Six Flags Magic Mountain adds virtual reality to its Drop of Doom

March 24, 2018, 9:22 AM · Today at noon, Six Flags Magic Mountain will soft open its new VR addition to the Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom ride.

The attraction opens officially on Monday, but riders can experience the new DC Super Heroes Drop of Doom VR on a soft opening basis today and tomorrow. Here's what to expect:

From the park's press release:

When anxious riders buckle into their floorless seats and strap on their VR headsets, they are immersed into a 360-degree virtual world where they are unwittingly invited by DC Super-Villain, Lex Luthor, to test the newest LexCorp levitation technology. Among the highlights of this intense, interactive storyline:
  • Lex Luthor levitates riders with his anti-gravity ray gun and they begin to float upward, rising high above the skyscrapers;
  • Wonder Woman and Superman dash to the rescue and an epic battle ensues high in the air over Metropolis;
  • Wonder Woman clashes with an army of flying LexBots while Superman is in fierce combat with Lex Luthor; and
  • High in the sky, the battle spins out of control and riders fall a thousand feet—straight down, to the city streets far, far below.

The bad news is that the VR headsets block the view from the 400-foot Superman tower. But the good news is that the VR headsets block the view from the 400-foot tower. Which is to say, if you've stayed off this drop ride due to a fear of heights, maybe VR can entice you to try it, since you won't actually see how high you are.

But even for drop ride fans, the VR adds a new element that Six Flags hopes will give those fans another reason to ride.

Replies (7)

March 24, 2018 at 10:20 AM ·

Looks cool but they couldn’t hire Voice Over Actors to play the parts of the superheroes? The text bubbles ruin it for me.

March 24, 2018 at 11:17 AM ·

The graphics look as dated as any other VR additions I've seen, and I agree with the above poster that the dialogue bubbles - while they work in the comics themselves - seem like a penny pinching step. The show loses something with just music and no voices.

Still, none of those criticisms are that important. What is important is load and unload times with the addition of the VR headset. And if access to the ride is adversely impacted, then get rid of this junk ASAP.

So, how are the load and unload times impacted by this tech?

March 24, 2018 at 11:52 PM ·

My local Six Flags park, La Ronde, added VR to their drop ride last season, on a limited time basis. I thought it worked better than the VR on Goliath, which the park stopped using fairly quickly because it turned a people eater into a fairly long wait. The VR on the drop ride was pretty thrilling, and it was a Halloween version, with aliens and vampires coming after you.

As for the load times, it varied. I used the single rider line. The first time, I didn't wait very long. The second time, I had to give up and leave.

March 25, 2018 at 7:56 AM ·

IF there's one thing that is worse than the VR Fad, its the VR fad being done wrong.

If you *must* have some sort of VR gimmick, make sure you have the budge to do it properly. VR can't save a bad ride, and bad VR is only going to make it worse.

March 25, 2018 at 9:42 AM ·

I'm neutral with VR on coasters, but putting it on a drop ride seems kinda pointless. You get a great view on a Lex Luther and the visual you get of getting higher and higher adds to the suspense of the ride itself. I think seeing a real life view on a drop ride kinda makes the ride more exciting.

March 25, 2018 at 9:49 AM ·

Got stuck on the top of this ride for 6+ minutes last summer. Idk that VR would make that experience better. Pass.

March 26, 2018 at 9:37 AM ·

When Six Flags Great Adventure added VR to Zumanjaro - which I reviewed for TPI shortly after it opened - a year or so ago for a limited run, things ran very smoothly. Whereas VR is infamous for increasing load times on coasters, the ride ops on Zumanjaro managed to get the gondolas loaded and dispatched with maximum efficiency. I don't know why this was so much easier on a drop ride but it was. Also, the ride experience was astonishing. While one would expect a 415-foot drop at 90 mph to be astonishing, it was more so with the VR. And the ride experience was refreshingly different. I had the sensation of going in a completely different direction from the one in which I knew we were going, having ridden this a zillion times.

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