Secret alien laboratory, UFO experimental area or secret US government base – numerous rumors are circulating about the mysterious restricted military zone Area 51. Now it is high time to dispel these stories! From now on, visitors to Movie Park Germany will be able to get to the bottom of the legendary restricted area and explore its secrets themselves at the newly designed water attraction “Area 51 – Top Secret”. In keeping with the summer holidays, Germany’s largest film and amusement park is now giving a popular family classic a new shine with the detailed re-thematization of the former “Bermuda Triangle”. With a new preshow, new music, numerous effects and detailed theming, the Park is sure to provide lots of extraterrestrial fun – refreshments included!
“With today’s opening of ‘Area 51 – Top Secret’ we are presenting all our visitors with another season highlight. This attraction has been one of the most popular rides since the Park’s beginnings. We are thus particularly fond of this project, and the ride’s refurbishment is an essential part of our quality strategy. We are proud of the result and look forward to taking our visitors on a new exciting journey to one of the most mysterious places in the world”, says Managing Director Thorsten Backhaus.
The popular family ride – unique in Europe with its dimensions on an area of more than 4,000 sqm and the mixture of darkride and water ride – does not only involve a new storyline. The external redesign of the attraction also takes visitors directly to Groom Lake in the Nevada desert, where the famous restricted US military area is located. The idea and concept came from Movie Park Germany’s own creative department, which developed it in close cooperation with the IMAmedia team.
Discovery tour at Groom Lake: revealing the secret of Area 51
The attraction takes visitors back to the 1950s. The military area around Area 51 is a big secret for the population; rumours about supernatural life forms at Groom Lake have become louder and louder. Do aliens really work there for the US government? Are alien spaceships housed there? Access to the area is usually top secret! However, due to the persistent rumors, the US government, together with the Department of Defence, is organizing the first official open day for the public to visit the Air Force Base, designed to provide more transparency for the population. During this mysterious journey, visitors will be able to find out for themselves just how much truth is behind the stories.
Doesn’t yet sound mysterious enough? Guests can look forward to the ride’s new, epic musical identity, composed by IMAscore, which will accompany them during their discovery tour. The IMAscore team recorded the theme of “Area 51 – Top Secret” with real instruments. The dramaturgy of the attraction has also been completely redesigned musically and is based on a movie of this genre with a calm introduction, nerve-racking tension in the main part and the epic finale when the boat returns to Groom Lake Air Force Base after a mysterious adventure.
Extraterrestrial fun for everyone: for old fans and new visitors
A supernatural amount of dedication is shown in the musical arrangements: for the attraction, 60 new media files were created and more than 30 minutes of music were composed. A total of 20 SFX sound effects were used in “Area 51 – Top Secret”, including the original sound files of the Bermuda Triangle as remastered versions. Not only in the 13 video files, which were specially produced with professional actors, there are “Easter Eggs”, which fans of the attraction can explore on the grounds of the newly themed area. The radio reports are also full of allusions to the old attraction. They also feature original facts about Groom Lake Air Force Base, such as names of landing strips and aircraft types, and were recorded by well-known dubbing actors in the USA.
“The entire set and design now fit the storyline even better. From the new preshow to the scenes in the attraction itself, we have freshened up the content and design of the attraction and breathed new life into it”, sums up Project Manager Manuel Prossotowicz. “In addition, we have also redone numerous effects and sounds to offer visitors a spectacular overall experience. We have overhauled the aliens already used for the ride. Of course, they are still the main actors of the ride and should not be left out in ‘Area 51’”.
Welcome to the US Air Force Base! Original props and detailed design for an authentic experience
To make the attraction as authentic as possible, numerous props and even genuine military items from the US Air Force were used: starting with the 100 percent true-to-original replicas of the Area 51 warning signs, a 1:3 scale military aircraft, typical US power poles, a surveillance tower or the typical Willy US military jeeps. Original military camp beds from 1950, original components of a US jet and genuine aircraft parts complete the attraction. One eye-catching highlight is also a 300 sqm original US Army parachute, normally used to make heavy loads and jeeps sail to the ground. Movie Park Germany not only redesigned the turntable and the boats of the ride in terms of colour but also completely overhauled and adapted them to the theme of the US Air Force Base. The design and color schemes selected by the project team are strictly based on the original colors of the period. Since the Air Force base is located in the Nevada desert, the former volcano has also been adapted to the storyline and now boasts a new, red shine – matching the stones and rocks in the American desert – and has been given the typical mine entrance look of the region.
“In addition to many local companies, a large part of the redesigning process was carried out by the Movie Park Germany team itself. We are particularly proud of this”, Backhaus emphasizes. The most important cooperation partner in the decorative redesign of the outdoor area was also the Dutch company Props NL, which made the large decorative elements for the Park, such as the jeeps and military aircraft, a reality. The company also supported the construction of the horror attraction “The Walking Dead® Breakout” and “Star Trek™: Operation Enterprise” in the past.
“Redesigning the attraction will enable us to reach our target group very effectively. The ride has always been a popular destination for families. Thanks to the thematic and creative refresh, we will now be able to present them with a new highlight in the summer and provide them with the right refreshment”, Backhaus says, summing up the changes. “With ‘Area 51 – Top Secret’, we have also come up with a subject that still raises many questions and provides a topic for discussion. The idea of supernatural life forms has already been taken up in numerous films and thus fits perfectly with our DNA as a film park.”