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Alton Towers reveals Galactica, its first virtual reality rollercoaster

UK theme park Alton Towers has announced it’ll be opening a new virtual reality-based rollercoaster, which will require users to strap on a Samsung Galaxy VR headset before ‘shooting off into space.’

The Galactica rollercoaster will open to the public in April and combine a real-world ride with VR for the first time.

The three minute, 840-meter long ride will require the rider to be strapped face down into their seats, while the movements viewed on screen will mirror those taking place on the track.

Theme parks have long used the illusion of field-of-view encapsulating displays in order to create an immersive environment. However, with a full field of view, and a track rather than a simulator, Galactica takes it to the Nth degree.

Virtual reality rollercoaster apps have also proved poplar among early adopters, but soon VR thrill-seekers will able to experience the real deal.

See also: Best Samsung Gear VR apps and games

The ride, which will be located in the Forbidden Valley area, will have a maximum speed of 46mph and subject riders to G-Force of 3.5Gs.

The VR aspect is intriguing because it also gives Alton Towers the
chance to create different visual experiences in order to freshen up the
ride from time to time.

The park, still reeling from a 2015 accident that saw two patrons require leg amputations, says Galactica is “a game changer.”

Marketing director Gill Riley says: “Galactica uses groundbreaking technology to give riders a breathtaking and completely unique rollercoaster experience,”

“There is nowhere else in the world that people can experience the feeling of a flying rollercoaster combined with soaring through the universe. For two minutes, our guests will be transported into space and we believe Galactica showcases the future for theme parks around the world. It’s a complete gamechanger.”

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