Medialon Manager plays a key role in the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory™ ride at Alton Towers, a member of the Tussauds Group, in Staffordshire, England. The attraction, based on the classic Roald Dahl book and its original illustrations, takes families on an unforgettable adventure into the heart of Willie Wonka’s wondrous world.
Medialon Manager controls all of the show and facilities, with the exception of the ride and motion controls. It specifically controls animatronics, extensive special effects, a CCTV system, projectors, motion-base show trigger, DMX lighting, show power relays, video servers, and MP3 replay units. Two control PCs work together to run the attraction.
For daily operation, touch screen user interfaces are available at the unmanned AV equipment room, the ride control room (a separate manned space in the middle of the attraction), and the ride load point. Different screens allow operation, monitoring, paging, and diagnostic tasks to be carried out.
“Medialon has been working very well for us,” says Gavin Aldridge, project manager for Electrosonic Systems Ltd, which handled the design and install. “I’ve found it user friendly and easy to pick up and learn. Medialon has been very supportive in helping us through some of the more complex applications of the system.”
The new attraction offers visitors an array of multimedia adventures. It begins with a boat ride through a succession of animated and dynamically-lit scenes from the book, including the “Juicing Room,” the “Chocolate Room,” “Candy Frenzy,” and the “Inventing Room.”
When visitors disembark they take a short walk through another part of the factory then hop on one of two Great Glass Elevators where they whiz through the heart of the factory and beyond in an exhilarating virtual tour that finds them gathering pink clouds in the sky to make cotton candy before they conclude their ride. The illusion is created using a virtual environment consisting of a themed space with back projection screens on all four walls and the ceiling displaying HD content. The effect is augmented by a moving floor system providing “heave,” “roll,” and “forward/backward” movements.
All source and control equipment is centrally sited in an AV Equipment Room at the attraction. Medialon Show control is also in charge of running the pre-show and HD widescreen, immersive projection post-show.