MAGAZINE: Alton Towers launches world's first rollercoaster dedicated to virtual reality

In a ground breaking move set to revolutionise the world of theme parks, Alton Towers Resort has launched a rollercoaster entirely dedicated to virtual reality, a sensational world first.

A rollercoaster entirely dedicated to virtual reality, a sensational world first SUS-160324-090424001
A rollercoaster entirely dedicated to virtual reality, a sensational world first SUS-160324-090424001

Set to open today (March 24), Galactica is the world’s first rollercoaster entirely customised for the full virtual reality experience, transforming riders into astronauts and plunging them into outer space with a G force more powerful than a real rocket launch.*

The exhilarating new ride experience uniquely combines the physical exertion and adrenaline rush of Alton Towers Resort’s iconic flying rollercoaster, with the breathtaking emotive experience of travelling through space.

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Cutting edge technology launches riders in a different world, complete with virtual space suits, stunning visuals and an exciting space adventure. The visuals have been perfectly synchronised to the thrilling twists, turns and loops of the rollercoaster to recreate the sensation of hurtling through space. Visitors will ride in a prone position along the 840-metre long (2,760 ft) track, to recreate the feeling of flying.

Galactica’s epic space theme is set to be hugely popular following Sussex astronaut Tim Peake’s maiden voyage into space in December 2015. Its stunning, high-quality visuals deliver an immersive experience that feels breathtakingly realistic. Space exploration will continue to dominate the news agenda in 2016 with a NASA mission to Mars and a spacecraft landing on Jupiter, a journey that has taken five years.

Each rider wears a specialist VR headset. Through this, an on-board artificial intelligence guides them from the launch pad up into space, flying and looping beyond the stars, banking through wormholes and speeding across undiscovered galaxies, revealing the wonders of the cosmos in stunning clarity.

Speaking of the new attraction, Gill Riley, Marketing Director at Alton Towers Resort said: “Galactica uses ground breaking technology to give riders a breathtaking and completely unique rollercoaster experience. Tim Peake captured the imagination of millions of Brits last year when he set off on his mission to the International Space Station – and now our visitors can become astronauts too.

“There is nowhere else in the world that people can experience the feeling of a flying rollercoaster combined with soaring through the universe. For two minutes, our guests will be transported into space and we believe Galactica showcases the future for theme parks around the world – it’s a complete game changer!”

Galactica is located in the Forbidden Valley area of the theme park. The launch follows earlier news of its Rollercoaster Restaurant, which opens in May.


· Total G-force: 3.5 G’s

· Track length: 840 metres

· Height of drop: 20 metres

· Ride duration: 189 seconds

· Maximum speed: 75km per hour

· Capacity per car: 28 passengers

· Capacity per hour: 1500 passengers