16 November 2016 – DreamCraft Attractions, Ltd. (DreamCraft), a connected corporation of CAVU Designwerks, Inc. (CAVU), and One Bit Labs (OBL) announces today the appointment of its Chief Executive Officer, 40-year industry veteran Vernon McGugan.
With over 23 years of experience working at Disney theme park operations and an additional 20 years of experience with Universal Studios Japan and Universal Creative, Vernon’s unique insight into the development of theme park attractions, consumer experience, and service is an invaluable asset to the DreamCraft team.
While Vernon’s career spans all facets of theme park operations, design, and project management, he most recently acted as the project executive for the design, construction, and operations planning of the hugely successful Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Japan, which opened in 2014. Vernon also led his Universal Studios Japan team in developing more than one billion dollars in planned projects.
“I have worked with Vernon for many years, and can honestly say that he is a true innovator and visionary in the themed entertainment industry,” said Peter Schnabel, CEO of CAVU Designwerks. “Vernon’s keen understanding of the needs of themed entertainment owners, coupled with his philosophy of bringing world-class experiences to consumers in unique ways, makes him the perfect candidate to lead DreamCraft.”
Vernon’s initial venture into the industry was leading the opening of the first computer-operated roller coaster, Space Mountain, at Walt Disney World in 1975. Additionally, under Vernon’s guidance as Senior Vice President of the Operations division, Universal Studios Japan opened to a theme park record of 11.2 million visitors in its first year.
“After working with some of the most recognizable names in the industry over the last several decades, I am honored to be working alongside Peter Schnabel. I am thrilled to use the knowledge and experience I have gained to build DreamCraft Attractions into a renowned corporation,” said McGugan. “Our first Virtual Reality product is already a testament to the amazing things that DreamCraft will accomplish as an organization, and this is just the beginning.”
The new DreamCraft VR product is the first of its kind, combining Virtual Reality technology with a motion base ride system that places guests inside the frame. Far beyond a traditional media-based attraction, and more than just “shooting at a movie that does not change,” every guest will see a uniquely rendered and reacting world that will respond in meaningful ways to their inputs, both through hardware and through natural body gestures.
As active participants with the ability to engage with and impact the story, guests’ actions, decisions and achievements will alter their experiences, producing a cause/effect reaction that determines what they see inside their own, tailored virtual world. Said differently, DreamCraft VR guarantees that a guest will never have the same experience twice.
For the first time ever, guests will also be able to interact with friends and family while inside the VR experience, and will have the ability to work together to accomplish a task or to overcome an obstacle.
“An important component of immersion is embodiment – having a visual representation of one’s own body (an avatar) inside the virtual world. If the avatar fails to appear visually in the same location and pose as the guest’s real body, this creates a cognitive dissonance between vision and proprioception,” said Chris Robertson, co-founder of DreamCraft Attractions. “DreamCraft uses real time, full-body motion capture, so the avatar appears always to occupy the same location and pose as the guest. By extending this technology in the social dimension, guests can see not only their own avatars in real time, but also the avatars of friends and family within a shared virtual experience. This produces the ultimate sense of engagement and immersion.”
The DreamCraft VR product is available to all themed experience owners now.
Vernon replaces interim CEO Peter R. Schnabel, who remains CEO of CAVU Designwerks, Inc.
Article first appeared on ©InPark Magazine