Iconic Big Apple roller coaster, rechristened Tunnel Twister at Esselworld

Apr 06, 2018, 11:14 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

City amusement park's iconic 'Big Apple' roller coaster, rechristened 'Tunnel Twister', gets a virtual reality makeover

The iconic 'Big Apple' roller coaster now goes by the name Tunnel TwisterThe iconic 'Big Apple' roller coaster now goes by the name Tunnel Twister

Remember the green caterpillar-like roller coaster that's been at Essel World since forever? Well, that just got a technological makeover. For the last fortnight, trial runs for the iconic 'Big Apple' roller coaster have been taking place at the amusement park, but with a twist: now, ride enthusiasts will be given headgear that logs them into a virtual reality (VR) experience for the duration of the ride. Yesterday, the ride, now renamed 'Tunnel Twister', was inaugurated and thrown open to the public.

Essel World CEO Shirish Deshpande told mid-day how they expect this makeover to pull in student crowd during the upcoming summer vacation. "We are optimistic that this ride will pull in a lot of new customers," he said, adding that the process of installing and synchronising the VR with the roller coaster had been going on for more than a year. "Currently, there is a 20 per cent footfall conversion, which was already happening during the trial phase - meaning 20 per cent of our visitors opted to try the ride out.

The virtual reality film of the ride is designed and developed by German company Mack Ride. It takes its riders through a tunnel journey with five characters - Andy, Mimi, Riki, Mayur, and Mithu, along with VR visuals that align with drops, twists, and turns. The two-minute roller coaster can accommodate 12 adults or 24 children at a time. "The VR is synchronised with the movement of the roller coaster, so that people can experience what they see through their headsets," said Deshpande, adding that although they only had one film to show through VR at the moment, more films would come in the near future.

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