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Theming


to really bring characters and landscapes to life. The combination of all these things truly triggers all senses and only adds to the overall immersive experience. “In an entire experience, the fabrics are often just a fraction of the budget, while they can make or break the desired effect completely. Even if you have the latest projectors, a beautiful room and impressive content, if the projection surface is not tailored to the situation, you will not get anywhere. That’s why we always assist clients in choosing the most suitable material for their project.”


Future trends


On the subject of future trends, including how social distancing might impact design, P&P Projects’ Phillip van Stratum says: “[Social distancing] is indeed a hot topic nowadays, especially in queue lines. We are of course having these discussions, but at the moment the current projects do not require these kinds of adjustments in design. When we bring up the subject with our current customers all of them believe we will get back to pre- corona situation, although in the restaurant business we do see that there is more space between seats now. Only time will tell if this will be a situation that will last or not.” Picking up on this point, Unlimited Snow’s Kees Albers says: “Social distancing increases the queue length by three times, which makes this completely unsustainable in the future. Presently queueing is part of the business model, as it can host a lot of people in a small space. Without the queues people would need to be hosted elsewhere in the park and as such this would affect the design, with the need to have sufficient circulation space, additional F&B space and the capacity to keep people distanced while seated and even increase the size and number of attractions to accommodate the same amount of people. “www.queuefreethemepark.com provides a solution for this with an attraction , show and F&B reservation system that totally eliminates queues. Ofcourse the story related pre-show theming remains part of the attraction, but queues are now often starting before the pre-show starts and pre-show is only fun when it is not stagnating. For indoor parks there hardly is space for long queues.” Lars Nielsen of MK Themed Attractions agrees that while the queue lines of the future come with certain issues, none are insurmountable: “When designing new experiences, we believe amongst others that the queue area will be important. Queue lines are places where guests are standing still, close to each other, and with limited possibilities to escape from a sudden sneeze. Creating distance markings in the floors or setting up walls or windows between the lines are tools that have been widely used during the pandemic. However, it does not look nice, and using distance markers reduces the capacity of the queue area significantly. In this new reality elements for social distancing or protection must be worked into the queue lines, but why can´t this be entertaining or beautiful and still build up the tension for the ride to come? We truly believe that the distancing elements have to be creative, eye catching and encourage people to keep safe.”


Walltopia’s Konstantin Karamfilov has this to say: “I think that Gamification of the experience will be something that more parks will introduce in the future. Gamification especially in the form of augmented reality


WINTER PART 1 2021


mobile games can add tremendous value to otherwise “lost” time like queuing or strolling around attractions and value to the free roaming between the attractions and during the attractions, giving visitors additional things to do. As for social distancing – it is too early to speculate on any lasting impacts that COVID might have especially with the vaccines that are now out. However, we might see some temporary changes in queuing areas, the interaction between customers and staff members will be reduced significantly, and maybe VR will become more popular as it can transport us in a safe interactive environment.”


“The importance of video projection and VR in entertainment will undoubtedly continue to rise, as video is increasingly taking over the role of conventional lighting and projectors are constantly evolving,” continues Jan Blomme, ShowTex. “Thanks to this increased flexibility, holography is now within reach of all kinds of off-stage applications. Even outdoors, because the fabrics keep evolving as well. The quality of today’s projection meshes and the ever-increasing sizes in which they are seamlessly available makes them more popular than ever. The holographic PepperScrim is currently 7m wide and the outdoor Cielorama goes up to 15m without a seam. Such fabrics will only get wider in the future. Especially in combination with creativity, these developments provide theme parks with endless possibilities to ensure the best quality of their projected visuals and special effects. “In terms of social distancing, we see some design opportunities as well. The ride experience already starts at the waiting line these days. Combining see-through foils or semi-transparent mirrors with lasers and projection could both help with social distancing while adding an element of fun to the waiting process.” “The last decade we’ve been witness to a new revolution in digital technology, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, beacons, drones, 5G… are transforming our lives, and with it, the way we spend our leisure time,” says Diego Cid, Scruffy Dog Creative Group.


“Incorporating digital technology in theme projects is not only allowing designers and imagineers to create incredible experiences, but also improving the guest’s experience in many ways. No doubt we will see amazing new innovations and developments in the upcoming years.”


“But no doubt the future will bring also many challenges,” he continues, “so sustainability will


27


Plopsaqua Water Park, ShowTex


Angry Birds in Doha, Walltopia


The last


decade we've been witness to a new revolution in digital technology, virtual relaity, augmented reality, artificial intelligence,


beacons, drones, 5G......


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