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The idea popped into my mind a couple days ago, and so, after extensive searching I have yet to find

The motion simulator discussion thread!

The point is lets talk about motion simulators, how they work, different kinds, old ones (dutch wonderland's simulator for starters, if its even still there).

My personal favorite is Mission to mars with Gary Sinsie!

It takes motion simulation to the max by making a human centrifuge.

Alas, I would like to know what the people think.

First major post hopefully its a good one!

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One of the first motion simulators I ever rode was Star Tours. Also rode Body Wars over at Wonders of Life and another one somewhere called Journey to Atlantis or Quest for Atlantis (Sea World, maybe?). All pretty much the same model, just different movie.

 

In their own right, simulators are a good time and a great way to get out of the summer heat. Even the older Max Flight coaster simulators that look they're running Silicon Graphics engines look like fun. I think Cement Mixer: The Ride, every time I see one spin up.

 

Some of the most awesome, I've heard, are the Battletech Simulators that are networked. Never got a chance to try those, but was a big Mech Warrior fan several years ago.

 

Despite the cheeseyness by today's standards, the Virtuality machines of the early 90's are my absolute faves. They just had a cool futuristic look to them, even with the ginormous HMD (Head Mounted Display). The graphics were so so, but the head tracking was pretty good and didn't break the illusion.

 

Come to think of it Sega's Afterburner qualifies as does Galaxy Force Version 2.

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The first simulator I remember riding was in the mid 90s which was some portable one at the county fair. They were giving free rides so we'd ride it multiple times each weekend visit. (My sister used to do a ton of singing at the fair) The reason of it being free is because it was pretty much an advertisement for AT&T and some random evil force trying to take over the communications. (I know, nice storyline..) I then remember riding Days of Thunder at what was then PGA...now is the Sponge Bob Crabby Patty in the same building.

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I've done more than a few simulators over the years. I can't remember them all, but certainly Star Tours and Body Wars were some of my first. Personally, I can't stand them. They are cool at the beginning, but they always try to push things to the limit, causing me in most instances to close my eyes to avoid getting a headache or worse. They are a great way to get out of the heat (no doubt), but I've never been able to watch one beginning to end. Give me the real thing anytime.

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I personally love motion simulators. Everything from those small morphis simulators you find in museums and fairs to the motion theaters. The best I will admit is definitely Mission Space as it is the only one I've been on that simulates realistic gs. After that, I enjoy the motion theaters. The movement of the chairs is incredibly smooth and it gives you a "floating" sensation. My personal favorite was back when our theater here at Carowinds had James Bond playing. The best motor cycle chase ever. I miss that film... Well, that's just my two cents.

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I've ridden tons over the years, from the oldest memories of the traveling rocket ships, where it tilted up and rotated making you believe you were off to see the moon or Mars landscapes.

 

Favorites of the huge variety include the Simpsons Ride, Akbar (better storyline and oddly smoother to me than Star Tours), Mach 1, Shrek, Superstition, and a movie that I cannot recall at the moment that played at King's Island in 2001 or 2002 next to 7th Portal where you were supposed to help defend the base, but things go horribly wrong from the beginning. I just remember laughing the entire time as the ship in front of us blew up trying to exit the closing gate and then we are ready to launch right after them into the closed gate before it aborted.

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For me, there are two simulators which stand out above the rest; not necessarily because one is particularly more advanced than the others, but rather: They were FUN!

 

#1: Questor (both OLD and NEW cuts)- Nothing beat a long cool tunnel, a fun ride and some very cheesy dialogue- plus that cool-ass animatronic figure before boarding the boxes; I still remember most of the dialogue that was said, and miss the ride itself- as it was always a fun stop off at BGW during my early college years, and was a great place to 'ride out' the storm at the park during the summer rainy afternoons.

 

#2 "Elvira's House of Superstition"- Nothing will every come nearly as close to beyond campy, silly and downright fun as riding Superstition; I've never ridden it outside of an IWerks Motion Seat theater. At one point, the local Dave & Buster's at White Flint Mall had a IWerks ride theater, and I'd often spend more money on the sim than the actual food/games/adult beverages provided therein. Nothing complicated about it, but the sheer entertaiment value was for me worth every single minute of it.

 

Nowadays, even with the different ride technologies out there, nothing can touch these two gems which are missed and beloved; I'm finding it harder to find Superstition close to home, but when I do find it, I'm always the first in line!

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I really miss the Dinospheare and Elvira movies they had in the 4D theatre here at SFDK. My 1st motion simulator was Star Tours at Disneyland and at the time (I was about 8) it blew me away. I think my all time favorite that I've been on is the Spiderman one at IOA. That one does count right?

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^Oh yeah, I remember Dinosphere. It was a ton of fun.

 

My favorite motion simulator rides are Soarin' over California and Star Tours. I haven't been on many simulators, but these two are a lot of fun. Soarin' really made me feel like I was flying.

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I can remember back into the 80's (I know...shocking) and they used to have ol' school simulators back then at fairs and carnivals. You would get into this thing that looked like a sideways silo (I suppose it was supposed to look like a rocket) and you sat there and were amazed at the motion "technology." On the outside it just lifted from one end, shook a lot, and turned side to side.

 

Of course the predecessor to that was the "You Are There" not-quite as big as IMAX movies. Darien Lake and Fantasy Island had them. You went into this "tent" that looked like a boob and inside you would STAND and watch a big movie screen with shots of rollercoasters, skiing, and other action shots. Anyone remember these?

 

In 1994-95 I worked on Mission: Bermuda Triangle at Sea World in Orlando (which is now Wild Artic). It was a fun ride to operate. I also worked on Back to the Future at USH (I get around). Is it bad that both of the simulators I worked on are now gone?

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I LOVE the awsomeness of the old school simulator that can only been seen in a really ghetto fair.

 

I don't know what the name of it is...so if somebody can help me out with the name...but it looks like it was built in 1962...it is in the shape of a rocketship and if you are too tall (like me) your head blocks some of the projection. It is so loud when it moves that it like totally kills the atmosphere (not like it had any).

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Star tour needs a face lip

 

...face lift? Well, Star Tours almost got a face lift back in 1999/2000 when Episode I came out. The only thing that formulated from that was the renovation of the gift shop at the end of the ride. The rumor is still around of Star Tours 2 being made.

 

Back To The Future was a good ride, although its age kind of killed it. I still have yet to ride The Simpsons Ride.

 

I also kind of miss Akbar's Adventure Tours just because it was a good family attraction. Then again, Martin Short. Oh well, Pirates! 4D is better anyway.

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Of course the predecessor to that was the "You Are There" not-quite as big as IMAX movies. Darien Lake and Fantasy Island had them. You went into this "tent" that looked like a boob and inside you would STAND and watch a big movie screen with shots of rollercoasters, skiing, and other action shots. Anyone remember these?

 

 

I remember them. The first one I saw was in Gatlingburg, and I must have been about 5 or 6, because I just barely remember it...but I do remember standing and holding onto a bar in front of me and thinking it was kind of weird. Later, Kings Island had the Cinema 180, but everyone sat on the floor instead. There was always a portion of the film that had a coaster in it. I know Revolution at SFMM was featured, and I think maybe the Idora Wildcat too (I'm just guessing, because I remember the track and structure being painted yellow. It was yellow, wasn't it?).

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  • 8 years later...

As of right now, the Orange Team of Mission Space at Epcot easily takes the cake for my favorite motion simulator attraction. Disney's most intense creation ever made IMO. Nothing compares to the feeling and illusion of vertically accelerating out of the building, and then going weightless moments later. You literally feel like you're taking off in a shuttle. This thing delivers in spades, and is easily one of the most intense rides I have ever been on. If not, THE MOST. This includes coasters. I can never get enough of it. If you can handle the g forces it sustains and are ok with tight spaces, then it's a must ride. While the ride is a centrifuge, it doesn't feel like your spinning at all, just accelerating. Closest thing to the real deal as far as I'm concerned. Easily tied with Tower of Terror as my favorite WDW attraction.

 

BTW, not to mention, the Green Team is still sooo good. Even without the spinning, it's still better than all of the simulators I've ridden so far. For making a less intense version of a ride, Disney still aced it.

 

Also, does anyone know how fast Mission Space spins compared to a standard graviton attraction? I'm assuming it's a bit faster.

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The most fun motion simulator ride I been on was this on at Mall of America when it was Camp Snoopy back in the Spring of 2000. I don't remember the name of it though or even what it was themed to but I remember it almost felt like real forces happening oppose to be just moving side to side in a big metal box. lol. It even went upside down too. Even though those Maxiflight coasters go upside down for some reason I remember enjoying the MOA simulator a lot more. Another interesting simulator I seen that wasn't so much as fun but more interesting was this kiddie one at one of those Wal-mart mini arcade centers. It was a coin operated kiddie ride that looked like a coaster car with a CRT monitor attached to it. On the screen you had a choice of choosing from one of like the 4 coaster simulator programs. All the "coasters" were to Cedar Point coasters! It would then move along with the motion of the coaster on the screen. Im sure most seen those before anyways. The dork that I am got into it anyways of course barely fitting in it. This back in like 2006 or 2007. I got some interesting looks......lol It was meh...ok...but its a kiddie ride what do you expect. It was truly the Super Poor Man's Cedar Point! Ride 4 CP coasters for a dollar! Its ALMOST as good as the real thing!!!!!! not really.....I think I picked Gemini by the way if I remember. Riding it just made me wish i was at the real Cedar Point. lol

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I can't do most motion simulators. I almost threw up on Flight Over Europe at BGW. Seriously, I've never come that close to losing it on a ride, even after I closed and covered my eyes while hunkering over in my seat like a little bitch all the while thinking, "For the love of God make it stop! Make it stop!" Yeah, it was torture.

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I can remember back into the 80's (I know...shocking) and they used to have ol' school simulators back then at fairs and carnivals. You would get into this thing that looked like a sideways silo (I suppose it was supposed to look like a rocket) and you sat there and were amazed at the motion "technology." On the outside it just lifted from one end, shook a lot, and turned side to side.

 

Of course the predecessor to that was the "You Are There" not-quite as big as IMAX movies. Darien Lake and Fantasy Island had them. You went into this "tent" that looked like a boob and inside you would STAND and watch a big movie screen with shots of rollercoasters, skiing, and other action shots. Anyone remember these?

 

In 1994-95 I worked on Mission: Bermuda Triangle at Sea World in Orlando (which is now Wild Artic). It was a fun ride to operate. I also worked on Back to the Future at USH (I get around). Is it bad that both of the simulators I worked on are now gone?

 

My favorite simulator memory actually has nothing to do with riding the attraction at all. When SeaWorld San Diego opened Mission: Bermuda Triangle, the gift shop had a unique feature. Behind a wall in the back was an observation area where you could watch one of the simulators, letting you see it go through the motions. It was a darkened area and the simulator exterior was painted in all kinds of fluorescent paint. To four year old me, it was quite the spectacle. Sadly the observation area was closed at some point. Did the Mission: Bermuda Triangle in Orlando have this feature as well?

 

For years I've been looking for a photo of the observation area in San Diego.

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We can't have a thread about motion simulator without mentionning Douglas Trumbull, who can be considered as the father of motion simulator rides. He also constantly tries to improve the quality of the movies, focusing on FPS (with his own Showscan process) and brightness, that is more important to his eyes than gimmicky 3D.

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^ Canobie used to have one of those and I loved it when I was a kid. Unfortunately it was standing but not operating for a few years and was then eventually removed.

 

I had a chance to reride one at Dutch Wonderland about a decade later and it wasn't quite the same. Having been ruined by PlayStation 3 graphics instead of Sega Genesis ones when I rode the Canobie one, the visuals were comically outdated.

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^ Canobie used to have one of those and I loved it when I was a kid. Unfortunately it was standing but not operating for a few years and was then eventually removed.

 

I had a chance to reride one at Dutch Wonderland about a decade later and it wasn't quite the same. Having been ruined by PlayStation 3 graphics instead of Sega Genesis ones when I rode the Canobie one, the visuals were comically outdated.

 

As was the use of a VCR tape to start the movie.

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