Top 5 things you need to know about the new Busch Gardens‘ Virtual Reality (VR) Ride Battle for Eire
Whether or not you have looked through a Virtual Reality headset yet, you are in for a real treat this year at Busch Gardens. The Battle for Eire VR ride is an epic battle (Eire being the Gaelic name for Ireland) with the fairy hero Addie and her faithful dragon Ollie, against the evil Dark Lord Balor and a host of other virtual characters fighting for the Heart of Eire.
But what do you need to know about this ride?
Here are the top 5 things you need to know about the Battle for Eire that we learned at a behind the scenes tour of the new Virtual Reality ( VR ) ride. They will excite and prepare you for a seriously epic battle.
1. Its all about the headsets…How do the headsets work, what if I wear glasses and how are they cleaned? The head sets are in two parts. A green plastic head piece called the “emerald mask,” which fits on your head and the “enchanted lens,” which is a patented computerized VR HTC VIVE, lense that attaches to the emerald mask with simple magnets. The emerald mask is the only part that touches the guest and it is cleaned after the ride. The enchanted lens is the computer driven HTC VIVE virtual reality lens that is attached once you sit down at your seat. They have 10,000 of the green plastic head sets so you do not have to worry about waiting for one to be washed! And if you wear glasses, don’t worry – neither the emerald mask or the enchanted lens interfere with eye glasses. Here is a short clip of how they “clip” on:
2. How long does the Battle for Eire last? The ride lasts for 4 min but the show lasts for around 15 minutes as you are brought to several rooms where the VR head sets are distributed/explained. You will enjoy two digital shows giving the background story for the battle you are about to literally participate in (virtually).
3. Not sure you can handle the motion of the VR world? You can still enjoy this ride. You can choose to take off the emerald lens and just watch the adventure on the large screen (that you will remember from Europe in the Air). The ride will use the same state of the art motion simulator (so state of the art, that NASA still revisits it).
4. What does the worlds first motion simulator VR attraction mean to me? You will be riding dragons and it will really feel and look like you are flying on a dragon. Because you will be surrounded by a 360 degree virtual world – when you look down you, you may find you are sitting on the back of a flying dragon. And get ready for motion; this motion simulator used to be the flying force under Europe in the Air. But the VR world unleashes the motion simulators actual abilities. VP of Engineering Larry Giles explained, before VR, they had to limit the motion of the simulator because it could only move to the point where the audience could still see the screen. In other words, when the ride was Europe in the Air, the simulator’s movement was limited by the audience being able to see the whole screen but now that the screen is in your 360 degree field of view, virtual reality headset. Now, the simulator can really move and do what it was made to do! So get ready to move and to fly and yes, you will feel the wind in your hair.
5. Remember Choose Your Own Adventure stories? This ride can be different each time you ride. Since you are immersed in a 360 degree world, you can choose to look different ways so you will be experiencing the ride differently each time. It’s kind of a choose your own adventure ride, though the story is the same each time the visual ride can be different. Addie will ask you to send love to the heart of Eire to get it back from the evil Balor and you can choose to send a beam of light to the crystal to help win the fight. It is a cool ride!
Last thing….it is awesome – you really feel like you are riding through the air on a dragon. Looking all around you will see so many different things going on – it is great for all ages and so much fun! Kids and adults will enjoy this one! Here is a video sneak peak at what the ride looks like:
Now that you have some fun facts to get you ready for the Battle of Eire VR action ride, just keep scrolling down so you can check out some cool videos Busch Gardens Williamsburg produced on this VR attraction. But, first meet the cast of Battle for Eire:
• Addie – The heroine
• Ollie – Addie’s dragon sidekick
• Balor – The villain
• Sluagh – Balor’s minions
If you want to know the whole story of Battle for Eire read here. Below are a couple of short but cool videos from Busch Gardens. You can see how they create the animation, use the headsets get a feel for this adventure? Check out the videos:
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