Motion-based dark rides, such as Jumanji: The Adventure, Justice League: Battle For Metropolis and Ghostbusters 5D – Die Ultimative Geisterjagd, are becoming more and more popular. These car ride systems tend to be more action packed when compared with traditional systems. Triotech, a company that specialises in interactive (dark) rides, has now developed their own version of the motion-based dark ride in co-operation with Gosetto. The first official installation of the ride type will open soon at Clifton Hill, but there is a prototype already in operation. Team Dark Ride Database travelled to Paris (France) to ride that what Triotech calls the ‘Hyper Ride’ to see what it is all about.
Triotech is a Canadian company that specialises in multimedia attractions and arcade games. The company has designed and manufactured many dark and show rides around the world. Among these are 13 dark rides and more than 30 interactive theatres. They also developed their own motion seats for their 3D and interactive theatres. When it comes to dark rides, the company has previously integrated only their interactive systems within ride vehicles that were supplied by other manufacturers.
The new Hype
The company announced a new development in 2021: a motion-based dark ride system. This type of ride integrates simulator movement with a ride vehicle, giving the car the ability to tilt and turn in multiple directions. This provides a whole new dimension and motion-based dark rides are therefore considered to be more intense in comparison to traditional car rides.
Triotech’s system is different from other motion-based ride vehicles we have seen in the past. While all other manufacturers created a motion-platform underneath the ride vehicle (and thus are able to move the complete car), Triotech placed their motion-seats on top of a regular vehicle. This creates a lightweight and cheaper solution as the motion system only has to carry the weight of the riders instead of the weight of the entire car. The ride vehicles of the Hyper Ride are supplied by Gosetto from Italy. Triotech originally had a different name for the attraction but after the prototype was made, it had proven so thrilling that they felt they just had to rename it. The team quickly came up with what they felt was a more suitable name: the ‘Hyper Ride’.
During the IAAPA Expo 2021 in Orlando, the company announced that the first installation of the Hyper Ride would be built at Clifton Hill (Niagara Falls, Canada) and would be named “Carnival Chaos Hyper Ride”. “We have worked with the team at Clifton Hill for many years on several successful attractions,” said Ernest Yale, President and CEO of Triotech in a press release. “For us, it is only fitting to deploy this Hyper Ride, with its unique motion technology, working alongside a solid partner in one of the world’s most iconic site[s].”
“As a long-standing partner with Triotech, Clifton Hill has introduced many new attraction technologies to the visitors of Niagara Falls over the years,” states Harry Oakes, President of HOCO, Clifton Hill’s parent company in the same press release. “I am personally very excited to be deploying this new attraction that will complement our wide offering.”
On top of the announcement of the first installation, the Hyper Ride was awarded with the Brass Ring Award for “Best New Product – Major Ride/Attraction” by the IAAPA committee.
Triotech left one small detail out during the announcement of the Carnaval Chaos Hyper Ride. It is in fact not exactly the first installation of the ride. In October 2021, they opened another version in an Arcade just north of Paris. This is the prototype of the Hyper Ride. The company has not kept the ride a secret per se (after all, it is in operation), but they did not advertise it particularly strongly either. The reason for this is simple: because it is a prototype, Triotech are still tweaking the attraction and running tests with the ride. They are using the process to learn from it and to test any necessary upgrades.
Time to get hyped
The Aéroville shopping centre is located in Roissy-en-France, just north of Paris, right next to Charles de Gaulle International Airport. This mall contains a large arcade, spanning over two stories. It is one of three locations of La Tête Dans Les Nuages (translated: “Head in the Clouds”), with the other two being located in the centres of Paris and Lyon. The arcade contains a lot of classic arcade attractions, such as video games and pinball machines, air hockey and bowling. Entry to the arcade is free and visitors have to pay for each game with credits. A prepaid card with credits can be bought at a machine.
After a short look at the ground floor, where we didn’t find the dark ride, we moved up to the upper floor and were soon standing in front of Hyper Ride.
We quickly bought ourselves some credits and went back to check it out! The Hyper Ride costs 12 credits per person. The credit-system gives you some free credits if you buy certain amounts of credits. Therefore, a ride on the Hyper Ride is not a fixed price, but it will cost somewhere between €4 and €5. It is one of the most expensive things to do in the arcade.
We paid our credits and took a seat on one of the ride vehicles. The vehicles have high sides and backs, which does not allow riders to look in directions other than that in which the car is facing. This is a very smart solution in order to keep riders focused on the screens during the ride, but it also enables the possibility of another car being in a nearby scene without being a distraction. The music and sound effects are distributed by speakers onboard the car, which create a sort of sound bubble within which riders are unable to hear anything that is not part of their own ride experience.
After we strapped ourselves in and picked up our guns, the ride began. A sliding door at the end of the station opened up and with a rapid 360° spin, we were placed in front of the first screen. The Hyper Ride in La Tête Dans Les Nuages currently presents a zombie-theme. In this theme, the whole world has been taken over by zombies and riders have to fight their way through them towards safety.
The ride consists of a small loop with a rectangular shape. As mentioned before, the ride was co-produced by Gosetto. The basic ride system was manufactured by the Italian company, while Triotech supplied the comfortable seats and interactive systems. The ride system features two 4-seat vehicles.
Along the way, there are five interactive screens. Two screens in each of the turns and one on the straight section parallel to the station. The ride does not feature any physical theming, but does feature an impressive light effects tunnel.
The media itself is a true horror video game. We encountered an uncountable amount of zombies, which often come running at you in hordes. The whole game is set in a first-person view perspective. However, you are not always looking straight forward. In several scenes, the point of view moves up and down. This is where the motion seats do their job of tilting forward or backwards, of leaning left or right. The movement of the seats matches the ride media perfectly.
At the end of the fifth and final scene, the scores are displayed on the screen, together with an on-ride photo. When the adventure is over, another sliding door opens and we find ourselves back in the station. During our first ride we were so focused on shooting zombies, that we missed the bonus targets. Throughout the ride are several first-aid kits hidden. Hitting one of these kits will reward bonus points. We noticed this during our second ride and managed to score more points. Keep an eye out for these kits while riding the Hyper Ride!
An on-ride video which we managed to film can be found below. It provides a good insight into the ride media and sequence, though a video of a motion-based dark ride never does the ride true justice. You’ll have to experience the attraction for yourself in order to get the full effect!
Living up to the Hype(r)
The Hyper Ride is a technologically advanced ride system and a very smooth one as well. It is capable of rapid spins and delivers a good synchronisation between media and motion. The interactive systems work flawlessly on the sharp projections.
The media will likely not be enjoyed by everyone. The zombie-horror theme is quite intense and not suitable for young children. However, the theme is easily interchangeable for this type of attraction and we’re sure that Triotech can deliver other ideas to suit any customer requests, especially those that are suitable for the whole family too. The visitors in this particular arcade were observed to be mostly teenagers and young adults, making this particular theme an exciting one for the target audience.
The Hyper Ride is not a ride that might fit in well at all amusement parks. Some parks have a distinct theme and prefer heavily themed rides, while the Hyper Ride is not themed at all. While it should be possible to add theming to a Hyper Ride, it seems that there are better solutions on the market for that. The cars themselves are technically advanced, but might not be the easiest vehicles to fit in with a certain theme.
The Hyper Ride is however a perfect addition for an arcade like La Tête Dans Les Nuages or as a stand-alone ride in Clifton Hill. Due to the fact that the ride’s theme is completely digital, it is easy to switch media. This way, the operator can have a new exciting version of the Hyper Ride available every once in a while.
Unfortunately, our first ride did not go according to plan. The sliding door at the beginning opened up again during the first scene, allowing outside light to shine inside, and we also got stuck between the fourth and fifth scene. Luckily we were given a second ride due to the difficulties, which then worked fine. When we wanted to experience it a third time later during our visit, the ride was closed due to technical issues. These kinds of things may happen with a prototype and might be exactly the reason why Triotech opened this ride in relative silence.
While the Hyper Ride is an exciting ride, we did not experience the extreme motions that were said to have made the Hyper Ride get its ‘Hyper’-name. It does however feel that the Hyper Ride in La Tête Dans Les Nuages is not programmed to demonstrate the most extreme settings or perhaps we got so caught up in the product marketing that our expectations were too high. Nonetheless, it is a great ride. We had a lot of fun riding it and we would love to see more of these in the future.
We’re excited for the opening of the first fully equipped installation of this ride, the Carnival Chaos Hyper Ride in Clifton Hill and cannot wait to see more Hyper Rides in the future.
© Dark Ride Database
Visit by Erik (30 July 2022)
Article written by Erik
Pictures by Erik (30 July 2022) unless indicated otherwise