Six Flags Over Georgia is preparing to officially open up its gate for the 2017 thrill season and they have been heavily promoting a new VR attraction bringing a new level of thrill to one of their existing rides.
The Acrophobia has been transformed into the Drop of Doom for a limited time with the help of Samsung VR headsets that place riders in the middle of a fictional city under attack by giant spiders. Fortunately, riders aren’t dropped in the middle of the chaos without assistance. Giant Gundam-like defenders are also present and helping to keep the creatures at bay. In addition to the robot fighters on their side, Drop of Doom riders also have their own gun they can use (by tapping the side of the headset) to rack up some points for shooting as many of the spiders as they can. All the while, riders are still being lifted in the air and will soon plummet 100 stories before seeing exactly how this creepy crawly story concludes.
The experience itself is entertaining but not necessarily incredibly frightening, unless you’re terrified of virtual spiders. I personally get creeped out by spiders very easily and their virtual cousins weren’t enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Instead, I had way more fun trying to rack up points for shooting whatever jumped at me. If you’re looking for pure thrills, however, you may want to opt for riding without the headset. Adrenaline junkies will definitely get more blood pumping from actually seeing themselves lift into the air, realize you’re towering over the rest of Atlanta and hearing the sound the Acrophobia always makes just before it drops you.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, however, the Drop of Doom VR is certainly the way to go. It’s a fun experience and something a bit out of the ordinary compared to the other rides at the park but the novelty of it will likely wear off after the second time around.
There are some concerns with the ride, however, that could cause problems on a regular day at the park. As one can only expect, strapping Samsung phones to VR headsets under the blazing heat and dropping them 100 feet over and over again can cause quite a bit of stress on the technology. For the media preview, there were roughly 30 people in attendance to experience the ride and it seemed like a lot for the headsets to handle. The phones had to be reset at certain times and some riders had their headsets shut off during the ride—turning their Drop of Doom experience into the Drop of Darkness.
All in all, the entire experience is actually pretty fun and the interactive feature of being able to shoot the spiders helps distract you from just how high you’re actually going. If you are someone who has a crippling fear of heights that has always kept you from riding the Acrophobia, this is certainly the best time to give it a go. The VR headsets truly have an impact on your senses. My experience riding without the headset made me feel like I was higher and dropped faster compared to my ride with the VR headset on. It doesn’t mean the ride will be less fun but it’s just something to consider when deciding what kind of thrill you’re hoping to get out of it.
If your thrill comes from the fear of heights and suspense of the drop, go without the headset.
If you love trying something different, want to have a cool VR experience and want to beat your friend’s high score for blowing up virtual spiders, the Drop of Doom will be a ton of fun.
Six Flags Over Georgia will officially kick off its 2017 season this Saturday and the Drop of Doom will be ready to take you to another world.