4D rides are thrilling but lacks of the adrenalin rush provided by a real roller coasters. Roller coasters, on the other hand, offers the real world thrill but lacks the virtual reality elements found on a 4D ride. However, theme park operator Six Flags, has found the middle ground; one that lets riders have the best of both worlds by slapping riders with Samsung Gear VR headsets. As part of Six Flags’ “broad marketing partnership,” Samsung is the “official technology partner” where the South Korean electronics juggernaut will add VR experience to real roller coster rides.
With the VR headset, you will still experience the same real world drops, loops and twists but now, those heart-thumping thrills will be synchronized with the headset, throwing you into another dimension of realistic 360-degree VR world. This means, instead of the plain old blue sky and white clouds, and people down below, you will now become a virtual hero who co-pilot his or her own fighter jet and engaged in “air-to-air” combat with evil drones, or you could be flying alongside Superman, teaming up with the Man of Steel to kick Lex Luthor and his evil minions’ butts. Here’s an excerpt from Six Flags of what you can expect:
“On the New Revolution Virtual Reality experience, you’ll engage in a futuristic battle to save the planet from an alien invasion. You’ll be the co-pilot in your own fighter jet and strap in for air-to-air combat. Your aircraft will take off and launch off the edge of a building – just as you’re diving straight down the coaster’s first drop. Your aircraft races through the city and eventually encounters the mother ship, protected by drones. As you twist and turn along the coaster’s track, you’ll be shooting and destroying the mother ship.”
The pre-sanitized Gear VR will be offered to riders for free, though you can choose to opt out of the VR experience. A pre-ride fitment test will let riders find the most comfortable fit before they board the ride and every headset that comes back will be sanitized before distributing them to next batch of riders. Six Flags said they will have enough VR headsets to go around the trainload of guests, while others can adjust their headsets in preparation for boarding. In between, additional headsets will also be sanitized. Kids under the age of 12 will not be able to enjoy the VR experience, though they can still take the ride if they meet the minimum height requirement.
Six Flags and Samsung will be bringing this new addition to existing thrill rides at nine Six Flags locations across the U.S. in Spring 2016, while the Superman adventure is expected to debut at three parks in Summer 2016. Keep going for sneaks of the VR-spiced roller coaster experience in the embedded videos below.