Hard Rock Park’s mind-bending dark ride
Based on the symphonic rock masterpiece of the same name by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, Nights in White Satin – The Trip is both unique and daring among dark rides.
One of many attractions at the new Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, The Trip was supplied by Sally Corporation. This particular dark ride is not interactive and there are no gags jumping out at riders, rather it is a mind-bending journey that weaves between reality and illusion.Like an LSD trip without the adverse consequences.
It contains an onboard audio track specially re-orchestrated by The Moody Blues to match the length of ride. Blending sights, sounds, smells with and both black light and 3D techniques, it immerses riders in one of rock’s most imaginative and emotional classics across a journey lasting four minutes and 10 seconds.
The Trip employs a total of 20 cars from ETF Ride Systems of The Netherlands, linked in pairs and able to accommodate six passengers each in two rows of three. Each car is accessible to those with disabilities. The ride carries up to 1,200 guests per hour over 718ft of track and past 14 scenes
“The ride is an artistic interpretation of a famous thought-provoking tune that means something different to everyone,” recalls Jon Binkowski, chief creative officer of Hard Rock Park. “Our goal was to choreograph the ride – in time with the music – through different sensory stimuli to let the traveller’s mind go free. Both Sally and the Moody Blues themselves worked very closely with me to create this next generation of dark ride.”
The legacy of the Moody Blues spans the late ’60s to present. The band is one of the top-grossing album and touring groups in existence. Nights in White Satin was first featured on the 1967 album Days of Future Passed.
“The biggest challenge was providing good on-board audio,” confirms Binkowski. “Thanks to JL Audio and a custom-designed 24-volt amplifier system, we were able to provide that music. ETF provided the vehicles that would move in time to the music, and Sally’s creative team really stepped up too. They got into the music and came up with simple, but amazingly effective effects to compliment it. It’s a very cool ride.”