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We Tried It! Carnival's Thrill Theater

by Kayla Becker | January 06, 2017

Carnival’s Thrill Theater is unlike any movie experience you've ever had. Instead of simply watching the screen, this “5D” show throws you right into the actions of the characters, engaging all of your senses. Sounds fun but wacky, right? We tried it out on Carnival Vista when the ship was docked in New York.

What It’s Really Like
As soon as you enter the room you get a warning: Stow away anything you don’t want to get wet. (Oh boy.) After finding a seat, we put on a pair of 3D glasses and settled in with anticipation for our first of three short films.

As soon as the flick started, we were soaring through the jungle on the backs of giant bees, in a high speed chase with some birds. We could feel the wind in our hair — literally. It was a fun, smooth ride (a scene in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, I later learned) until our character fell off and hit some leaves on the way down ... and plastic flaps suddenly lashed the back of our legs, catching us off guard and causing more than a few of us to jump uneasily. And when the bees dove down to the water — yep, you guessed it — a spritz of water hit our faces. I caught a glimpse of some fellow adult movie-goers whose faces can best be described as “ugh.” The kids, on the other hand, giggled happily.

Next up was a roller coaster ride. The 3D glasses made the simulation a tad more convincing, sure, but the real topper was when our seats started shaking and wind ran through our hair as we plummeted down the steepest peak. (It’s a good simulation for folks who hate the nausea-inducing nosedives of real roller coasters, but probably a snooze for adrenaline-junkies who get a kick out of the real deal.)

Our third and final film was a classic Looney Tunes chase between The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. As you can guess, this was the grand finale, with wind, water, jump-off-the-screen 3D effects, and moving seats, too. We saw just how far those chairs would jolt and shift, and how far the characters could catapult into our immediate vision. We enjoyed seeing one of our favorite childhood cartoons spring to life.

When the show ended with a final meep meep of the Road Runner, the lights came back on to a crowd of smiling faces. Was it thrilling? We wouldn’t go that far for all of the adults, but we suspect the kids would say so. Regardless, these shows are an amusing way to spend an afternoon at sea, especially for movie goers with children or those who have a rainy day.

The Details
You can find the Thrill Theater in the Carnival Multiplex on Deck 6 of Carnival Vista (which, by the way, also has the first-ever IMAX theater at sea) and also on Carnival Breeze. The shows are available to all ages for an additional cost of $7.95 per show or $14.95 for unlimited shows.

Kayla Becker

Kayla Becker is a New York City-based contributor to ShermansCruise and the assistant editor for the site.

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