AV Stumpfl Offers Horror Trip Through ‘Asylum’

An old mansion house, starved zombies, human experiments: Involved in the newest Halloween attraction of Walibi Theme Park AV Stumpfl’s Wings IObox hardware module platforms entertained 75,000 visitors.

For ‘Asylum’ DW Production was engaged to build from scratch all rooms and aesthetic decoration, with GSF Events taking the lead on the technical aspects of the ride with the help of AV Stumpfl’s distributor AED. DW Production’s owner David Collet explains the narrative behind Asylum: “An old mansion house – once an asylum but since abandoned – is home to a vampire named Igor. He occupies himself by locking up and experimenting on zombies to turn them into vampires. He finds himself disturbed by human visitors during Halloween and decides to let them in in the hope they will be more receptive to his experiments. Unbeknown to the visitors, they will be victims of captive zombies gone mad – in addition to whatever Igor has in store for them.”

This story unfolds as visitors to the attraction pass through a series of eight rooms in total, starting with Igor’s hotel reception-style desk, moving into the dormitory where zombies are starved and made dependent. From there, thrill-seekers move along Igor’s access corridor with haunted mirror, into the canteen where hungry zombies await their meal. Next up is the bat-infested corridor with collapsing ceiling, followed by Igor’s experiment room. Finally, the cellar where Igor realizes humans are more use to him than zombies, and the labyrinth where humans are trapped in endless corridors. For a smooth ride through Asylum, AV Stumpfl has created a robust and powerful solution to handle the seamless automation of hundreds of interactions; weather the heavy footfall and deliver on reliability – and of course, simultaneously delight and frighten all who passed through the haunted doors.

Sammy Freh, Managing Director of GSF Events, concurred: “In this kind of environment, reliability is critical, and we knew that AV Stumpfl could provide a trusted network interface module which would not let Walibi down, and avoid potential downtime and issues.” GSF specified one IObox DMX and one IObox Relay module, along with an external sound card to manage a total of 28 audio channels, all controlled by an AV Stumpfl main server for a multi-room audio immersion. This network allowed for seamless integration and management of video content, audio stream and animation triggers. Asylum ran for the whole duration without a single technical failure. 30 actors were present in the attraction but no technician was needed, thanks to the automatic cues delivered by AV Stumpfl’s solid state modules, which made the public the cue manager as they experienced the ride. The attraction was completely managed with a single start/stop button.

The ability to automate the entire process of the ride end to end meant that there was no need for technicians in a control room. Freh adds: “Process automation has ensured smooth-running which in turn enhanced the visitors’ experience – of which there were record numbers, with up to 500 people queuing for the attraction at times.”