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May 30, 2013
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I was thinking a lot about this. When does a ride stop being something that you could find at kings dominion or six flags, and start to become something special? Does it need sets and props along the ride? A good story? Maybe some kind of theming in the que?

I think I've decided on one thing that always indicates if a ride is going to be something special. The uniforms of the employees. The coats of Darkastle employees, the bellhop costumes on tower of terror, the safari costumes on Jurrasic Park! If the story of a ride is so deep that it dictates the uniform the employees wear, then you know the ride will be an immersive experience. It also shows the thought put into the details of a ride.

So what about you guys? What makes a ride an experience?
 
Dec 23, 2011
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Griff, I think this isn't so much of a Concept? I fail to see the idea that would be implemented? I understand you think a ride being immersive is something that should be done, but I fail to see the details behind it and making it an actual concept?
 
May 30, 2013
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It seems like these kinds have discussions have been in concepts lately. It doesn't fit in rumors either. Where do you think it belongs?
 
Dec 23, 2011
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Griff, the last two most recent Concepts were ideas that were to be implemented in the park versus a question for discussion over ride experiences. Personally, I think it would fit best under Everything Else.

I'm not trying to be mean or rude about it, just suggesting.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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Griff said:
Sorry! Still getting a hang of the forums. I don't think I can move a thread or I would.

Yeah, moving threads is an site staff thing, don't worry about it. But to keep the thread on track, I think an experience is all about them theme implemented and the story behind the theme. DarKastle is amazing, as every detail has been picture perfect, I only wish they fully themed the outside of the building and not just the front facade. I think this is one of the most interesting experiences ever.

To be honest all a ride has to do, to be considered a ride is move you around in some form, but an experience puts you into a very well themed story. Like Der Roto Baron. They could easily have the kids sit in a rectangular cart, buckled and just move them around, but they seats are in mini planes and themed very well the best they could probably do.
 
Aug 25, 2012
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What makes a ride an experience is, to me, the way the employees act. If they go along with the theme, which is hard on some rides, it kind of transports you into another "world". Another thing is also the theming. If it moves you into a different place or time, then the goal has been accomplished. With Verbolten, all the decor moves you into Germany. LNM has the diving suits and the bunkers, which transports you into a search of the monster. Alpengiest has snow and ski material, which transports you into the mountains. That is, to me at least, what make a ride an experience. :)
 
May 30, 2013
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Hoopla said:
What makes a ride an experience is, to me, the way the employees act. If they go along with the theme, which is hard on some rides, it kind of transports you into another "world". Another thing is also the theming. If it moves you into a different place or time, then the goal has been accomplished. With Verbolten, all the decor moves you into Germany. LNM has the diving suits and the bunkers, which transports you into a search of the monster. Alpengiest has snow and ski material, which transports you into the mountains. That is, to me at least, what make a ride an experience. :)

I think that the little details are more important than the bigger ones. Six flags has some super hero bill boards and their new ride has abandoned cars and fire, but they don't have the little details like the list if names on alpengiest (ski patrol - C. U. Attabottom) or the license plates on Verbolten (ul b dropn)
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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As I've mentioned before, I always liked the Belgian-accented voice in the Volcano loading area at KD.

I would argue that KD does have some good theming.
 
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Mushroom

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I agree with Nic. Volcano, Flight of Fear, Backlot Stunt Coaster, even Boo Blasters on Boo Hill all have some immersive, deep theming in their own respective sense. You're transported into an expedition gone wrong on Volcano, through a federal paranormal activity bureau to an alien outpost in outer space on Flight of Fear, a movie set and an auto chase scene on Backlot Stunt Coaster, or through a swamp and a graveyard into a haunted mansion overrun with ghosts on Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. Sorry to get off-topic, but this really is about the whole industry in general. Plus, I dislike it when people lump Kings Dominion with trashy Six Flags stuff. It's no Busch Gardens, but it's still a nice park.

Anyway... Similar to what Hoopla said, I think an experience is being transported to another place. I also think there's an explanation for the track or ride, too. What does that mean?.. I think an experience, as opposed to a themed ride, is all-around theming that actually incorporates the ride, the ride vehicle, and the riders into the story to make you feel as if you're experiencing an actual event. To clear things up, let's take a look at Virginia's three car-themed coasters:

Backlot Stunt Coaster - On this ride, you're made aware that you're a stunt car driver on a chase scene (formerly for the Italian Job movie) on a movie set. Through billboards, a parking garage, police cars, subways, stairs, a special effects scene with explosions, fire, and a shooting helicopter, and even a plunge through a billboard into an LA aqueduct, you definitely feel like you went on an actual event on this ride. Only a dummy wouldn't realize it was like you were just in a car chase. The whole ride was built to give you that all-around mix of ride with full out theming to transport you elsewhere.

Verbolten - Most of us understand how Verbolten is an experience, but I'll break it down. You start by entering the Black Forest Tours and Rentals Center, passed a crashed automobile being claimed by the forest, and into the Tourist Center full of German memorabilia and Gerta of the tour company welcoming guests and warning them of the evil Black Forest. Then guests notice things go wrong with out-of-control cars, security cameras with horrible footage of the happenings in the forest, and the luggage of all the tourists! Ahh! The next thing you know, you're in the loading garage, with cameras, hubcaps, and broken luggage carousels. Then you leave the tour center, take a drive through the forest, and veer through an arch into the Black Forest, where things go wrong with wolves, lightning, and an evil spirit. You blast out of the forest, back on the "road", over a broken bridge, only to plunge off it towards the water, and make it safely back to the tour center. Not even a dummy wouldn't realize they're on a German car ride where things go wrong in the forest. You really feel like you're experiencing an out-of-control car!

Intimidator 305 Between the winner's circle-type grounds, the replica of Dale Earnhardt's car, racing memorabilia and stats, and other racing-themed props around the plaza and queue certainly give the ride a theme, and even the train looks like a big race car (or rather, a limo!). But it's not like from there you go through some out-of control race, dodging cars, archways, roads, stands, etc. At the end of the ride, it's just a coaster. A themed one, but just a coaster.

This comparison shows the difference between an experience and a themed attraction in my opinion. An experience puts you as the center of the action, there's plot with conflict, you feel like a character in the story that leaves you in awe altogether. Experiences, like those at Disney, also combine both thrill and adventure into one meaty sandwich. Themed attractions, like Intimidator, Griffon, Apollo's Chariot, have a theme, and idea. But not so much to put you at the center of the action, feel like you're actually on a journey to the sun. This is what makes an attraction an experience in my opinion! Whew, that was long!
 

Nicole

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For i305, I would add that they had identifiable "car" music, specifically what I assumed was the American version of the Top Gear theme music. The minute I got close enough to hear the music, I knew the coaster had something to do with racing. (Or possibly insane auto-related challenges.)
 
Feb 6, 2013
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When I was a kid, it was Batman: The escape at Astroworld. You walked through the Batcave, complete with a Batmobile. You would walk outside through Arctic Park into Cobblepotts Cold Storage where there was a wrecked Gotham Police car and the big motorized rubber duck that Penguin drove. There were penguins(animatronic) and all kinds of themeing like batarangs stuck in the wall, Cobblepott for mayor posters, etc. You enter the loading docks of the storage facility, and onto the ride, which was a standup coaster, that sounded like the batplane. This thing was LOUD! I still can walk through the queue in my mind.
 
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Aug 9, 2010
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For me the queue has to take you away from the park and into the world you are about to ride through. Verbolten is the absolute minimum amount of theming a ride can have and be considered an experience. The only other BGW rides that fit the bill are Alpie and DarkCastle. I myself like the experience more than the thrill.
 
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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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When theming a "ride" goes terribly wrong. (I hope I am allowed to link to CNN?)

Hello Kitty plane

This bit caught my eye. Sorta like Verbolten, but with more pink:

"Passengers' immersion into Kitty world begins before they get on the plane.

"Boarding passes and baggage stickers are cat-stamped and you board the aircraft through a special Kitty-embellished gate."
 
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Owls R A Hoot

Mother, you're driving me insane
Sep 9, 2012
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Whoa and it's not just the outside that is Hello Kitty but everything inside too. That's just way too much. haha!!

I love rides that really get into theming. When they have a backstory playing in the queue line and the workers are even dresses differently for that ride. The music adds to it also.
Just like The Hulk at Universal Studios has the upbeat Marvel music blasting away.
Or like with Rockin Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney even has the before video of the band talking to you. You really feel like you are on the way to the concert. It's my all time favorite ride. :D
 
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