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Cedar Fair Tests VR at Canada's Wondelrand!


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^Now this would get me to participate!

 

This whole idea strikes me as odd. I'm not sure a coaster really needs VR enhancement. Plus, as others have said, this would be a capacity nightmare and lead to all sorts of problems (idiots breaking the headsets and such). I would probably try it, just to say I've done it, but right now I'm not seeing the appeal.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I've actually tried the VR out, and despite the fact that I thought it was going to be utterly terrible, I need to admit that I loved it.

 

The VR animation was tied to the layout of the track, and every movement in real life was replicated in VR. The VR world was not a circuit like real life, but rather a series of different stages giving you different feelings. Spoilers below:

 

One stage was flying through an old abandoned mine station with the rickety track below you falling apart and near misses on all sides. Another stage was jumping off the tracks onto another segment, and then finally landing on a dragon (Herman) who flies you into the town below for a nice safe landing.

 

The VR was so effective that there was a moment when I actually felt like I had done a corkscrew, despite there not being any inversions on Thunder Run. Truly, the VR breathed new life into this old coaster.

 

As for loading times? There were only about 4 people with headsets per train, and it added about 20 seconds to the loading time. Not terrible but it surely adds up. I think it's a great idea and I wouldn't knock it before you try it.

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So I've actually tried the VR out, and despite the fact that I thought it was going to be utterly terrible, I need to admit that I loved it.

 

The VR animation was tied to the layout of the track, and every movement in real life was replicated in VR. The VR world was not a circuit like real life, but rather a series of different stages giving you different feelings. Spoilers below:

 

One stage was flying through an old abandoned mine station with the rickety track below you falling apart and near misses on all sides. Another stage was jumping off the tracks onto another segment, and then finally landing on a dragon (Herman) who flies you into the town below for a nice safe landing.

 

The VR was so effective that there was a moment when I actually felt like I had done a corkscrew, despite there not being any inversions on Thunder Run. Truly, the VR breathed new life into this old coaster.

 

As for loading times? There were only about 4 people with headsets per train, and it added about 20 seconds to the loading time. Not terrible but it surely adds up. I think it's a great idea and I wouldn't knock it before you try it.

 

So in this story line Herman is a good guy, in the Guardian Herman is a bad guy and were shooting him lol WHAT IS IT WONDERLAND, WHAT IS IT?!?!?1 lol

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried the VR over the weekend. Really interesting concept. It's a joint project by Mack and Cedar Fair which explains why it is so similar to the Europa Park concept.

 

But I don't know if i loved it in its current form. To me it turned a coaster experience into an isolated simulator ride.

 

Pros:

* It is an extremely cool technology the video is perfectly synced to the track. 100% breathes new life in a staid boring powered ride

* video is smooth. no motion sickness

* Excellent operations - separate booth for doing waivers. Use exit passes to get on the VR seats. Allow three pairs per train. Barely slowed down loading

* VR headsets very comfortable. Easy to put on without help. Very secure. Did not feel unsafe while riding

 

Cons:

* It's virtual reality - not augmented reality - which means that once you put the googles on you can't see anything around you other than the video on the screen. It turns coaster riding which is usually a communal experience into an isolated experience. Very weird feeling to talk to the person beside you without being able to see them. I rode with my three year old son who was not able to do the test (minimum age 13) he was laughing at 'how silly daddy looks with the glasses'. I hated not being able to see his face or where we were in the ride. Actually felt a bit paranoid being so isolated.

 

* the virtual reality story was very much like your standard triotech typhoon video - bizare main train jumping all over the track with random characters. Very childish

 

* it honestly felt not much different than a good simulator ride. Physical forces seemed like less than a factor than the visual images. Real waste for a multi-million dollar coaster.

 

* resolution on the VR wasn't the best but I am sure that will improve in the future.

 

Conclusion

 

A good start. If they can adapt the technology to be augmented reality so that you can see the track and our riding companion but with additional images projected ala google glass I think you have a real winner. Imagine having a speedometer or on a racing coaster info to track how far/ahead behind you are of the other train or projected theming elements on the smiler.

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So in this story line Herman is a good guy, in the Guardian Herman is a bad guy and were shooting him lol WHAT IS IT WONDERLAND, WHAT IS IT?!?!?1 lol

 

The dragon in Guardian is not Herman, it's Lord Ormaar.

 

"The quest will culminate as riders enter the dragon's lair for the ultimate battle with Lord Ormaar, and experience a heart stopping finale that will shock thrill seekers of all ages!" - https://www.canadaswonderland.com/rides/Thrill-Rides/Wonder-Mountains-Guardian

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Giving my two cents on this would be repeating most of what was said already but I'll admit, the technology is way better than I thought it was gonna be.

 

I've been hating on the idea since I've heard about it. You go to a park to escape the every day life as it is, why would you now need to escape the roller coaster you're going to there to ride? I ate my words for sure from a technical standpoint at least and I am intrigued with how it will develop over time.

 

The odd thing I found about it was that you have to be 13+ to ride with the VR but the video playing is definitely aimed at an audience below 10 years old. I get that its just trying to test out the tech right now but as a 35 year old guy the content didn't appeal to me.

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So in this story line Herman is a good guy, in the Guardian Herman is a bad guy and were shooting him lol WHAT IS IT WONDERLAND, WHAT IS IT?!?!?1 lol

 

The dragon in Guardian is not Herman, it's Lord Ormaar.

 

"The quest will culminate as riders enter the dragon's lair for the ultimate battle with Lord Ormaar, and experience a heart stopping finale that will shock thrill seekers of all ages!" - https://www.canadaswonderland.com/rides/Thrill-Rides/Wonder-Mountains-Guardian

 

The fact that you need to look at the fine print on the website to know that there are two different dragons is silly. It makes no sense and is confusing for kids and the GP.

 

After 30 years of having a friendly dragon on a rollercoaster inside the mountain aimed at kids it was silly to make a dragon the bad guy on another rollercoaster inside the mountain. The plot of Guardian should be that you are saving Herman not fighting another dragon.

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I didn't have to look at it, it was more of a way of showing a fact.

 

The fact that anyone cares what the name of the dragon is inside of Thunder Run is even more ridiculous in my eyes. There is no story build up to the ride and as far as anyone knows that is just a random dragon. Only the die hard super nerds (like most of us) would know or care about that fact.

 

But this would probably be better discussed over at the actual Wonderland thread found here: http://themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=38407

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I'm a former park employee and daughter of a former park manager. I basically grew up at CW. I care that Herman's name is Herman and I care that they ruined his legacy with that sh--ty Guardian ride.

 

Back on topic, I am also not a fan of this VR idea. I think it's logistically a stupid decision, and I don't understand why they would slap it on a ride that has so much history and also still has the opportunity for a cool re-vamp with some awesome theming. Save that VR crapola for Guardian, which would probably be better as a VR experience since inside the mountain is only half-themed anyways lol.

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Love it or hate the ride, Guardian was well received in the industry and even won a couple awards last year at IAAPA. https://www.canadaswonderland.com/article/media-center/Wonder-Mountains-Guardian-Takes-Home-Coveted-IAAPA-Awards

 

I think of all the rides they could test this on Thunder Run, or any other indoor coaster Cedar Fair may operate, would be the best idea as most the time there's not much going on inside the dark. I mean Thunder Run is 90sec (approx) and a good chunk of that is outside so why not try on that.

 

Again, though I admitted I think the tech behind this was way better than I expected, I still am not sold on it for the masses. If they do this as an optional up-charge or something, great but I don't want it forced on me as a "you have to wear it" type of situation.

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Yeah, I will be somewhat more okay with this if it's optional and not forced-to-wear if you want to ride the ride. I'll be pretty pissed if I never get to ride Thunder Run again the way it was meant to be ridden.

 

Also, I know it's been well received and I know it's won award. I'm sure Guardian is working out just fine for the park so far, but my opinion of it will likely never change, unless the ride itself sees some pretty big changes... I'm fairly sure I'll always feel it was a massive waste of some of the awesome space inside the mountain. (And note that I'm not against family-friendly rides, I just think this particular one is dumb lol)

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So three reveiws from people who have actually experienced to VR in person range from "I loved it" to "The technology was way better than I thought" to "It's a good start" it sounds like the concept isn't as terrible as everyone imagined, imagine that!

 

SO my next questions is if the technology is actually kind of cool and Cedar Fair is going to roll this out on other rides at other parks what ride is this best stuied for? I mean your probably not going to put VR on Millenium Force or Banshee or any larger/newr coasters, it sounds like on the ride at CW the technology is cool but Thunder Run doesn't do much on the physical side to add to the virtual expereince, so where does this fit?

 

Maybe Backlot Stunt Coaster? The effects on that are pretty dated even though it's still a pretty fun ride and there is plenty of cool track sections to incorperate into a virtual world.

 

Could this work on a Vekoma Boomerang or a looping coaster like Flight of Fear? Old Arrow Mine trains?

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SO my next questions is if the technology is actually kind of cool and Cedar Fair is going to roll this out on other rides at other parks what ride is this best stuied for? I mean your probably not going to put VR on Millenium Force or Banshee or any larger/newr coasters, it sounds like on the ride at CW the technology is cool but Thunder Run doesn't do much on the physical side to add to the virtual expereince, so where does this fit?

 

Maybe Backlot Stunt Coaster? The effects on that are pretty dated even though it's still a pretty fun ride and there is plenty of cool track sections to incorperate into a virtual world.

 

Could this work on a Vekoma Boomerang or a looping coaster like Flight of Fear? Old Arrow Mine trains?

 

They tested it on Blue Fire, which I have heard is a great aggressive looping ride, so in theory anything.

 

My sense is that the most bang for there buck is to focus on family style powered rides like Thunder Run. You don't need aggressive physical forces as the visual effect creates the illusion of more extreme movement. If I recall they followed the thunder run track exactly at the start but then as the ride went on the movements become more extreme. I believe they faked some jumps and the effect of negative gs and even a looping element that felt almost real. Plus the animations as least on Thunder Run as previously stated were really cartoony so the initial focus will likely be on family rides.

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^Yeah, I was just tying to think which rides in Cedar Fair parks would be the best fit. Blue Fire doesn't have OTSRs, no that they can't use the technology on ride with those restraints but I would think it would make mroe sense on ride without them. Backlot Stunt Coaster makes a lot of sense. Flight of Fear could probably incorperate some really cool effects into the experience.

 

Should be interesting to see more information about this as it develops. I'm also anxious to read some more reveiews of the expereince.

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