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Virtual Reality in Coasters


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Hi, guys.

 

For my Extended Essay in IB, I'm going to write about VR in roller coasters and their impacts on the industry.

 

I just wanted to post this on here to get some opinions regarding the subject.

 

Oh, and if this is a repost, please tell me immediately and just re-direct me to the original. The search tool in here is kinda faulty.

 

Anything you write is absolutely fine. After all, opinions are more valuable than you think.

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Firstly good luck with your project!

 

Secondly, I think that they are very good, when done well, and on the right rides. The was Six flags parks have done it is perfect. They have many headsets, and all the time consuming stuff is done before you actually get on the ride. Also, they normally only have the VR on rollercoasters with only a Lab Bar, which is perfect, as it allows the rider to be fully immersed and look around fully. However, at Alton Towers, on Galactica, it is bad, because it has been placed on an already complicated ride. The rides have to sort out their headset, when they are actually in the ride vehicle, which takes a long time. Also, on Galactica, the harness is very restrictive, so you cannot look around as much. Finally, it is not good, because the head set vibrates on Galactica, meaning you cannot actually see the film.

To conclude, America have done it well, England have messed up.

 

Hope this helps!

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Firstly good luck with your project!

 

Secondly, I think that they are very good, when done well, and on the right rides. The was Six flags parks have done it is perfect. They have many headsets, and all the time consuming stuff is done before you actually get on the ride. Also, they normally only have the VR on rollercoasters with only a Lab Bar, which is perfect, as it allows the rider to be fully immersed and look around fully. However, at Alton Towers, on Galactica, it is bad, because it has been placed on an already complicated ride. The rides have to sort out their headset, when they are actually in the ride vehicle, which takes a long time. Also, on Galactica, the harness is very restrictive, so you cannot look around as much. Finally, it is not good, because the head set vibrates on Galactica, meaning you cannot actually see the film.

To conclude, America have done it well, England have messed up.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Thanks Henry. Really helped.

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^^I disagree with that about Galactica, i thought that it was incredibly good. Although you're right about the dispatches been slowed a lot but i don't think it's a problem with what you get. Maybe your headset wasn't properly calibrated if you couldn't see the film or it wasn't on properly because i certainly didn't get any vibration and it was easy to see the 'film'. The only bad thing i thought was the fact that the headset itself was quite heavy and slightly uncomfortable, so i don't think England have messed up at all.

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I rode Dare Devil Dive as the new revolution this past weekend. I got lucky and got to the park before opening and made it on the third train. The VR makes the wait times go up astronomically so I'm sure even though it's at my home park, this was the only time I'll ever ride it just because of the wait times.

 

Onto the experience itself it was actually incredible. I was jaded against the VR but after trying it it completely transformed the ride. My headset synced up pretty perfectly. It was one of the only times a roller coaster felt truly terrifying. I couldnt remember the layout so I felt like I was truly out of control on a ride. Everything felt floatier, like I was in a fighter jet instead of a coaster car. Overall I'd recommend it at least once for any of it's instillations.

 

Do I think it will reshape the industry? No. I also hope it doesnt. I had an incredible experience but it didnt feel like a roller coaster at all. It was intense and fun, but it wasnt a roller coaster. I never realized how much what you see while riding adds to the experience. Anyway. That's my take on it.

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I went on Shockwave at SFOT with the VR. The queue was kept rather short (20 minutes) due to a voucher system where you came back at a certain time similar to Hogsmead at Universal Studios Japan. Obviously, the restraints were very comfy as are most of that breed of coaster. At first I thought the chinstrap was going to be awkward or uncomfortable but it was rather fine. The interactive part of the lift was fun and a nice distraction. The drop felt very exaggerated and well done, the loops were obviously very forceful but felt not very aircraft like, like they were taken to fast or should have been bigger. I know that would have been impossible to pull off but it took a little away from the immersion. The rest of the ride was very nice with lots of twists, turns, and airtime that was well incorporated.

 

I only have three nitpicks

1. It de-synced for about 5 seconds during the turn around into the first drop and that made my head hurt a little, probably doesn't happen much though

2. Little/no sound

3. Nothing to look at on the brake run, just a black screen that tells you to keep your headset on.

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Speaking of throwing up, I would have to wonder if these VR coaster experiences would make a rider more likely to get sick... Some coaster layouts are more or less likely to make me ill (even if I use anti-motion sickness meds) and I am wondering if the VR might exacerbate that (for instance, by giving the rider of a non-inverting coaster the illusion that they are going upside down and/or backwards). Otherwise, it sounds like it might be fun to try.

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Am BUMPing this to ask, if anybody's gauging how well, or not, the VR thing is going,

across the globe? Now that some of these are already open and running?

 

I'm just curious who's "ahead" so far. lol. From what I've been reading, Galactica at Alton Towers,

looks very promising in how you all are reacting, after riding it.

 

And I really have absolutely No Idea of how many of these coasters

(world total) have been re-fitted for VR, etc?

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I posted some of my thoughts in the Revolution VR thread, but I'll briefly reiterate what I said.

 

Basically, virtual reality is the perfect example of "don't judge it until you try it yourself." I was super skeptical about the idea when it was first announced, but after riding The New Revolution a couple times last week, my opinion changed for the better.

 

Six Flags cleans the headsets very thoroughly, and they do it right in front of guests so it is not a secret. Cleanliness should not be a problem at all.

 

As for the experience itself, it took my by surprise. The video syncs perfectly with the ride, and it makes the coaster feel way more crazy than it actually is. I don't believe motion sickness should be an issue. If you would be able to ride the ride normally without the VR and not get sick, the VR should not make it any worse. Overall I think it is a great way to upgrade and re-market an old attraction.

 

My only issue is the efficiency of operations. Granted, this has just been implemented, so I'm sure the employees and operators will become more comfortable with the process as time goes on, but at Revolution, dispatches were anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes each. Like I said, this could improve, but I don't see any ride with VR being a people eater. I have not ridden Dare Devil Dive, but with those 6-seat trains + VR, I can't imagine the capacity being all that great.

 

So in the end, I really like the idea and think that, if operations are good, it should be a feature at most major amusement parks. People can sit at their computer desks with their virtual reality on simulators all they want, but it's very different when you are actually feeling the force on your body and wind in your face. Like I said, don't judge it until you ride it, because it could very well take you by surprise like it did for me.

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By the way, guys,

 

Did you know that here are a couple more coasters around the world that use VR other than Galactica, the Six Flags ones, and the Europa Park coasters?

 

According to RCDB, USJ's Space fantasy got the VR conversion and so did this ride called Dinolino's VR Ride in Germany. The latter is in a really tiny park. Who said VR is for larger parks only?

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