ABOVE: Cinesplash 5D. Courtesy Attraktion!
“We are in an industry that demands a constant stream of new ideas and attraction products in the marketplace,” says Markus Beyr, CEO of Attraktion!, an Austrian company dedicated to creating immersive, media-based attractions for themed entertainment. Being able to consistently and reliably develop new product concepts is key to success, but the ideas also have to stand the test of time and be adaptable to different circumstances.
Attraktion! was founded by Beyr in 2012 to do just that. Drawing on his decades of experience working on multimedia attractions, Beyr created the company with the mission of creating new, customizable experiences for the industry. Four main product genres (4D/5D Theaters, Dome Attractions, Playoke and WeRobots) established the Attraktion! core portfolio, with multiple products being offered in different genres. Cinesplash 5D, for
example, is part of the 4D/5D theater family, along with a more traditional 4D/5D theater and the SeaExplorer 5D attraction. All the products and genres center on a media-based experience, which draws on the company’s core strengths in technology, media, integration and manufacturing.
According to Beyr, the ascent of Attraktion! has been deliberate and measured. “Although we work constantly to develop new ideas and concepts, we typically do not launch new products until we have a buyer,” he says. That ensures the proper level of collaboration and problemsolving has already taken place between the supplier and the buyer.
In the article “The importance of collaboration and teamwork in the creative industry,” [July 11, 2017, Cogswell.edu] renowned composer, AV expert and Cogswell College lecturer Julius Dobos explains how creative collaboration across work groups creates desirable outcomes:
“Working with people who think differently…has its own benefits: forms of creative disruption. Similar minds with similar experiences often see the same solution to a challenge — but this might be only one of the possible solutions, and not necessarily the best…This is one of the biggest gifts a creative producer can receive: the ability to see into another intellect in which solutions work completely differently, yet they produce the desired results.”
Like Dobos, Beyr has worked across multiple disciplines and aggregated the knowledge gained from different work environments. He’s taken this earned expertise and applied it to the Attraktion! product development process, not only with clients, but also with other manufacturers. For example, the partnership between Attraktion! and ride manufacturer Intamin led to the development of The Dome Ride Theater. Guests experience a rotating and tilting ring of seats inside of a sphere that is also a projection surface, fully surrounding them in a virtual environment. Dome Ride Theater is a signature ride, developed by Attraktion! for medium- to large-scale theme parks, and the first installation will be announced soon.
“My plan has always been to combine the Attraktion! team’s extensive knowledge of the industry and world markets with bold imagination,” says Beyr. “The result has been a growing company creating tailored experiences with the latest technology.”
And grown it has. Since Markus started Attraktion! with three colleagues, the company has matured into a medium sized corporation, which resides in a large office building and production facility in Austria. Today, team members come from ten different countries and speak a variety of languages. “We rely on a variety of expertises from our team members and are constantly looking to expand our team,” says Beyr. “We are particularly seeking talented new attraction engineers, 3D artists and sales representatives from around the world.”
One of the Attraktion! products currently experiencing a wave of attention is the Cinesplash 5D theater, designed especially for waterparks. A 3D theater is augmented with pneumatically-controlled motion seats and a generous supply of water-based special effects with the ultimate goal of drenching riders (who being at a waterpark, are already wearing swimsuits).
Beyr developed the initial concept for Cinesplash with Markus Achleitner in 2009. Achleitner is managing director of Austria’s biggest thermal bath and waterpark, Therme Bad Schallerbach. He was the initiator and initial client of the idea. Together they built the first one with a basic range of water effects in 2011 at Achleitner’s Aquapulco in Austria. A second theater with more effects then opened in Malaysia. Since then, additional theaters have opened at Hangzhouwan Dream Hotspring Water World near Ningbo, China and two 36-seat theaters at Wanda’s new waterpark in Qingdao, China.
“It took a while for the initial concept to catch on,” explains Beyr, “but now that several are operational, parks are starting to see the value Cinesplash provides in diversifying an attraction lineup.”
At this writing, three additional Cinesplash 5D theaters were in execution in China – in Guangzhou, Wuxi and Shenzhen. The Cinesplash concept is promising for Asian markets, in part because of the sheer quantity of waterparks being built there. Cinesplash offers a differentiating factor among competing parks, and is designed to be scaled up to provide high throughput for parks that need the capacity. And since the Cinesplash experience is so different from that of the standard waterslide, it has the potential to be added as an upcharge to regular admission.
Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi opened up the newest iteration of Cinesplash5D in June 2018. In addition to being the most current install, it also features new effects not yet found in the other theaters.
Bathing suit-clad guests enter the theater equipped with 3D glasses and sit in molded fiberglass motion seats. Throughout the film, a variety of standard effects splash the guests. Rain falls from overhead, water sprays from the sides and front of the theater, water cannons erupt below the screen, and giant waterfalls cascade down the sides of the theater. Additional, in-seat effects include spray nozzles and feet ticklers. All of this, of course, enhances the action taking place on the screen.
But the climactic moment occurs when the theater starts to fill with water until it is lapping at guest’s knees, completely surrounding the motion seats. The effect is unexpected and (so far) unduplicated in the world. Future installations will also include wave generators for the flooded theater.
Beyr is coy when asked exactly how the effect works, but he explains that a giant pit the same size as the theater is located directly beneath the auditorium and the unique system completely floods (and, at the end, drains) the venue in less than 30 seconds. The water is treated through a standard pool filtration system and recycled from show to show.
In many ways, Yas Waterworld is the perfect setting for a Cinesplash theater. The park, opened in 2013, has an extensive backstory about how the watery world was created, including the signature giant pearl perched on top of the mountain. A customized theatrical experience offers a new opportunity to pull guests into the story and enrich their experience. This made Cinesplash a good fit for the highly themed waterpark.
“We wanted to offer our guests a unique aquatic experience that doesn’t exist in any other waterpark in the region, which was also a great new way to experience the park’s award-winning story, ‘The Legend of the Lost Pearl’,” says Bianca Sammut, Yas Waterworld’s General Manager.
The story was inspired by the UAE’s pearl diving heritage, and had already been written before the park was built. In addition to producing the media for the ride, Attraktion! developed content that fit this narrative. The process included taking the pre-existing 2D cartoon characters, and rendering them in three dimensions for the new show.
“Guests love Cinesplash,” says Sammut. “It is undoubtedly an exciting new addition to our rides and we are very proud to be the first waterpark in the region to bring this type of attraction to our guests. Providing visitors with fun aquatic adventures with local personality is at the heart of what we do here at Yas Waterworld.”
The success of Cinesplash, and perhaps a key reason for recent renewed interest in the concept, is driven by two powerful current trends in the marketplace. First, waterparks and water play have seen continued strong and sustained growth, particularly in Asia. As Chris Yoshii, AECOM’s Vice President, Asia Pacific points out in the 2017 TEA/AECOM Theme Index, compared to theme parks, waterparks are less expensive and quicker to develop, tend to require a smaller footprint, and come with a lower price point for emerging-market consumers. They are popular destination attractions for both developers and governments.
Additionally, one need only glance at the largest theme park operators to see that story-driven, media based attractions have been enjoying great success around the world. Even smaller operators are more frequently relying on media-rich (frequently projection-based) attractions to tell stories and engage guests.
Cinesplash combines the best of both those trends, bringing storytelling and media into a waterpark environment typically void of such attractions, and to a population of guests increasingly interested in both waterplay and themed entertainment recreation.
Beyond Cinesplash, Attraktion! has found consistent interest in several of its other product lines, especially Playoke and the SeaExplorer 5D theater.
Playoke immerses a group of people in a video-led performance. The physically engaging experience is made personal, interactive and even competitive through a system of real-time, 3D group motion tracking.
Playoke systems are currently operating in China, France, Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Vietnam. It’s become popular in family entertainment centers (FECs). Playoke is being included as part of more than a dozen National Geographic FECs planned for locations around the world. The first such opened recently in Shenyang, China, the 2nd one in Mepetec Mexico, with additional locations set to debut in the coming months. The next two are already confirmed for Changzhou and Hengqin, China. In addition to Nat Geo, several other groups are installing multiple versions of Playoke, including Vingroup in Vietnam and Centerparcs in France.
Attraktion!’s latest product, SeaExplorer 5D, was launched in 2016 and is already operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, UAE and two locations in the USA (Chicago and Las Vegas). The next SeaExplorer 5D will debut in Cairns, Australia before the end of 2018.
Attraktion! also offers non-aquatic themed Explorer 5D attractions such as Wild Safari – a south African safari in the savannah with near-photorealistic flora and fauna – and later in 2019, Mission to Mars.
Each experience culminates in a 270-degree film, surrounding guests who are standing on a 3-DOF motion platform. Wind and water effects are added for even more immersion. “It’s essentially a small cave environment,” explains Beyr. The space is scalable and can achieve high throughput even in very restricted footprints. As with its other products, Attraktion! provides a turnkey system for operators, and also produces the CGI animated content.
“I am proud of Attraktion!’s development during the past six years,” says Beyr. “We’ve seen our products work
well in a wide range of venues and I think we have only scratched the surface of what we can create for both today’s and tomorrow’s entertainment destinations.”
Markus Beyr will be available during the 2018 IAAPA Attractions Expo (Orlando) to discuss Cinesplash 5D and the Attraktion! suite of products and services. To set up an appointment, email email@example.com. • • •
In addition to the products and services mentioned above, Attraktion! has several other notable business lines.
Attraktion! has developed an educational and entertaining interactive experience that includes a variety of small, media-based experiences to inform guests about the importance the polar regions play in the world. “Polar Journey” includes seven interactive scenes and is currently on exhibition at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The same exhibition setup can also be used with other content options like Wild Safari, so being able to renew the exhibition with fresh contents without the need to change any decoration.
Although developing new concept formats and venues is a company specialty, Attraktion! is also active in traditional 4D theaters, with a variety of features including motion seats, vibration and ticklers, mist spray and atmospheric effects. Attraktion! recently debuted a 4D theater at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Birmingham and is currently working on on two major 4D theaters in Asia, opening 2019.
Attraktion! has an extensive render farm computer system to support their in-house CGI movie production team. Right now Attraktion! focuses on productions in the 270-degree format, but also creates dome and other themed entertainment films, such as “The Legend of the Lost Pearl.” The company attraction film library is available for licensing. •
Comments Off on ProSlide to showcase water ride designs at Saudi Entertainment & Amusement Show 2020
Comments Off on Triotech creating Vietnam’s first media-based interactive dark ride for Vinpearl Phú Quốc
Comments Off on Raven Sun Creative: Unwrapping the new Hersheypark
Comments Off on ECA2: Showtime in Lanzhou
Jul 10, 2020 Comments Off on Giant Screen Films reschedules release of Dinosaurs of Antarctica to February 2021
Jul 10, 2020 Comments Off on Sara Seay awarded Paragon Award for excellence in marketing by New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
Jul 09, 2020 Comments Off on Ultima Displays unveils kid friendly sanitizing units
Jul 09, 2020 Comments Off on WorldStage provides technical support for Pride illuminations at three NYC landmarks
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on #81 – COVID-19 and beyond
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Editorial: Finding paths forward during uncertain times
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Editorial: Appreciation for Alf Heller, to whom I owe my career
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Mack Rides: Through the generations
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Connect&GO: Removing barriers
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on CAVU Designwerks: Self-Driving Vehicle
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on DreamCraft Attractions: Reality, but better
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on Around Disney’s Galaxy in 25 minutes
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on Inside the mouse house
May 19, 2020 Comments Off on Touch-free and other options for a new world of interactive exhibits
May 05, 2020 Comments Off on Inside the time machine
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 pavilions
Apr 13, 2020 Comments Off on What should Themed Experience graduates know, say and do?
Apr 10, 2020 Comments Off on What will it mean to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai until 2021?
Apr 09, 2020 Comments Off on Sustaining the mission: Zoos and aquariums in the age of COVID-19
Jun 30, 2020 Comments Off on Right place, write timeHollywood screenwriter Bennett Yellin authors a new future...
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 Principals’ Geoff Thatcher says now is the...
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...