Guests at Wisconsin’s Wilderness Resort are getting a unique aerial view of U.S. National Parks, national landmarks, and more onboard the new FlyRide “Take Flight” aerial adventure ride. Developed by SimEx-Iwerks, the ride uses four Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projectors with Christie Mystique, a camera-based multi-projector alignment and blending system.
Wilderness Resort is located on over 600 acres of forest, where guests can stay at three properties, enjoy golf, indoor and outdoor waterparks, dining, and a range of activities for the whole family. “Take Flight” opened in September 2020 expanding the list of exciting activities for guests to enjoy.
“Take Flight” begins as guests enter an airport-themed lobby, with “windows” looking out onto the National Parks. Guests are then queued at an “airport” featuring airplane seats, before entering the ride. The ride seats 60, accommodating five people on each ride vehicle. As the ride begins, the doors in front open, revealing an immersive five-story partial dome. Guest’s feet dangle as they’re surrounded by the immense dome, creating the illusion of flying.
To help create this sense of immersion, SimEx-Iwerks, which specializes in branded cinematic experiences, selected four Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projectors with Christie Mystique- Large Scale Experience (LSE) Edition. Brian Ferguson, senior vice-president, Technology and Operations, SimEx-Iwerks, noted that RGB pure laser was selected because “it offers a sharper image and better color.”
Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projectors feature a compact, all-in-one design with 45,000 lumens and 4K resolution, and produce greater than 95-percent of the Rec.2020 color space for rich, vibrant visuals.
“We needed projectors that we could orient into abnormal positions to get the proper coverage in the three-dimensional dome,” said Doug Wildeboer, AV engineering manager, SimEx-Iwerks. “We needed to angle them down and on their sides. It was absolutely required, and the project would not have been possible with any projector that wasn’t omnidirectional.”
SimEx-Iwerks used Christie Mystique—LSE Edition, a camera-based, automated, multi-projector alignment and blending solution, to ensure that the projectors remained aligned and the image perfect. “One of the decisions we’ve made as a company is to deploy systems that offer autocalibration, so if the whole system is moved it can be put back in place,” Wildeboer said. “The operator can run the routine and lock the system back into the same condition as when we left it.
“At Wilderness Resort, we have a very complex screen. It’s a partial dome screen, and instead of relying on our eyes to try to align the system, Mystique is incredible at being able to do that by the numbers. We have LED markers around the edge of the screen, so if a camera is jarred, the markers will light up and let the system know exactly where the screen is. That removes operator error or intervention with recalibrating the system.” The recalibration process can be run in about 10 minutes with a single button press.
“We’re thrilled to have worked with SimEx-Iwerks on another successful FlyRide,” said Doug Boyer, senior account manager, Entertainment, Christie. “SimEx-Iwerks is known for creating world-class immersive attractions, and ‘Take Flight’ is no exception.”
The response to the new attraction has been overwhelmingly positive, with both guests and Wilderness Resort thrilled with the FlyRide.