Audubon Aquarium of the Americas will open a first-of-its-kind interactive high-capacity virtual reality (HCVR) experience for visitors on Tuesday, December 5. Guests will take a virtual dive into a beautiful 360° coral reef environment to help restore the ecosystem.
The award-winning design and media production studio, Super 78, partnered with the Aquarium to create this groundbreaking guest experience.
“Super 78 and Audubon Nature Institute first collaborated on ‘Awards Night,’ the 4D show that opened at the Insectarium in 2003,” said Dina Benadon, Super 78’s CEO and Executive Producer. “That was one of our favorite projects, such a fun and rewarding experience.”
“When we began developing ‘Reef Rescue’ specifically for aquariums, Audubon was on top of our list to work with again,” added Brent Young, Super 78’s President and Creative Director. “Their commitment to education, conservation and entertainment makes it one of the finest aquariums in the nation. That’s why Audubon Aquarium is the ideal place to debut ‘Reef Rescue.’”
The virtual reality experience can accommodate 16 guests at a time as they take a virtual dive into a beautiful 360° coral reef environment. Their mission is to become “Reef Rangers” and help restore the undersea home of “Sting” and “Bob,” two fish who live in the Great Barrier Reef. Remotely piloting their own R.O.V.E.R. (Remotely Operated Vehicles for Exploring Reefs) mini-submarines, each guest helps to clean up the waters, plant new coral branches, and feed the fish, returning the reef to complete health.
“We’re thrilled to be the first aquarium to showcase this cutting-edge technology,” said Audubon Aquarium Director Rich Toth. “Reef Rescue is not only an entertaining and truly immersive experience, but it also communicates an important message of conservation. We want our guests to take away a greater understanding of how remarkable corals are and why they are so important to the well-being of planet.”
Reef Rescue opens to Audubon Aquarium guests on Tuesday, December 5. Tickets to the experience can be purchased at the Aquarium ticket counter on the second floor at the entrance to the experience. Reef Rescue is not included in general admission or with an Audubon Nature Institute membership. Tickets are $6 for non-members and $5 for Audubon Members.