Guests of Six Flags Great America who have arachnophobia will want to steer clear of the park's newest spider-infested virtual reality attraction scheduled to launch on April 29.
Park officials announced Wednesday that for the first month of the 2017 season, the "Drop of Doom" virtual reality ride will turn the existing Giant Drop into a battlefield, where thrill-seekers have to survive giant, venomous spiders while piloting a futuristic gunship.
The Drop of Doom's mutant arachnids virtual reality (VR) experience is the second VR ride offered by Great America in partnership with Samsung Electronics America.
Last year, Six Flags Great America premiered its first VR interactive game, Rage of Gargoyles, where in a similar experience to the new Drop of Doom, riders on The Demon roller coaster fought off monstrous gargoyles in an immersive virtual reality that's made possible by Samsung Gear VR and powered by Oculus.
"Each season we push to be on the cutting edge of innovation and our latest virtual reality experience brings together two fears innate in most people — heights and spiders," Park President Hank Salemi said in a news release.
According to the release, the VR experience will see guests battling enormous spiders while in a 360-degree rotating view high above city skyscrapers; teetering off the edge of a helicopter and taking a 100-story plunge down; and fighting an army of baby spiders that come out of the mouth the giant mother spider with a final showdown with an bigger eight-legged foe.
Riders of the new Drop of Doom must be at least 13 years old to use headsets due to virtual reality legal restrictions, said Tess Claussen, communications manager.
Claussen said guests will still be able to ride without the headsets on Giant Drop, which is open to riders 48 inches and taller. The 227-foot "drop tower" was designed by Intamin Amusement Rides and opened 20 years ago this spring in the park's Southwest Territory section.
The Drop of Doom virtual reality attraction is scheduled to be free with park admission. It's scheduled to debut on April 29 and then be available through Memorial Day.
According to a schedule posted at the park's website, Great America will be open to the general public on Easter weekend (April 14-16) before being closed for private events the following weekend (April 22-23). Operating dates vary through the month of May, with daily operation starting on May 23.