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EuroAmusement Professional 4-2017

Seite 64 EuroAmusement Professional 4-2017IndoorParks
In einer Art modernen Shooting-Gallery sind die Gäste dazu aufgefordert,
schneller als der Schatten von Lucky
Luke zu schießen.

Die Comics Station befindet sich in einem Seitentrakt des 1905 eröffneten Bahnhofs AntwerpenCentraal.

momentum for comic book publishers
and give the medium a new dynamic.
All six comics that are represented at
the park are still being printed and sold.
"Lucky Luke" and the "The Smurfs" are
amongst the better known figures. The
other featured comic series "De Kiekeboes," "Jommeke," "Suske en Wiske"
(Spike and Suzy) and "Urbanus" are
predominately known in the Flemish
region. Hubrechtsen explains: "It was an
important aspect for us that the comics
are known across generations, which is
not necessarily the case with other IPs.
This way grandparents and parents can
all come together with the kids to experience what we have here." The Antwerp
park advertises more than 60 attractions
and activities spread out over four floors
and occupying a total area of over 6,000
square meters. The operators state the
maximum guest length-of-stay to be
between four and five hours. Around
220,000 visitors are expected to visit the
park every year.

The Smurfs, Lucky Luke & Co.
Among the attraction highlights are three
stainless steel slides that were supplied
by the Atlantics company. The slides run
through the building from the uppermost
level down to the bottom floor.
The lovingly designed attractions at the
park include an interactive dark ride
from Gosetto that immerses guests in the
64 EuroAmusement Professional 4/2017

world of the famous Smurfs. Visitors ride
through a forest on a mission in which
they come to the aid of these little blue
creatures, thereby becoming part of the
action themselves. The carriages on the
ride are designed to look like tree trunks
and each is equipped with four seats
that are arranged next to each other.
This allows every guest an unobstructed
view of the projection screens they will
pass throughout the ride. In line with the
story, each passenger holds a "magic
wand" in their hands in the shape of a
twig that is capable of triggering a number of effects and can actively influence
what happens on the projection screens.
The interactive technology utilized on
the ride, which It operates wirelessly
and without electronics, was provided by
Alterface Projects.
In a kind of modern "shooting gallery,"
visitors find themselves called upon to
be like Lucky Luke and shoot faster than
their shadows. In order to do this, guests
take their places atop a "wooden crate"
and subsequently fire at villains on the
screen. The interactive shooting system
is comprised of the "Salto!" show control solution by Alterface.
Another of the park's "larger"
attractions is a 10 meter high freefall
tower from Moser's Rides giving guests
a glimpse into the daily life of Kiekebos.
A Red Star simulation film delivered
by nWave and adapted to the Lucky
Luke theme is shown in the "Comics
Theater," a 4D movie theater equipped
with 150 seats. The special effects in
this space were provided by Belgian
company FX 3. Also popular with the
guests is a Gosetto funhouse holding
all manner of the typical craziness
associated with this type of attraction in
store for visitors. The other attractions
include a walk-through in which visitors
find themselves on a journey through
time with "Professor Barabas" from
the comic Suske en Wiske (Spike and

Suzy). The bumper car area
features beautifully designed,
round UFO-like bumper cars
from Sela Cars for guests to
make their rounds in. Several
notable vendors from the
industry worked together on
the interactive elements at the park
including De Pinxi, Haute Technique,
and Active Me. The majority of the
theming elements were created by the
Spanish company Rocas & Design.
A shop and a restaurant called "Comics
Kitchen" round out the features on
store at this new indoor park. An
indoor playground equipped with
several Ameco climbing elements can
be reached through the restaurant,
even after the park has closed.

A special location
The Antwerp central train station, known
in the local tongue as the "Spoorwegkathedraal" (or "railway cathedral"),
opened in 1905. With a 75-meter-high
dome in the magnificent reception area
of the building, the train station has
developed into one of the most popular
tourist attractions in town. Right next
door is the Antwerp Zoo.
The prominent location of Comics
Station, which anticipates a maximum
capacity of 2,000 people, surely brings
a few strategic advantages along with it.
As Wim Hubrechtsen reported in April,
at the time of the interview between 800
and 1,200 guests had visited the park
daily since it opened.
With their concept, the creators of
Comics Station have devoted themselves
to an iconic theme with a recreational
facility unlike any other. And the mix of
features consisting of rides, interactive
attractions, and physically demanding
activities is also a winner. Nevertheless,
it is certainly advisable to invest a
little more time in the fine-tuning of
the individual park facilities and in
optimizing the operations; a fact also
acknowledged by Wim Hubrechtsen, who
refers to Comics Station's soft opening in
this regard.

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