Efteling launches VR Droomvlucht experience for disabled visitors

Dutch fairytale theme park Efteling has launched a new virtual reality experience on its Droomvlucht dark ride to make it accessible for disabled visitors.

For safety reasons, Droomvlucht was the only large attraction at Efteling that could not be experienced by guests with a physical disability, however this has changed with the launch of Virtual Droomvlucht, which incorporates virtual reality (VR) and other techniques.

Virtual Droomvlucht replicates the original ride, offering guests the same experience by connecting disabled visitors with their friends on the ride through headphones and microphones so that they may see and feel the same sensations.

Fons Jurgens, president and CEO of Efteling said: “Until now, VR has often been used for individual experiences. With the use of other techniques such as audio equipment, we have created a group experience that completely stands in line with Efteling and the theme park’s values.”

Efteling has trialled the virtual attraction with some regular visitors. Annemarie Verbunt was very enthusiastic about getting to try the ride.

“I am so happy to be able to experience this,” she said. “I’ve been looking forward to the day that I could experience Droomvlucht for 25 years. Virtual Droomvlucht really is a complete sensory experience, thanks to the smell and wind effects but also the contact with my friends who are on the gondola.”

The entrance to Virtual Droomvlucht at Efteling.

The entrance to Virtual Droomvlucht at Efteling.

The park was recently awarded a Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Themed Entertainment Association awards for its work in creating the Symbolica dark ride.

In January, Efteling submitted plans to extend the park by eight hectares. The expansion is part of its draft ‘World of Efteling 2030’ masterplan to take place in three phases, completing in 2030.

The first part of the plan will cover three hectares of a planned eight-hectare expansion to the east and will include the new attraction to open in 2020.

Images: c. Efteling.