Alton Towers announce Galactica

The resort officially confirmed the virtual reality re-theme of Air at the London Science Museum this morning.

The ride is set to launch in April and will incorporate the use of virtual reality headsets that will be mounted to the crafts. Combined with the current flying experience that  Air delivers, the new headsets will display an epic virtual reality journey that will allow guests to soar into space.

Produced by Figment Productions, the system will make use of their ‘Vector’ motor synchronisation technology, an idea that saw the developers originally mounting their mobile phones to their chests. The company stated their relationship with Merlin Magic Making has allowed them to team up with the technical team at Alton Towers to install and maximise the potential for the ride.

The company have also worked on previous project with Merlin Entertainments prior to Galactica, including ‘The Time Tower’ at Warwick Castle, The Blackpool Tower Eye, as well as overseas projects including Sea Life Orlando and Madame Tussauds Berlin.

The experience was designed by originally mapping Air’s layout with a control sensor, the very same that now contributes to the virtual reality experience.


The experience

On the dedicated website for the relaunch of the park’s flying roller coaster, Alton Towers are inviting guests to become a ‘Galactinaut’,  before beginning your cosmic journey at the ‘Launch Portal’. The concept of the re-imagining sees the current roller coaster used as a propulsion system, that will escort passengers through multi-dimension portals.

The ride is expected to jump from one galaxy to another using wormholes, where the fabric of space-time folds back on itself.

The proposed virtual reality flightpath will take guests through the Great Orion Nebula, over the lava lakes on Nero 5, across frozen landscapes on Kepler 9, and even witness the birth of a new star.

An epic journey through space: The proposed flight plan for Galactica
An epic journey through space: The proposed flight plan for Galactica

Riders will be guided through the adventure by ‘EVE’, an on board artificial system. Eve will follow the flight plan and navigate guests through the cosmos whilst prioritising safety and remaining informed at all times.

The resort have confirmed on social media that the virtual reality experience is optional, and guests are able to experience the ride without the virtual reality headset.

Outside of Galactica, there will be a dedicated game for guests to play on their mobile devices, as well as experiencing the brand new Rollercoaster Restaurant situated above the ride’s re-themed station.