Alton Towers announces first VR rollercoaster

On track for April launch.

UK theme park Alton Towers has announced a new rollercoaster passengers ride while wearing virtual reality headsets.

Someone's been playing Lego Dimensions.

Galactica is designed to give its riders the experience of a rocket launch and a journey into space.

The VR-equipped ride, described by Alton Towers as a world first, is set to launch in April.

Each trip on Galactica lasts just over three minutes, during which passengers will experience up to 3.5G - around 0.5G more than astronauts experience during an actual rocket liftoff.

It is the first new attraction to open at Alton Towers since 16 guests were hurt in an accident on the Smiler rollercoaster last June. Two passengers required leg amputations due to the extent of their injuries.

Park visitor numbers have since plummeted, and 190 staff were let go in the months following the incident.

Alton Towers has now said it will close its doors on quiet weekdays to help make up for the fall in visitor numbers.

The idea to mix VR and rollercoasters has been around for a while. One team, Coaster VR, team showed off their early work with the idea using a prototype Oculus Rift kit back in the summer of 2014.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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