Leading Dutch theme park Efteling has launched a virtual reality version of its classic Droomvlucht (Dream Flight) dark ride.
Yet whereas VR interpretations of other theme park rides have concentrated on taking guests into other worlds, the Droomvlucht experience allows disabled guests to sample the ride’s content for the very first time. Previously it was the only large attraction at Efteling that could not be experienced by visitors with a physical disability.
Virtual Droomvlucht replicates the original ride, offering all guests the same experience by connecting disabled visitors with their friends on the ride through headphones and microphones so that they may see, and feel, the same sensations. The combination of VR and audio equipment, as well as other techniques, make it possible to experience Droomvlucht virtually and as a group.
“Until now, VR has often been used for individual experiences,” notes Efteling president and CEO, Fons Jurgens. “We have created a group experience that completely stands in line with Efteling and the theme park’s values”.
Annemarie Verbunt is a regular Efteling visitor. Until now, her disability made it impossible for her to experience Droomvlucht. But recently she had a trial run of the VR version and her response was enthusiastic: “I am so happy to be able to experience this. I’ve been looking forward to the day that I could experience Droomvlucht for 25 years. Virtual Droomvlucht really is a complete sensory experience, thanks to the smell and wind effects but also the contact with my friends who are on the gondola.What a beautiful attraction!”