Duel: The Haunted House Actually Strikes Back - Refurb Incoming

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Craig

TS Administrator
Genuine question - how much work would go in to getting the lighting 'right'?

We know the original experience was masterminded by a group of people who designed the sets, lighting, everything - but that wasn't maintained properly and through continual tweaking and turnover of staff that knowledge is long gone at this point. I don't doubt the sincerity of those behind the 2018 "TLC" in trying to improve the experience but the reality is what they did made a bad situation worse. One imagines they realised what they'd done hadn't worked as intended but then had no budget to have another go at it.

How do you even do it, is it a case of cumulatively adding/removing lighting and twiddling settings, replaying scenes over and over again for real, or is it done in some sort of CGI version before being set up for real?
A fair bit considering the state it's in now. I agree there were good intentions with the lighting changes in recent years, but the situation was mainly caused by the lack of availability for the old lights getting to a point where they had to do something. Along with Merlin's energy saving/environmental policies they were forced to move to LED. They attempted to replace like for like, and of course to cope within what were hideously low budgets at the time and so we ended up with the mess we now have. As others have pointed out it is possible to create something decent with LED, but consideration needs to be given to how differently it behaves and to properly look for the right type of lighting. The scenes then may need to be tweaked/adjusted accordingly - again, something that didn't really occur when the current lighting was put in.

I don't think they'd be going so far as CGI renderings etc though. Now that LED lighting is far more established, those in the industry now have a far better idea of how they behave, who is a decent manufacturer and what would be more suited for the scenes they need to light. Again as others have pointed out, it doesn't appear there is a huge budget there to go "all out" on this refurb, but there's enough there (and certainly more than the last attempt!) to have a fairly decent crack at something.
 

Trooper Looper

TS Member
So, UV lighting is pretty much forbidden on Duel because of certain new policies put in. Shame?

Isn't there a lights that's a mix of UV and LED somewhere ot there, that's an LED, but preforms and displays he same as UV? Maybe it's just my imagination?
 

NoSmoking

TS Member
So, UV lighting is pretty much forbidden on Duel because of certain new policies put in. Shame?
Nobody ever said that.

UV is a band of light frequencies that is invisible to the eye, but when special paint is lit by UV it flouresces (glows). This means you can have visible paintwork without casting visible light, and is great for creating specific effects in dark rides.

There are different ways to produce UV light. Of course the principle is to only cast the UV and not the visible light.

Flourescent tubes are the most common for static lighting areas. UV lamps are good at floodlighting large areas which were originally used in the garden / swamp.

Because you can't strobe these kind of UV lights, the flying heads worked on a standard strobe (producing full white light), which was filtered with a blacklight filter to only allow the invisible UV to pass through. The glass material (Woods glass) to make this filter is very unique and annoyingly no longer manufactured in most parts the world.

LED UV is designed to produce the same UV wavelengths but for some reason has never been fully mastered that I've seen, and cheaper fixtures will produce too much visible (purple) light.

In other applications, high quality LED is becoming a no brainer. Spirit of London was upgraded to LED really well, looks fantastic and nobody noticed the change (as you shouldn't). Pirates and Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris also now use LED.

The difference seems to be a cheap LED light will look flat and false, whereas a cheap old school light will look normal, so LED gets a bad rep sometimes and more consideration has to be put into LED. It's to do with the way LEDs produce light differently to lamps. An experienced lighting designer would know more!
 
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DistortAMG

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (DLP)
Surely atleast half the budget for this if rumoured to be a few million, will be going on revamping the transit system. Which in itself is not going to be cheap.

I do not see any other option as the system is knackered.

Given the age and depending on how much they want to overhaul the vehicles, I would not rule out them being shipped back to a Mack workshop, where specialist tools and equipment could make their overhaul much easier. Again, depending on how much they refurbish the trains.
 
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tech

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Universe of Energy - Epcot (RIP)
How do you even do it, is it a case of cumulatively adding/removing lighting and twiddling settings, replaying scenes over and over again for real, or is it done in some sort of CGI version before being set up for real?

Typically once scenic have confirmed their plans for layout, placement of props and sets, a lighting design will be produced in plan format which will be used for the physical installation - detailing which fixtures need to go where. This will be done with a good idea of the final effect in mind, but at this point it’s more geared toward the physical install.

Programming will be done in-situ and tweaked until perfect, with various scenes and looks created and modified until everyone is happy with it, these settings will then be stored, ready to be triggered/played back by the position of the ride - usually with opti sensors or in some cases linked to the ride system itself.

Sometimes CGI/previz is used to define the broad look and feel of an attraction - Holovis did this for Wicker Man, deets are at https://www.inparkmagazine.com/holovis-wicker-man/
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Is the transit system knackered though? I was under the impression Duel is incredibly reliable transit wise and it's the effects that are the main issues. I stand to be corrected though.

No doubt if it's required they can get what they need spruced up though without ripping up the whole thing,
 

tayspru

TS Member
Could the removal of multiple vehicles over the course of this system have been a head start on removing the blasters, rather than indicating issues with the transit system?
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Is the transit system knackered though? I was under the impression Duel is incredibly reliable transit wise and it's the effects that are the main issues. I stand to be corrected though.

No doubt if it's required they can get what they need spruced up though without ripping up the whole thing,
Sadly the transit system needs major work.

There are constant block faults and the tech running it is archaic.

A new PLC is needed.

Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
 

tech

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Universe of Energy - Epcot (RIP)
Could the removal of multiple vehicles over the course of this system have been a head start on removing the blasters, rather than indicating issues with the transit system?

I wouldn't say it's a 'head start' - some vehicles would have been broken for parts to fix others, but generally if it was known that the blasters would be retired soon then AT wouldn't be spending out to repair/replace them in a hurry.

It's not like Duel ever struggled for throughput, even with some vehicles removed.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Is the removal of vehicles the reason why Duel has started getting slightly more of a queue as of late?

Well, it still only gets a 10-20 minute queue typically, but it used to be the case that if the queue wasn’t 0 minutes, then something was wrong…
 

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I wouldn't say it's a 'head start' - some vehicles would have been broken for parts to fix others, but generally if it was known that the blasters would be retired soon then AT wouldn't be spending out to repair/replace them in a hurry.

It's not like Duel ever struggled for throughput, even with some vehicles removed.
Exactly this. Blasters have been broken on some vehicles and there has been no point spending money to fix these when they are going, hence less vehicles on the ride system.

And yes, that probably is why it has had slightly more of a queue, as the throughput will be reduced.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I’d wager that the number of vehicles decommissioned may well grow before the ride closes, as the blasters that are left seem to be on their last legs based on my last ride on Duel.

Both mine and my mum’s blasters cut out halfway through the ride and didn’t come back on…

My last ride on Duel was rather interesting, come to think of it… the effects seemed in excellent working order, in fairness, but the ride broke down just before we left the station, which meant that we sat waiting for a good 5 minutes or so in the station. And when the ride did start, we crawled at an absolutely glacial pace around the first few scenes (probably up to about the trommel) with no music playing, and the only sound being “We are experiencing a technical problem. The ride will restart shortly.” or some announcement along those lines…

On the plus side, the slow speed in the first few scenes allowed me to rack up my highest Duel score ever, hitting around 9,000!
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Last year, my group of 5 had to spit across three cars on Duel because of the amount of issues they were having. The queue was spilling out of the outdoor extension because of that, and was 40 minutes at points.
 

Trooper Looper

TS Member
I'm sure the system the blasters used are completely separate from the actual ride system. The ride can still operate fine without them since I've been on a few gunless cars this year. Seeing no glowing guns in front of you unexpectedly improved the experience IMO.
 
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immelmanloop

TS Member
I'm sure the system the blasters used are completely separate from the actual ride system. The ride can still operate fine without them since I've been on a few gunless cars this year. Seeing no glowing guns in front of you unexpectedly improved the experience IMO.
The blasters were crudely tacked on for duel, I imagine they would be completely separate from most of the car systems save for maybe positioning and comms
 
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