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Park Profile

Flying high

over Hubei Of the six experiences now live at Wanda Movie Park, Hubei in the Air is a signature attraction. For designers, it’s hugely satisfying to see a finished attraction that almost exactly reflects the artistic vision of our client and ourselves, right from the initial storyboards. Hubei in the Air was one of them. Visitors enter the show theatre

and are seated in rows of chairs before the ride system lifts the audience so that their legs dangle in the air, rotates and pushes them closer to the screen as if they were riding on the clouds. The world’s largest Chinese landscape painting (as pictured below) is projected onto the main screen. The flight begins with us following the path of a crane, who dips and darts through valleys, monuments and clouds.

Tackling the challenges As executive producers, we guided the team through some significant hurdles. For example, one of the ongoing issues was fitting the attractions into the unique shape of the building. As anyone in the industry knows, attractions are usually designed first; the shell comes after. In this case, our attractions had to fit into the bell-shaped building design proposed by the architect. It was much like fitting square pegs in a round hole. There was much back and forth to adjust the angles of

the bells and height of the building to accommodate the needs of the attractions. For example, the 5D theatre needed back-of-house space to accommodate the actors, props and sets. As a result, the building architecture kept stretching upwards from the original design. We also had to consider the interior architecture so that it accommodated multiple uses, fire codes and the flow of people. Another challenge was the way the six

attractions had to be stacked on top of each other across three stories. The multimedia attractions had sophisticated simulators on top of each other, so we had to address how to manage the vibrations, weight loads and facility impact. We had to consider how the heavy equipment – in some cases entire ride systems – were going to be moved into the building while construction was underway, which meant creating removable panels so the equipment could be loaded in while construction was underway. Our client also wanted high capacity

attractions, at least 400 people per cycle. That made it very challenging to manage the capacity of the lobby. How would queuing

MAY 2015 LEFT: The impressive LED-lit interior ABOVE: The bell-shaped exterior 41

work? What would happen if all the attractions emptied at the same time into the public spaces? Our masterplan was created to move the traffic through the building and the retail spaces as efficiently as possible, within a limited building shell, while accommodating the maximum amount of people.

What a ride! At the end of the day, creating Wanda Movie Park was like being on a fast moving train, with lots of people on board. Everyone took the long view, considering how their part of the project would affect another. This project remains a powerful example of collaboration at its best – for the client, the teams involved and the audiences who now enjoy visiting the park.

Over the next five minutes, the rich history of the Hubei province unfolds, including the epic Battle of Red Cliffs, until we eventually arrive at the Golden Bells building to an explosive fireworks display. The creative for this project

involved hundreds of drawings, from storyboards and development sketches to fully rendered key art. We took our inspiration from beauty of Chinese brush painting, a 2,000 year old art form rooted in Zen Buddhism. And our key storytelling device was the crane, a cherished symbol of immortality in Chinese mythology.

While FORREC and Super 78

Studios created the story and art, Pixomondo delivered the media. Dynamic Attractions provided the True Flight Motion™ ride system together with in-theatre effects such as air bursts, mist and scents.

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