Theme parks are a veritable treasure trove of escapism and entertainment, so what better environment to incorporate some immersive virtual reality? Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has partnered with Samsung Electronics to integrate virtual reality experiences in some of the theme park’s roller coasters across nine different park locations. Utilizing the mobile Samsung Gear VR device, established roller coasters in Six Flags parks will make use of the virtual reality tech to create technologically powered rides that take advantage of all the drops, twists and turns of a typical roller coaster track.
“The expertise and hardware that Samsung provides, with the Gear VR and their partnership with Oculus, is really what took this to the next level and made virtual reality on a roller coaster possible,” said Brett Petit, senior vice president of marketing for Six Flags. Six Flags patrons will make use of the Gear VR on a Samsung Galaxy S6 to coast head first into a roller coaster fueled VR experience. Ride designers for the parks crafted storylines for different roller coasters and employed computer generated layouts and drawings to expertly align every movement on the roller coaster with what riders are viewing in virtual reality.
New Revolution is the main VR roller coaster experience Six Flags plans to debut in six separate theme parks, including Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York, Georgia, Texas and Montreal. This experience will place riders inside a fighter jet, co-piloting the plane on a mission to protect the world from alien invaders in high-octane air battles. Through Samsung’s Gear VR video game capabilities, riders will be able to fire weapons at alien ships through interactive VR gameplay tech.
Meanwhile, theme parks in San Antonio, Massachusetts and Maryland will have existing Superman licensed roller coasters transformed into a Superman virtual reality coaster. Just in time to capitalize on the upcoming release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, these three coasters will incorporate a 360-degree tour of Superman’s stomping grounds in Metropolis. Riders will fly on an epic journey with the Man of Steel as he defends Metropolis from Lex Luthor and his army of robots in order to save the day and all that other superhero jazz.
Integrating virtual reality experiences into pre-existing rides and roller coasters is an extremely economical plan for Six Flags, allowing them to boast new attractions without having to devote millions of dollars into actually creating new rides from scratch. Sure, it may be the same roller coaster in essence, but the changing narrative and VR graphics will keep a fresh luster on every ride, making it something that needs to be experienced over and over again.