Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2021

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction

The Twilight Saga: Midnight Ride , Lionsgate Entertainment World, Zhuhai, China

The Twilight Saga: Midnight Ride is one of the anchor attractions at Lionsgate Entertainment World, a new theme park that opened in July 2019 on Hengqin Island, China. It is a multi-rider, multi-sensory, interactive virtual reality (VR) experience: Guests climb aboard their own motorbikes, each with its own, multi-axis motion platform. A lightweight, individually sanitized, plastic frame fits over each guest’s face and, once they are secured on their bikes, the VR screen and hardware lower from the ceiling and magnetically click into place on the headset frame.

Riders are greeted by Jacob, and he introduces them to their mission: to ride out with the wolf pack to find and put a stop to the volatile and unpredictable vampire newborns prowling the forest. In VR, the garage opens, and the riders race off into the forest. Wind and the smell of pine further enhance the forest ride. Each rider has control of their speed and direction, and they can see other riders doing the same.

Maneuvering through the forest, riders are chased and attacked by the newborns. The wolf pack rushes to defend the guests, who are in peril of crashing and being thrown from their bikes. Racing across a bridge, the guests reunite and are led back to the safety of Jacob’s garage.

This fantastic adventure, Twilight Saga: Midnight Ride, is unique in being a multi-rider, high-capacity, interactive virtual reality experience to open as a major theme park attraction. Debuting a new ride system, Midnight Ride utilizes motorcycles mounted on individual motion bases coupled with real time VR that together actively respond to rider interaction. The combination of VR with simulator technology and group gaming software affords each guest the ability to choose their own path while still being able to interact with other riders.

The VR headset system facilitates a quick and efficient ride load and unload, while at the same time providing for a simple and effective cleaning system. All the elements of Midnight Ride come together in a truly cohesive, compelling and exceptional experience, a shining example of excellence.

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