Monday, April 28, 2014
If you're a faithful Disney and more reader you probably know the Futuroscope as i did previously many articles about this french successful theme park, the 3rd in number of guests after Disneyland Paris and the Parc Asterix. Sure, with 1.46 M visitors in 2013 the Futuroscope is not a big threat for DLP and its 14.9M guests, still, with one new attraction each year and often inventive rides the capacity of the Futuroscope to attract new visitors must not be underestimated.
And recently, Dominique Hummel, Futuroscope board president revealed that from now till 2018 the park will invest 50M € to create new attractions and shows. At WDI you can't have a lot with 50M€, but at the Futuroscope with a budget for each new attraction around 12M€, you can create 3 or 4 new attractions with this amount, and generally good ones.
Now, what are their plans up to 2018? Well, two new pavilions as well as a Live show are currently in the creation process. The first thing, in 2015, will be a "futuristic circus" a Live show in the spirit of those of Le Cirque du Soleil and this fun park animation will also approach the theme of technology and science fiction.
In 2018 in an attraction called "Darwin 4" guests will be invited to a space voyage thanks to the famous door of Einstein-Rosen ( as seen in the Stargate movie ). Guests aboard 4 wheels drive vehicles - equipped with plenty of on-ride effects - will move through a long tunnel with 3D projections on each side, up to an attack from extra terrestrial creatures. Sounds to me like something close to the technology used in Universal King Kong 360 3D, but i may be wrong... Anyway, once arrived on the exoplanet guests will be able to have a drink in a space bar, and more...
But the other new ride which interest us particularly is the one scheduled for 2016 as it is a ride which looks very much like one using the same technology than Soarin'. The theme will be a teleportation in the world of Jules Verne, guests up in the air, facing a huge and immersive hemispherical screen, just like in Soarin'. The name of the new pavilion should be "Sky World". Now, as revealed last week by Geoffrey, we know that DLP might have in its plans to open a Soarin' ride at DLP Adventureland in a near future. Sounds strange to have a Soarin' ride in Adventureand but as explained in another article last week the 1940's "Indy" travels storyline could work well in Adventureland. Although Geoffrey didn't had any dates for the opening we also know that Star Tours 2 : The Adventure Continues should come finally at DLP Discoveryland in 2016. As there is no way that DLP also open a Soarin' ride the same year, and as it won't open too in 2015, chances are that the Futuroscope will be the first one to introduce in France a ride using more or less the same technology than Soarin'.
And it's not that DLP hadn't been lucky during the last ten years that no one else in France introduced a "Soarin'" ride... As a matter of fact a "Soarin'" ride concept was proposed to the Futuroscope ten years ago and at that time they could have had it for not more than 10M€, including the filming of the ride movie but with one theater only instead of two like at DCA. No need to say that there is no way to have a Soarin' ride from WDI for 10M€, but at that time it was possible to do it for this price for the Futuroscope. Strangely, the Futuroscope didn't jumped on the idea - and i say "strangely" because a Soarin' ride is exactly something made for the Futuroscope which, since its opening in 1987, has always been the theme park of all kind of projection technologies.
Anyway, ten years ago they didn't did it and thanks to this DLP was not overtake and still can be the first one to introduce a Soarin' ride in France. Which is important as one of the big "wow" in Soarin' is this unique feeling that you're flying like a bird over the scenes. But now, if the Futuroscope open their "Soarin' " ride in 2016 chances are that DLP won't be anymore the first to introduce to french and european guests this wonderful technology.
I suppose this is the risk that can happen when you wait too long...
Top Picture: copyright Futurocope