Media Based Experiences

Coming up!

Europa-Park, Pirates in Batavia, Kraftwerk LT

characters and places.” Echoing this view, Peter Cliff, creative director, Holovis

agrees: “Essentially, the difference between an amusement park and a theme park is that the latter has a story which provides an emotional connection with the audience. This is what drives people back and creates memories. Media- based experiences are the best way of doing this. You can use them to tell compelling stories.

Kevin Murphy, Kraftwerk Living Technologies agrees: “The final driver for media based attractions is exactly that – story. Developed to tell stories, these attractions are demanded more and more by clients as they look for something to differentiate themselves from other parks and attractions, and to deal sometimes with huge numbers of guests and high capacity, whilst offering experiences you cannot get at home.”

It has, however, taken a while for the different formats under the media based experiences umbrella to take hold. Markus Beyr, managing director, Attraktion! explains: that “while younger attraction formats enter the industry, it still takes easily a decade before a new format is accepted as a “replicable” attraction (example: Soarin vs flying theatres in theme parks). So, the process isn’t as fast as we would like. We strongly believe that LEDs will allow for new formats and we will see a series of new media- based attraction formats in the next few years, which weren’t able to be realised with projection. Also, we see more side formats of existing ones like Cinesplash as the more and more accepted variation of a 4D theatre becoming wet. This comes along with new technical solution to work within wet environments.”

A destination experience

So, how do we create a ‘destination experience’ at prices operators can afford? For Kevin Murphy, head of sales and marketing at Kraftwerk Living Technologies it’s simple. “With honesty and discussion first,” he says. Every project or attraction has its budget as well as its ambition, and the more we can understand its aims at the early stages, the better we can help make sure the solution is not only affordable, but appropriate. We are well known for working on larger projects but we also work to tight budgets at times and on attractions that are unique but


need to be very cost effective, but we would also be the first to advise against the use of media technology if it just will not work, or it means the guest experience is compromised. The only thing I have to say, is that clients need to also be realistic about the cost of technology and also the media production, but good early teamwork and discussion often enables us to set the realistic expectations that can carry on through the production of an attraction.” Peter Cliff, creative director at Holovis, agrees: “Regional parks should take inspiration from the large destination parks that do these things so well. If you can’t compete with experiences that have large budgets and IP’s then don’t - create something which works for you and your audience.

“Think outside the box. IP can help sell media-based experiences and dark rides, but it can be expensive. There are some great examples of IP use out there – think Wallace & Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic (Blackpool Pleasure Beach), The Gruffalo River Ride (Chessington World of Adventure) and Gangsta Granny: The Ride (Alton Towers). Look beyond the obvious.”

Philipp van Stratum, CEO of P&P Projects is committed to making media-based experiences work for the smaller parks too. “Since not everybody has the budget to spend as two top park brands in the world, we have been

P&P Projects, Media design and production of the award winning dark ride Thor’s Hammer - scene Chapel

The final driver for

media based attractions is exactly that – story. Developed to tell stories, these attractions are demanded more and more by clients as they look for something different...

French start-up Drone Interactive is currently working on what it believes will be the first and only multiplayer AR attraction where real drones interact with the real and virtual worlds simultaneously. Definitely one to look out for!


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