“We’re here to guide you through your first flight with Mass Relay getaways,” say actors on the video screen. “Vacationing off-world used to be a hassle involving years of planning and traveling…You see, back in the space pioneer days, it used to take decades to get anywhere, let alone another solar system. But now, utilizing mass relay technology, you can arrive at your off-world vacation destination instantly…Once we calculate everyone’s collective mass, we can send you across enormous distances. And speaking of dreamy destinations, how about a look at our new featured location, the tantalizing lands of Terra Nova. Imagine a place designed for pure luxury, a place where all can play and relax in their own unique way.”
This is the introduction guests at California’s Great America theme park see on a video screen before they enter a space vessel. Once inside, they sit down in the theater and put on their 3D glasses to experience Mass Effect New Earth: A 4D Holographic Journey, a feature attraction that opened on May 18. During the journey, guests encounter a spitting dinosaur, colorful laser beams, smoke effects and the bumpiness of the ride from their seats.
“At our park, Mass Effect is based upon an old battleship from the Mass Effect series currently being used in the future for space travel for vacation purposes,” says Roger Ross, public relations manager for California’s Great America. “One stop on our ride is called Terra Nova, an earthlike planet people would visit for a timeshare vacation. But unfortunately in this feature, Terra Nova falls under attack by mutant creatures.”
Cedar Fair, Great America’s parent company, launched two gaming partnerships this year with Electronic Arts (EA). One was a feature called Plants vs. Zombies, implemented in Cedar Fair’s Carowinds Park in the Carolinas. The other is the Mass Effect attraction at Great America.
“Mass Effect is an ongoing game series so it’s not something you can sit down with and finish in an hour,” Ross says. “It has an extensive reach and following. EA offered to create something specific for our park. We hope Mass Effect has a long standing tradition here at our park.”
Cedar Fair is invested in modern technology and has experimented with virtual reality roller coasters at other parks.