You’ve definitely done a “4D” experience in a theme park by now, right? Usually a 15-to-20 minute film made especially for a park that features all kinds of special effects. Wind, mist, smells, special lighting and even moving seats are fairly standard for what are now becoming classic attractions. However, in certain cities, you can now turn an entire full-length theatrical release into a 4DX simulator experience. I got to try this while watching “Cars 3” at the Regal Cinemas in Pointe Orlando on International Drive.
Now if you’ve done a theme park simulator before, you know that the chairs aren’t always that comfy and the motion can be quite jarring. I can tell you that the 4DX theater seats are not only quite comfortable, but the motion is as smooth as you’ll fine for any kind of moving simulator chair. They are the Cadillac of moving theater seats.
The chairs are on a motion base that are clumped together in brackets of four. Meaning that all the motion for the four chairs seen above are all done from one motion platform beneath those seats. These chairs can pitch and heave very gracefully like you’re on a helicopter ride. They can also roll from side to side either smoothly or jerk you around as the case may be. Which, by the way, is why I felt the technology was a pretty perfect fit for “Cars 3.”
Surrounding the theater is a series of fans, fake snow blowers and even smoke machines. Not every film is conducive to all the effects, so, for “Cars 3,” I didn’t get to experience any fog, snow or smell effects. However, it was perfect for all the racing scenes in the film.
Located in front of your seat are the water effects for quick splashes and sprays. For those of you who hate getting wet during these 4D films, I have good news!
Each individual seat is equipped with a water on/water off button. Meaning if you get tired of getting sprayed throughout the film (I couldn’t imagine watching “Pirates 5” under these conditions), you can shut it off. Not to mention, who wants to make their popcorn soggy with all those water effects?
Finally, if you notice a plastic tube below each seat, that is for the “leg tickling” effect. Theme park fans will probably remember that was most effectively used in Disney’s Honey I Shrunk the Audience during a scene where dozens of “mice” were set free in the audience. For “Cars 3,” anytime a car peeled out and kicked up dirt or sand, those leg ticklers came into play.
Tickets for 4DX films are around $20 a pop, which is quite pricey for a flick these days. What if you want to sit in a stationary seat while your kids do the moving version? You’ll have to sit in a separate theater entirely. All seats in the 4DX theater at Pointe Orlando are moving. Want to shut it off temporarily while you get up and go potty? Not an option. Watching other patrons try to get up while moving is quite funny, by the way.
Now, would I personally go see other movies in a 4DX simulator? Probably not. It seems gimmicky at best and for the price I paid I can usually watch two-to-three regular 2D movies depending on the theater. Is it worth trying once? Absolutely. Keep in mind, the studio actually programs these theatrical releases with 4DX so it’s an extra bonus for film goers, though it can definitely be distracting during certain scenes. Have any additional questions? Let me know on social media!
Make sure to follow Theme Park University on Instagram, on Twitter, subscribe on YouTube and like our Facebook page! Doing any online shopping? Click on any Amazon link on this page and it helps TPU pay the bills and costs you nothing extra!