By Martin Palicki
Beijing, China (June 19, 2014) — Get ready to float around the world inside a 360-degree full dome attraction. Renowned ride designers Intamin and experience creators Attraktion! are partnering to create a brand new media based attraction that combines a full dome theater with an innovative ride vehicle system to create a family-friendly immersive attraction.
Announced on the show floor at IAAPA’s Asian Attractions Expo, the partnership will be realized at the new Lewa Wonderland park in Xian, China. Expected to open in late 2015, the Dome Ride Theater is one of many planned attractions for the Lewa City development, which will draw on Xian’s tourist identity as home of the Terracotta Warriors.
Guests will enter the attraction and see a ring of seats on the perimeter of a dome screen. After guests are secured in shoulder harnesses, the center floor will descend down and reveal a nearly complete sphere. Riders will be situated along the “equator” of the sphere.
26 projectors hidden behind unobtrusive openings in the dome will illuminate the full dome surface, surrounding guests’ entire field of vision. Once the show starts, the ring will pitch 30-degrees to either side while the entire seating area can rotate in either direction at a maximum speed of six rotations per minute.
According to Intamin’s Executive Vice President Sascha Czibulka, the ride system is acutally built like a roller coaster. The seating area will essentially be spinning around on coaster track. Czibulka expects the mechanics to be driven electrically and imagines a 100-120cm height restriction. When asked why only a 30-degree pitch, Czibulka replied that while spinning at a 30-degree angle, the guests at the bottom are already experiencing significant G-forces which, if increased, would detract from the ride’s family-friendly design.
“Often we look at what our existing systems and what we have in our drawers of experience and then apply new, proven technology to create a new attraction,” said Czibulka. “This is what we did with the Dome Ride Theater.”
Intamin’s Czibulka and Attraktion’s Markus Beyr have been working on the project for about a year. Lewa Wonderland signed an exclusivitiy agreement to be the first installation of the technology, although the duo admitted other developers are interested in the new attraction, which could also be enhanced with vertical rise and fall movement as well.
The initial media for the Lewa install will be created by Attraktion! and take guests inside a thunderstorm that transports them around the world. New patent-pending technology will take live camera feeds from inside the dome, detect where the ring is located and create an instant mask in the projection to prevent images from being projected into riders’ faces.
“The combination of new technology and ideas will offer an outstanding immersive impression,” said Beyr. “It will be a truly amazing and captivating experience.”