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Battle For Eire Construction Tour

March 11, 2018
Insider's look at the construction of our new action VR ride opening in April.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened the doors to Battle For Eire™— Action VR Ride recently to show off the progress of the innovative attraction scheduled to open this spring.

Members of the media were able to see up close many of the ride’s unique elements, including its patented head mount design, theming details and motion-based theater simulators, which have been modified with virtual reality headsets.

Battle For Eire HeadsetsBattle For Eire’s virtual reality headsets, aka “Enchanted Lenses,” were on display during Busch Gardens’ recent hard hat tour. – Busch Gardens Williamsburg photo

Battle For Eire's head mounts are referred to as Emerald Masks.The virtual reality headsets snap onto these head mounts, aka “Emerald Masks,” via magnetic closure. – Busch Gardens Williamsburg photo

The media tour featured a tutorial by Larry Giles, the park’s vice president of engineering, and Suzy Cheely, director of design and engineering, on how to properly apply the virtual reality headsets.

In the ride queue, riders will be instructed to pick a head mount, or “Emerald Mask,” which is available in large and small sizes. A fun, instructional video featuring jovial leprechauns will guide riders how to fit the masks to their liking.

Director of Engineering wearing Battle For Eire's  Enchanted MaskSuzy Cheely, director of design and engineering at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, wears an Emerald Mask while speaking to media members during a recent hard hat tour of virtual reality attraction Battle For Eire, set to open this spring. – Busch Gardens Williamsburg photo

There is a strap in the back of the mask that goes under the base of the head, and riders will use a knob, also located in the back of the mask, to create a comfortable fit.

Once buckled into a seat on the motion simulator, riders may then attach the virtual reality viewer, aka “Enchanted Lens,” via magnetic closure.

Battle For Eire VR GlassesSuzy Cheely, director of design and engineering at Busch Gardens, shows media members how the virtual reality headsets are applied. – Busch Gardens Williamsburg photo

When the ride is over, the Enchanted Lens can be detached easily and placed back into its receptacle on the motion simulator. Meanwhile, the Emerald Mask, the only part of the headset that will come into contact with riders’ faces, will be collected and washed after every use.

Battle For Eire will feature a fierce fairy warrior named Addie, who will lead riders on an unforgettable adventure through her homeland, Ireland. A host of characters, some heroic and some villainous, join Addie in a thrilling story fit for the whole family. 

Addie is Ireland’s last remaining fairy guardian and keeper of the Heart of Eire. With an adventurous spirit and intense love for her homeland, she helps lead the charge to rescue the Heart of Eire from the evil dark lord, Balor.

Follow fierce fairy warrior, Addie, and her sidekick Ollie the dragon.Battle For Eire riders will follow fierce fairy warrior, Addie, who helps lead the charge to rescue the Heart of Eire from the evil dark lord, Balor. – Busch Gardens Williamsburg image

Located in the park’s Ireland village, Battle For Eire is a marriage of a motion-based theater simulator with state-of-the-art 360-degree virtual reality headsets, creating an innovative experience unlike any other in the attraction industry. 

Behind-the-scenes look at Battle For Eire's ride systemA behind-the-scenes view of one of Busch Gardens’ motion-based theater simulators. The simulators were used for past attractions and were modified with virtual reality headsets for Battle For Eire. – Busch Gardens Williamsburg photo

Riders will be completely immersed within the story and be able to see, hear and feel actions happening all around them, both through the virtual reality headsets and within the motions of the simulator.