Known English illusionist Derren Brown has revealed his latest production, mixing virtual reality with a theme park ride.
Last week, we reported on UK theme park Alton Towers’ announcement of their Galactica rollercoaster that travels at speeds of up to 47mph while passengers don a virtual reality headset, launching them through a journey in space. Now the same owners of Alton Towers park, Merlin Entertainments Group, have announced a new VR ride experience, this time at Thorpe Park Resort, called “Derren Brown’s Ghost Train.”
Thorpe Park’s biggest and most ambitious investment for an attraction to date, the ride is housed in a massive warehouse, with the centerpiece being a 7 ton Victorian train carriage that is suspended in mid air some 10 feet (3 meters) above ground by iron chains. “Passengers” will be able to enter the train carriage via a metal bridge and prepare for their mind-bending journey.
The park describes Derren Brown’s Ghost Train as a 10-15 minute ride that mixes “live action sequences, 4D special effects, grand-scale illusions, next generation technology, and physical transit.”
This next generation technology that Thorpe Park is referring to is the use of HTC Vive headsets as an element of the overall experience. Since there will be a group of riders all wearing VR headsets within the carriage, the company states that the HTC Vive was the solution they chose because of its ability to have multiple headsets working simultaneously “in the same space with no impact on performance.”
A choose your own adventure type VR theme park ride that puts you inside a floating train carriage.
This “smart ride” has 12 different journeys and 2 endings that is intended to give each individual ‘passenger’ a unique experience from others on the ride. It is expected that riders will experience a variety of multi-sensory surprises, with the use of virtual reality to complete the full mind-bending ride experience.
Although Thorpe Park isn’t giving much away about the experience, multi-sensory attractions like what we have also seen at the VOID VR theme park in Utah, is a glimpse into a bright future of theme park attractions that take you on rides that can only be accomplished in virtual reality.
The Ghost Train experience is due to open this Spring at Thorpe Park Resort, which is located just 10 miles from Greater London.