Tower Battle pits riders on opposing drop tower rides. Storylines can involve competition against another team or combining forces to attack a common threat. A vast transparent screen between the two towers, physical show sets or a combination of the two engage the riders to interact through buttons, turning mirrors to reflect light, etc. “It is kind of like having a kit of [instruments],” said Jason Fox. “It’s very tactile, but it can also be sound based or body movement. There are many ways we can give our clients the opportunity to design their own experience to fit their particular audience.”
Tyler Blankenship, mechanical engineer, CAVU, said, “We wanted to make Tower Battle unique. Not only is it a regular drop tower — which is intense for just a moment — but we work with vendors who can make towers go up and down and have a long experience with quick lifts and multiple drops. We can do different configurations — two, three, four or even six towers that might be facing an animatronic in the middle. The whole idea is to create different experiences and themes.”
One storyline provided by Framestore was an avalanche theme where two towers work together to climb their way out of a wintery chasm. Castle Battle can offer a four-tower combat to win control of the medieval castle. Height, capacity and indoor/outdoor placement are options being engineered to make Tower Battle approachable by various parks.
Adventure Machine is a trackless vehicle that carries riders through various scenes, the path of which is determined by the decisions and actions of the guests. For instance, clearing a path to the left will cause the vehicle to veer through the event building that direction.
“Depending upon what you do, the way you go through the ride, riders may have different endings,” said Gavin Fox, creative director, Framestore. “Everything is aware where you came from, so your story is actually evolving on your journey.”
Reaction Coaster is the first roller coaster where riders’ interactions directly affect their ride experience. With this system, a suspended roller coaster will pass screens where the interactions via buttons or gestures will affect the vehicle, sound and media. Linear induction motors can cause the vehicle to accelerate, decelerate or move in reverse. Some scenes can take place in enclosed rooms before moving out into main areas where the vehicles soar over other entertainment options (or mall corridors) giving spectators a chance to engage with riders flying above. Blankenship confirms that while primarily LIM powered, there are sections physically driven by gravity.
“Because we are using LIMs, we can still have people going through these fast-paced launches,” he said. “We conceived the ride with a shopping mall in mind. You can launch out into those mall areas.” “It brings relevance to having a coaster in an enclosed environment. This brings an excitement level to a coaster that doesn’t have the world’s biggest drop or most inversions. It’s not about that,” added Gavin Fox. “This is about ‘playing’ a roller coaster. We laugh that it is the first roller coaster you can dance to.”
With innovation engineering and design under its belt, CAVU’s mission is to create the most novel attractions in the industry. Patents are pending for all three attractions. This collaborative alliance with Framestore has started to take rides to the next level by intertwining storytelling with interaction. “We think these ideas are the most viable, but there are plenty in the bank,” said Jason Fox.