Alton Towers, a popular theme park in the UK, just revealed their plans for re-theming their Air flying coaster and adding in  virtual reality. Dubbed “Galactica,” the coaster will return this April with an intergalactic space theme.

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How it works

After boarding the coaster’s train and entering the flying position, riders will set their virtual reality headgear into place and enter a dynamic world that syncs with the ride experience and tracks their head movements. Guided by an artificial intelligence system, riders will virtually tour the wonders of space in stunning clarity.

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The Launch Portal

In their announcement, Alton Towers described the “Launch Portal” as “the circular, multi dimensional gateway” that riders “will be propelled through…before embarking on their exploration in the wonders of space.” Could the park add a launch to Galactica, making it the first launched flying coaster? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Excited yet? So is Gill Riley, Marketing Director at Alton Towers.

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!

Ride information

  • Height: 66 feet
  • Speed: 46 mph
  • G-Force: 3.5 Gs
  • Duration: 3:09

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Galactica is certainly a huge step forward in integrating virtual reality into roller coasters and is likely to be an incredible experience when it opens this spring. Are you excited for Galactica? Do you want more theme parks to follow in Alton Tower’s footsteps? Find out more about the coaster on its website or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Read next: Incredible Hulk Coaster Undergoing Large Renovation

All images © Alton Towers

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