"Battle for Kings Dominion" Augmented Reality Experience coming in 2017

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Joe

#RIPVolcano
Feb 12, 2011
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Coaster Addict said:
Augmented reality is coming to Kings Dominion in 2017, and it looks to be bigger and better than anything offered at an amusement park before. Teaming up with award-winning industry supplier, Holovis, Cedar Fair is continuing to step up its offering in augmented reality and “techtainment” as a whole. Coming in spring of 2017, guests visiting Kings Dominion will be able to interact with various aspects of the park and with others guests. Waiting in queue lines at Kings Dominion will now become more interesting and potentially enjoyable. Today, nearly every park guest over the age of 16 has a smartphone, and they are using it a lot during their visits to amusement parks. Engaging these guests while they wait really brings endless opportunities to the park!

What is Battle for Kings Dominion?

While the park only announced Battle for Kings Dominion during the ACE Winter Warm Up event that was held at Six Flags Over Georgia on Saturday, January 28, 2017, a wealth of specifics was not yet available. However, the first version of this “Extended Experience” was offered at Cedar Point in 2016. The innovation and overall success of “Battle for Cedar Point” won project creator, Holovis, the Brass Ring award for Best New Product for Technology Applied to Amusements: Consumers during the IAAPA Attractions Ex po in 2016.

Guests download the augmented reality mobile app onto their (iOS or Android) smartphone. Upon visiting the park, the guest selects a Coaster Clan that they love the most. At Kings Dominion, guests can pledge their coaster allegiance to one of the following five Coaster Clans:

Intimidator [305]
Volcano
Dominator
Flight of Fear
Avalanche
The Battle For Kings Dominion will feature five main charactersSave

Guests then ride their favorite rides and collect points along the way, interacting directly with many of the rides, in-app [trivia] games, and related merchandise. It’s a battle to share with family and friends! For guests visiting more than once, the app should allow them to select a different clan on each visit; you never know when allegiances might switch, right? With the success of “The Battle for Cedar Point,” it was expected that another park within the Cedar Fair chain would get the technology in the coming years. With the addition of in-park wi-fi [at Kings Dominion] for 2017, adding Battle for Kings Dominion seems like a perfect fit. Also, with the Coaster Clan focus on the left side of the park, expect the wi-fi over there to be highly dense and have a great amount of guest capacity.

“We’re actually looking for experiences, roller coasters, [and] dark rides that have an emotional connection, and that’s something that is completely unique, and that’s what gets your guests coming back, revisiting because we can define the attraction based on your emotional preferences and your psychological preferences, and that’s really cool – that’s the future,” says Holovis Creative Director, Peter Cliff.

It is still too early to determine just which new features will be added to the already-popular, cutting-edge technology. However, during a discussion with Peter Cliff (Creative Director at Holovis) at the 2016 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, he mentioned that the options are nearly endless, especially when it comes to in-queue interactions. Imagine if a guest is in line and really kicking butt in “The Battle.” If he or she is outdoing everybody else, the park could reward him or her with a front-of-the-line pass or a discount on some merchandise at that attraction. All the while, the park can see which rides are most popular each day, and the guests have one more way to share their park experiences on social media. In the end, EVERYBODY WINS!

Overall, Cedar Fair is doing a great job of incorporating technology into the park experience and listening to the customers along the way to ensure that there is a good balance between the technology and the guest expectations. It is very possible that Cedar Point will also get an upgraded version of their “Battle” in 2017; also, expect to see more parks to get this “Extended Experience” in the coming years!
Article Link

In short, it looks like Kings Dominion is developing an interactive, Disney-esque in-park game based in augmented reality. As can be seen in this video of Cedar Point's prototype of the game (which will be drastically improved for its implementation at KD), guests use their phones and physical items like cards to interact with real props inside the park.


What I love even more is that the game is specifically themed to the park. Guests can choose between five "teams," which are each based on a different roller coaster in Safari Village. In the tweet below, Kings Dominion released early concept art of the characters from each team. From left to right, you can see each character represents Avalanche, Dominator, Intimidator 305, Flight of Fear, and Volcano, respectively.
[tweet=https://twitter.com/Coaster_Addict/status/825786200640323584]
In a time where parks constantly outsource to pre-existing IP's, and where the individual character and theme of the park is often ignored, this is a fantastic nod to the park's own personality.

I for one am incredibly excited for this, not just because it brings a new dimension of interactivity to the park, but it will also bring new interest to the park's original themes and storylines.
 

Zachary

𝓡oyal 𝓜ango 𝓒réme Frappuccino Survivor
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Sep 23, 2009
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I have extreme doubts about this game catching on, but I'll defiantly give it a shot.

Also... #TeamAvalanche

I look forward to ensuring the big three (Intimidator, Dominator, and Volcano) never prevail when I'm at the park. (I'm happy to sign a peace agreement with Flight of Fear people though.)
 
Apr 5, 2011
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I've got to say, I didn't expect something like this from the park as this sounds like something only Universal or Disney has done in the past. I'm extremely curious about a multitude of different things about this. The cynic in me wonders just how the park profits from this. If it's a paid game or has an extremely abusive micro transaction system like most phone games do, I doubt that it will have a lot of retention in today's extremely saturated marketplace. Another question is whether or not the game will work outside of KD. If it doesn't, then maintaining a regular user base is going to be more difficult.

I realize we won't know any answers to these questions soon, but I really do want to learn more about this.
 

Joe

#RIPVolcano
Feb 12, 2011
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#TeamFlightOfFear

Pretzel Kaiser, I did a tiny bit of reading about the game at Cedar Point and it looks like the game encourages guests to purchase trinkets like pins and interactive cards, which enhance the gameplay but are not required. And of course, there are those specialty shirts shown in the video, but I can't imagine the park actually sells that many of them.

The park management seemed to imply that there are many opportunities to share the app to social media, which I suppose generates "free" advertising for the park. Plus, speaking of advertising, I wouldn't be shocked if there are a few subtle ads on the app from sponsors.

As far as earning a user base, I was wondering the same thing. I hope this catches on, but I'm not sure if it will. KD needs to utilize an aggressive in-park marketing campaign, with bold and frequent messages on FunTV and park signage, to generate excitement/interest/awareness.
 

MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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Richmond
AR wasn't the only thing missing from KD today. We went today to marathon WWC for the last two hours of the day and it was closed. Parking lot was close to empty. Log flume line was a mile long. Skipped it. Went to Ricochet, closed. Windseeker, closed. Hey, let's take a ride on the Ferris wheel. Nope. More than half the midway was shut down. I then realized, this place should not be open right now. For some reason, they think that operating their 6 large coasters and Victoria's pizza is acceptable. Blah.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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I'd buy that if Anaconda, i305, Backlot, and Volcano weren't open. They somehow saw that I was going on my Birthday and we're like, "Fuck you, Pretzel Kaiser". Not that I'm bitter or anything.
 

horsesboy

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Jun 16, 2013
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Pretzel Kaiser said:
I'd buy that if Anaconda, i305, Backlot, and Volcano were open.  They somehow saw that I was going on my Birthday and we're like, "Fuck you, Pretzel Kaiser".  Not that I'm bitter or anything.
It serms to me that if there was an electronic grid problem that the launch coasters would be the first to get shut down those suckers pull tons of power.
 
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