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• Customer — Legoland, Windsor
• Delivery location — Prague, Czech Republic
• Product to be delivered — 65 FHD x 3, 50HD x 4, 42HD x 24
• Delivery date — May, 2009
After an absence of five years, Rocket Racers has made a welcome return to LEGOLAND Windsor, following a hi-tech upgrade by Panasonic Professional Projectors and Displays Europe (PPDE). The ride, which opened its doors in 2000, was shut due to maintenance issues, many of which were the result of overheating problems with the 30-inch CRT monitors that at the time were the best available. Over the course of a few years they started to fail and replacements were costly and very difficult to fit. Rocket Racers now relies on 31 Panasonic HD and Full HD plasma screens that are highly dependable and easy to maintain.
Rocket Racers involves users designing and building a virtual car and driver before being plunged into a virtual race where their driving skills are pitted against 7 other players on the track Gamers sit in LEGO car control pods with the race visuals provided by individual Panasonic HD plasma screens mounted in front of each player.
LEGOLAND Windsor selected Panasonic as its partner of choice, understanding that Panasonic's technology is the best-in- class in terms of the graphics and image quality provided by its professional plasma range. Plasma technology by Panasonic is recognised for providing an exceptional operational life-time in addition to a tough and durable front panel making it the perfect fit for the demands of Rocket Racers, one of LEGOLAND Windsor's most popular rides. Furthermore, plasma screen technology delivers a significantly faster response rate than LCD displays making it the preferred choice for gaming solutions such as Rocket Racers.
It took around 6 months for Rocket Racers to be refurbished following LEGOLAND's decision to re-open the ride. The technology deployment took just 3 months with system integrator, FCS, handling the planning and installation of the 31 plasma displays ahead of LEGOLAND's March 2009 season opening.
The revamped Rocket Racers ride was unveiled to LEGOLAND's Annual Pass holders on March 20th 2009 before the family theme park's official season began the following day. Guest feedback has been excellent with regular visitors extremely pleased to see the ride back in operation. The Rocket Racers attraction is sited on an important walk-way into LEGOLAND and receives visitors as they both enter and leave the park making it important for both first and last impressions.
Following the success of the revamp of Rocket Racers, LEGOLAND Windsor is now working with Panasonic to look at new and exciting ways of incorporate digital display technology into other rides at the park.
LEGOLAND Windsor, opened its doors in 1996 and currently offers over 50 interactive rides and attractions, 11 restaurants and cafes and 7 shops. Rocket Racers was designed to embody the core LEGO values of creativity and fun with players both designing and racing their virtual creations. As a firm favourite among its guests and loyal Annual Pass holders, LEGOLAND was keen to re-open the ride to enhance visitors'
enjoyment of the park and help develop creativity in the younger users.
James Dobbs, Leader Ride Designer said: "When it first opened Rocket Racers was ahead of its time in terms of display technology in the marketplace and even now, the automation processes remain cutting edge. With the advent of plasma displays to replace CRT monitors, it's great to finally give the ride the technology lift it's been waiting for and we couldn't have achieved this without Panasonic and FCS's involvement. The graphics and game-play are better than ever and Rocket Racers will act as a benchmark for future digital attractions across the LEGOLAND site."
Daniel Rose, PPDE Product Manager Panasonic PPDE said: "Being the younger of the two main flat panel technologies, Plasma display technology has come a long way in the last few years and Panasonic has been leading this in developing innovative new products. Our professional plasma screens are extremely durable making them perfectly suited for long-term use, providing fantastic quality images both reliably and cost efficiently. Panasonic is extremely pleased to have been selected as LEGOLAND Windsor's technology partner of choice for the Rocket Racers installation and looks forward to working on future projects."