Chessington World of Adventure – VenueMagic Show Control Software and Hardware Integration
We have been working with Chessington World of Adventure since 2012 providing show control, effects, props and equipment on attractions and live shows such as Creepy Cave’s Unearthed, Curse of the Lost Tomb, Pandamonium, Haunting of the Hollows, Mystery if Hocus Pocus Halls, Penguins of Madagascar Live – Operation Cheesy Dibbles and Madagascar Live! Prepare to Party to name just a few over the years.
Cave’s Unearthed, Curse of the Lost Tomb, Haunting in the Hollows and Mystery of Hocus Pocus Halls are all programmed using VenueMagic before being exported on to one of our DMX and Multi Audio control units which is triggered by buttons and sensors in each zones of the themed scare maze attraction. The stand alone unit was used for its reliability over a computer based playout system as it is more compact, robust, uses solid state memory and because of it’s 16 mono (8 stereo) audio outputs. Although in theory the attraction could have been run with a single audio output the benefit of the multi-audio output comes with the line batching process and not having people waiting around for too long before enjoying the attraction. By having each zone on a separate output it meant shorter lines as the next group of thrill seekers could enter the
first zone as soon as the last group had left zone 2 or 3 (of 6). By using trigger buttons in each zone it also meant it didn’t need a technician to babysit or launch any of the scenes in any of the zones – this was all done by the performers pressing a discreetly placed button when required to trigger the scene
before returning to it’s original state ready for the next group.
Hocus Pocus Halls presented an additional challenges. Unlike Haunting in the Hollows Hocus Pocus Halls was set in a building and not only included lighting and sound but video projection in the form of projection mapping too. After careful thought and consideration it was decided that the attraction would be split into 2 sections – the first being controlled by a stand alone HD Video / DMX / Audio SD player and the second being controlled by a more basic DMX/Audio stand alone unit. This not only helped with line batching it also meant simplier programming, less cabling and a quicker install as there was no longer a need to get through thick stone wall with cables.
VenueMagic UK were also involved with past shows at Chessington World of Adventure including penguins of Madagascar – Operation Cheesy Dibbles, Madagascar Live – Prepare to Party and Pumpkin School Of Rock to name a few. VenueMagic Show Control was chosen to run the audio and DMX lighting control on these shows as it meant the technician was then free to concentrate on mixing the backing track and live vocal microphones without having to worry about getting character voices in the correct places each time. Our technicians were also responsible for the fixing, service and maintenance of all the animatronic costumes for the shows making sure eyes, ears, mouths and other elements of the costumes continued to work through a tough 3 shows a day, 7 days a week during peak season.
Within the shows all the characters voices, the lighting and the special effects such as air dancers and streamers are all programmed within timelines as well as the pre show music and announcements in the zone.