With the launch of impressive looking full-fledged virtual reality titles like The Climb and Eagle Flight looming on the horizon, it feels like 2016 is finally the year virtual reality hits its stride.
And it looks like Canada’s Wonderland plans to take advantage of the trend in an inventive way that perhaps pushes things a little too far. Canada’s Wonderland, an amusement park outside of Toronto, plans to add VR headsets to its Thunder Run roller coaster – the ride that circles the interior of the theme park’s iconic mountain – in 2016.
Riders wearing virtual reality headsets on Thunder Run will find themselves on the back of a fire-breathing dragon flying above a medieval village. The experience takes twice as long as a typical ride on Thunder Run. Wonderland is limiting the number of park attendees that are able to take advantage of the experience to allow non-VR riders on the ride.
The VR experience the rider is viewing in their headset reportedly syncs with the physical movement of the roller coaster. This project was developed through a partnership with Cedar Fair, the amusement park chain that owns Wonderland and 11 other theme parks, and Mack Rides, a VR company that specializes in the creation of virtual reality amusement park experiences.
Combining virtual reality with high-energy roller coasters likely won’t happen. Instead, the technology will be utilized to boost ridership on less popular attractions.
Image credit: Jamie Hedworth
YouTube Credit: CWMania