The Orlando Eye, the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast, has opened as one of the centerpiece attractions of I-Drive 360. I-Drive 360 is the new dining and entertainment destination from Merlin Entertainments PLC on International Drive, Orlando.
Nearly 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, the giant Ferris wheel enables visitors to take in the sights of Orlando and Central Florida from air-conditioned capsules. Before they board the Orlando Eye guests enjoy "The Dream Wheel" 4D theater experience. Pro Sound & Video, Orlando selected Alcorn McBride show control and A/V playback products for the preshow. The company has frequently used Alcorn McBride equipment for projects at the area's major theme parks.
"The Dream Wheel" is a 4.5-minute passive stereo 3D video by Acomb Ostendorf & Associates, which also created the 4D theater facility. In the video a young girl and her father are building a model Ferris wheel when she falls asleep and dreams of something far grander. The content showcases 3D aerial footage of Central Florida with the additional sensory experiences of fireworks, wind, mist, lighting effects and scent.
About 150 visitors can stand in the 4D Theater at one time; it hosts a constant stream of traffic during the daily 10:00am to midnight schedule of The Orlando Eye. When the preshow concludes visitors begin to board the observation wheel's capsules.
"With a number of preshow screenings every day throughout the year we needed equipment that was up to the task," says Pro Sound & Video President, Kelly Prince. "We needed reliability and proven solid state playback; that is Alcorn McBride."
An Alcorn McBride V16Pro was chosen for its frame-accurate show control with 16 I/Os. "It was important that the V16Pro has a timeline feature," says Don Davis, project engineer at Pro Sound & Video. "The show controller drives the 4D effects which have to hit at a certain frame each and every time."
The V16Pro also starts and stops the preshow, opens and closes the theater doors and performs certain maintenance functions. It features a ShowTouch10 interface at the rear of the theater for easy operation. "Ease of use was a big consideration," notes Prince. "We tried to make the ShowTouch button panel layout fairly simple and we built out more advanced features of the maintenance pages."
An Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD 8-channel synchronous audio and video player was chosen to play back the preshow content.
A LightCue-E, DMX recorder/player with Ethernet, controls plays back sequences for the DMX-controllable fans providing 4D wind effects during the preshow. It also handles the dimming and raising of the house lights. Alcorn McBride's IO64, which is often used as an input/output expander, serves here as a stand-alone show controller triggering the 4D scent and mist effects.
At Pro Sound & Video Michael Frazee was the sales engineer for The Orlando Eye and Randy Piveral was the project manager.
About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry's best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company's products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.