Big-show audiovisual technology creates a winning dark ride experience in a small space.
Imagine a journey to a mysterious fantasy island led by a cheeky octopus through an eerie water world populated by trolls and mermaids. It sounds big, but this is no large-scale extravaganza. Thanks to the magic of audiovisual and immersive technologies, this dark ride recreates the fascinating Scandinavian world of Rulantica in a small space. Visitors travel in boats through seven themed scenes that recreate the mysterious water world. It’s a ‘full-grown dark ride on a very small scale’ according to the operators, Europa Park. The ‘Snorri Touren’ experience is considered the most immersive attraction of this scale in the world. More than 17 screens and projections including two speciality dome projections, projection mapping and special audio effects represent state-of-the-art technology normally found in much larger, big-budget experiences.
Electrosonic, in partnership with Mack Solutions/Mack Animations, Jora Vision, T-Gix and Emis, was responsible for the engineering, deployment and integration of the audiovisual, immersive and show control systems. All of the parties agreed that creative and engineering collaboration were essential to the success of the ride — a seamless experience requires seamless collaboration. Electrosonic worked closely with all the parties, bringing experience of large audiovisual projects, high-quality engineering and integration skills to the project.
Animatronics, special effects, movie-quality imagery and cutting-edge media elements bring the characters to life and expand the potential of the site beyond its physical limitations. The organizers recognized that they had to be innovative to compete with other themed attractions. The ride had to be 360° and immersive. Great content and all-round quality of experience were key. The result is a combination of classic dark ride techniques such as animatronics and elaborate sets with advanced technologies such as dome projection, integrated media, waterfall projection and projection mapping. This is truly an experience where imagination comes to life.
Creative design coupled with skilled audiovisual engineering creates the most immersive attraction of this scale in the world.
Europa Park wanted to create a family ride that would feature advanced audiovisual techniques never used before on this scale — a compact space of just 500 square meters, creating a number of projection, installation and show control challenges. Two dome projection installations were designed to feature effects and images normally found in large flying theaters. This required careful selection and positioning of projectors using special ultra short-throw lenses.
The ride took visitors through seven scenes, each with different audio and video content. To differentiate scenes, the team had to develop special audio separation techniques while maintaining a seamless experience throughout the journey. The main character Snorri had to appear, disappear and reappear at various points around the ride. Using the classic Peppers Ghost effect required careful installation to cope with space restrictions. Video squinching was used throughout. This required precise triggering to match images to the position and motion of the viewer and create a realistic experience of traveling through the 3D world. The control system had to cope with a very large amount of monitoring and maintain precise triggering.
Electrosonic fused storytelling with architecture by integrating large-scale technology into a small space using innovative projection mounting techniques. Electrosonic pushed the boundaries of technology to create an immersive space that featured seventeen screens, dome projection, animatronics, projection mapping, waterfall mapping projection, movie-quality imagery, powerful multi-track audio and fully uncompressed 4K content. Special programming techniques were used to control huge volumes of information and integrate the many separate elements.
Snorri Touren demonstrates the potential of audiovisual and immersive technologies to maximize the potential of limited spaces and create amazing experiences. Collaboration between partners with creative, set building and audiovisual engineering skills ensured a seamless solution that brought the designers’ vision to life. The ride has added an attractive new dimension to Europa Park, voted ‘Best park of the year’ six times by the Golden Ticket Awards.
"For us the project was a big challenge. We never did a ride with so many screens and with so much media content. Electrosonic is our expert for all projections and audio. We’re very happy with the results." - Patrick Marx , Production Manager, Europa Park.