According to sources at BizJournals.com, Universal could be working on the next big idea for theme park attractions, a merge with video games.
A new patent filed says that players could change the direction of their ride experience based on decisions they make using controllers such as wheels, joysticks or wands. The use of wands could be coincidental here but I very much doubt it, could be the early signs of a brand new Harry Potter attraction.
What’s also interesting here is the mention of wheels, I am wondering that Universal may have several attractions in the works with this new patent and that Mario Kart may also be on the radar. Don’t forget that huge land purchase Universal made in the Orlando area and the partnership that exists with Nintendo that is still to come to fruition in the Orlando area.
You can check out the patent image below:
What adds even more fuel to the fire of a new Harry Potter attraction is that the patent uses an example of a players score being updated if an effective spell has been used, the freezing spell is one given as an example. The patent also suggests riders using different wands associated with characters and that guests could use wands at different points of the ride to score points.
This new technology also seems to be able to react depending on the demographic of the guests riding it. A direct quote here:
The interactive game ride may also provide the benefit of a dynamic narrative that changes in response to interest from the game players. For example, if a family with small children is participating in the ride, the game may receive input on the player ages to select appropriate game environments
While it is fair to say that this patent could never see the light of day, I think you will agree that Universal are going to be mad not to be bringing this in some capacity to a theme park ride in the future. There are rumours that Universal are already considering the closure of Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure (something I will be talking about later in the week), perhaps this is going to be the replacement?
Thoughts and comments on this patent welcomed as always in the comments below!