Comfortable shoes and good weather won’t matter so much for theme park visits in the future. With a major push from virtual reality, attractions are heading indoors. and parks are going vertical.
In July, Lionsgate Entertainment World, Asia’s first indoor movie theme park, opens in China and is spread across several different floors of a large kidney-shaped structure.
“It's not a completely traditional theme park,” Selena Magill, general manager of Lionsgate World, told Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round. “We're using the term ‘vertical,’ and the reason that our park will be so special is because it's actually indoors. And that allows you to control the environment in ways that traditional theme parks cannot.”
The vertical amusement park will be home to rides from Lionsgate properties, including "Twilight," "Hunger Games," and "Now You See Me."
The "Gods of Egypt" roller coaster is one of the first purpose-built roller coasters with VR technology. “Often, you'll find that an older attraction or an older theme park ride, such as a roller coaster, might have VR retrofit to give a new ride experience. Whereas we've created this one with the specific dynamic idea of it being immediately a VR experience and a VR experience only,’ Magil says.
Traditional theme parks are also making huge investments in new rides driven by powerful tech. From Disney’s billion dollar bet on “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge” to Universal’s $300 million “Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure,” an arms race is on to wow park goers.
Yet, while Disney World stretches over thousands of acres, Lionsgate Entertainment World covers about 230,000 square feet. So don’t expect Disney to move to a vertical building anytime soon, but be on the lookout for more high-tech adventures.
One thing they can’t change: long lines.