Virtual reality (VR) continues to be a trendy topic and attraction in today’s competitive theme park industry. Over the past year, Six Flags announced that it was investing time and resources in the technology, partnering with Samsung to add VR experiences on at least one roller coaster in nine of its North American parks. However, it appears that Six Flags is not stopping there. Just recently, their park outside of Chicago, Six Flags Great America, announced that it was adding VR to its B&M “hyper twist” coaster, Raging Bull later this summer. It appears that this new addition will be the first time that a B&M-designed roller coaster had virtual reality added to it. At the time of its opening in 1999, Raging Bull was quite the roller coaster – a new breed of coaster that was on the horizon. It has continued to serve the park well – offering solid hourly ridership and loads of thrills. However, the rides is getting a little older, so it was time for the park to bring a new element to the ride experience.
About the coaster
Raging Bull takes riders up a lift hill to a height of 202 feet in the air before dropping them 208 feet into a tunnel at speeds of approximately 73 miles per hour. Later in the summer, riders will have the opportunity to experience its 5,057 feet of track while encountering a virtual world unlike any other.
Adding virtual reality to the experience really will interesting to watch. As more and more park guests will be anxious to check out this new ride opportunity, some will be curious how quickly this line moves. B&M coasters are often known to have industry-leading load and dispatch times, offering more rides per hour. On the other hand, adding these VR headsets to many other coasters across the country and the world have slowed down the loading process on those specific rides. With the history of B&M rides churning out more riders per hour than many other similar roller coasters, it will be interesting to see how much (if any) the loading times increase. Also, Raging Bull has been one of the roller coasters that the park offers ride photos on; is this something that Six Flags is removing from this B&M? If not, how much revenue are they losing by selecting it as the VR ride experience in the park? As the new experience offering nears, we’ll be sure to report back. While the specific date when VR will be available to the public on Raging Bull is not yet known, one this is for certain; VR is gaining steam within the amusement park industry.