Alton Towers to open virtual reality rollercoaster

Jan 12, 2016 | Marketing through gaming

UK theme park Alton Towers is opening a virtual reality rollercoaster dubbed Galactica, combines a physical ride with virtual reality. Several virtual-reality recordings simulate rollercoaster rides, but Alton Towers said Galactica would combine the two experiences for the first time. Riders will wear a virtual reality headset creating the illusion they are flying through space, […]

UK theme park Alton Towers is opening a virtual reality rollercoaster dubbed Galactica, combines a physical ride with virtual reality.


Several virtual-reality recordings simulate rollercoaster rides, but Alton Towers said Galactica would combine the two experiences for the first time.
Riders will wear a virtual reality headset creating the illusion they are flying through space, with the movements on-screen coinciding with those on the 840-metre long track.
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The ride, which opens in April, will last 189 seconds, with a maximum speed of 46mph.
Lying facedown, they will experience a maximum g-force of 3.5gs, which the park says is more than astronauts typically experience during rocket launches.
The headsets will show passengers a journey across a series of different galaxies, timed to coincide with the ride’s twists, turns and falls.
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The park’s marketing director Gill Riley said independent inspections would take place before it opened.
She added: “Galactica uses groundbreaking technology to give riders a breathtaking and completely unique rollercoaster experience.
“Tim Peake captured the imagination of millions of Brits last year when he set off on his mission to the International Space Station – and now our visitors can become astronauts too.”
The ride marks the first major addition since a crash that left 16 people injured.
The Staffordshire theme park hopes it will boost visitor numbers, which fell last year when a crash involving The Smiler forced two young women to have leg amputations.
The park also confirmed The Smiler is due to reopen later this year. Visitor numbers have been down since the accident, which Alton Towers blamed on “human error”. It said 190 jobs remained at risk and the park would close on several mid-week “quieter days” this year.
Merlin Entertainments, Owners of Alton Towers, saw its share price sink by more than 20% following the June 2015 accident, but is currently trading at about 4% below its pre-accident level.

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