Simulator rides are a type of amusement park or fairground ride, where the audience is shown a movie while their seats move to correspond to the action on screen.
There are many types but they fall into the heading of entertainment unlike the ones used for training. Simulator rides work by showing a film and moving at the same time. This information is fixed and cannot be changed without rewriting the ride's firmware. A film or experience can be made of any subject as they are created manually. A film of any given subject is given to the manufacturer who records movement to go with a film, you then end up with a video source and a movement disk, this can be preloaded onto a computer or manually set up using a floppy disk so when the film and disk are placed in the system it is controlled by a computer and a controller to make the film start at the same time as the motion.
Until recently, constructing simulator rides was an expensive, high tech business. The first simulators were built to train military pilots. Long before the days of virtual reality, the view through the cockpit came from remote video cameras which moved on gantries above physical model landscapes. These model landscapes were huge, often the size of aircraft hangars. By the mid-1990s, computer virtual reality graphics replaced most physical models in simulators. Today's flight training simulators, like NASA’s, have virtual landscapes projected on multiple screens giving a 180 degree view. Much simpler simulators, running fixed video synchronised to the movement of the 'cabin', were introduced in funfairs in the same period. They seat about 12 people and require an operator. Doron Precision Systems is a company who specializes in driving simulators based in Binghamton, NY. They were the first manufacturer to introduce the capsule motion simulator, the SR2 in 1977. Other manufacturers such as Thomson (Now Thales Training & Simulation), Intamin, Pulseworks, etc. also came up with their own simulators. Universal Studios originally invented the motion theater with their attraction The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. Disney uses a similar plan and opened their Star Tours attraction in 1987. Universal's attraction did not open until 1990. This first ride was soon followed by the Back to the Future-themed Back to the Future: The Ride, which opened in 1991 at Universal Studios Florida and was removed in 2007 to make way for The Simpsons Ride.
Passenger motion simulators are used as amusement rides with a seating platform remaining parallel to the ground while being moved in a circular motion along a vertical plane. Larger scale motion theaters include "Air Time" at Carowinds, "Corkscrew Hill" at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and the now closed Akbar's Adventure Tours in Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Motion theaters found in a traveling carnival include the "Yellow Submarine."
More recently, one- to two-person simulator rides have appeared. These run unattended and some types are interactive, like the original military flight training simulators. Unlike the military, however, most civilian simulators are totally passive and have a choice of rides from which the user selects. The most advanced simulators are in totally enclosed capsules giving a much more immersive ride and allowing the person to be fully engaged in the simulation. The more recent two seaters, produced in 2005, have special effects added. These include fans which blast wind on the rider's face as the simulation goes faster, and heaters which heat the cabin when there is a virtual explosion or fire or a similar heat source is displayed on screen. Other effects include vibrations which add to the ride's realism. Due to the exclusivity of this type of simulator ride, there are only a few two seater simulator manufacturers in the world.
The first truly low-cost simulator is perhaps the £5k "Kidicoaster," which swings up and down in sync to a video of a roller coaster.
It is now practical for amateur enthusiasts to develop their own 'low tech' simulator ride. The motion and effects can be controlled by a micro controller (like a Stamp or an Arduino) and the video played on an ordinary DVD player. The micro controller only has to switch the play button on the player and the video and motion will then stay adequately in synch for the duration of the ride.
Since first developed in 2009, 4DX movie theaters have been growing in popularity. These theaters show mainstream Hollywood films combined with moving seats and other special effects to enhance the experience of the film.
A simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. Simulations require the use of models; the model represents the key characteristics or behaviors of the selected system or process, whereas the simulation represents the evolution of the model over time. Often, computers are used to execute the simulation.
A dark ride or ghost train is an indoor amusement ride on which passengers aboard guided vehicles travel through specially lit scenes that typically contain animation, sound, music and special effects. Appearing as early as the 19th century, exhibits such as tunnels of love, scary themes and interactive stories have been the subject of rides under the original definition.
Star Trek: The Experience was a themed attraction which opened in January 1998 at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, based on the Star Trek entertainment franchise. The pavilion underwent one major renovation in 2004 which added the Borg Invasion 4-D attraction, which used state-of-the-art amusement technology where guests experienced an encounter with the Borg. Star Trek: The Experience was operated by entertainment management company Cedar Fair after its June 2006 purchase of Paramount Parks from the CBS Corporation. It closed in September 2008, and was scheduled to reopen in the Neonopolis Mall on May 8, 2009, in time for the premiere of the Star Trek film. It was then pushed back to 2010, and then in 2011 it was announced that they had lost the license.
Star Tours was a motion simulator attraction at several Disney theme parks, based on the successful Star Wars film series created by George Lucas. Set in the Star Wars universe, the attraction sent guests on an excursion trip to Endor, whilst being caught in an altercation between the New Republic and an Imperial Remnant. The attraction featured Captain "Rex" RX-24 along with series regulars R2-D2 and C-3PO.
SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment specializes in high-tech entertainment systems, films, film technologies, film-based software, Simulation Hardware Systems and services. The company has partnerships with various institutions, parks, and destinations.
A motion simulator or motion platform is a mechanism that creates the feelings of being in a real motion environment. In a simulator, the movement is synchronised with a visual display of the outside world (OTW) scene. Motion platforms can provide movement in all of the six degrees of freedom (DOF) that can be experienced by an object that is free to move, such as an aircraft or spacecraft:. These are the three rotational degrees of freedom and three translational or linear degrees of freedom.
Shrek 4-D is a 4D simulator ride attraction with motion-based effects and water sprayers located at various theme parks around the world. It is currently shown at Universal Parks & Resorts in Florida, Japan, Singapore, and previously in Hollywood, where it closed on August 13, 2017 to make way for the DreamWorks Theatre attraction. Outside the Universal parks, the movie was shown at Movie Park Germany in Germany from May 2008 until July 2011, and Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia from September 2005 until August 2010. A spin-off attraction titled Donkey's Photo Finish is located at the Florida venue while Meet Shrek and Donkey is located at the Hollywood venue. In Universal Studios Japan, the attraction is shown in the same theater as Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, with the Shrek 4-D film shown for the first half of the day, and the Sesame Street film shown for the second half of the day.
Mission: Space is a space-themed pavilion and attached centrifugal motion simulator attraction located on the eastern side of Future World at Epcot, a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. The attraction simulates what an astronaut might experience aboard a spacecraft on a mission to Mars, from the higher g-force of liftoff to the speculative hypersleep. The pavilion includes a gift shop titled Mission Space: Cargo Bay, an interactive children's play area called the Advanced Training Lab, and a restaurant titled Space 220.
Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast was a simulator ride at Universal Studios Florida that replaced The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera based on the 2001 movie Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and it is set to take place after the events of the film. The story line revolved around Ooblar, from the Yolkian planet that has stolen Jimmy's newest rocket creation, the Mark IV. Jimmy, along with his best friend Carl and robotic canine, Goddard, invite the audience to give chase in other rockets through the worlds and sound stages of the Nicktoons.
The Action Theater, is a motion simulator ride that debuted in 1993. It is found at several Cedar Fair amusement parks including California's Great America, Carowinds, and Kings Dominion, and formerly Canada's Wonderland and Kings Island. The attraction was previously known as "Paramount Action F/X Theater" before being renamed following the purchase of the Paramount Parks chain by Cedar Fair in 2006.
The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera was a simulator ride at Universal Studios Florida and one of the park's original attractions. The story line was that Dick Dastardly and Muttley have kidnapped Elroy Jetson, Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo give chase and the audience is in for the ride of their lives. The attraction opened in 1990 and was removed in 2002.
D-BOX Technologies Inc., informally known as D-BOX, is a publicly traded haptic motion technology company based in Longueuil, Quebec. The company designs and manufactures motion and haptic systems for entertainment, simulation and training industries. As of July 2019, D-BOX seats were located at over 700 movie screens in 40 countries.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is an attraction located at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. Set in the Star Wars universe, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue takes passengers on a turbulent trip across the galaxy, as droids C-3PO and R2-D2 attempt to safely return a spy to the Rebel Alliance.
Europe in the Air was a motion simulator ride located at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, a theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia. The attraction was similar in both ride and production to that of Disney's Soarin' Over California and Star Tours. Because of the theming of the park, Europe in the Air simulated flight over Europe's most notable icons. The park stated the picture is "eight times clearer than HD." Other features, such as fans, were used for a more realistic journey. Europe in the Air replaced the Corkscrew Hill ride for the 2010 season. It was previously sponsored by Aer Lingus.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a computer-animated simulator ride attraction located at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios Beijing, as well as upcoming to Universal Studios Singapore. The attraction is based on Universal Pictures and Illumination's animated film Despicable Me (2010) and its franchise, employing the use of 3D high-definition digital animation. While it is an opening day attraction in Beijing, it replaced Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast in Florida, T2-3D: Battle Across Time in Hollywood, Back to the Future: The Ride in Japan and will replace Madagascar: A Crate Adventure in Singapore.
Batman Adventure: The Ride is the name for a series of Batman-themed motion simulator rides installed at various Warner Bros.-branded parks around the world. The ride was first installed at Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast, Australia in 1992, before being installed at Warner Bros. Movie World in Bottrop, Germany and Parque Warner Madrid in Madrid, Spain in 1996 and 2002, respectively. The installations in Germany, Australia and Spain later closed in 2004, 2011 and 2014, respectively.
A virtual reality simulator is the equipment that is used for human immersion in virtual reality with the purpose of entertainment of the public. A virtual amusement in the strict sense can not be considered a computer with a virtual reality glasses (helmet) and game content. Attractions of virtual reality besides hardware and software use the additional means to enhance the immersion effect, for example, water spray, the effect of wind, vibration, physical motion etc. The same technique was used in the X-d cinema, but there are two significant differences between them and simulators of virtual reality:
Star Wars: Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run is a motion simulator attraction, based on the Star Wars film series created by George Lucas. Located in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the attraction opened on May 31, 2019 in Disneyland, and opened on August 29, 2019 in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
A Flying Theater is a themed entertainment technology and adjacent show style. It is a type of simulator ride which consists of one or several motion systems and a large screen. This type of attraction is also known as Panoramic Flying Theaters. The illusion of flight is created through motion that is synchronized with a film. Sound and special effects are combined with the film to create realistic flying experiences.