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15:32 Page 30


Dark Rides www.parkworld-online.com


A go-to attraction for amusement park guests worldwide, the first dark rides started appearing as early as the 19th century. With the advent of new technologies tunnels of love and ghost trains have increasingly given way to immersive narratives and experiences that offer guests multi-sensory experiences. Park World takes a look


recognised by the Themed Entertainment Association Thea Award. Speaking exclusively to Park World, creative director Simeon van Tellingen explains the three company rules for creating a successful dark ride.


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1. Balance the ingredients “Developing dark rides can be compared to cooking a meal,” says Simeon. “The recipe should be right, and the balance of the ingredients makes for success.” Dark rides have a lot of ingredients: décor, theming, music, sound effects. Simeon says: ride vehicles, movement, theming, animatronics, interactivity and special effects. Simeon says that adding more technology doesn’t necessarily make a better ride experience. “When clients are considering purchasing a dark ride, they tend to choose the ride


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eading themed attraction design and build company Jora Vision has been involved in dark ride projects all over the world, three of which are


system/technology first and the other ingredients follow afterwards. In our approach however, we take the concept and story as a leading guide and create a vision on balancing the ingredients. That is why we always advise making a concept design first, from which decisions can be made on allocating budget to the specific ingredients.”


2. A clear story “The second rule is implementing a clear story”, says Simeon. “ Every element designed in the ride should follow the story and concept. Many dark rides have complicated storylines. We believe there should always be a clear reason why the visitor is invited to hop on a vehicle and experience a journey. And in case of an interactive dark ride, why they have a shooting device in their hands. Layers of backstory can always be incorporated into the scenes, but the main reason and main tagline of the attraction should be very clear and understandable by every target


AUGUST 2019


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