Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe-based art collective slated to bring a massive immersive exhibit to Denver in 2020, has announced its latest Denver-bound attraction: Kaleidoscape, an interactive ride that will land at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park next year. If the teaser video—basically a 30-second exercise in trippy, neon, kaleidoscope-effect visuals (check it out below)—is any indication, the ride should live up to Meow Wolf’s reputation for immersive art and eye-popping visuals.
The attraction is being billed as an interactive dark ride, which essentially means that riders will be guided through an indoor sequence of artistic scenes. No word has been formally released as of yet pertaining to what the interaction will be, but a clue may come from the ride that Kaleidoscape is set to replace: Ghost Blaster, on which riders shoot lasers at targets and attempt to outscore their fellow riders. Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek, through comments made public in a press release, says that this attraction will be “a prequel experience to our blockbuster Denver exhibit in 2020.”
It’s difficult to say—as Elitch Gardens claims in the same press release—whether Kaleidoscape truly will be the world’s first artist-driven amusement park experience. Rides such as Disney World’s Na’vi River Journey take patrons through an unquestionably artistic rendition of Pandora, the fictional world from James Cameron’s film Avatar, and many more coasters could certainly claim art as a leading inspiration. Regardless of this claim, Elitch Gardens will be the first amusement park to boast an attraction from Meow Wolf.
“As far as being artist-driven, it’s the idea that we see ourselves as a DIY art collective and not as roller-coaster designers,” says John Feins, Meow Wolf’s director of marketing. “We’re a bunch of art kids from Santa Fe who love riding roller-coasters. This time, we get to be the people who make the attraction.”
If the art collective lives up to its reputation, that alone promises Denver a rare—and dare we say, trippy—attraction.