Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2014

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - 4D Simulator, Limited Budget

De Vuurproef, Het Spoorwegmuseum, Utrecht, Netherlands

Image 1/2: Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - 4D Simulator, Limited Budget: De Vuurproef, Het Spoorwegmuseum
Image 2/2: Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - 4D Simulator, Limited Budget: De Vuurproef, Het Spoorwegmuseum

Het Spoorwegmuseum (The Railway Museum) is a unique museum in the heart of Utrecht, Netherlands, that offers guests a multi-sensory experience through the history of the Dutch and European railway tradition. Fully themed exhibitions, stage shows and even rides are part of the museum’s inventive ways to engage and entertain guests during their stay. De Vuurproef (literal translation: “The Acid Test”) is a new 4D simulator attraction that offers guests a fully-themed, family-oriented experience. 

Guests in the queue are divided into four groups that are linked to a number before entering a themed waiting room full of vintage railway artifacts. Each number corresponds to painted numbers on the floor in the pre-show. Based on these numbers each guest is assigned to a task that has to be fulfilled during the simulation. After seeing the instruction movie, guests continue into a dimly lit space, where they enter one of four richly themed Jules Verne-sque locomotives. In these motion-base locomotives, guests experience a high-speed journey through many different habitats and time periods. At certain moments during the simulation, participation by the guest, such as speeding up or slowing down the
train, influences the simulation when a specific task is mentioned. The entire project was created on a limited budget.

This museum attraction demonstrates true excellence in design and execution. Highly detailed finishes and props, ambient lighting, special effects and media, make for a rich and visually very consistent experience. It successfully engages the public in a way not usually seen in museum attractions. The thrill and excitement experienced by fully engaging visitors is akin to a theme park experience, while also reinforcing the message of the railway museum at the same time. While entertained, visitors experience the responsibilities of being at the controls of a powerful locomotive.

Award Credits