Trip into another dimension on Meow Wolf's first dark ride

April 14, 2019, 1:43 PM · The popular arts entertainment group Meow Wolf just debuted its first-ever ride experience in Denver. The city’s Elitch Gardens is now home to “Kaleidoscape,” an immersive shooter ride that takes theme park visitors on a dazzling, neon-tinted journey “through the multiverse.”

According to Meow Wolf co-founder Emily Montoya, the ride’s narrative follows a interdimensional subway system through a series of otherworldly landscapes, created by a team of Santa-Fe and Denver based artists. Every landscape the ride takes passengers through is a unique work created by a different artist, and these works blend together along the ride’s track to create an ever-changing and alluring landscape.

Katie Caron created a detailed space full of brightly colored alien-like flora and fauna that evokes an Alice in Wonderland kind of vibe. Close by, Kenzie Sitterud created a sequence in which a common kitchen chair is illuminated in sequences, flying across a checkered background and ultimately exploding into twirling pieces. These shifts in artistic style from room to room truly evoke the feeling of flying through different dimensions and keep the rider mesmerized at every turn.

In any typical museum, touching the art is a big no-no. But Meow Wolf provides anything but a typical art experience. You can’t touch this art, but you can do the next best thing - shoot it! Each rider is equipped with a bright green laser gun, which can be used to hit targets placed throughout the art displays. Hitting a target can trigger eccentric sound effects and movements within the exhibits, providing a truly immersive and interactive art experience.

Kaleidoscape's concept is unique and abstract, therefore easy to miss without somewhat of an explanation. The core concept of multiverse travel is explained to the riders by a kooky robot while they wait in the queue. Be sure to listen to him, because he’s got a lot of peculiar things to say. He compares the universe to a doughnut (a never-ending loop) and the doughnut’s hole to a black hole, leaving any deeper interpretation up to the rider.

Pay attention to the graphics of the doughnut that he shows, because they’ll come back within the ride and help tie together the narrative as you’re taken from “dimension” to “dimension.”

Meow Wolf has been pursuing the creation of an immersive art themed ride for years, and Kaleidoscape is the long-anticipated and lovingly-crafted result, thanks to this collaboration with Elitch Gardens. The ride serves as somewhat of a teaser for the Denver Meow Wolf museum, which will be based around the same concept of interdimensional subway travel. The museum is set to open sometime in 2020 and will be at least double the size of Meow Wolf’s infamous House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Kaleidoscape, Meow Wolf’s second ever permanent installation and first-ever ride experience!

Replies (13)

April 14, 2019 at 5:13 PM

Kaleidoscape likely the trippiest dark ride since Knights in White Satin at the doomed Hard Rock Park- and being in the legally high mile high city of Denver certainly adds to that impression! Hopefully, Elitch Gardens isn't doomed as well though recent Denver municipal decisions to replace the park with affordable housing makes that fate a very real threat...

April 14, 2019 at 7:52 PM

As an Elitch season pass holder I have to say I'm pretty excited about this. The Ghost Blaster ride it's replacing was awful and this looks like a lot more fun. Can't wait to check it out!

April 15, 2019 at 1:09 AM

They’re really playing to the Colorado residence and tourists with a trippy dark ride. Hopefully they can smoke out the competition.

April 15, 2019 at 2:04 AM

Their food concessions should be raking it in on Meow Wolf Munchees! Here's a tip you didn't officially hear from The Mousiah: one of the best things about Efteling in The Netherlands is just how much better that theme park's attractions and food are thanks to Dutch laws:) Same goes for Toverland and other Dutch theme parks and attractions. Just hope Denver doesn't push Elitch Gardens out for that absurd affordable housing plan, doubt the theme park would survive a second relocation after having to abandon their original historic amusement park....

April 15, 2019 at 4:38 AM have no idea what you're talking about. The River Mile project is going ahead as planned and it's much more than new apartments. Although the ones going up I'm sure most will hardly argue as affordable. Additionally, as of now the River Mile project incorporates Elitch's into its plans. Go pretend to know things about other places because you're talking out of your a** here.

April 15, 2019 at 12:35 PM

This is my official warning to everyone to chill and be nice to each other around here.

As for Elitch's future, that's up to the Denver community to decide. But I am happy to see Elitch Gardens making a case by opening a new ride from a fresh creative partner.

The challenge for community leaders and urban planners is to find ways that the public can have it all - housing AND commercial activity, including entertainment, without creating a transportation mess. I hope that the people in my former home of Denver can find a solution that allows them an even better Elitch Gardens than they have now. (One that, you know, included some gardens again would be nice.)

April 15, 2019 at 2:58 PM

we need more rides like this. i spent a great day yesterday at worlds of fun...a park that most would argue is long overdue for a major new coaster (it is) but i couldn't help but think a great family dark ride (or 2) would also be ideal.
Dave mentioning Efteling is perfect as i visited there last summer and i do believe it is my favorite park now. it is such a great blend of gardens, food, unique dark rides and a decent coaster collection.
that said, i have to agree that the negative vibes towards one another on here are certainly not needed and are uncalled for.

April 15, 2019 at 3:09 PM

Guess the Denver Post and other local media don't know what they are talking about since it has been widely reported for months that the River Mile project as is does eliminate Elitch Gardens in a few years time. Perhaps citing an actual source showing how Elitch Gardens is being incorporated into the plan might be a better way to get theme park fans and professionals to have something to cheer about instead of insulting them with assertions. Most positive media so far argues only that the plan would take years giving Elitch Gardens a reprieve till it happens but haven't seen anything that incorporates it into this.

April 15, 2019 at 5:57 PM

The actual website for the River Mile project clearly outlines the scope of the project and where Elitch Gardens remains. Also the Denver Business Journal stated that due to the scope and time the project will take, any serious look at developing over Elitch Gardens is 4-5 years out. Not exactly doomed with that timeline. If you're getting your news from the Denver Post you're doing it wrong. They've been a joke for a long time now.

April 15, 2019 at 6:51 PM

Revesco website links to current season at Elitch Gardens though I don't see any part mentioning it being part of the plan. Business Journal said same as Post and local television- that the park has a few years till River Mile , but not that the park is part of their plan. Both of us already posted that too. Please show where their plan actually includes Elitch Gardens since that would be good news:)

April 16, 2019 at 10:19 AM

elitch's should have never moved from its old location. yes, i understand expansion issues but i was fortunate to visit that park when i was in middle school in 1977 and all these years later, i've never forgotten its beauty and traditional park charm nor will i EVER forget the original mr. twister. what a ride! hats off to knoebel's for their awesome tribute.
although i've never been to the current park, i can't comment on it but the original was so wonderful.

April 16, 2019 at 1:41 PM

Dave - All debunked rumors. Elitch Gardens isn't going anywhere.

April 16, 2019 at 4:42 PM

"Debunked" how? Still not a single media source saying anything more positive than we have a few years till the project would force Elitch's to close or move a third time. I wish it were debunked or a rumor, till we know a definitive plan that keeps Elitch Gardens safe indefinitely or actually moves it again, not feeling too reassured.

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