The Thor Thunder Spin ride is an exhilarating physical and mental test that leaves even the strongest individuals a little weak in the knees.
Client: IMG Group
Services: Attraction Design
Location: Dubai, U.A.E.
IMG Worlds of Adventure is truly aptly named. This enormous indoor theme park in Dubai, which Falcon’s Creative Group master planned, is divided into four uniquely themed zones filled with heart-pounding attractions. When conjuring up images of such thrill rides, roller coasters usually spring to mind first, but don’t forget about top spin rides. These dizzying machines more than hold their own against fast trips down a steel track.
Thor Thunder Spin, located in the Marvel Zone, is one such example. It entices brave visitors with its gravity-defying moves that rival the powerful swings Thor, God of Thunder, takes with his hammer, Mjölnir. Beware, though, as the God of Mischief, Loki, lurks nearby. With this guy around, things are bound to go awry.
Before the ride even starts to move, strobing lights and fog effects try to disorient the rider. The huge mechanical arms then scream to life, completing one full cycle while flipping riders upside down. At the base, with faces parallel to the ground, some guests might question their decision to get on this torture chamber, but they don’t have much time to think about it because the arms are in motion again, this time spinning the carriage over and over at varying heights. The speed of each turn seems to climb with every roll.
Guests lose a sense of where they are, but perhaps the fountains below that rise and fall in sync with the vehicle’s movement will help them place their relative position. The madness goes on for another minute or so, but it might seem like an hour. This is Asguardian time, after all. Earth’s rules don’t apply.
There is much scenic detail to admire, within the queue line and inside the ride station, but a word of advice…soak it in before you strap into the seat, because after the ride whirs to life, your focus will probably be on the inside of your eyelids.
Although the Thunder Spin’s mechanics were designed by a ride manufacturer (those monsters!), Falcon’s Treehouse can claim at least partial responsibility for this near-death experience. The themed experience design firm handled attraction design and creative guardianship duties. The scenic look was fashioned by their artists’ gifted hands. Highlights include dimensional columns with faux stone finish, intricate Asguard-esque scrollwork on the walls around the ride vehicle, a dimensional tapestry hanging from one wall that features Thor’s hammer, and dimensional painted ribs on the façade of the building that houses the top spin. Thor and Loki are represented by impressive 3D sculpted figures striking action poses on either side of the ride.
The front-facing wall is another piece of the story. It appears to have been destroyed in an explosion; probably the result of another spat between Thor and Loki. The expansive opening gives riders the chance to peek into Marvel City in between terrifying rotations. Similarly, other park-goers who have their feet firmly planted on solid ground can take videos and pictures of the crazy people going round and round.
Any way you slice this one, it’s an adventure to remember!