Visitors to Alton Towers in recent days have been a little disappointed by the sudden lack of virtual reality (VR) availability on the VR roller coaster Galactica. But fear not, as park runners Merlin have confirmed that VR will return later in the month.
Alton Towers rebranded the B&M flying coaster AIR as Galactica last year when it added in the VR component that allowed riders to experience the sensation of travelling through space by wearing a VR headset as they rode.
The VR ride experience involved the rider putting on the headset before the ride seats shifts so the rider’s body is parallel to the floor, giving the rider a Superman-esque flying experience. With the addition of VR, it gives the rider the experience of travelling through a wormhole to visit the fiery, lava planet of Nero 5, and the frozen ice floes of Keplar 9, guided by the voice of Eve, the artificial intelligence who acts at the guide for the VR experience.
Since the ride re-theme in 2016, there have been boards located in the ride queue area promising that additional sequences would later be added to the VR experience. There have also been some problems with implementation, with some riders complaining of the VR de-syncing from the ride as well as the lack of textures that can be seen if riders look beyond the normal ‘border’ of the VR images. The VR has actually been entirely unavailable on the ride for several days now.
That may be about to change, however, since staff at Alton Towers have been telling visitors that the VR on Galactica will be returning by the end of the month with what several rumours suggest will be new upgraded headsets.
Rumours among the Alton Towers fanbase further suggest that the replacement headsets will in fact be Pico headsets, a device we have covered on VRFocus before. The Alton Towers Twitter, furthermore, have confirmed the return of VR functionality, and also hint as some ‘new surprises’, which some speculate could mean some new sequences or other upgrades for the VR experience.
VRFocus will keep you informed of any further developments for Galactica and other VR rollercoasters.