Six Flags is teaming up with Samsung to make riding a roller coaster a little more thrilling, and quite possibly a little more nauseating as well.
Six Flags is adding a virtual experience to nine roller coasters, which riders can experience via a Samsung Gear VR. It seems similar in concept to the simulator rides you find at Universal Studios (like the Simpsons or Transformers rides), except now the movement is all real, and not just a hydraulic pod mimicking movements that you see on a screen.
The first VR coaster experience, called "The New Revolution," is already open at three parks to season pass holders. It's available at Six Flags in Arlington, TX; Atlanta, GA; and Los Angeles, CA. It will also be available at the locations in St. Louis, MO (March 25), Lake George, NY (May 21), and Montreal (May 16), when those parks open for the season.
"The New Revolution" appears to be an Independence Day-ish experience, with the rider taking on the persona of a fighter pilot trying to defend Earth against mysterious invaders. Make sure to sneak some booze into the park if you want the full Randy Quaid experience.
Three other parks will be giving riders the chance to fly around like the Man of Steel himself in a Superman themed ride. According to the press release, you begin the ride as a tourist on Lex Luthor's "Lex Corp Sky Tours." Luthor then uses an "anti-gravity gun" to cause havoc or something. Superman swoops in to save the day, and the rider "flies" along with him in virtual reality as he does Superman things.
I don't know why Lex Luthor would go through the trouble of designing, financing, and constructing a guided tour company for the sole purpose of using an anti-gravity gun to throw the city into chaos. That seems like a lot of trouble to go through when you've already got an anti-gravity gun. Come on, Lex.
The Superman VIrtual Reality Coasters will be available at the Six Flags parks in San Antonio, TX; Agawam, MA; and Upper Marlboro, MD.
This seems like a cool idea, but I can't help fighting the thought that this sort of innovation might stop amusement parks from building rides that are actually new, pocketing all the money they save on construction costs, yet still jacking up prices year after year. Maybe Six Flags will use the money it saves to pay its employees better. Hmm, on second thought...
Sources are still sketchy on this one, but I'm also hearing news that Busch Gardens is joining together with the estate of Alfred Hitchcock and Fabio to bring us a ride tentatively titled "The Birds 2: A Murder of Nose."