Apr 17, 2017 Joe Kleiman #67 - Experience Design: Many Faces Many Places, 2017, Asia, Attractions, Business, Europe & Middle East, Events, Features, Latin America & Mexico, North America, People, Technology & Media, Theme Parks, Water Parks, World markets Comments Off on And the Thea Award goes to…
Here are excerpts from InPark past coverage spotlighting several projects being honored at the 23rd annual Thea Awards Gala on April 22, 2017 at The Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom.
ABOVE PHOTO Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. Courtesy Shanghai Disney Resort.
Rebecca Lam interviewed Rick Rothschild (FAR Out! Creative Direction), Arish Fyzee (Prana Studios) and Manfred Meier (Kraftwerk Living Technologies) about the project in issue #57 of InPark Magazine (“Kaka’s Great Adventure”).
Located near the park entrance, the 5D Castle Theater introduces guests to the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom characters and helps set the stage for a day at the park.
The 18-minute experience is impressive for the sheer size of its 134,000m², semi-circular main theater and its components: its vast 3D silver screen (18 x 88 meters), 2,119-speaker audio system with 119 subwoofers, high-resolution 3D projection (10344 x 2120 pixels) and sophisticated, 4D motion seats, pneumatically powered with what is said to be the first implementation of special effects armrests.
Talent-wise, the 5D Castle Theater is the result of international collaboration between leading creatives and suppliers from around the globe. Installation teams from South Africa and Czechoslovakia complemented engineers and technicians from Germany and Spain, along with the lead creative and technical teams from North America, India and Austria.
Rick Rothschild: Guests get the first of two story chapters in a five-minute video, presented on six large screens across the width of the preshow. On a mythical planet, a situation is causing turmoil to the polar region where penguins, polar bears, and other polar creatures live. A monster deep in the ocean is sucking up magma and warming the ocean, causing the polar cap to melt. The Ocean Genie, a magical young whale shark pixie, is sent off by the Penguin King to search for strong and capable heroes who have compassion, heart and bravery. He finds teenage tigers Kaka and Kiki and believes them to be the heroes he seeks. The preshow ends with the Ocean Genie leading them to start their Great Adventure.
The main show tells the story of how the trio struggles to reach and finally defeat the deep-sea villain, the Magma Monster. After the climatic undersea battle is waged and the polar cap is saved, appearing from a dimensional cloud special effect a large animatronic parrot plane swoops out over the audience, flying out from above the 3D screen on a cable system and coming within three meters of the audience area, carrying Kaka, Kiki, and the Ocean Genie, who wave as they fly away in the “kiss goodbye” at the end of the show.
Manfred Meier: The goal was to guarantee that every single visitor experiences the same overwhelming and stunning 5D adventure – no matter where they are placed within the auditorium. This can be technically daunting, given the large scale of everything in this project. To meet these challenges, we developed special solutions particularly regarding the projection system and 4D motion seat special effects.
One key piece of technical innovation is the newly developed special effects armrest, with the ability to precisely adjust wind, scents, water blast, strobe lights, LED lighting and so forth. We believe this new approach guarantees enhanced performance, especially for large theaters such as this one – better than having effects coming from the ceiling, railings or seat backs. The special effects armrest also features a unique seat occupancy sensor that makes it possible to deactivate unoccupied seat units – a real breakthrough in terms of efficient and sustainable operation.
Arish Fyzee: Accommodating the gigantic screen required creating specialized camera lenses in our computers to achieve a perfectly resolved singular image, stitching together multiple cameras. We also had to increase the resolution many more times than normal movies (each frame is over 22 million pixels as opposed to just over 3 million.)
The screen literally curves around the theater. That brought up the challenge of finding a way to view and edit the wraparound media. One of the devices we used for visualization was the Oculus Rift 360 virtual reality system.
Martin Palicki wrote about how WhiteWater conceived and developed Slideboarding (InPark Magazine issue #59).
The concept for Slideboarding came to Denise Weston, then Director of Imagination at WhiteWater [currently Director of Imagination & Inventor at Apptivations], courtesy of her son Aydon and his friends, who one day at the waterpark spontaneously turned a traditional waterslide into a game. “Aydon and his buddies were slapping the waterslide joints as they rode down the slides and comparing who was able to hit the most when they got to the bottom,” explains Weston. “I felt this was a great way to combine a unique play experience into a traditional thrill attraction. Because it was so natural for them, I felt intuitively that it was going to work.”
Slideboarding takes that gaming concept – the basic, competitive activity of slapping the waterslide joints – introduces technology, and riders become players. The concept is simple: Guests sit on a board equipped with red, green, blue and yellow buttons on the side handles. As they move down the waterslide, they pass under LED lights in four colors. Points are scored if they press the correct color button as they pass beneath the lighted target. Players receive feedback via small vibrations if they hit a target exactly.
The system combines existing technology such as RFID sensors and readers and analytical tracking and it translates over to iOS platforms and Android platforms as well to create the Slideboarding experience.
Perhaps surprisingly, combining water and electricity wasn’t the biggest challenge the team faced. Ensuring that Slideboarding was completely user-friendly for both the operators and guests was critical before deployment. That simplicity factor was key to making the attraction appealing for parks and for guests.
“Slideboarding gives park operators the ability to tap into the massive market of gamers and tech-savvy kids while still appealing to parents and grandparents because the game is simple to play,” says Weston. “Slideboarding was created by watching how kids intuitively play, so naturally it’s something kids love.”
Disney’s newest park was named for three Thea Awards: one for Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, another for Camp Discovery and a third for the entire park. This landmark development opened in 2016 and has been fodder for much conversation in the pages of InPark Magazine.
Gary Goddard, The Goddard Group: The Pirates ride at Shanghai Disneyland is spectacular. I went on the ride, then rode it again right away, and then scheduled another visit to the park to ride it a third time. It’s an excellently designed attraction. The big beats of that whole park are great and well thought out.
Mr. Yue Feng, Shanghai Happy Valley General Manager and Marketing Director: History indicates that where there are Disney parks, other theme parks have also been successful, like in Orlando, Hong Kong, Japan, and Los Angeles. Disney and Universal opening in China means all the theme parks in China will need to update their scale and service, so during the next few years there will be a quality increase in theme parks in China. So it’s very bright for the future of theme parks.
Dave Cobb, Thinkwell Group: I rode it eight times, if that’s any indication. It’s really wonderful. The reveal of the launch in the preshow is one of the best gags I’ve ever seen. The vehicles are gorgeous, and respond to your touch as you pull down the handles, “rezzing” from dark blue to white as you “activate” the safety restraint. The outside portion is so gorgeous at night. The onboard soundtrack brings the ride vehicle to life. And the indoor “game grid” section is so visually stunning. My only complaint is that it’s a little short!
I’ve heard fans complain about the outdoor segment. Look, I’m the ultimate TRON fan, and I had my doubts. But, how they treat it – as an energy grid that keeps the vehicles rezzed while they’re outside – is gorgeous and clever, even without an on-the-nose narrative story explanation. Plus, there’s actually precedence for it in Legacy, because Quorra is rezzed outside of the grid into the physical world at the end of the film. It’s a bit like complaining that there wasn’t a 14-passenger LightCycle train in the movies – you have to make certain allowances for a high-capacity theme park attraction. Having it go outside is cool, and that’s good enough for me. Your mileage may vary.
I was really blown away by the minimalism of the load station – it really felt like I’d stepped onto the virtual set of the movie’s game grid.
Ken Saba, media producer/editor: In 1998 at Walt Disney Imagineering, during a semester off while I was working as an assistant editor, the late Tom Wright, who was in charge of film distribution, told me about this great project coming up and encouraged me to stick around for it. However, I was partway through getting my degree at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and had to go back so as not to lose my placement.
It was a tough decision. I remember telling Tom, “I’m going to kick myself for this.” The project was Soarin’ Over California. I would have been assistant editor. But there I was, 18 years later, the editor on Soarin’ Around the World. If it doesn’t happen now, it’s gonna happen later! Life is a funny thing. I’m glad I did it this way – I’m a different person now than I was then, and came in with the experience and ability to be the one and only editor on the project, working with the highest caliber people.
It was a humbling experience. There are days when I’m in awe, and can’t believe I get to do this.
Martin Palicki, InPark publisher: Everyone is abuzz over all the benefits Disney’s entry into mainland China will bring to the industry. While we collectively are most impressed with and tend to focus on the attractions found in parks, the real industry story is in the retail.
Disney is in China because it believes (with great amounts of research to back it up) that Chinese consumers are interested in and able to buy Disney products. Disney’s presence in that market is a clear sign that what everyone has been talking about (a rising Chinese middle class with disposable income) is very real.
This year, the TEA Distinguished Service Honoree is Peter Chernack, and the award is being renamed in his honor and will be formally presented at the Thea Awards Gala.
Joe Kleiman, InPark News Editor: If I were to describe Peter in a single word – it would be “space.” From the Space Quest Casino and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to retail space and public space, he was a pioneer in experiential design. He would also make the space for others – like me – interested in not only what he, as an individual, did, but the accomplishments of the themed entertainment industry as a whole.
I first met Peter in my late 20s during a meeting of the Large Format Cinema Association, at the point when I was just starting my career in the attractions industry. He was there to discuss the design of the Space Quest Casino at the Las Vegas Hilton, which spatially and thematically linked the adjacent traditional casino on one side with Star Trek: The Experience on the other.
After the presentation, I approached him with a few questions and he sat with me for close to an hour going into even more detail on the project. He gave me his card and told me not to hesitate on contacting him if I wanted to discuss, well, anything. He loved to share and he wasn’t mired in corporate censorship. As the years progressed, I took him up on the offer, calling a few times when I was managing IMAX theaters to ask his advice on preshow programming.
Peter spent 30 years at Metavision Corporation, the last 13 as President of the company. In 2009, he founded his own design company, The Chernack Group. Peter was also a founding member and past President of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). He was born in 1948 and passed away on April 3, 2016. Peter is survived by his wife Rebecca and his daughters Michelle and Daniella. • • •
Comments Off on 2020 Thea Case Studies to be online event
Comments Off on WhiteWater introduces Endless Surf, first location to open in Paris
Comments Off on How attractions industry creatives and geeks shelter in place, inventively
Comments Off on Shanghai Disney Resort announces May 11 theme park reopening with public health measures in place
May 26, 2020 Comments Off on Space Center Houston relaunches July 1
May 26, 2020 Comments Off on Phased reopening of Universal Orlando Resort begins June 5
May 26, 2020 Comments Off on Kentucky Kingdom awaiting state approval on reopening plan
May 26, 2020 Comments Off on Radical Re-Imagining in a Time of Crisis: The American Alliance of Museums Hosts First Virtual Conference
Feb 11, 2020 Comments Off on The IPM Guide to AV 2020
Feb 11, 2020 Comments Off on Mad Systems: Systems simplified
Jan 05, 2020 Comments Off on From Aichi in 2005 to Dubai in 2020, Christie technology helps spur innovation for over a decade of World Expos
Nov 15, 2019 Comments Off on Smart Monkeys: Visualization vectors
Oct 22, 2019 Comments Off on Smart Monkeys: Getting to know ISAAC
Oct 22, 2019 Comments Off on ISE 2020
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Try a drop of this: Ten innovative technologies for water attractions
Aug 01, 2019 Comments Off on InPark exclusive: Medialon and 7thSense close the deal
May 03, 2019 Comments Off on 10 AV technologies revolutionizing attractions today
May 18, 2020 Comments Off on Eleventh Hour: The rise of consultants since COVID-19 affords a vision of leadership for the Location Based and Themed Entertainment Industry.To help companies respond to industry-specific challenges,...
May 05, 2020 Comments Off on Inside the time machineCreative Principal’s Geoff Thatcher says now is the time...
Apr 22, 2020 Comments Off on InPark exclusive: International participants in Dubai Expo 2020 share thoughts on the likely one-year postponement and the status of their pavilionsLeaders of several national pavilions being developed for...
Apr 03, 2020 Comments Off on Bingo Tso, ACE International, on the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Asian companies and the attractions marketBingo Tso of ACE International shares his perspective from...
Mar 17, 2020 Comments Off on COVID-19: Reassurances from Beijing and Kelly Ryner (Thinkwell)"As for business here in China, there is a lot of positive...
Dec 25, 2019 Comments Off on California’s Great America WinterFest: Transforming a theme park into a holiday wonderland.With millions of lights and thousands of decorations, the...
Nov 16, 2019 Comments Off on #80 – IAAPA 2019Table of contents
Nov 15, 2019 Comments Off on Meet Amanda ThompsonIAAPA’s incoming chair has deep roots in the attractions...
Nov 15, 2019 Comments Off on TEA 2020A chat with Michael Blau - incoming TEA International Board...
Nov 14, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA 2019 Chair David Rosenberg: The aqua-manRosenberg serves as the 2019 Chair of the IAAPA Board of...
Nov 14, 2019 Comments Off on CircusTrix CEO Fernando Eiroa: Leaps and boundsInPark spoke with Eiroa about the unique business of...
Nov 09, 2019 Comments Off on InPark exclusive: Interviews with Jeremy Railton and Scott Ault on the launch of their new company, Railton Entertainment Design (RED)Themed entertainment design veterans Jeremy Railton and...
Oct 22, 2019 Comments Off on ISE 2020The annual Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) trade show for...
Oct 21, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA: “Wear comfortable shoes!”"If this is your first Expo, attend the First Time...
Sep 11, 2019 Comments Off on Netflix and thrill: Greg Lombardo joins the content streaming powerhouse as Head of ExperiencesLombardo brings with him more than a decade experience in...
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Transitions: Leaps and boundsIndustry professionals are making moves and creating waves
Sep 09, 2019 Comments Off on Exploring IAAPA EuropeMeet recent additions to IAAPA’s European team
Aug 08, 2019 Comments Off on IPM Interview: Jennifer Lee Hackett, Sinking Ship EntertainmentGiant screen veteran Jennifer Lee Hackett has joined...
Jun 28, 2019 Comments Off on John Miceli and the new DE-ŹYN StudiosThroughout his career, John Miceli has worked in feature...
Jun 26, 2019 Comments Off on Meet Lionsgate Entertainment World’s new general manager: Selena MagillMeet the new GM of Lionsgate Entertainment World, scheduled...
May 08, 2019 Comments Off on ECA2: All eyes on LanzhouECA2's latest spectacle, a permanent installation in a...
May 06, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA Expo Asia"Establishing a presence in both Hong Kong and Shanghai...
Apr 29, 2019 Comments Off on Vekoma: Coasting around AsiaInPark spoke to Jason Pan, Vekoma’s regional director of...
Mar 21, 2019 Comments Off on Lisa Passamonte GreenThe Thea Awards Nominating Committee annually reviews and...
Mar 21, 2019 Comments Off on Infinite Kingdoms: Planet playologyWe recently connected with founder Denise Chapman Weston...