Attraction manufacturer Vekoma is officially entering the dark ride industry with the release of a new unique ride system for dark rides: the Suspended Dark Ride. Vekoma has worked years on the development of the ride system and, with a first installation on its way, is now officially putting it on the market.
“While many people focus on an individual VR experience, we believe that a VR experience cannot beat a live and real ride experience together with friends and family. With this unique vehicle the entire family -including children from 3 years and up- can ride together and look back to a memory of a lifetime.” states Vekoma on a product flyer.
The suspended vehicles of the newly presented ride system have the ability to swing underneath the track. “The swing of the vehicle gives it a very natural feel and an extremely smooth ride experience,” states Vekoma. The gondolas also have the ability to rotate towards scenes or even to face backwards. According to the factsheet, the 4-person gondolas can be dispatched about every 18 seconds, creating a capacity of over 800 riders per hour. The system has the ability to rotate towards scenes for a most optimum immersive experience.
Peter van Bilsen, executive vice president of sales and marketing of Vekoma is excited about this new product, calling it the “next generation dark rides 2.0 for full immersive experience.” Van Bilsen was able to tell us that the first installation will rise in Asia, but was not able to confirm the exact location.
The Suspended Dark Ride is the first full dark ride system by the manufacturer from The Netherlands. The company is mostly known for their roller coasters and as the developer / manufacturer of the modern Madhouse. In the past, the company worked on several semi-dark rides. Most in the form of a rollercoaster or water ride, such as Seven Dwars Mine Train in Disney World and Shanghai Disneyland and Jurassic World the ride in Universal Studios Hollywood.
Suspended dark rides have been around since the opening of Peter Pan’s Flight in Disneyland in 1955, but are not common nowadays. Notable suspended dark ride can also be found at Efteling and Europa-Park. However, not many ride manufacturers currently offer or produce suspended ride systems.