gerstlauer

Part Steel Coaster, Part Virtual Reality: All Thrills

This spring it was exciting to see Dare Devil Dive, a Gerstlauer project we were involved in during the 2011 season, transformed into a new experience. With the addition of a personalized VR system for each rider the coaster was updated and rebranded The New Revolution.

3SFOG_TheNewRevolution_KeyArtFinalI spoke with Gene Petriello, Communications Manager at Six Flags over Georgia about the ride’s transformation. He said, “It was a very unique project for us and we were excited to create the first VR Coaster in North America. We tested the demo during the IAAPA Convention in November and felt that the technology would be great to roll out across the Six Flags chain. Six Flags over Georgia was chosen to open the first of these VR experiences.”

The technology comes from VR Coasters, a sister company to MACK Rides. It uses a Samsung Galaxy with an Oculus headset and each train has a box that monitors the vehicle’s location along the track so that the system always knows where the vehicle is and keeps the VR video in sync with the coaster’s location. This is important because the guests sees actions in the video that mimic the experience they feel from the physics of the ride. For instance, as Dare Devil Dive speeds down the first drop riders see their plane flying down the side of a skyscraper.

SFOG_DareDevilDive (2)Gene said that the guest response was phenomenal. “People love it because the technology is original and new. We have found that 8 or 9 guests out of 10 want to try it,” he noted.

This summer Six Flags rolled out VR experiences at nearly every property. From Larson Giant Loops to Intamin Hyper Coasters where you can fly with Superman, this theme park chain has dipped their toes into what will become even more immersive technology. Want to go for a spin? Check out the coaster at Six Flags over Georgia and Six Flags parks nationwide: www.SixFlags.com .

-AFS