New Frontiers

This is an original attraction concept for an interactive sci-fi ride into the future of humanity. The attraction uses a trackless ride system to allow for a variety of ride paths and experiences while traveling through the space so that each vehicle can experience a unique story, custom to their chosen interests and ideals.

The entrance to the attraction is through a modern transit hub where passengers can dispatch to the future of their choosing. The queue is entered through a glass walled pavilion. The queues continue to wind through the transit station and view a futuristic vehicle display, destination and arrival boards, informational exhibits, and modern waiting areas. Guests then pass through a transit gate and enter a preshow space that introduces the concept of the attraction. We are in a round room where the walls wrap up to form a seamless dome above us. This is used as a projection space to show a continuous video loop about the possibilities of the future. It specifically highlights a selection of focuses that we can choose to explore on the way to our future: transportation, health, technology, and culture.

The queues lead through a arched tunnel that continues the video presentation and then arrives at the loading platform. Four trackless vehicles load at one time, each seating eight guests. When dispatched, the vehicles rotate and enter a set of intro rooms, two vehicles in each. Here we are asked to choose our future, referencing the focuses introduced in the queue. A thin linear touch screen panel in front of each row lights up with stylized buttons for each choice. All eight passengers get to choose, and the computer complies the results to customize the attraction for the opinions of the group. There are 165 different combinations of results that could all lead to a different custom attraction.

Attraction Plan Level 1

The pair of vehicles then slides out through a door that just opened and into a video dome that shows an introduction movie. The central space of the attraction holds a carousel of 4 video domes that sets of vehicles can slot into as it slowly rotates. The domes are sized to able to fill the full horizontal field of view and the majority of the view above. The movie shows an exciting montage into the idea of futurism, including views of what we thought the future could be in the past and what we think it could be today. It ends with us being invited to travel into our own idea of the future. At that moment, we dive down into the darkness of the ocean and our pair of vehicles move back away from the screen and through an opening door.

The vehicles turn to find themselves inside a modern scientific submarine. Narration lets us know that we have arrived in the future we selected. At this point, the two vehicles begin to follow their own unique ride path. The in-vehicle audio and media elements in the set change to tell the vehicle specific story. There are a couple primary show locations in each scene. In the sub, there is the front control panel with a view out to the ocean beyond, the research station desk on the far side of the sub with smaller windows to the ocean, and the center of the sub where there is a suspended robotic viewfinder to interact with. The ocean is dry for wet and uses lighting effects and rear screens to simulate our trip underwater.

Underwater Scenes Elevation Sketch

A vehicle that was mostly interested in transportation might go to the front controls and learn about the engine of the sub and how fast it can travel. For technology, they might interact with the viewfinder, or for health, they might go to the research desk to see progress on underwater health experiments. The idea in each scene is not to be overly educational and information heavy, but just to briefly present an inspiring view of the future.

There are a couple human figures in the space, working at the other desks of the sub, but we do not interact with them. These human figures are included throughout the attraction to add life and activity. Another common element through all the scenes is the inclusion of robots. Nearly every scene includes some kind of robot that performs a utility to assist the residents of the future. We often can interact with them, if they are relevant to the story of our vehicle.

Robot Study Sketches

The sub soon docks and our vehicles exit through the opening rear door and slide into the dock. This is a circular space with glass walls that look into the dark and deep ocean. There is also a central glass lockout tube, where we can see diver swimming up. We hear narration that tells us we are in an underwater research base that is like its own little city. Our vehicles can either go left or right around the tube and then travel into one of two research base rooms. The left room is a lab space with windows to the ocean and a variety of science experiments that are being monitored at the work stations. The right room is a control center with a large desk and display panels where the operations of the subs and underwater base are being monitored.

The two vehicles rejoin and move into a restaurant space, with narration telling us about the food of the future and the importance of aquaculture. Robotic chefs work at a counter and a huge funnel shaped glass tank fills the space above us. Server robots deliver trays from the chefs to the tables of the restaurant. The vehicles then move around a corner and into a darkened hall. Narration tells us that underwater isn’t the only place we can go in this new future. Our vehicles back up onto one of a pair of elevator platforms. In time with the sound of a rocket launch, we are swiftly lifted up into space and the scene above.

Attraction Plan Level 2

When we arrive at the upper level, the two vehicles slide forwards and turn down a futuristic looking hallway. We approach an opening and the scene ahead of us is revealed. We are on a spacestation and ahead of us is a huge window that shows the stars beyond. The space we are in is unique because it is actually mirrored above us. In this spacestation where gravity is artificially modified, both the floor and the ceiling are used by occupants. The vehicles can turn to the left or right to head to different scenes. On the left is a kitchen scene and on the right is sunken seating area that looks out to space, the ship control station, and a look into the power system. Another window on the interior of the curved space show a projection of the rest of the spacestation we are in.

Space Scenes Elevation Sketch

After stopping at scenes in this open area of the spacestation, the vehicles head down a hallway and then pass through the bottom of a centrifuge room. We are at the base of what appears to be a huge ring room with windows looking out to space in the center. Mirrors are placed at the edges of the small built section to make the ring appear to continue. Narration through these hallways and the centrifuge would be specific to the interests of the vehicle. The vehicles continue down another hall and enter a space elevator lobby. Doors open up in front of us and each vehicle pulls into one of the elevators.

Mars Base Interior Elevation

The vehicles rotate to face a set of narrow windows where we can see the stars. We suddenly simulate a rapid descent down to Mars and the doors on the other side open up to reveal a Mars Base. This futuristic base is formed of cylindrical rooms that are buried in the sand of the planet.

Mars Base Interior Model

A large window on the far side of the first room shows the Mars horizon and a Rover vehicle parked by the red rocks. The scenes of this area include a storage bay and gym in the first room, a classroom and a rover control station in the second room, and a medical bay and repair station in the third room.

Mars Base Rover Sketch

Exiting through an open door, the vehicles enter a transition space and slow in front of large digital screens. Narration now tells us that the future is progressing back on earth too, and the screens show us traveling back through space to our home planet.

We back out through an opening door and enter a modern earth farm. We are in a covered outdoor pavilion that opens up to a large force perspective farm disappearing into the distance. Farming drones hover around above the field. Scenes in this space include a look into a crystal mine shaft, a hydroponics grow tube, and an overlook over the farm fields. All vehicles then pass through a lab space where there is a control desk overlooking the farm. A people mover track runs through upper level of this building and looks into this farm scene.

Earth Farm Interior Model

The vehicles exit the lab and head towards a train parked at the edge of the farm area. The narration tells us that we are now headed to the city. Below is a fly-through schematic animation of the previous two scenes, starting at the space elevator and ending at the train. This model and animation were created to study the interior design and flow of these scenes.

Mars Base and Earth Farm Scenes Model

We enter the back of the vehicle and turn to face a set of windows that view a screen, showing the farm exterior. Once the rear door closes, our high-speed train heads from the farm to the city, with the trip shown out the windows. We quickly arrive at the city transit port, and the vehicles turn and exit the train. The transit port is a large multilevel volume with multiple gates on the second level. An opening at the ceiling shows various ships and planes flying by above. This is a dense and active futuristic city.

City Scenes Elevation Sketch

The two vehicles split up here. One continues through the transit port area and pass a booking desk and a small cafe. The other turns to pass through a market-place, passing a variety of items and foods for sale from robotic salesmen. Both then exit the interior of the transit port building and find themselves on a skybridge between two building facades. This is an elevated public walkway above the city. We see the people mover pass here again in front of force perspective street end. Both vehicles then enter the front door of an apartment. Narration explains that the home is the best example of how the progress of the future benefits modern life. The vehicles make their way through the foyer, where there is a robot butler, and then a pair of bedrooms. The last space of the apartment is the open plan living room and kitchen. Out the window of the living room, we can see a large cityscape scene in the distance. All the rooms of the apartment are dressed with high tech furniture that incorporates all the elements that the attraction has previously covered.

The vehicles exit the apartment and travel into a domed central space, revealing a massive model of a future city at the center of the room. Our vehicle slowly moves around the edge of the city. There is movement all over the city, created by projection mapping and physical effects. The dome above shows the stars and a passing spacestation. The narration here summarized our trip and leaves us an inspiring message about the potential of the future.

Our pair of vehicles back out of the dome room to one of two elevators. Once the vehicles are positioned on the lift, they rotate 180 degrees to reveal a huge city show scene ahead of them, with multiple buildings and a raised people mover track, plus a skyline rising beyond. We are invited to step into the future city ourselves as the elevator lowers us back to the ground level.

At the bottom of the elevator, the vehicles move forward and reach unload. Guests leave the vehicles and can explore the future city post show. This includes an interactive news stand, a robot talent show that uses both physical robots and musion robots, and an information center where guests can find information about any of the concepts or products from the attraction. The exit from this area leads into a retail space and then back out to the park.

The attraction plan was created in SketchUp. All sketches were created in Procreate. The animation was modeled in SketchUp and animated in 3ds Max.