Meow Wolf’s trippy “Kaleidoscape” ride at Elitch Gardens defies easy explanation. “‘Kaleidoscape’ is the world’s first artist-driven dark ride,” says Jenny Weinbloom, executive producer of Meow Wolf’s permanent installation in Denver and “Kaleidoscape.”
“This phenomenally cool new dark ride is jam-packed with unique art scenes,” says Lori Kaupp, Elitch Gardens’ director of operations.
Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based arts and entertainment group, caused a stir in the attractions industry with its “House of Eternal Return,” launched in 2016 with support from “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin. Martin was named Meow Wolf’s Chief World Builder earlier this year. The group aims to create “immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration.”
“As individuals and as a collective, Meow Wolf has always wanted to make a dark ride that is, at its core, an abstract art experience,” says Weinbloom. While most dark rides are based on existing IPs or well-known stories, “Kaleidoscape” is truly original. “Dozens of multidisciplinary artists from our internal team as well as the Denver community contributed their unique vision to the project, creating the ride’s chaotic, maximalist aesthetic,” says Weinbloom.
“Kaleidoscape” is a teaser for Meow Wolf’s Denver exhibition. “In our story universe, The Quantum Department of Transportation created ‘Kaleidoscape’ as a simulator to showcase the wonders of quantum travel technology, in advance of launching its new station in Denver.”
“Kaleidoscape” sends riders on a mind-bending journey. Meow Wolf transformed the existing ride’s laser zappers into “Conglomotrons,” which now beam positive energy into the environment. Their energy feeds a stray Q-Particle, helping it grow into a hyper-being. Colorful and whimsical characters inhabit the ride.
“It was exciting to have the opportunity to rethink the guest experience for a whole new immersive medium, and we are excited to pursue dark ride projects in future,” says Weinbloom.
“The ride looks handmade because it is handmade. We believe that seeing the human hand in the artist’s work is empowering, inspiring, and meaningful to guests. We hope people will ride it again and again to catch all of the little Easter eggs and fun and surprising imagery.”