The Benefits of Adding Augmented and Virtual Reality to Amusement Parks

03 October 2022 09:00

A large part of what amusement parks do is take us to another world, they create the illusion of magic! They trick our brains with actors and elaborate buildings, props, and storylines to make us feel we've left our day-to-day reality.

This is also exactly what AR and VR help achieve. AR takes our current reality and more specifically, what we see, and augment it with information or entertainment elements. VR takes us completely out of our current reality and introduces us to entirely new worlds. Therefore, it is more than plausible that AR and VR will become central to the future operations of amusement parks.

AR and Amusement Parks

Augmented reality (AR) uses digital elements to create an enhanced version of the physical world. The technology utilizes its surroundings while also adding enhanced features that play with the five senses. Pokemon Go is a popular example of AR technology. When the app was first released the world was abound with magic as people flocked the outdoors to become real life pokemon catchers and trainers.

Now, how can AR help enhance the user experience in amusement parks? The first is a digital tour guide. Through Augmented Reality, amusement parks are able to guide visitors step by step through the park to ensure they get the ultimate experience, similar to how a real-life in-person tour guide would. Social Bee is an example of an app doing just that. With the Social Bee app, users can engage in guided tours and extra special effects.

Immersive story-telling is also a new frontier into amusement parks that AR can provide.

Here are the primary ways in which AR can be used in amusement parks. Imagine that the storyline for a ride or a section of the theme park is brought to life. For example, characters can become more real with animations, songs, and more. Entire productions can appear to be happening right in front of the visitor, even though there are no actors or characters physically present. Perfect for business in a covid world. Amusement parks are all about having fun. So, why not gamify the amusement park experience to incentivize and challenge visitors to get the most out of their visit.

AR can also help park attendees with real-time routing & personalization. It's no secret that lines are a part of amusement parks. With AR tours within Social Bee, visitors can be routed through the park  based on their individual interests and the wait times they're expected to stand in line for each attraction. And finally, AR can add real-life magic and games to the amusement park experience.

VR and Amusement Parks

A little different than AR, virtual reality (VR) immerses users, allowing them to "inhabit" an entirely different environment altogether. This environment is not physically the user’s own environment, but a virtual one created and rendered by computers. Users can be immersed in an animated scene or an actual location that has been photographed and embedded in a virtual reality app. Through a virtual reality viewer, users can look up, down, or any which way, as if they were actually there.

Virtual Reality has the potential to boost online sales by creating a truly immersive experience that makes prospective visitors feel like they're really there. This unique approach will pull in prospective customers and get them excited about what they can experience at the park.

VR can also be a part of amusement park attractions. For many parks, having a VR component to an attraction can create a deeper connection with the visitor. Imagine Disney land's new "Star Wars Land" has a VR experience that takes the visitor aboard a "starship" where the visitor can co-pilot with Luke as he takes down the Death Star. Everything is possible with VR.

Are These Ideas Cost-Effective?

The answer is simple, It is absolutely cost-effective for amusement park owners to implement AR and VR technology. These technologies will drive additional revenue streams. And through innovative solutions such as Social Bee, Amusement parks can create their own self-guided tours and scavenger hunts at no cost!

For more elaborate AR/VR experiences there will be some initial investments to model and animate characters. With the increasing adoption of digital transformation across all industries, there are more AR/VR designers and developers today than there were even just a year ago. The field is growing exponentially and offers park owners a plethora of new and innovative designs to work with.

The future of AR and VR and what they can do for amusement parks is something to be excited about! These emerging technologies can help create magic, and enhance the user experience, offering an unforgettable adventure.