Fernando Medroa, Walibi Belgium (pictured): 4D goes further than 3D; it immerses the audience in the heart of the movie with numerous effects including moving seats, water sprays, air blasts, soap bubbles and light effects.
It’s a global experience, unique to the theme parks, that the spectator in a classic cinema cannot experience. Walibi is currently showing SpongeBob SquarePants 4D, but I think the development of 3D can only be a good thing for the amusement industry as it will force the sector to innovate.
Peter Ronchetti, Legoland California: Not at all, in fact as the 3D/4D experience becomes more mainstream it can only encourage the production companies to come up with even more creative and imaginative ideas! Our film offerings such as the new A Clutch Powers 4D Adventure and Bob the Builder and the Roller Coaster are tailored to our core audience of two to 12-year-old children and their families. They are thrilling, interactive and run for less then 12 minutes. We take 3D computer generated animation and add special effects such as wind, mist and smoke in the theatre for a 4D effect our guests can’t get in regular movie theatres. Plus, since our 4D movies are experienced as part of a full day of fun at Legoland California, being just one of more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, they aren’t meant to clash or compete with the kind of two to three hour movie experience available in public movie theatres.
Paul Paik, Samsung Everland, South Korea: Actually, I think they tell us we are ahead of the game. We installed our first digital 3D/4D theatre in 2003, when we retrofitted an existing 2D motion base theatre. It provided a great, pioneering experience, and I remember people around me saying that digital theatres, especially 3D theatres, could never be realised. Since 3D technology has been in the theme park environment for quite a while, I would say that even in a regular movie theatre it gives people a taste of what they can expect at the park, and that only makes us look good. Outside of the park, our parent company is also ahead of the game, and has developed a pioneering, state-of-the-art 3D TV set. When you need to be part of the action, 3D provides an immersive experience. Now that the World Cup is on in South Africa, 3D TV is the next best thing to being there for us many miles away in Korea!
John Reilly, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, USA: The move into 3D/4D technology by mainstream theatres has helped boost ratings for attractions here at Busch Gardens, according to in-park guest satisfaction surveys. In fact, ratings for the park’s 3D/4D attractions are the highest they’ve been in years. A 4D production like Sesame Street’s Lights, Camera, Imagination offers guests an experience beyond what they get at a mainstream theatre. As well as the movie, the attraction also includes live interactions between guests and characters as well as themed elements that complete the guest experience.