SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:51 am

So I attended the press event this morning at SeaWorld Orlando. This is what we know so far about Kraken VR:

- It will open Summer 2017.
- It does not yet have a name. Brian Morrow referred to it as "Kraken 2.0"
- It's being developed by a completely new company (NOT Mack Rides - I specifically asked.)
- Age restrictions have not been finalized.
- Tech has not been finalized.
- According to Brian "We still don't know what is going to go in the headset. Is it a phone? Is it something else? The technology we want to put out there is unlike anything anyone has seen on a ride yet."
- The VR headsets will be located in a pouch when you sit in your seat.
- You do not HAVE to use the VR headsets to ride.
- The VR headsets will be clipped via cable to the restraint.
- They will be cleaned in between each ride.
- There will be audio effects as the headset has an speaker that will fit over your ear.
- There are no interactive elements. Brian "I would think shooting animals at SeaWorld would be weird, so no, we will not be shooting anything or have an interactive element."
- The movie is currently being produced.
- They will be widening the loading platform of Kraken so that more team members can be in the station at one time.

Anything else? That's all I can think of at the moment that we were told.
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And I'm assuming the goggles they had to show off for us were just prototypes since we were told that the tech is still in development and they weren't sure what the final headset would look like or what technology they would contain.
Last edited by robbalvey on Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:03 am.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Invertalon » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:20 am

I just can't get excited for this this stuff. I don't want VR when I am riding a coaster, unless it's something that's boring on it's own (say Iron Dragon, which made sense). But Kraken? Superman ROS at SFNE? Don't get it.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:27 am

Invertalon wrote:I just can't get excited for this this stuff. I don't want VR when I am riding a coaster, unless it's something that's boring on it's own (say Iron Dragon, which made sense). But Kraken? Superman ROS at SFNE? Don't get it.

This is exactly my thoughts. The European parks had it all figured out. They would put the VR on coasters that didn't stand on their own to breath new life into a ride that you didn't care if you rode or not during your visit. But I'm guessing at SeaWorld, you still have a high percentage of people walking through the turnstiles who have NEVER been on the coaster before. So why do you need a gimmick on it? You don't.

I just really hope they can figure out the load times issues. I mean, the fact that it's optional...fine. Means if I don't care about it, I don't have to use it. But I also don't want to wait twice as long in line for something I don't care about. That's my biggest issue with all these VR coasters. The additional wait.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby dreynolds1982 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:27 am

Invertalon wrote:I just can't get excited for this this stuff. I don't want VR when I am riding a coaster, unless it's something that's boring on it's own (say Iron Dragon, which made sense). But Kraken? Superman ROS at SFNE? Don't get it.

I mean I get it. It's a relatively inexpensive way to refresh an older attraction (though I agree I might try it once but really don't feel the need for it on an already thrilling coaster like Kraken as part of the thrills are the natural visuals associated with the coaster). It is completely optional though, so those who don't want to use it don't have to.

The only concern I have with any of these VR add-ons is the increase in load time. With these being included with each seat, that cuts down on it some, but they are still going to have to be cleaned between every ride, and then you're going to have guests who need help putting them on, adjusting them (though I understand Six Flags has implemented a new ratcheting system that helps with that), etc.

I am all for optional ways to add new thrills/twists to old attractions, I just hope from an operational standpoint they get it all figured out so it doesn't make for overly long waits or delayed load/unloads, particularly for those who just want to ride the coaster and have no desire to mess with the VR stuff.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby TheCoasterKid211 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:31 am

robbalvey wrote:You do not HAVE to use the VR headsets to ride.

THANK YOU.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:36 am

dreynolds1982 wrote:The only concern I have with any of these VR add-ons is the increase in load time. With these being included with each seat, that cuts down on it some, but they are still going to have to be cleaned between every ride, and then you're going to have guests who need help putting them on, adjusting them (though I understand Six Flags has implemented a new ratcheting system that helps with that), etc.

I am all for optional ways to add new thrills/twists to old attractions, I just hope from an operational standpoint they get it all figured out so it doesn't make for overly long waits or delayed load/unloads.

I'm trying to figure out how the "pouch" is going to help increase load times. Operationally, how does that work? What is the process after someone rides using the VR headset. They put it back in the pouch, right? But isn't that actually WORSE than just handing it to someone to get cleaned? Now you have whatever persons grossness not only on the headset but also in the pouch. When does the pouch get cleaned? And does a ride op have to come around, grab the headset out of the pouch and the replace them with another headset? And how do you know who used it and who didn't? That seems like it would take MORE time to sweep the entire train and replace all the headsets BEFORE letting the next group of riders in than just handing the next group of riders the headsets while they are in line and having the current riders hand them at the exit. I'm not convinced this pouch thing is actually a solution, but instead creating more problems.

I'm going to hope that SeaWorld has some amazing trick up their sleeve but looking at the operations and logistics of this whole thing, I think having to put the headsets in a pouch, clean them, replace them, and put them back again makes even LESS sense than how it is being done currently at most parks.

And the logistics of cleaning/distributing the headsets doesn't doesn't even get into what Brian Morrow told us today that each headset will have to be clipped to the restraint. So now the ride op load process is going to have to include:

- Check harness
- Check seatbelt
- Check VR headset is secure
- Confirm VR content is working
- Clip headset to restraint

I can't see this not being a nightmare. SeaWorld, please... PLEASE prove us wrong and show all the other parks how to property do a VR Coaster. That's all we ask. Skepticism is due to the fact that is hasn't been done right yet. (at least not in the USA)
Last edited by robbalvey on Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:37 am.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby StealthFan » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:54 am

Galactica which uses the pouches works like this.

-Train returns with guest on and seats come down
-Restraints stay locked as multiple staff go round wiping headsets and placing them in pouches
-Restrains unlock and guest leave
-New guest boards and lower restraints. Headsets must stay in bag
-Restraints lock and attendants come round to check them, pick up your headsets, wipe it then give it to you.
-Guests fudge about with headsets then staff activate them.
-After easily 8-10 mins the ride is ready to be sent.

This all in all requires 8 attendants on each staton minimum. It's a compete cluster fudge

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:56 am

When I first heard about this VR technology I was sure that it was going to be an up-charge. Personally I would have been fine with that because it would have limited the amount of VR users on each train, generated in-park spending and made the process much more manageable because they could tweak the price to give them the optimal combination of revenue / average users per train and therefore efficiency. Personally I think that would be a much better system than what they're doing now.

I think Cedar Point has done this better than most U.S. parks by having it at night with the ride running normally all day and scheduling ride times. It gives guests extra incentive to stay later (and buy that second meal at the park which is the prime goal of any type of nighttime promotion / entertainment that a park offers) but that wouldn't apply to Sea World given their early closing times.

By doing it this way I see very little benefit. Are they going to impress people by putting "Virtual Reality Coaster" on billboards when they're literally down the street from the park with the greatest virtual reality rides in America? Are people who rode Gringots, Forbidden Journey, Transformers and Spiderman the day before going to be impressed? I know it's new technology but the graphics on the VR coasters I've ridden to date left a lot to be desired.

So I stand by my original statement. If they can keep wait times reasonable it's kind of cool for passholders to try once, but I don't really think anyone is going to get excited over this. The only reason this seems appealing at all is because it's a relatively minimal investment so there's almost no risk factor.

As I said, the renovated Dolphin Nursery is my favorite part of this announcement. It won't draw gate but it'll make the park look nicer.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:00 am

coasterbill wrote:When I first heard about this VR technology I was sure that it was going to be an up-charge. Personally I would have been fine with that because it would have limited the amount of VR users on each train, generated in-park spending and made the process much more manageable because they could tweak the price to give them the optimal combination of revenue / average users per train and therefore efficiency. Personally I think that would be a much better system than what they're doing now.

This is how it works at Europa Park, which IMO is still the best implementation of the VR Coaster I've seen yet. (I mean it should be...they invented it, right?)

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby cookiex » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:18 am

I'd be hesitant to call EP's seat-assignment the perfect solution though. It probably works best when the non VR-lines are longer, but when Pegasus was a walk-on otherwise the VR line had the longest wait by far in the park (45 minutes plus when nothing else exceeded 25).

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Alpenexpress across the park seemed to work much better though, so maybe it's all about the right balance.
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