MEET OUR THEA AWARD RECIPIENT FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: ATTRACTION
Chasseurs de Tornades Futuroscope Park, Paris, FRANCE Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction Overview
“Chasseurs de Tornades” (Tornadoes Chasers) is a new attraction starting spring 2022 in the Futuroscope Park in Paris, France. The story: the audience is invited to visit the new scientific center dedicated to extreme weather studies established recently within Futuroscope Park. Visitors enter the laboratory, a walkthrough where they encounter the 2 main characters, Melanie, a scientist girl and Alex, a tornado chaser, working on their next mission. Visitors wander in the scientific center through Melanie and Alex’s offices, the tornado simulator, Melanie’s workshop, Alex’s garage and the tornado headquarters. Each set recreates the scientists working spaces, including media to help visitors to know them and the content of their research. The spectator is invited to enter the test center, a room equipped with a holographic installation and a vibrating floor. The scientists introduce visitors to their inventions: TrombX, a probe designed to neutralize tornadoes, and Bully, the souped-up used to launch it. Suddenly the presentation is interrupted by the Doppler radar alarm: a tornado is announced nearby. The visitors are asked to take shelter in the conference room. There, visitors are strapped in their seats. They are totally surrounded by an 8 meters high cylindrical screen showing 21k resolution images. Screens retract at certain segments, revealing combined live action and virtual reality. Spectators are totally immersed in the adventure of Melanie and Alex who are chasing the tornado and determined to put an end to it. They are rocked and bustled by billowing winds, dazzled by the lightning flashing. The debris thrown up by the tornado turn into projectiles, other vehicles drive or sit wrecked on the dual carriageway along Futuroscope, accompanied by explosions, collapse and fire. Shaken by this adventure, they return to their base, mission accomplished. The attraction is about 40min long in total, including 9min in the main experience room. Capacity is 800 visitors per hour.
What sets this attraction apart?
The theme of the attraction – tornadoes – is particularly pertinent in a Park which is devoted to the combination of amusement, emotion and knowledge. The attraction is cleverly written to anchor the story in the Park itself: the spectators are invited to visit the new research laboratory attached to the Futuroscope, devoted to extreme climate phenomenons. The adventure starts as an accident during the visit, with a tornado announced in the area, affecting the Park itself. The heroes cross the Park and the nearby area in their very special vehicle, designed to chase tornadoes and to try to erase them. Combining images all around the audience and live action, the show immerses effectively the spectators in the adventure. A complete moving system based on 3 powerful mechanic and hydraulic cylinders masters the large floor hosting the 120 seats, permitting them to go up and down, to incline itself and to rotate at the speed of 30km/h. The moving platform is surrounded on 360° by a 470 square meters screen, where the adventure takes place, opening time to time on live action.
How long did the project take to complete?
Four (4) Years
Were There Any Significant Roadblocks?
Most of the development of the attraction took place during the Coronavirus pandemic, which complicated exchanges. Many meetings were held by videoconference, and we had to organize the teams on site according to the restrictions.
Behind the Scenes
When we did the first tornado test, at the beginning we put all the effects on maximum, and we ended up with a dense fog that we couldn't see anything and we came out soaked.