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3D and "virtual reality" has been used at theme parks for years as a standalone attraction but now that we're at the dawn of true virtual reality, we can expect theme parks of the future to look vastly different.
British theme park Alton Towers has announced plans to open a virtual reality-based roller coaster called Galactica. Rather than replace a coaster entirely, Galactica will have riders wear Gear VR headsets during their face-down thrill ride.
The three-minute ride will take passengers on a visual trip through space, timed perfectly with the dips, twists and turns of the actual coaster. Galactica will employ three sets of coaster carts at a time, each carrying 28 passengers. The track measures 2,775 feet with the highest drop measuring 66 feet. The coaster itself, which is a modified version of the park's Air roller coaster, will hit a maximum speed of 47 mph.
Obviously, the ride will only be as good as the VR experience. A custom tethering system is said to ensure the headset won't fall off during the ride while shoulder restraints that limit head movement are designed to minimize motion sickness.
Alton Towers is no doubt hoping the attraction will help boost attendance following a horrific roller coaster accident in June in which two women had legs amputated after their coaster cart collided with an empty cart on the tracks.
The Galactica attraction is slated to open in April.