Association still awarded it first place in both of its categories, Best Product and Best Exhibit!

Designed and Maintained by Bill Elgin. Copyright © 1995-96 Thola Productions. All rights reserved.