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Behind the scenes

No Ordinary Queue

Alton Towers' Wickerman creates immersive experience before you ride

When the team at Merlin Magic Making were devising the vision for Wickerman, Alton Towers Resort’s latest ride, they aimed to create the UKs most immersive coaster experience by combining technology and storytelling in new and unique ways.

To meet a shift in guest expectations and the growing need for more than just a ‘physical’ rollercoaster experience in the theme park world, the next generation of coasters place media driven, multi-sensory immersion at the centre - framed around strong stories.

Alton Towers Resort worked with the tech and special effects team at Holovis to cunningly devise three sound tracks that run throughout the experience as you walk through the queue line, the preshow and loading stations. The sound tracks are supported by immersive media to create a rich and memorable experience, transporting guests into the world of the Beornen.

The three soundtracks all portray a different mood as the story unfolds whilst cleverly blending together, with each track merging into the next as the feeling shifts. This means the riders become part of a physical audio transition that progresses from ‘jolly’ to dark by the time they reach the ride itself – creating an atmospheric journey, all whilst building tension.

Holovis created this audio immersion using combinations of 500w and 800w OHM speakers which, supported by rich multimedia experiences and SFX, bring the narrative together and are the catalyst to place guests at the heart of the story being told.

This is the first time this has been done and shows the shift in theme park experience is going far beyond the physical feeling of a rollercoaster by extending the thrill before the ride even begins.

July 2018

Merlin Entertainment