Technology trends in amusement parks: Virtual Reality

April 5, 2024 admin

With the advent of immersive technologies, the entertainment expands beyond its current boundaries. Extended Reality, the Metaversethe Spatial Computing... applied to cinema, big shows, theme parks, sporting events and video games... takes the immersion of the audience to its maximum expression.

Being able to enjoy a complete sensory experience. Where attendees enter much more elaborate and fantastical worlds, where no real danger is involved. Worlds where even the animated characters cross the digital border, interacting with the real world as if they were part of it.

The idea is to move from storytelling at storyliving. From being mere spectators to being part of the action.

In this article we will take a closer look at technology trends in the entertainment sector. Specifically, we will analyze the impact on the Virtual Reality amusement parksReady to start this adventure?

Virtual Reality in entertainment

The Virtual Reality is a before and after in the way in which we consume multimedia content, where the immersion in the action makes the fourth wall disappear to immerse us inside the entertainment universe. 

A change that becomes a reality, moreover, because it involves all of our body, movements and senses beyond the audiovisual. With the incorporation of multisensory masks that activate the sense of smell or haptic suits that bring the sense of touch to virtual entertainment. New science-fiction-like devices that make the experience much more real, allowing the creation of new and surprising adventures.

As in The Twists and Turns of Lifethe audiovisual production of VidaCaixa y Movistar Plus that becomes the first Spanish filming in the Metaverse by transferring Carmina Barrios, Henar Álvarez and the whole 3D neighborhood to the virtual world. In addition, viewers can join the experience and enjoy exclusive content and challenges through their own virtual glasses.

You may be interested in → Virtual Reality: examples and applications.

3 benefits of Virtual Reality in an amusement park

Theme parks are in full swing digital transformation. Technology is something that is already part of the daily life of visitors, so when they enter the amusement park, they look for the experience to go a step further: in immersion, fun, personalization, adrenaline and sensation generation.

In relation to the amusement parksthe Virtual Reality allows for greater interaction and personalization in the attractions, roller coasters, shows and tours that take place within the enclosure. Enhancing gamification and the generation of an entertainment experience that goes from the entrance to the exit of the park.

The following is a review of 3 benefits of incorporating Virtual Reality in amusement parks:

Improved user experience

Undoubtedly, one of the main benefits of incorporating Virtual Reality and other immersive technologies into amusement parks is the revolution in the user experience of visitors. Visitors who demand much more immersive, surprising and impactful experiences.

Thus, creative technologies make it possible to go beyond physical limits, linking the real world with the digital world. From live shows that incorporate special effects in real time, gamified tours with treasure hunts and escape rooms throughout the park, roller coasters that through VR glasses or virtual scenarios immerse you in new worlds or even parades and props that come to life around us. 

All this surprising visitors and changing the image of currently held about amusement parks.

Customization and variety of options

Technology plays a key role not only for visitors, but also for the amusement park itself. The future of theme parks and amusement parks lies in an ever-increasing greater customization for your customers.

Every park will know who enters, their name, their age, probably their likes and dislikes, and, therefore, they can adapt the park for each user. Each visitor's experience will be different and uniquely customized for each visitor.

Virtual Reality, in addition, allows using the same headsets, to be able to change the different 3D universes that are kept inside. Offering a greater variety of options, a greater adaptability and even customizing the attractions to each of the users - level of difficulty, points to achieve, theme of the year... What allows amusement parks to be much more flexible and adapt its entertainment offerings based on visitor demand and feedback.

Increased interactivity

By incorporating Virtual Reality into the attractions, it adds an additional layer of immersion and interaction. For example, by combining a roller coaster with VR glasses, the storytelling and theme of the attraction reaches a higher level of connection with the users. In addition, the visitor can become an active part of the story. 

Catching points, encourage involvement and gamification through the use of rankings among users of the attraction, hide a series of clues and discounts... Making each one of the roller coaster rides or passes in any attraction different from the previous one.

The Future of Extended Reality in Amusement Parks

Virtual Reality is not the only technology that is transforming the value proposition of amusement parks. 

Below, we present the latest technological trends in entertainment where Extended Reality, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), the Artificial Intelligence and the Augmented Reality play a key role.

Interactive maps

The Augmented Reality technology transforms the way users discover the park. through the development of interactive maps. AR maps with geolocation technology where by simply pointing their cell phone around them, they can discover the way to an attraction, discover hidden rewards, complete challenges that add points to the global ranking and know in real time the waiting times. 

Helping visitors navigate through the facilities easily and turning the park itself into a Augmented Reality escape room on a large scale.

2. Smart bracelets

The Wearables are, without a doubt, one of the biggest current technological trends. These are customized smart devices for each user, where all the important information is stored to enjoy the amusement park to the fullest.

These smart bracelets save the profile of each userThe park's attractions, your tour, attraction passes, and admission benefits. In addition, visitors can accumulate points based on the challenges proposed throughout the park and attractions.

You are at smart bracelets can be connected both to the park's app, where users can see the record of their activities, their ranking and accumulated points, and to the amusement park's own database. Having more information about the use of the facilities in real time, the most demanded attractions and user feedback.

3. Reward systems

If there is one element that encourages participation and involvement of users, is the reward system. A new form of user experience in amusement parks, where the visit is personalized, data is collected in real time and, above all, it enhances the gamification inside the park.

By incorporating reward systems into the attractions and on the rides between them, visitors can earn points, achievements and badges for completing challengesDiscover hidden treasures and reach milestones. Rewards that can be redeemed for prizes, discounts or exclusive experiences.

A system that encourages visitors to explore the park, discover all the points of interest and get to know proposals they had not thought of at first. For the amusement park, this is a real commitment to the personalization of the experience and cross-selling promotion with the rest of the activities inside the park.

4. Haptic suits

Haptic suits are technological devices through which the wearer can feel the virtual world. Thanks to microsensors, these suits connect what the user is experiencing in Virtual Reality with their own sensations in the real world. Providing a complete immersive experience beyond the senses of sight and hearing. 

For amusement parks, these haptic costumes are the most important development of new proposals that are more immersive and realistic. Through gloves, vests or even full suits, these users "feel" the virtual world and the adventures that take place in it. 

5. Phygital experiences

Technological breakthroughs in amusement parks not only occur in the virtual world, they also have an impact on the real world through the phygital experiences

Proposals that combine the physical with the digital, creating unique and attractive experiences that turn the entire park into a large playground. Through phygital experiences any corner of the park can be turned into a striking spot. Whether through large screens with 3D content, interactive photocalls, interactive experiences or gamified challenges.

You can learn more about this trend at Phygital as a new dimension in user experience.

Examples of interactive virtual attractions from Imascono

Entertainment and, in particular, the amusement parks are in the midst of a leap into the future. With surprising technological and innovative proposals that enhance the emotional connection of users. 

In this section, we will learn about some of the most striking examples of interactive virtual attractions.

  • Proposals such as the Foster Hollywood's virtual escape room, The Other Sidefor the scariest night of the year. A immersive mobile experience in which users have a mission: to prevent zombies from crossing the border between the virtual world and the real world.
  • Another example of entertainment projects is the Augmented Reality Gymkhana developed by Lacasitos. An AR game designed for the little ones of the house, in which children have to catch your favorite characters in the streets of your city.
  • One of the most amazing interactive virtual attractions is the Frozen Emotion. Where through a VR experienceusers cross a suspension bridge between two great peaks of the Pyrenees. A bridge that was also made to scale at a physical level, bringing the experience to the real world, making it much more exciting and immersive.
  • A project phygital entertainment world that stands out for its creativity, originality, innovation and awards is the immersive Disney and Star Wars experience. Where users, passing by the AR showcase, instantly became one of their favorite characters from the science fiction saga.
  • Another interactive attraction of Disney is the Marvel Augmented Reality photocall. A promotional and marketing action for their movie Thor Ragnarok in which superhero fans felt like protagonists in the world of Asgard.

Undoubtedly, if there is one thing that all of these entertainment projects have in common, it is that the user is at the heart of the experience immersive. Different proposals in which from Imascono we have contributed our knowledge, creativity and know-how of new cutting-edge technologies.

With more than 12 years of experience in the development of amazing projects focused on Extended Reality and entertainment, our team of engineers and designers will be happy to help you enhance your amusement park in the new technological context.. Contact with us and take your attractions and theme parks to the next level.


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