The Thorpe Park Resort is a theme park residing in Surrey in the United Kingdom. Although the park was opened in 1979, it is up to date and new rides are being commissioned all the time. This week see Thorpe Park's latest ride, the Ghost Train, open. The Ghost Train took three years to plan and one year to build in association and collaboration with famous magician, Derren Brown – although Thorpe Park explain how a thousand people were involved with the project. However, unlike many other rides, The Ghost Train will use a blend of modern technology with psychological scare tactics and could revolutionize the age old haunted house ride. Riders, who are advised to book in advance for both the best price and to ensure availability, board a Victorian railway carriage and wear virtual reality headsets. The ride is hosted inside a 2,300 square foot Victorian warehouse, which is based on one found at Willesden rail station, Kent.
Although riders, of which up to 58 can partake at once, will wear a virtual reality headset the Ghost Train also makes use of live actors and Derren's famous, trademark illusions. There will be twelve different routes for riders to take and a choice of two endings. In an interview with British newspaper The Evening Standard, Derren explained how The Ghost Train is far removed from the traditional "creepy old things [found] at funfairs," and how he has reinvented the original ideas behind a scary ride for a new generation. The ride, which lasts for thirteen minutes, is billed as "the world's only fully immersive psychological attraction designed to manipulate the human mind."
As far as technology goes, the Ghost Train uses the HTC Vive headset to deliver the in-seat thrills although part of the experience looks set to be in the blend between what is real, what is virtual reality and what is in the mind. However, it might appear that Thorpe Park has dropped the gauntlet in the next generation of theme park rides by combining a high tech experience with traditional methods. Virtual reality would appear to be a natural fit for theme parks as a way of thrilling visitors. Tickets cost from £27.99 and with the British summer school holidays about to start, the theme park is sure to be busy. You can find out how to book on the source website linked below and check out the YouTube promo video below.