Dark Rides at OCT Parks in China

Thrilling Aerial Journeys over China and America
Shanghai and Shenzhen, China

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Developer OCT called on Electrosonic to provide all the AV solutions for two new dark ride attractions at Happy Valley outside Shanghai and Window of the World in Shenzhen, north of Hong Kong.  Although a thousand miles separate the theme parks, the two attractions were virtually identical in size and scope for Electrosonic, which supplied full projection systems and screens, the main show control system, 4D effects, audio and lighting.

Electrosonic worked in concert with Huss Attractions who provided the complex ride system and brought in creative content producers Super 78 Studios.

Both attractions are movie-based dark rides featuring complex curved screens and a quad projection system with custom lenses, dynamic audio reinforcement and 4D effects.  In Shanghai, “Flight of the Dragon” depicts an aerial journey over China showing vast landscapes, metropolitan areas, terraced farming and mountain ranges – sights that average Chinese theme park visitors may never get to see for themselves.  Likewise, in Shenzhen, “Flying America” depicts the scenic U.S. from its cities and landmarks to its national parks and diverse terrain – vistas that even Chinese tourists traveling to America can’t expect to see in a single visit.

Each attraction features three ride arms with 30 seats per arm in rows of 10.  Seats are at ground level at the start of the ride and then rise to vertical in the show position forming top, middle and bottom rows.  The ride arms move synchronously with the video images and sound effects, giving the feeling of flying over the scenery of each country as wind effects, water sprits and scents are delivered at appropriate moments.

Backstage look at the technology behind the dark rides.

The show was written and directed by Brent Young of Super 78 Studios. The video system for each of the dark ride systems incorporates four projectors that display a stitched image onto an 80-foot diameter curved screen. 

Electrosonic furnished Back Stage Technologies’ 4D effects for the dark rides.  A fan, water sprits and scents are attached to each seat and are used, for example, to give the illusion of flying, to simulate the mist of Niagara Falls and to emanate the fragrance of a pine forest in “Flying America.” 

Speaker cabinets deliver 12 channels of audio to each attraction: 8 channels behind the perforated aluminum domed screen on catwalks and brackets; plus subwoofers and left, right and rear surrounds.  Electrosonic designed all the catwalk systems in both buildings to allow for easy speaker and lighting access.

Digitop Hong Kong provided site supervision and expert technical assistance at both venues.  Shenzhen-based Artco furnished all installation labor and handled custom bracket fabrication for both attractions.