Hi-yah! Legoland ninja ride to use karate chop hand gestures

Concept art of the Ninjago dark ride coming to Legoland California in 2016.

Concept art of the Ninjago dark ride coming to Legoland California in 2016.


A first-of-its-kind dark ride coming to Legoland California in 2016 will let riders use karate-chop hand gestures to shoot fireballs at ninja warriors on giant video screens.

The high-tech Ninjago: The Ride will feature sensors on the front of each ride vehicle that register the hand movements of riders who zap color-coded fireballs at digital screens populated with animated Lego figures.

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Based on a line of ninja-inspired Lego toys and a spin-off television show, the dark ride will be the centerpiece of a new Asian-inspired Ninjago themed land featuring test-of-skill games, a restaurant and a retail store. Visitors will undergo “ninja training” before boarding the new ride to reinforce the new hand-gesture controls.


Legoland is teaming up on the project with Montreal-based Triotech, which previously worked on the Wonder Mountain Guardian hybrid coaster-dark ride at Canada’s Wonderland outside Toronto and the Voyage to the Iron Reef shoot-em-up dark ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park.

Digital-based rides with video-game-like features are attractive to theme park operators because the computer-generated imagery can be updated with the latest advances in technology and the back story can be changed with the flip of a switch.

Theme park attractions are increasingly adding more video game elements. While most play-at-home game consoles require players to hold a controller, some video games like “Disney’s Fantasia: Music Evolved” on the XBox One system put emphasis on gesture controls.

An identical version of Ninjago: The Ride is also expected to debut in 2016 at Denmark’s Legoland Billund.



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