We’ve covered breakdowns a lot here at Theme Park University. Rides go down all the time for a multitude of reasons from weather, to sensor issues and opening hiccups. However, what if there was a ride that was supposed to “break down” every time you went on it?
Pacific Rim: Shatterdome Strike could be a game-changer for dark rides and theme parks around the globe. This new concept is being touted as the world’s first “immersive theater dark ride” and yes, it’s supposed to “break down.”
Opening in the new Trans Studio Cibubur near Jakarta, Indonesia, Pacific Rim: Shatterdome Strike takes a unique approach to the traditional dark ride format. Based on the “Pacific Rim” films by Legendary Entertainment, this is just one of the park’s several groundbreaking attractions we have been following closely here at Theme Park University.
The premise starts out pretty simple. Guests enter what is supposed to be a typical pre-show room for a simulator. You know the drill. Everyone stands on a colored dot and you’re waiting for your pre-show/safety video to begin. As luck would have it, guests learn that several KAIJUS (a robotic baddie from the “Pacific Rim” films) are descending on the city and they’ve got to get out of Trans Studio pronto.
According to early reports, this is where the immersive theater part of the experience begins. Instead of boarding a simulator, a side door opens and guests are “evacuated” out of the building. I’m not kidding; there are reports of tourists buzzing past phony breakrooms and through unassuming hallways until they supposedly “exit” the Trans Studio theme park entirely.
Now, this is where the second part of the adventure takes place. While still inside the show building (that’s made to look like you’re outside behind the theme park), guests quickly jump inside a transport vehicle to high-tail it out of Jakarta before it gets smashed to smithereens.
While I can’t be totally sure what happens on this next dark ride portion of the experience, I do know one thing: your vehicle ends up “hitting” a telephone pole along the streets of Jakarta. You’re stuck. Suddenly a live actor appears in the distance and convinces your group to evacuate the vehicle. That’s right, you’re experiencing the next part of this dark ride ON FOOT!
Flashlights are distributed and guests are ushered through several scenes through the now destroyed terrain of recently destroyed Jakarta. From what I understand you’ll come face-to-face with several KAIJUS made specifically for this attraction. Some you actually have to walk through in order to get to your next transport vehicle. That’s right, this attraction actually has two dark ride portions!
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that one of the coolest parts of this part of the dark ride is in the above image. As we know, Jakarta and the very theme park guests are in (Trans Studio Cibubur) has been ripped apart. Which means while guests are on this last section of the ride, they get to see the coaster on the roof of the park being mangled apart! How cool is that?
I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I really want to take a trip to Jakarta. Literally just to experience this new theme park. To my knowledge, nothing quite like this has been done before on this scale.
In many ways, this is what Derren Brown’s Ghost Train at Thorpe Park aimed to create, but fell short in the execution. We always applaud new ways to reinvent the theme park experience and we think an “immersive theater dark ride” is the next new innovation in theme park entertainment.
Our hats are off Taylor Jeffs, Lee Roe, Chris Moschella, and the team at Legacy Entertainment for taking this kind of risk. The theme park industry should be taking notes on this new category of dark rides and I hope we see more of them in the future!
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