VR on a rollercoaster

Galactica_Logo_Alton_Towers

Alton Towers seems to be refitting Air with Virtual Reality glasses and calling it Galactica?

Alton Towers is to open what it claims is the world’s first rollercoaster that combines a physical ride with virtual reality, giving passengers a “customised journey into space” via headsets that use groundbreaking technology.

The ride, called Galactica, will launch in April and is the first major new ride at the Staffordshire theme park since 16 people were injured, including five seriously, in a rollercoaster crash last June.

Its a nice idea but I’m still unsure if this warrants a yearly pass. I mean I like Air but adding VR doesn’t really justify the yearly price?

I feel if they had added another coaster I might have been more interested but right now, it feels like a compromise. Heck if they had added VR to one time Th13teen, that would have made more sense.

Guess my Alton Towers pass still sits waiting for me to pick it up.

Alton towers smiler crash result

Alton Towers in 2015

Alton towers have finally came back with the results of the tragic alton towers smiler crash in June 2015.

Human error caused the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash in June that seriously injured five people, the Staffordshire theme park has said. Two women – Victoria Balch and Leah Washington – had legs amputated after the Smiler ride hit an empty carriage on 2 June.

seriously injured five people, the Staffordshire theme park has said. Two women – Victoria Balch and Leah Washington – had legs amputated after the Smiler ride hit an empty carriage on 2 June.

Staff misunderstood a shutdown message and wrongly restarted the ride, an investigation by the park confirmed. No technical or mechanical issues were found with the ride itself. The ride, which has been closed since the crash, will reopen next year with improved safety measures.

“A ride shutdown message was misunderstood by staff at the ride,” an Alton Towers spokeswoman said. “This led to a decision to manually restart the ride, overriding the control system without appropriate safety protocols being followed correctly.”

Staff misunderstood a shutdown message and wrongly restarted the ride, an investigation by the park confirmed. No technical or mechanical issues were found with the ride itself. The ride, which has been closed since the crash, will reopen next year with improved safety measures.

“A ride shutdown message was misunderstood by staff at the ride,” an Alton Towers spokeswoman said. “This led to a decision to manually restart the ride, overriding the control system without appropriate safety protocols being followed correctly.”

Human error… The kind from poorly paid late teenage-mid 20s people. Its hardly surprising as the chances of technical malfunction was always super low. The fact it was reset also explains why the failsafe didn’t do what its meant to do.

Humans are sadly the weak link, especially unmotivated, over worked and under paid staff.. I hope they start paying the staff better before the Smiler reopens next year.

“The investigation also identified areas where protocols and the training of employees should be improved. There were found to be no technical or mechanical problems with the ride itself.”

It added that Alton Towers had introduced a number of new safety measures across all its multi-car rollercoasters since the accident. When the Smiler reopens, it will include new safety measures including additional CCTV cameras and an enhanced safety process requiring a senior member of staff to authorise the manual overrides that caused the Smiler crash.

Maybe its time to use that years pass.

To Alton Towers or not to Alton Towers

https://twitter.com/cubicgarden/status/581508394433048577

I have owned a yearly pass for Alton Towers and Thorpe Park theme parks in the UK for a few years now. Its been well used over the last few years. The last time I went was in late March before going to Tokyo.

Soon after I got back, the smiler crashed and everybody and their mum pointed me at the news. Its pretty shocking and it does make you think but to be fair Rollercoasters are not meant to crash in this kind of way.

I did pay for another years pass before this all happened but haven’t picked it up yet (it becomes active once you go to a theme park and use it). I’m not quite sure how I feel about picking up my yearly pass especially since the smiler is still closed and looks to never be back…?

The years pass doesn’t start till I pick it up but I wonder how Alton Towers will react if I decided I wanted my money back?

In reflection, the Japanese way of triple checking everything before letting the train leave the station, is quite sobering to read and think  about. My reaction in light of the smiler accident is slightly changed.

  • Will I be back at Alton Towers at some point? Yes
  • Will I ride the smiler again? Yes but it looks unlikely it will survive
  • Am I upset with the way Alton Towers have handled this whole thing? Yes

Rollercoasters the safest moment of impeding doom

On the eve of me riding the smiler at Alton Towers, I saw this video and thought absolutely! That massive rush of adrenaline I get when riding roller-coasters is so great. Its really makes you feel so alive,  because as they say… Nothing makes you feel more live that being so close to that moment of impeding doom but without over stepping the mark…

We’re either riding or queuing

26x times on Infusion in Blackpool Pleasurebeach? Thats nothing… I hear you say?

Join me, as we celebrate my birthday and…

Live life in the very fast lane, up high above…
That distinctive sound of thunder and screaming,
As we descend downwards like a falling rock.
Before emerging back up to catch some wicked air.
Feel that adrenaline rush as you ride into the unknown,
That ecstasy you only get while riding rollercoasters…

Its my birthday in April and I’m itching to get back to rollercoaster riding…

Join me if you dare, but I warn you I’m totally a hardcore geek about coaster rider and won’t tolerate any messing around looking at the gardens, fooling around with ghost trains or resting to catch your breath…

We’re either riding or in a queue period! (those are the rules…)

Alton Towers is calling me. But I might do Blackpool pleasure beach the day afterwards too. Heck why not?

Got to live and love it, if you want to ride with me… baby 🙂