The boom of 3D can be seen in every facet of today’s entertainment. With the revival of 3D in the movie screens, which could be attributed to the success of James Cameron’s Avatar, we have the option to view most blockbuster releases in this format. As we don the massive, unstylish glasses, we’re immersed further into the fictional world, but it doesn’t just stop with the movies.
We can now buy 3D TVs and possess a pair of our very own unstylish glasses to view sports and reality shows as if we were in the movie theatre. And with the arrival of 3D TVs we have 3D gaming so our kids can pretend they’re actually shooting the bad guys or saving the world.
But there is one application of the third dimension that has been placed so well it almost seems as if it were a match made in heaven. Theme parks are falling over themselves to find excuses to use this format for their latest attractions and rides. This seems to be a trend with the larger American attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios for now, but could we expect to see this spread worldwide?
Disney has created a hybrid ride which doubles as a game with Midway Mania. As guests sit in a car and enter the dark ride, they can shoot targets for points in a 3D environment. It’s a great take on using this technology and could be argued as being 4D, ultimately encouraging repeat guests. Let’s not also forget the classic Star Tours simulation ride which has undergone a 3D makeover as well.
One of the biggest parks to use 3D entertainment extensively however is Universal Studios. With The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and The Simpsons Ride taking pride of place as some of the parks most popular attractions. Universal has also recently spent millions on revamping their Spiderman ride, making it HD and giving it extra shelf life.
We can start to see a trend with these 3D attractions however. Many of them are linked to the movies which already use this technology; Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Spiderman, the Simpsons, Toy Story and now Transformers in Universal Hollywood. It seems to be an easy transition for these rides to be created in a format that we’re already familiar with for these fictional stories and universes.
This comes into light as Disney announces the opening of their upcoming new attraction themed around the movie Avatar, set for 2015 in the Animal Kingdom. The park has employed James Cameron himself as a creative consultant on this new area. It’s no surprise that Cameron is a huge advocate of 3D, especially after the rerelease of Titanic. Could we see more of these kinds of rides in the near future? It seems almost certain.
Why are 3D rides becoming so popular though? The tie in with movie franchises almost makes them a shoe in for success, but parks are finding that they are cheaper and easier to maintain than a traditional rollercoaster. Of course, there is also less chance of injury on dark rides as they are considered a little more gentle, which also makes it appealing for children as well.
We can expect a lot more of these attractions in the future as they become more accessible for other parks around the world. 3D technology has become a viable business once more and can only get better from here. Parks will be making more immersive experiences for guests in the coming years so sit back, hold on and enjoy!