Immersive Tunnel Ride at Bobbejaanland in Belgium – The Forbidden Caves

The Immersive Tunnel Ride by Garmendale
The Motion master Immersive Tunnel Ride

The Immersive Tunnel solution by Garmendale is the Motion Master. It’s a purpose designed immersive or dark ride solution. It’s also the first fully electric 3DOF ride and can be tailored for rides from 4 to 30+ people. The big advantage of electric operation over hydraulics are clear. Firstly the noise of hydraulics is often so intrusive it can kill the atmosphere in the ride’s quiet periods. Secondly reliability – In our test runnings and in our first installation, the reliability has been nothing short of exceptional.

 

We spent many years designing and developing the system and installations are now being completed. The first of these is a huge 30 seater dark ride, built for Holovis and installed in Bobbejaanland in Belgium.   This was delivered with a purpose built video screen system too and is now operating as the ‘Forbidden caves’ complete with exceptional theming and a purpose designed IP throughout.

The Motion Master with purpose built screen and delivery tracks
A Garmendale Motion master in final testing during production at our factory
3DoF movement from Motion Master

The Forbidden Caves is an Immersive Tunnel within the Belgian theme park Bobbejaanland in Lichtaart.

 

History of the Forbidden Caves Immersive Tunnel Ride
Towards end of June 2014, Bobbejaanland’s General Director Roland Kleve announced that a brand new attraction would be opened for the 2015 season. It would be located in place of the then Fly Off attraction. In September of the same year, more details emerged with the detail that the new attraction would become an immersive tunnel.

 

The choice of this attraction to be installed within the park, was based on consumer feedback within the target audience families and teens. The research also showed that there was no particular demand for another new roller coaster within the park, so they chose something fresh – The Motion Master 30 – Immersive Tunnel ride system.

 

The idea behind the ride was that it was to be part immersive tunnel, but with a live element to the show too. As such, actors were included within the ride area and these add a touch of reality and fear to the passengers.

 

The Theming was created by the Spanish company Rocas, whilst the design of the area within the attraction and also the story behind it, as well as the film and media were created by the American designers S78 .

 

The story

The story itself is about a magic crystal located within a cave in Khyonesia, Southeast Asia. For Jasper DuBois, the lead character in the story, his grandfather’s gem was once owned by tribes that used these magical crystals to worship their gods. Riders are encouraged to follow the path within the cave where they’re introduced to the supernatural properties of the crystal.

 

The simulator is made up of two expedition buses, which accommodate up to 60 people in total. When they enter the ride chamber, they are fully immersed within the cave they are fully enclosed by projection screens. The total ride including the initial orientation take around 10 minutes, with the simulator’s movie itself taking two minutes.

General Director Roland Kleve interview

Roland Kleve was interviewed by Theme Park Freaks and asked about the decision to commission an Immersive Tunnel Ride, rther than a new rollercoaster, as had been expected by many. 

 

“We have been thinking about what ride we were going to build,” says General Director Roland Kleve. “Research has shown that our visitors are not really desperate for a new coaster, on the contrary. It will therefore be a very different type of attraction than the existing offer in Bobbejaanland. An attraction that also appeals to a wider audience. We invest 5 million euros in the construction of a so-called immersive tunnel. Literally this tunnel means you are immersed, “Kleve said. When Mystery Mines / Forbidden Caves should be opened exactly, it was not announced.

 

It will therefore be a very different type of attraction than the existing offer in Bobbejaanland. An attraction that also appeals to a wider audience. We invest 5 million euros in the construction of a so-called immersive tunnel. Literally, this tunnel means you are immersed. On an area of 1,500 m², we create a whole new world, where we take our visitors along. “

 

The actual construction will start soon, but the offices have been working hard for a long time on the story, the effect of the experience, the lyrics and the appeal of the attraction, which came as a working title “Mystery mines / Forbidden caves”.

 

During a jungle jeep safari, visitors suddenly end up in an underground world with caves and mining sharks guarded by exotic monsters. Thanks to modern film and animation techniques, the visitor is not only a spectator, but he is literally part of the story. In an immersive tunnel, the line between fact and fiction is particularly thin, giving visitors the attraction with all their senses.”

There’s a video of this in operation below.

Forbidden Caves Immersive Tunnel
Roland Kleve at the Immersive Tunnel - Forbidden Caves

The Garmendale Motion Master 3dof Immersive Tunnel and other Theme Park Ride Systems

Garmendale have a full range of theme park ride systems, which range from simple tractor rides through to a highly sophisticated aerial roundabout. There are many rides in between, designed for years of trouble free operation. All of the rides have the common theme of exceptional British engineering designed and manufactured into it from the outset. We call this world class theme park engineering and it’s what we specialise in at Garmendale and have done since the business was formed in 1980.

 

So if you’d like to talk to us about your own project, please call us on +44(0)115 932 7082.

What is an Immersive Tunnel?

An immersive tunnel is an attraction/ride type found in amusement parks and visitor attractions.

 

An immersive tunnel is a more modern variant on the old type of ride simulator and quite similar to the simulator dark ride. Compared to the classic motion simulator, in which visitors stay within an enclosed cab looking at a fixed video screen, the immersive tunnel’s moving cabin is open and surrounded by a screen outside of the ride car. This cabin is not fixed but enters the ‘ride theatre’ on rails, delivers the show and then returns to unload.

 

An immersive tunnel consists of a station, where passengers are loaded and a scene the car enters. The scene is a hall surrounded by 270 degree projection screens, on which a movie is projected, either 2D or 3D, combined with special effects if necessary – These can be additional sound, smell or even water spray.

 

All of these combined, create the effect of actually being within the location of the movie – almost as part the scene. Its a far more life like experience than a traditional dark ride. Because the simulator / cab is on rails, it runs back and forth between the station and the scene to load and unload.

The Immersive Tunnel Ride at Motiongate Dubai – Hunger Games

One of our newest immersive tunnel rides is in Dubai. It’s an adventurous hovercraft ride that flies over the dystopian nation of Panem. It’s a full 4d experience and our best ride to date. It opens on 20th October 2017 and is the culmination of a few years work by the entire team at Garmendale. If you get the chance, you have to go and try it.

Roland Kleve Image courtesy of ParkPlanet.nl

Ride image courtesy of Blooloop.com