Google Built a HUGE Disney Style Ride at CES & It Was Awesome!

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Google CES Dark Ride

Google CES Dark Ride

These days CES is as much about the evolutionary product than it is about the revolutionary product. Along side exciting early stage technology concepts you will find the latest computer, cell phone, etc. lineups of products that will hit store shelves this year.

One of the major areas of competition right now is in the smart assistant space. While Apple sort of created this space with Siri, Amazon and Google seem to be today’s dominate players. And Google is really making a push to grow in this sector by putting the Google Assistant everywhere.

Google CES Dark Ride
Google 2019 CES Building

The Google Assistant Ride

And that’s a good thing because someone at Google greenlit a MASSIVE marketing budget for the company’s 2019 CES booth. In addition to the phrase “Hey Google” being plastered everywhere, they built a proper Disney style dark ride. The ride which rumors say was overseen by a Google Executive with past Disney experience, is top notch.

The “experience” starts just like all good rides with a proper line. Waits were 30-60 minutes during my visit which was on the last day of the show. Following your wait in line, you’ll be let into the building where you’ll pass an interactive grandma animatronic. Grandma is turning 91 (you’ll celebrate her birthday on the ride) and she loves to talk to guests as they walk by.

Google CES Dark Ride
Grandma.
Preshow.

Following your experience with grandma, you’ll be ushered into a preshow room where the story is setup. Finally, you’ll head upstairs for the ride. With a proper queue, animatronics, a full ride system and awesome set design this is actually much better than anything I expected. They put in an extraordinary amount of effort on a ride that was open just a few days!

As for the ride, it lasts 3 minutes and follows a family’s day as they use Google Assistant for various tasks such as rerouting in traffic, home automation and translation. While admittedly the ride is a marketing pitch, it wouldn’t feel out of place at a park like Epcot.

Google CES Dark Ride

Google CES Dark Ride

Google CES Dark Ride

Google CES Dark Ride

Google CES Dark Ride

Like many traditional dark rides, there is also a catchy song, an awesome party at the end to tie everything together and an outdoor section. About halfway through the ride the vehicles go outside for views of the convention center and business of CES below.

Google CES Dark Ride
Google Assistant Ride outdoor section.
Google CES Dark Ride
Google Assistant Ride outdoor section.

Review

Okay, this is a ride that was built for a conference to highlight a technology. I get it. With that said, many rides at parks like Disney were built for similar reasons. Overall the story and art design were fantastic and this feels like it could be a permanent installation. Google got this right. 

Watch the Full Ride

There are a couple of good POVs of the ride that are worth watching. Google has a 360 degree POV that is fun, but for a better idea of the guest experience I think it’s also worth watching a normal POV. The normal POV below also has the preshow.

Google 360 Degree POV

Regular POV with Preshow

Conclusion

As both a technology and a theme park nerd, I was really excited to see the Google Experience Ride. Google delivered on the fun experience they were hoping for and I personally hope they keep working on future Google rides! 

What do you think? Is this awesome or just another forgettable marketing stunt? Let us know in the comments!

 


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4 COMMENTS

  1. It was a beautiful marketing stunt, and a decent ride. And definitely a more enjoyable way to get a free Home Hub. And you forgot about the photo points for completing the Disney experience

  2. Cool post Shawn! Missing CES for the first time in years, but not missing the traffic. Happy New Year to you and your family. Continued success in 2019?

  3. Hey Shawn!! I was at CES this week too! I usually go every 2 years for fun as a huge tech nerd. This ride was awesome and the free Home Hub for everyone made it even better. My friend said Google easily spent $20 million on their CES budget this week.

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