ABOVE: Michael Mack, Managing Director MackMedia, Thomas Wagner, Managing Director VR Coaster (first row, right to left), Roland and Jürgen Mack, (Managing Partners Europa-Park, right to left)
Rust, Germany (September 17, 2015) — Beginning today, visitors to Europa-Park can soar through digital worlds on a real roller coaster. On the “Alpenexpress VR-Ride“ roller coaster in the Austrian-themed section, passengers are able to enjoy an adventure never experienced before using virtual reality glasses. Futuristic worlds unfold before vistitors’ eyes, while they simultaneously experience the rushing air, centrifugal force and twists and turns of a real-life roller coaster ride. This innovation has been made possible through cooperation between the companies VR Coaster, Mack Rides, MackMedia and Samsung, all of which are breaking new ground on the global leisure park scene with this virtual reality (VR) offering.
Riding a roller coaster at Europa-Park is a special experience. Guests on board will be subjected to changes in speed, rushing air and gravitational forces. Elaborate themed worlds round off the rides. Now, this experience is extended at Germany’s largest leisure park to include VR technology, making it even more intense. This adventure, which can be experienced on the “Alpenexpress VR-Ride“ in the Austrian-themed section, is made possible by a virtual reality (VR) headset – also called VR glasses.
Join Ed Euromaus on a wild ride
Visitors are given VR glasses in the entrance area to the “Alpenexpress VR-Ride”. During the ride, users are able to see an animated 3D world in front of their eyes that perfectly matches the actual track. The VR-Ride adventure is based on the first 4D film by MackMedia, “The Mystery of Castle Balthasar”. Visitors are immersed in the world of Ed Euromaus and his friends and experience a wild ride in a mine cart, before riding on a dragon back to the world of Europa-Park. Up to 2,000 visitors can enjoy the VR-Ride every day.
The most elaborate themed worlds are possible
This completely new ride sensation is due to the precise synchronization of the VR headset with the actual roller coaster ride. The ride uses sensors to orient the film to the speed and position of the roller coaster, enabling the real movements to be experienced in the virtual world. The VR coaster technology was developed as part of a collaboration between VR Coaster, Mack Rides and MackMedia, which are responsible for Europa-Park content-related and operational design. ‘The VR glasses create an immersive experience that would be almost impossible to surpass. For the first time, we are able to place an attraction in any themed world and seamlessly increase the intensity of the experience for visitors,’ explains Steffen Kottkamp, Director of MackCreative at Europa-Park: ‘The future of the roller coaster lies in a combination of real physical forces and appropriate thematic content. Using VR, we can create a much more elaborate and interactive themed world.’
Get started with an “EMOTION PLUS” ticket
All visitors to the park can take advantage of the VR-Ride offer if they have an “EMOTIONS PLUS” ticket, are Annual Ticket holders or are a guest at one of the five 4-star hotels at Europa-Park. Visitors who have not yet bought the classic “emotion” ticket can get one at all larger shops at Europa-Park and upgrade it to an “EMOTIONS PLUS” ticket at the information desks by the tower or lake. This means that visitors will be able to use the VR-Ride offer on the same day if seats are available.
Users of the “Alpenexpress VR-Ride“ must be at least 12 years old and taller than 100cm.
Generous discounts for VR passengers
The VR experience will be free of charge to visitors for a month. From 17th October, there will be a charge for the VR-Ride. It will cost €4.00 per person per ride. Visitors will receive a voucher worth €2.00 for each ride they purchase. This can be redeemed for a VR-Ride T-shirt or the soundtrack CD “The Time Carousel”, reducing the respective price by €2.00. Vouchers must be redeemed by the end of the winter season 2015/16.