Rulantica Makes a Splash with Virtual Reality
The phenomenal surge in virtual reality (VR) experiences is now all wet—literally.
Rulantica indoor water park at Europa-Park in Rust, Germany, has created a splendid new attraction for 2021 that’s overcome the challenges associated with submerging image-generating electronics.
“Snorri Snorkling VR” combines snorkeling with a VR headset designed for underwater use. Rulantica guests 12 years and older—who can swim—may don VR diving goggles and plunge into two “Snorri Snorkling VR” pools.
“Underwater VR was, until now, limited to some free-snorkeling experiences, with beautiful but random images of the diving session,” says Vanessa Fallet, project coordinator for MackNext, a company rooted in theme park design, entertainment, and media production. “With a true storyline and additional effects, we are trying to transform a one-time gig into a true attraction and experience, an experience that happens to be in VR.”
VR Coaster, a subsidiary of the Mack Group, owners of Europa-Park, also worked closely with Rulantica planners to develop the underwater application of VR.
“We picked up the technology, worked together, and transformed it into a Snorri experience that fits perfectly with Rulantica,” says Fallet. “This seamless integration was of utmost importance to us.”
Snorri is the fanciful six-limbed octopus who serves as the mascot of Rulantica, opened in late 2019. After swimmers put on their underwater VR goggles, the mascot will virtually accompany them on their journey.
“Snorri Snorkling VR” traditionally lasts five to six minutes, with the underwater portion just three minutes long. “It might seem short,” says Fallet, “but we really wanted an action-filled adventure, with no downtime. What’s more, we wanted everyone to enjoy it, including people who are not familiar with snorkeling.”
Rulantica began 2021 shuttered, in line with government restrictions this winter imposed by COVID-19. Fallet tells Funworld Rulantica’s team conducted fine-tuning, theming, and operator training on the attraction once they were allowed to return. The new attraction costs guests 7 euros, 2 of which are for single-use snorkels that guests will be able to take home with them.