Over the weekend Andrew headed out to California's Great America to check out the new Mass Effect New Earth attraction.
This has definitely been one of the "afterthought" attractions for 2016 but after reading Andrew's review it looks like it may be one of the surprise hits of 2016. Be sure to check it out!!
Written by Andrew Cunningham
Minor Spoilers Ahead
As a short preface, I think it’s worth mentioning that I am not familiar with Mass Effect, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when going into the attraction. I can’t really tell you the name of any of the characters, and I probably missed a lot of nods to the franchise throughout the ride.
With that being said I was a huge fan of the attraction and ended up doing it three times. Here is breakdown of what to expect.
The Queue: The queue was entirely outside and pretty basic. There were a few signs setting up the story of MRG: Mass Relay Getaways, a company that was taking us from Great America to a luxurious vacation planet. It felt very “Star Tours” in terms of plot setup.
The Preshow: After waiting through the queue, you are given your glasses and sent to a corral area that corresponds with a door. There are two robots in the preshow area, but they don’t move. The TVs continue to set up the MRG storyline, telling you about how you are going on a safe vacation through the galaxy.
However, towards the end of the video, in a classic “something might go wrong” moment, the MRG commercial is interrupted by a character warning of an attack coming. He quickly loses his signal and we watch the conclusion of the MRG commercial before the doors open and bring us into the theater.
The Attraction: You walk into the theater, which is themed to look very sleek and futuristic. Our live-action pilot is standing at the front of the theater and begins chatting with the audience as everyone finds their seats. The seats themselves are very comfortable and have some great motion effects.
Once everyone is seated, our pilot asks us to put on their safety goggle so that our vision is protected from solar flares. We then take off from Great America, dodge a minor meteor field, and arrive at our vacation planet, Terra Nova. Just as our pilot begins to tell us about the great timeshare opportunities on Terra Nova, some alien villains begin to attack the planet, and then things begin to escalate from there.
The attraction includes very crisp HD 3d technology, water sprays, smoke effects, odors, motion, and a live action pilot who interacts pretty seamlessly with the 3d environments.
Overall they really went above and beyond to create something that, aside from the queue, felt on par with an attraction like Star Tours or Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. I was so impressed that I ended up riding three times during my day. Hats off to Great America for getting such a great themed attraction, I really hope to see more of these pop up at other Cedar Fair parks.
Just a few other random park pictures as it was an absolutely beautiful day at the park.
Thanks to Andrew for the great pictures and review. We're definitely excited about this attraction and it looks like it may be one of the surprise hits of the 2016 season.