7 New Virtual Reality Theme Park Experiences You've Got to See to Believe
Virtual reality is all the rage, and many theme parks are either incorporating a VR component into existing rides or adding new VR rides to their parks. Here’s where to go for thrilling, immersive 360-degree experiences.
Photo By: LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Photo By: The VOID
Photo By: Six Flags Magic Mountain
Photo By: MGM Resorts International
Photo By: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Photo By: Knott's Berry Farm
Photo By: The Virtual Reality Company / Dave & Buster's
The Great LEGO Race
Kids can now get in on virtual reality in a major way thanks to a brand new VR roller coaster called The Great LEGO Race that debuted at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in March. The action-packed experience takes riders into a virtual world that pits them against minifigure competitors, including a LEGO pirate, surfer, pharaoh and wizard. Thanks to optional headsets, this VR-enhanced coaster enables riders to surf waves, soar over a cliff and smash through walls.
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
Star Wars fans, a must-do immersive experience has arrived at Downtown Disney, just outside the gates of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Southern California. The VOID, a brand new virtual reality entertainment center, recently introduced its first VR experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. Grab a headset, a backpack and a blaster (to fend off stormtroopers, of course), then get ready to enter a galaxy far, far away that’s enhanced with scents and vibrations that make players feel as if they’re involved in the ultimate battle for the universe.
DC SUPER HEROES Drop of Doom VR
Thrill-seekers, line up now for a ride on the new DC SUPER HEROES Drop of Doom VR experience at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California. From June 21 to July 22, riders can don virtual reality headsets that make one of the world’s fastest and tallest drop tower rides even more mind-blowing. Riders take in all the action as either Superman or Wonder Woman battling super-villain, Lex Luthor. All while falling 400 feet at speeds topping 85 mph.
Big Apple Coaster
Even Las Vegas is getting in on the VR action, adding a virtual reality component to the popular Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York Hotel & Casino in February. The new add-on experience requires an add-on fee to the tune of an extra $5 a person, but being able to save the Las Vegas Strip from total destruction by aliens may make it worth the upcharge. At 4,777 feet long, the ride is said to be the longest roller coaster in the world outfitted with virtual reality.
Battle for Eire
New this season at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia is Battle for Eire, a fantasy virtual reality ride that offers riders 360 degrees of thrills as they do their best to help fairy warrior, Addie, rescue the cherished Heart of Eire, which is said to represent the magic of Ireland. Riders sit movie theatre style in a motion simulator that allows them to feel the rush of wind through their hair and fly high up in the sky on the back of a dragon.
VR Showdown in Ghost Town
Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County, California may be better known for its family-friendly log flume and wave swinger rides, as well as the Camp Snoopy section of the park, but it’s the new VR Showdown in Ghost Town experience that’s attracting attention. This new attraction incorporates a free-roaming element, much like Laser Tag, enabling players to move about the game blasting robotic enemies that can only be seen while wearing wireless VR headsets. There is a $6 extra fee for the competition-style game that is only available to players ages 13 and up.
Jurassic World VR Expedition
In mid-June, more than 100 Dave & Busters entertainment centers rolled out a theme park-worthy virtual reality experience called Jurassic World VR Expedition. Just ahead of the much-anticipated release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the new VR game takes players into the remote jungles of Isla Nublar from the movie series for their own awe-inspiring adventures. Once immersed in the five-minute VR experience, players are charged with rescuing as many dinosaurs as they can, all while racing through the lush jungle with a driver and quadrotor pilot.