Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Over The Hill and full of thrills!

Adventure Island relaunches dark ride

ritish seaside park Adventure Island, Southend, recently unveiled a new look dark ride just in time for Halloween.

Over The Hill represents a £1 million (€1.27m/$1.67m) revamp of the former Beelzee Bob’s Trail and is hosted by a creepy new character called The Undertaker, who waves guests goodbye as they set off a fear-filled trip to an abandoned cemetery.

The experience was designed by Adventure Island’s head of art and design Paul Clapp together with his brother Martin, who worked on the Oscar-winning short animation Peter and the Wolf.

“Over The Hill has taken a year to complete,” says Paul, “but it’s well worth the wait. It features CGI video projections, lighting special-effects, model animations and a state-of-the- art audio system.”

A number of the effects were produced in association with the design firm Sarner. The attraction’s highlight is a twist on the old ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ illusion. Traditionally glass is used to achieve this effect but can be heavy and difficult to install, so instead Sarner used coated foil to create a half mirror effect and this, combined with projection and 3D set effects, creates lifelike floating holographic images.

“We involved Sarner because we wanted a company with audiovisual show experience and they were able to provide the technical expertise and advice for the various special effects,” reveals Martin Clapp. “Our previous ghost train won Best New UK Attraction in 1999 and we are sure that, with Sarner’s dedication, expertise and valued input, Over The Hill will surpass that.’’

Twenty-five-thousand-metres of cabling and over 100 gallons of paint were used to create the thrilling new attraction.

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