Mirabilandia, one of Italy’s best-known amusement parks, recently inaugurated Ghostville, its first dark ride.
Although the ride is through the haunted ruins of an old Western mining town, the technology behind the scenes features a cutting edge audio, lighting and animatronics set-up. The ride was designed and built by Art Project of Tombolo, who called in Vida Studio (from Milan) to supply and install the AV systems.
Vida’s Italo Lazzarini explains: "Our turnkey package comprised hardware, systems and cable runs for all the audio, video, lighting and control of the attraction, including the PLC systems."
The Alcorn McBride control system consists of a V4+ Show Control unit, four 8-TraXX eight-channel stereo players and a DMX Machine lighting controller. An IO64 Input/Output Expander receives the signals from photocells and proximity sensors along the route followed by the 25 goldmine trucks and, via serial messages, communicates the V4+ Show Controller presets it has to recall.
Lazzarini adds: "We chose the DMX Machine as it can control several DMX sequences simultaneously – in this case things such as the Jem Glaciator X-Stream ground fog unit in the graveyard, three Evo Light smoke machines in other zones, strobes and dimmer channels."
The AV chain begins at the entrance, where three LCD displays screen a presentation video in English and Italian, and effects begin as soon as the train sets off – the façade of the building overlooking the train suddenly creaks and tilts over, as if about to collapse on to the passengers.
All Art Projects’ scenery and props are extremely realistic – from a huge animatronics alligator in the swamp to a vulture perched menacingly on a tree and the animated skulls and skeletons in the graveyard, which clients find themselves in after leaving a tunnel with whirling kaleidoscope projections. When the train leaves the cemetery, the clients get another great fright, with a huge life-size locomotive that seems about to crash head-on into them. Alongside the Alcorn McBride units in the control room are 12 Yamaha 4-channel power amps – enough to wake the dead!