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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Exclusive: Merlin creative director reveals new details about Derren Brown attraction coming to Thorpe Park in 2016

Paul Moreton, global creative director for Merlin Magic Making at Merlin Entertainments has exclusively revealed to Attractions Management new details about Derren Brown’s new ride at Thorpe Park, which will use a number of modern and traditional techniques to create an experience right from the mind of the master illusionist.

Touted as a ghost train reinvented for the 21st Century, the age-restricted Derren Brown’s Ghost Train will incorporate grand illusion, live action, next-generation technology, 4D special effects and physical transit to create an experience unlike any other.

“We’ve taken the ghost train as an inspiration,” said Moreton speaking exclusively to Attractions Management. “The thing we love about a good ghost train is creating that sense of being scared, but laughing at the same time. We’re trying to capture that element and we thought it was about time we took that standard, that Victorian product which has been around 200 years or so, and gave it a 21st century makeover. It’s Derren’s interpretation of that.”

Upon entering the 2,300sq m (25,000sq ft) warehouse encompassing the ride, guests will encounter a large disused Victorian warehouse, which in its centre will have a 20 metre (65 foot) -long, seven tonne Victorian train carriage suspended in mid air by iron chains.

Little detail has been revealed about what will actually take place within the attraction. What is known is the ride is designed to leave guests questioning where their perception ends and where reality begins.

“Like with Derren’s show, he doesn’t really want everyone to say what happens so they can experience it for themselves because the less you know, the more you will get out of it,” said Moreton.

“Just like Derren’s shows we’re playing with your mind, making you question what’s real and what’s not. When the ride ends, we want you to come away with a thought-provoking experience. Did that happen? Did that not happen? That is the new generation experience we are talking about and that’s what will make it very unique.”

Moreton revealed that virtual reality would be one of the elements used to create the illusions, using an HTC Vive headset within the train. He was keen to stress however that the attraction is not a VR experience.

It’s not the same as our launch of Glactica at Alton Towers last week,” he said. “We’re using that to enhance the experience but crucially it’s just one element of several which are all equally as important as each other.”

One of the attraction’s key elements, is that each rider will have a unique experience. On the 10-15 minute ride, there are 12 possible journeys to get to two alternate endings. Dependant on choices made, each individual rider will encounter a different path as they go through the experience.

“If you and I went on the attraction together, you would probably experience something different to what I did,” said Moreton. “You may come out and say ‘did that happen to you’ and I’ll respond ‘no this happened instead’.”

“I firmly believe that this kind of multi-sensory, mind blowing attraction represents a glimpse of what the future holds for theme parks the world over,” said Derren Brown.

“Akin to my shows, I ask that when you board the train, the secrets remain mine and yours to share and fear, and you don’t spoil the experience by telling others ahead of their visit.

“People should also note that this is not an experience for the faint hearted. But to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to take full advantage of the journey I will send you on, I refuse to reveal any further details past the doors of the carriage.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Paul Moreton, global creative director for Merlin Magic Making at Merlin Entertainments has exclusively revealed to Attractions Management new details about Derren Brown’s new ride at Thorpe Park, which will use a number of modern and traditional techniques to create an experience right from the mind of the master illusionist.
TAW,VAT
THUMB7199_741474.jpg
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Exclusive: Merlin creative director reveals new details about Derren Brown attraction coming to Thorpe Park in 2016

Paul Moreton, global creative director for Merlin Magic Making at Merlin Entertainments has exclusively revealed to Attractions Management new details about Derren Brown’s new ride at Thorpe Park, which will use a number of modern and traditional techniques to create an experience right from the mind of the master illusionist.

Touted as a ghost train reinvented for the 21st Century, the age-restricted Derren Brown’s Ghost Train will incorporate grand illusion, live action, next-generation technology, 4D special effects and physical transit to create an experience unlike any other.

“We’ve taken the ghost train as an inspiration,” said Moreton speaking exclusively to Attractions Management. “The thing we love about a good ghost train is creating that sense of being scared, but laughing at the same time. We’re trying to capture that element and we thought it was about time we took that standard, that Victorian product which has been around 200 years or so, and gave it a 21st century makeover. It’s Derren’s interpretation of that.”

Upon entering the 2,300sq m (25,000sq ft) warehouse encompassing the ride, guests will encounter a large disused Victorian warehouse, which in its centre will have a 20 metre (65 foot) -long, seven tonne Victorian train carriage suspended in mid air by iron chains.

Little detail has been revealed about what will actually take place within the attraction. What is known is the ride is designed to leave guests questioning where their perception ends and where reality begins.

“Like with Derren’s show, he doesn’t really want everyone to say what happens so they can experience it for themselves because the less you know, the more you will get out of it,” said Moreton.

“Just like Derren’s shows we’re playing with your mind, making you question what’s real and what’s not. When the ride ends, we want you to come away with a thought-provoking experience. Did that happen? Did that not happen? That is the new generation experience we are talking about and that’s what will make it very unique.”

Moreton revealed that virtual reality would be one of the elements used to create the illusions, using an HTC Vive headset within the train. He was keen to stress however that the attraction is not a VR experience.

It’s not the same as our launch of Glactica at Alton Towers last week,” he said. “We’re using that to enhance the experience but crucially it’s just one element of several which are all equally as important as each other.”

One of the attraction’s key elements, is that each rider will have a unique experience. On the 10-15 minute ride, there are 12 possible journeys to get to two alternate endings. Dependant on choices made, each individual rider will encounter a different path as they go through the experience.

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“I firmly believe that this kind of multi-sensory, mind blowing attraction represents a glimpse of what the future holds for theme parks the world over,” said Derren Brown.

“Akin to my shows, I ask that when you board the train, the secrets remain mine and yours to share and fear, and you don’t spoil the experience by telling others ahead of their visit.

“People should also note that this is not an experience for the faint hearted. But to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to take full advantage of the journey I will send you on, I refuse to reveal any further details past the doors of the carriage.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Paul Moreton, global creative director for Merlin Magic Making at Merlin Entertainments has exclusively revealed to Attractions Management new details about Derren Brown’s new ride at Thorpe Park, which will use a number of modern and traditional techniques to create an experience right from the mind of the master illusionist.
TAW,VAT
THUMB7199_741474.jpg

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