Vulcania: park attendance up, and two new attractions for 2011

Vulcania, the French amusement park dedicated to the world of volcanos, has a new record attendance this year with 341.000 visitors (+4% compared with 2009). That’s the fourth year in a row that the park increases this number, showing the success of its new development plans.

The park has an annual turnover of almost EUR 9 million (up 8.5%) and claims to have get the benefits of its new rides policy and complete renewal of its scenography.

The park will open two new attractions in 2011.

The first one will be "Mission Toba, a flight over a supervolcano", a new kind of dynamic movie theater created by "Polymorph", "X-Largo" and "Les Crayons". The ride will bring visitors 74000 years ago in Toba, Indonesia, in the center of a supervolcano where they will experience the fury and the devastating power of this amazing natural monster!

Budgeted at EUR 1.6 million, the animated film will be projected onto a 180° screen and on the floor. Visitors will be installed on dynamic platforms in small groups. Image design and special effects will be produced by Polymorph, a French company, which has already collaborated with Alterface for the production of "Mission Ocean" and "Desperados"

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Here is a description released by the park
Lire phonétiquement

Recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland have focused media attention on volcanism due to the profound effects volcanoes can have on human activities. Yet, Eyjafjallajokull is only one member of a family of terrifying phenomena: supervolcanoes! MISSION TOBA takes visitors on an extraordinary journey through time to one of these supervolcanoes...Transported on a futuristic lift, visitors glide in formation over the Toba region in Indonesia where, 74,000 years ago, a spectacular explosion occurred. To experience this breathtaking flight and discover the force of this eruption, the audience is enclosed in a new auditorium with a 180° screen and projectors in the floor that reinforce the feeling of being immersed in the volcano. During this flight over the Toba region, visitors will be able to appreciate the devastating power of supervolcanoes”.

What is a supervolcano?

Scientists are increasingly interested in supervolcanoes, formations whose unbelievable activity could affect the entire planet. 10,000 more powerful than an ordinary volcano, a supervolcano can emit more than ten billion cubic metres of matter during a single eruption. Today, we have identified a dozen such volcanoes around the world, in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and California, but the most famous one is to be found under Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. If it suddenly woke up, its impact on the planet would be unprecedented, similar to the effect of the Toba supervolcano 74,000 years ago. Its power, according to scientific simulations, would disrupt the Earth’s climate, causing a "volcanic winter" that would probably last several years. In some areas temperatures would drop by 15°C and plants, deprived of sunlight, would be become pale and stunted over several million square kilometres. Some researchers postulate that part of the human population would be wiped out at that point.

The second novelty will be an exhibition "The volcano devils" devoted to the couple of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft. It will show unreleased footage, personal belongings and testimonials of people who worked or travelled with them during their careers.

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For the 20th anniversary of their death, Vulcania is paying a special tribute to a unique couple, Maurice and Katia Krafft, who dedicated their lives to volcanism.

The exhibition is designed to reflect a life of enthusiasm, commitment and personal convictions. The legendary couple travelled the world, fascinated by the beauty and fury of volcanoes. During their travels, where they encountered populations living in volcanic areas and exposed to danger on a daily basis, they became committed to studying the most destructive among them, gray volcanoes, for which they risked their lives. Through this exhibition, Vulcania aims to illustrate this realisation and the battle started by the Kraffts to raise awareness among authorities of the need to prevent volcanic risks with one goal in mind: saving lives”.

Maurice and Katia Krafft, wandering volcanologists

They marked the end of the twentieth century with their strong personalities and way of life, their dedication to volcanism and their impelling need to transmit their beliefs. They created, thanks to their passion, thirst for exploration and images, an innovative work in scientific vulgarisation. Volcanologists and photographers, Maurice and Katia Krafft left a unique legacy and an unparalleled library devoted to volcanoes with 300,000 photos, 300 hours of footage, dozens of paintings and watercolours and a host of books. Independent, united in their passion for volcanology, fascinated by the beauty of eruptions, they were present wherever the Earth exploded. On June 3rd 1991 at 3:18 pm they died, swept away by a pyroclastic flow on Mount Unzen, on the island of Kyushu, Japan.

For more details, go to the Vulcania website (available in English, Dutch, German, Spanish and Italian)

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