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Tirotech chief designer and creative director Eric Marradi hard at work

climates, whether it’s too hot, too cold, or just too rainy. What is new is the technology that is now being incorporated in these attractions.” “There are several factors underlying the trend for interactive media-based dark rides,” continues Martin. “Firstly, younger people want to be in the game. That’s how they’ve experienced the world from a young age; from two-years-old they know how to flip the page on a tablet. In other words, they learn to interact and they love it. For upcoming generations, if you don’t provide some level of interactivity there will be no interest from your guests. However it is interesting to note that tablet devices have a higher penetration rate among 30-49-year- olds and that 37% of people between the age of 50 and 64, and 25% of people aged 65 and over, own one too.” “Real time game engines bring video gaming technology to interactive dark rides, as opposed to a ‘passive’ passenger in a pre-rendered non-interactive ride. Media-based attractions also have the distinct advantage over traditional laser- based rides in that there is no need for targets on props – the interactive zone is much wider, response times are faster and more accurate. Interactive dark rides also have great ‘replay-ability’. Keeping score increases the fun factor and makes guests want to relive the experience over and over, becoming brand ambassadors for the park. This is very important in today’s social media world where word-of-mouth is multiplied.”


solutions Triotech has played a major role in the emergence of today’s media-based interactive dark rides. The Montreal-based company boasts its own 3D animation studio, proprietary technology, and a camera-based targeting system that leads to greater accuracy and speed. Its game engine is fully flexible, adaptable and scalable and can be tailored to support any configuration or new technology. This makes it easy to collaborate with third parties and provide faster turnarounds. Triotech’s IDR range of products can be adapted to different ride systems from any manufacturer and screen environments including flat, curved, shooting walls etc. Talk to them about your requirements on booth 8547/8453/8553 at Euro Attractions Show in Amsterdam.


As has been well documented, media-based dark rides also provide flexibility when it comes to the content, with can be changed easily using the same hardware, and at a fraction of the cost of installing a new ride. Canada’s Wonderland’s for example, plans to offer a fresh version of Wonder Mountain’s Guardian for its upcoming Halloween season. This means new content, new special effects, new movement patterns for the carts. An operator could even change the ride every season if they wish. And for smaller parks or FECs with limited space, media- based rides allow the operator to tailor the layout to their requirements because there are few physical props.

WWA Show Making a splash in Vegas!

The World Waterpark Association’s annual Symposium & Trade Show, now rebranded simply as the WWA Show, is expected to make a splash in Las Vegas when it returns to the city next month for the first time since 2012

“We strive to make every WWA Show a showcase for what is new in the industry,” declares WWA president Rick Root, “whether it comes in the form of inspiring ideas and best practices, exciting new product innovations or meeting fresh faces during the show. We are pumped to be headquartered at the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas.” But don’t just take Rick’s word for it! Here’s what James Judy, vice-president of operations for Palace Entertainment, has to say: “Having the chance to meet with many of our key suppliers face to face in one place at the critical planning time of the year is always a huge benefit to us. The annual WWA Show continues to be an invaluable resource for us to discover new products and to keep abreast of what is transpiring within our ever-expanding industry.” When the World Waterpark Association visited Vegas two years ago, turnout for that event was one of the strongest since 2006. New this year, visitors will have the added benefit of being able to spend time in local waterparks thanks to the recent openings of both Wet ‘n’ Wild and Cowabunga Bay.

In addition to the networking time and a sold-out trade show floor with more than 100,000-square-feet of exhibition space, WWA members and show attendees will be able to benefit from an extensive education programme – always an integral part of proceedings. Four days of seminars, workshops and round table sessions are promised featuring some of the industry¹s most experienced operators, developers and suppliers.Programme highlights include a keynote address from Ed Hart, owner of Kentucky Kingdom in St Louis, speaking on his efforts to renovate and reopen the former Six Flags property, and an address from Dr Justin Sempsrott of Lifeguards Without Borders, speaking on “drowning resuscitation” and the many misconceptions about the terminology and treatment of drowning patients.

The WWA Show takes place from Monday 27 to Thursday 30 October at the Paris Las Vegas hotel/casino. For more information or to get registered, visit

One of Triotech’s artists sketches out an original design for Wonder Mountain’s Guardian at Cananda’s Wonderland (see previous page)

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