The Irvine Spectrum Center has been known as a great shopping,
dining, and entertainment destination for years and with the recent opening of
The Ride 7D, it has now become a destination for thrills as well. Recently, my
family had the chance to experience the "Los Banditos", "Gigamon", and
"Zombies!" 7D rides and they had a blast experiencing these immersive and
interactive attractions. After a brief tutorial the fun begins, and if you
haven't experienced 7D you're in for a treat.
The 3D glasses bring the screen to life, while the motion, wind,
interactivity, and scoring allow you to completely immerse yourself in the
story. Since I am weak-stomached
individual who gets nauseated on carousels, I had to sit this one out but thankfully
my husband, Paul, provided the inside
scoop on each of these attractions.
Probably the most kid-friendly experience, "Los Banditos" is
a story about an evil genius who has created an army of robots to rob a train. You're in the Old West, and start your
experience by hopping on a stagecoach and immediately shooting at the
robots. From there you jump on the train
and continue to battle the robots while moving through different carriages and
eventually to the top of the train. During
the chaos, the train flies off the rails and off a bridge into a fast moving
river, but those robots are everywhere and you continue to fight while flowing
down the river and going over waterfalls until you find yourself in an
underground lair where you battle the boss.
The drops off the bridge and waterfalls were pretty intense and a lot of
fun to experience, and knowing we would be getting the final scores at the end
brought out our kid's competitive natures.
Who doesn't love a good monster battle in a major
metropolitan city? We start out in the
subway when suddenly there's a huge crash.
Wanting to be the hero, you run up the stairs to street level where you
immediately enter a world of chaos. The
Gigamon is a Godzilla-like creature who wreaks havoc on everything in sight,
but he's not alone. Everywhere you look
there are mini-Gigamons both on the ground and flying who you continually
battle while trying not to be crushed by crashing buildings, cars, or giants
lizards. Making your way from the back
of a truck to a helicopter, you find yourself constantly moving across the city
while fighting these seemingly innumerable monsters. Things are going okay until your helicopter
loses control, slides off the top of a building, and crashes to the ground where
you're completely surrounded.
Fortunately with the help of your cohorts you eventually kill the
Gigamon and all is well.
Let me start out by saying I love zombies, so choosing this
ride was a "no brainer".
By far the scariest and most intense of the rides, "Zombies!"
does a great job of setting the mood from the start. It's dark, it's raining, there's creepy
music, you're in the woods, and with the darkness in the theater and mist of
cold air being blown on you, it feels very real. From about thirty seconds in until the end of
the experience you're surrounded by zombies.
These are not your slow moving, "Walking Dead", zombies, these guys are
angry and will stop at nothing to make you their next meal. You initially try escaping in your car, but
after flying down a hill and into a tree you find yourself in a cemetery where
you have to fight your way out while trying not to shoot the innocent civilians
who are running for their lives. This
ride is a lot of fun and was my favorite of the three, but if you experience
motion sickness think twice as I found it to be the most intense.
Tips: If you plan on riding all three rides, we
suggest riding "Los Banditos" first, then "Gigamon", and
finally "Zombies!" as they will get progressively more intense. There is a discount in pricing when three
rides are chosen. If you have a young child who is intimidated by "Zombies!",
a second ride on "Los Banditos" or "Gigamon" can be
substituted. My husband found that being towards the center seat seemed to help
with his aim.
Disclosure: My family
received a complimentary 7D experience for the purposes of this feature. All
opinions are my own.