So yesterday I submitted my PhD thesis – a show of the 3.5 years of hard work I have devoted to science. To celebrate, i treated myself to Alton Towers! For those that don’t know, Alton Towers is the largest theme park in the UK and just last week they launched the first UK virtual reality ride – GALACTICA. I went to test it out and I thought I’d share with you my experience.
Luckily for me, I visited the attraction on a quiet day so the queues were non-existent. I was super excited so walked hastily through the queue line, at which point a photograph (typical of all roller coasters) is the first thing that you do – you get superimposed as an astronaut!
When its time to get on the ride, the restraint comes down and you have to put on the VR headset. It’s not exactly the most comfortable thing I’ve worn since it feels quite heavy, however the adjustment on the back of your head ensures it stays on and its also attached to the restraint. My first thoughts were that it isn’t very clear but you can adjust the focus specifically for your eyes.
Before you know it, the floor disappears, you are pivoted to lie face down and a woman’s voice begins to speak – you are in a future world – 3010 to be exact and are about to go on a trip around the Universe. In preparation for the flight you fly around a futuristic city with droids and drones all over the place, it was just so amazing.
You go through a portal, (where the icy mist spray just intensifies the whole experience) and end up flying though an asteroid belt, seeing the birth of a star, visiting an icy world and it was all just so unbelievably beautiful!
Overall the entire experience made me feel really emotion. I really enjoyed it, I felt like I was in space and it made me envious that I don’t live in that futuristic era where people can easily visit different worlds.
If you get the chance to I would definitely recommend you to go try out this ride, unfortunately its quite short but I think this really is a game changer and hope to see more virtual reality experiences in the future. With it, we can do almost anything that we ever wanted to do – travel through space and time, visit dinosaurs, fall into a black hole…. the opportunities are endless!