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Busch Gardens Williamsburg reveals name for new VR theater ride

September 27, 2017, 3:17 PM · Earlier this year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced the replacement for its Europe in the Air show — what it called the world's first virtual reality motion simulator theme park attraction. Today, the Virginia theme park revealed the name and more detail about the upcoming attraction.

Battle For Eire—Action VR Ride will open next spring, featuring "a fierce fairy warrior named Addie, who will lead riders on an unforgettable adventure through her homeland," according to the park's press release.

The Otherworld needs a warrior. Team up with the last fairy guardian, Addie, and set out to rescue the sacred Heart of Eire. Hang on tight as you soar above the lush landscapes and mystifying powers of the Otherworld. Prepare to battle the dark forces. Will you be a hero? Take flight and fight the evil Dark Lord, Balor, to bring light to the darkness.

Along with the name announcement, Busch Gardens today dropped the first episode of a "making of" Web series about the attraction.

Riders will wear virtual reality headsets, which will be tethered to the seats and will give them a 360-degree view of the action, enhanced by the motion of the theater itself. The park said that a traditional video viewing experience also will be available, for those who do not wish to don the headsets and watch in VR.

No specific opening date has been announced.

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Replies (2)

September 27, 2017 at 4:43 PM · I glanced at this quickly and could not understand why Busch Gardens Williamsburg would have a VR show about the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. That belongs in Cedar Point, which is just a few miles from the site of the War of 1812 battle. Then I bothered to read the article- my bad (although if someone from Cedar Point is looking for an idea for a motion simulator VR show, this might not be a bad idea).
September 28, 2017 at 8:53 AM · To be perfectly honest (and I'm a big fan of Busch Gardens), I'm not excited at all about this project. I think Busch Gardens/Sea World is late to the VR party, and I think this project is only moving forward because they already invested a significant amount of resources in VR over the past 2-3 years. Let's face it, theme park attractions are not thought up in the off-season. They're a result of years of development and planning. It's likely that this attraction development was initiated 2+ years ago, and before the VR fad waned, BGW had already invested too much in the technology to turn back.

I hope it's good, and the fact that it appears that the headsets are not bound to the limitations of a cell phone (like what Six Flags and Cedar Fair were doing with the Galaxy/Oculous headsets), may result in much higher quality video with data delivered through the tether, not stored on a micro-SD card in a phone. However, with a 300+-foot roller coaster rumored for 2019, this attraction will quickly get overshadowed in a couple of years.

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