Alton Towers have today announced that they will be launching a new ride experience in April 2016. Named Galactica, the attraction will be a retheme of the existing Air rollercoaster and is being billed as “The world’s first rollercoaster fully dedicated to Virtual Reality”.
Once onboard, riders will be equiped with ultra-lightweight VR headsets which have been developed in the UK by Figment Productions. The visuals in the headset will be precisely syncronised to the ride’s movements and will also allow passengers to tilt their heads and explore the virtual world around them.
As you can probably guess, the theme of the Virtual Experience will be Space Travel. The story revolves around a fictional space tourism company named Galactica. As the rider, you are the “Galactanaut” and will embark on their first space mission.
How much will it cost?
Alton Towers have confirmed that there will not be an extra charge to ride Galactica.
Do I have to wear the VR Headset?
No. There will be the option to ride without.
Will it make me sick?
Maybe. It’s been a concern for many during the rumour stage, but today’s announcement stated that the old Air restraints will have shoulder straps that make it difficult to move your head left or right, reducing the need for the VR headsets to track the body’s movements as well as the coasters’. You will however be able to tilt your head up and down and explore the virtual world that way.
Will I end up with other people’s sweat and germs all over my face?
In theory, no – Alton Towers have confirmed that the headsets will be washed after every use.
I am a moron and would like to take my headset off mid-ride and throw it at a nearby spectator, will this be possible?
No. The ride will be scumbag-proof, with a custom tethering system that will never allow the headset to fall off your face.
Galactica is set to open in April 2016, alongside the recently announced RollerCoaster Restaurant where guests will be able to have their food delivered via rollercoaster. If you can’t wait that long then be sure to check out the teaser video posted below.
All images in this article from official Alton Towers press release.