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Exciting immersive projects by SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment

Unique screen solutions for two SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment flying immersive ride projects

Unique screen solutions for two SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment flying immersive ride projects


Strong/MDI Screen Systems provided custom screen systems for two pioneering immersive flying themed attractions by SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, a world leader in designing, building and producing motion-based attraction experiences. Strong/MDI had the privilege of collaborating on: Beyond the Lens’ FlyRide®, Branson’s newest attraction as well as Take Flight – Wilderness Aerial Adventure Ride at Wisconsin Dells’ Wilderness Resort.

Wilderness is the largest solid Eclipse screen Strong/MDI has yet to manufacture. The huge dome measures 68 feet wide by nearly 47 feet high and is made up of 66 curved panels, including 10 patented speaker panels built-in for optimal sound distribution. The entire structure was assembled on-site and coated with the company’s specially formulated Orion high-contrast coating. One of the main challenges with this project was working with limited space, in fact a portion of the screen had to be completed, then coated before the working area was cleared of all equipment and the final section assembled and finished. The resulting dome screen envelops 60 guests on three levels, all powered by a patented FlyRide® motion system. Take Flight is an exciting soaring ride experience with unique effects that include a surging platform which passes through a surprise reveal into the huge dome. “SimEx-Iwerks has rewritten the book on Flying Theaters with this immersive experience and we are glad to have taken part in such a massive project! Working on this custom build was very exciting,” said François Barrette, GM and VP at Strong/MDI Screen Systems, “it gave us the opportunity to push our limits and develop new solutions both product-wise and installation-wise.”

The Branson screen was another unique project, it required Strong/MDI to develop an entirely new system in a short amount of time. The challenge: building a curved screen system using flexible PVC screen fabric. The engineering and technical team developed a side tensioning system built onto the custom steel frame to allow the screen to be very taut while keeping a curved shape. Although this sounds simple enough, achieving this required plenty of testing at the Joliette facility. In order to ensure the image was not distorted in any way, the tension had to be just perfect to prevent tears or folds while preserving the necessary curve. The first attraction of its kind, FlyRide® is a fully immersive ride that allows passengers to experience the feeling of flying through wind, mist, scents and space on exciting journeys. Riders are fully immersed in the action within the huge, curved 4-story high screen.

Brian Ferguson, Senior VP at SimEx-Iwerks had this to say about the collaboration: “François and the entire Strong/MDI team have been exceptional partners, working closely with our team to bring our ideas to life. We are ever so fortunate to have innovative companies like Strong/MDI to work with to create new and exciting attraction experiences.”

Strong/MDI extends its congratulations to all partners having participated on these grand projects, pushing entertainment to the next level with immersive experiences that envelop the senses.





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Branson, MO, Wisonsin Dells, WI

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