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How we use VR to design themed attractions and experiences

Virtual reality has long been considered a game-changer for both in-home entertainment and rides, such as rollercoasters and waterslides. But with its ability to immerse viewers in a new world, no matter where they are located, virtual reality (VR) can also be used to revolutionise the design process of actual themed attractions and experiences.

Here at Katapult, we’ve used VR extensively for three years to aide the creative development of theme park zones and queue lines, family entertainment centres (FECs), landmark attractions, outdoor experiences and many more attractions.

Example of our work

This is an example of an attraction we designed for LEGOLAND Discovery Centres. Use your cursor or fingers to view the 3D design. You will be able to pan 360-degrees, as well as click on the camera icons to see another viewpoint.

We build our attraction designs in 3D environments which can be viewed in a virtual reality headset, or as an interactive on-screen video. Over this time, we have witnessed many benefits for our clients, suppliers and other project stakeholders.

#1 – Greater team alignment

With many companies and individuals involved in creating a new attraction or experience, having a tool that is able to provide greater alignment and quicker decision-making, is important. With access to the 3D environment within a VR headset:

  • Our clients can view the project ‘for real’ without construction starting
  • Suppliers can understand the project vision and highlight issues earlier
  • IP owners can see their brand in situ providing quicker sign-off

#2 – Guest-centric design

With the ability to ‘walk’ around the 3D designs and see the attraction from any angle, VR gives us the ability to make sure no stone is left unturned in creating an immersive experience. We’re able to:

  • See designs from various heights, to better understand a child’s perspective, for example
  • Create a guest flow that works operationally, just as much as it entertains
  • See opportunities for additional experiences and design assets

#3 – Greater creativity

With the ability to see our attraction designs in virtual reality, we’re able to be more curious and create even greater themed experiences. We can:

  • Play with colours, layouts and other facets to choose the best options
  • See how one experience looks in multiple locations around the world
  • Review all design assets together from rides, to floor graphics

More Detail

Our Co-Founders Dawn Foote and Phil Higgins took to the virtual stage last year at Blooloop V-Expo to discuss the use of virtual reality to aid the design of themed attractions. You can watch the webinar again below.

More on VR to design themed attractions

Over the course of the year, we will be showcasing more of our themed attraction designs that we’ve built using virtual reality. Join our monthly newsletter today to get our latest content straight to your inbox.

Robbie
Jones

Robbie Jones is our Insights Analyst Lead, providing data-driven audience and market trends, to assist the design team in creating and delivering world-class experiences. As an experienced copywriter, Robbie is also our chief content creator - helping shape the narrative of the guest experience and tell stories with the panache and magic they deserve. His copywriting for London Dungeons, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds are personal highlights.