Amusement, theme, and waterparks have been a source of entertainment for decades, but they are now taking a big leap into the future thanks to immersive experiences.
These experiences are taking visitor fun to the next level by integrating advanced multisensory technologies such as extended reality (XR), which includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or mixed reality and digital scent technology.
For parks, one of the attractions of this technology is that it allows them to offer different experiences within the same attraction simply by changing the projected experience. For example, by changing the setting through virtual reality glasses or emitting scents or liquids to enrich the scene.
En su informe ‘Extended reality (XR) market size worldwide from 2021 to 2026’, Statista detalla que el tamaño mundial del mercado de la RE alcanzó los 29,26 mil millones de dólares estadounidenses en 2022, y se estima que seguirá aumentando a más de 100 mil millones USA para 2026.
Here are some of the attractions that are already active in the Amusement sector, offering these fully immersive experiences to their visitors:
In the Tornado Hunters attraction at Futuroscope Futuroscope, in France, visitors are engulfed in an impressive tornado. The moving platform rotates up to 30 km/h, goes up and down, tilts, and is surrounded by screens with special effects of wind, storms, and water, making the experience unforgettable. This attraction was awarded the Best Attraction in the World at the 2023 Thea Awards of the Themed Entertainment Association. The attraction cost 21 million euros, and its cylindrical LED screen, the largest indoor screen in the world, measures 470 m².
At Universal Studios Beijing an immersive environment based on the Jurassic Park movies was created. Scenic and 3D visual tricks have been used to create the illusion of an off-road vehicle, presenting scenarios full of giant dinosaurs. Visitors do not need 3D glasses, making the experience more natural.
And one of the highlights of the attraction is an aerial battle between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and an Indominous Rex, which happens too close to visitors. But, if visitors desire a stronger experience, they can "interact" with a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex, which will chase their vehicle just like in the movie.
This attraction combines virtual reality with a three-dimensional simulator. Visitors sit in one of the seats, put on their 3D glasses, and are carried away by their banshee, sobrevolando paisajes en 3D en el mundo de Pandora, dentro del Parque temático theme park in Florida USA. This experience involves four out of the five senses: touch, smell, sight and sound.
In the new section of Universal Studios Hollywood, Super Nintendo World offers an immersive experience to immerse visitors in the Mushroom in Florida, the main kingdom in the franchise. Attendees can assist in missions and uncover the secrets of this video game world.
For example, attendees can help Princess Peach Peach recover her "golden mushroom", or experience Mario Kart races by driving a car that combines mapping technology with physical scenarios. Additionally, through the Power Up Band, a themed bracelet, participants can connect to a mobile application in which they accumulate points and coins, just like Mario did on the screen, and compete with other players.
Located one hour from Barcelona and on a 300-hectare estate, Metapark Zoo is Europe's first theme park to enjoy wild animals with augmented reality. Esta nueva manera de conocer a los animales sustituye al zoológico tradicional con modelos 3D hiperrealistas.
Visitors can take a real walk through the estate and interact with wild species from various continents thanks to the use of augmented reality glasses that provide real sensations, as if the animals were present there. The final budget for the entire project, which is already open to the public, will be around half a million euros and will be deployed in phases.