EXCLUSIVE: Dynamic Attractions shows us 1st all-terrain dark ride test vehicle

By Allison Walker Torres, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 4:45 PM EST

Spectrum News 13 got an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into how thrill rides are created.

  • Exclusive look at all-terrain dark ride test vehicle
  • Dynamic Attractions shows how thrill rides are created
  • Nearly 400 people on the global team

Dynamic Attractions is a global team of nearly 400 people who design theme park attractions. Letting folks inside of their super-secure Orlando facility is not common. In fact, only a few dozen of carefully selected individuals from IAAPA were invited in there this past November.

But we got to explore the space to check out various ride vehicles and prototypes, including one that was announced at IAPPA.

"This is the world's first and, at the moment, the world's only all-terrain dark ride," Dynamic Attractions' George Walker said.

Walker and his team took us to their custom outdoor test track, just a few steps from their front door. A single test vehicle was out there, something that began as a simple wooden prototype (see image in gallery above).

"This is a traditional dark ride vehicle," he said. "In the theme park vocabulary, that means it's not a ferris wheel, it's not a roller coaster. It's a thing that takes you past stuff that you get to see or interact with."

The vehicle, though, isn't bound by tracks or rails. The attraction can fit any story too, whether it takes place outdoors, inside or both.

"What if there were flame effects, or you were behind a waterfall," Walker said, referring to the doorless, cageless exterior of the vehicle. "Or there was T-Rex coming at you!"

If you think of a roller coaster vehicle, you'd never sell it separately from the track. Same thing here for interested buyers -- the all-terrain vehicle would be coupled with the theming.

"We've very scientifically calculated the right angle of pitch, the right distance between where the tire will hit the bump," he said.

The all-terrain dark ride is fully-developed, meaning it's no longer going through design. Like other theme park industry rides, each time one is ordered, it must be built, go through factory acceptance testing and then be installed.

As far as potential buyers, a spokesman told Spectrum News 13, "We have a surprising amount of interest; orders are imminent. Unfortunately, I can’t share from where."