Revamping rollercoasters is costly – even a simple aesthetic change is difficult, but to create an entirely new track? It’s an investment theme parks are hesitant to make, but virtual reality (VR) could very well change all of that. SeaWorld Orlando have taken the first steps, moving their Kraken rollercoaster into the virtual world.
We knew of SeaWorld’s intentions to bring VR to theme parks last year, but the results seem better than what we could’ve hoped, at least based on a recent article by the
Now, a VR head-mounted display (HMD) isn’t necessary to enjoy the Kraken experience, but it sounds like it is transformative. Wearing the HMD while on the rollercoaster of course gives users all the usual sensations on locomotion and G forces you’d expect, but with VR you’re taken to an underwater fantasy land, encountering sea life both from our real oceans and from legends.
The Kraken is, of course, the same rollercoaster fans of the theme park have always enjoyed, but regular guests are convinced that the virtual reality component changes everything.
Shooting along at 65mph embracing all the twists and turns in the track, you will of course feel like you’re truly flying by these incredible fantasy creatures. It’s an experience quite unlike anything else, with guests saying the usual pitfalls of VR are alleviated by the very motion, convincing your brain the things you’re seeing are very much real.
It’s a potentially massive move for virtual reality – coupling modern HMD’s optical trickery with very real sensations of locomotion and G force could make for an intensely immersive VR experience. We can’t wait to try it for ourselves!
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