Project Description

Advanced Dark Ride Concepts, Dark Ride Design

ZIERER Karussell- und Spezialmaschinenbau, 2021

In the spring of this year, Leisure Expert Group was asked by Zierer, a German manufacturer of amusement rides, to help develop concepts for their Advanced Dark Ride System (ADR). It was a golden opportunity to show the possibilities of the latest ride technologies combined with our expertise in storytelling and AV design.

We created six stories based on evergreen themes like dinosaurs, the wizard Merlin, farm life and Vikings, and more original stories around music. Our experience design expertise, combined with Zierer’s engineering capabilities, resulted in three layouts. A small one with one vehicle, a medium one with four vehicles, and a large one with seven to nine vehicles. In principle, each theme applies to each layout size.

The six stories and 3 lay-out can be purchased turn-key off the shelf from LEG and Zierer. Please reach out to us if you are interested in a quote for one of them.

Concept Design
  • Storyline

  • Storyboard

  • Artistic Renders

Schematic Design
  • Elevations and Sections

  • Materialization &
    Color Coding

  • 3D Model

  • AV Design



“Jura- the young girl palaeontologist asks us for help bringing this baby dino back to his mom. While travelling we can also help Jura collecting data for the population count by scanning dinos!”

The Dinosaur theme is a timeless as well as a classic theme that can be found in multiple themeparks. The continued popularity in both physical attractions as well as the digital domain displays the attractiveness of the theme. By choosing to work with friendly dinosaurs we create an experience for all ages. By using a young girl palaeontologist as main character we cater for both girls and boys.

By adding a handscanner to ‘’scan’’ dinosaurs for palaeontologic research purposes, we add a factor of edutainment and a ‘non-violent’ way to target friendly dinosaurs. Guests will be ranked based on the field research results and invited to practice their palaeontologic skills in future expeditions. As we take pride in our work, we had this specific Advanced Dark Ride Concept made as a scale model for the IAAPA Expo Europe 2021.


“While helping out the farmer on his fields we see that the foxes try to steal the chickens. We need to stop them before they get away!”

The farming theme is a generic theme that works with all ages. Whether you are a shopping mall, a theme park or Family Entertainment Centre, this theme attracts lots of families and smaller children emphasized by the use of a colorfull and cartoony style.

Guests use the ‘Agri-Gun’ onboard the vehicles to shoot various agraric items towards mischievous critters that seek to cause havoc at the farm.


“We are going on expedition on Cretar; a place where you can encounter the most dangerous dinosaurs. They are safe behind fences but a tropical storm hits and breaks down the entire resort!”

The theme of the early ages/dinosaurs compels audiences for ages in traditional and new media. By focusing on an older target audience we can offer more intense content and theming, making this an exciting and thrilling experience.

This theme lends itself very well for a high speed dinosaur chase which works perfectly with the dynamic ride movements of the Advanced Dark Ride system.


“Experience the music! Take a seat on the music express and travel to various music festivals! Help conducting a classical music piece, join the country band adding sound effects and get in the groove while dancing to 80s music. Get carried away with positive music vibes from the past, now and future!”

The Music theme and interaction with music is a timeless theme for all ages. By visiting various music genres we serve a wide target audience. Guests are challenged to become a conductor using a baton to interact with the digital screen content. With the baton, guests are challenged to hit various notes/items in the scene. There is even a bonus for guests that have an excellent sense of rhythm and hit the targets exactly on the right cue.


“Merlin tests us to recruit the next great wizards, but Merlin’s pet escapes! It is up to us – wizard trainees – to bring her home!”

The Magic/Fantasy theme is generic, it will be suitable for multiple parks. The theme of magic & fantasy is timeless yet still popular in media. By focusing on families and kids ages 7 and up we emphasize the game/interactivity element and keep the creatures and environments on the colourful / cartoony side.

Using a magic wand to interact with both digital content and physical set pieces. The more you hit/do the more points you get. In the end there will be a pay off where you can find out your grand wizard rank. This creates competition and re-rideability.


“Time is running out and odin needs our help. He created a vessel that can travel inbetween realms by surfing the magical ‘Bifrost’. It will be a dark and epic journey. Are you brave enough?”

The Viking theme is timeless and also popular in old and recent media, with a recent revival due to popular shows, movies, books and games. Most of them heavily based on Nordic mythology which has become more and more mainstream. The Viking theme is also generic enough to be integrated in most existing or newly developed themepark areas.

The story and concept of a great adventure/ quest requires many changes of scenery, the feeling of movement at high speed and various special effects. The guests become the heroes of their own story in this ride and will experience a sense of triumph and victory when disembarking from the ride.



Eine abenteuerliche Reise durch Zeit und Raum


On cruise ship the AIDAcosma, passengers can indulge themselves in a dinner show where Professor Tempus welcomes the guest aboard of his time machine. Today he is going to take you on a special journey to Saturday the eighth of September, 2125. Leisure Expert Group was closely involved with this project from the very start. Together with the talented team of AIDA, we were responsible for the storyline, the conceptual design of the restaurant and the production of the full content for the dinner show. As all designs were completed and the content was produced, we also took the responsibility of the art direction for all scenic elements and we show-directed the live performance together with the live entertainment crew of AIDA.



Djurs Sommerland

For their 2022 season Djurs Sommerland will introduce the new "Dinosaurland" themed area.


EDC: Kinetic Zen


As Leisure Expert Group celebrated their 7th edition as Insomniac's official design partner, they created a masterplan and designed the experience that guaranteed the perfect guest journey at world’s biggest pop-up theme park.


Movie Park Studio Tour

Movie Park Germany

For their 25th Anniversary, Movie Park Germany opened a new attraction: the Movie Park Studios Tour. This combination of dark ride and rollercoaster was designed by Leisure Expert Group in collaboration with the Movie Park Germany Project team.


Tornado Springs

Paultons Park

For their 2021 season Paultons Park has introduced the new "Tornado Springs" themed land. Leisure Expert Group was responsible or the compleet master plan and design development of the themed area.


Electric Mile


In partnership with Insomiac Events, Leisure Expert Group designed the world’s longest 'dark ride'. The Electric Mile debuted in the beginning of 2021 and with a length of 1,7 kilometers it beats the record with ease.



Walibi Holland

To continue the Festivalization rebranding after the Main Street, Wilderness and Speedzone, Walibi Holland pinpointed the Exotic area as fourth to transform. We created many festival experiences as official design partner of Insomniac Events, making us the perfect supplier to create a festival like atmosphere in the theme park. 


Test Lab

Universe Science Park

For the Danish Universe Science Park, we have been assigned to design a new exciting science exhibition. The exhibition is all about mental and physical challenges that guests can compete in with each other. 


Speed Zone

Walibi Holland

To continue the Festivalization rebranding after the Main Street and Wilderness, Walibi Holland created the Speed Zone area as third to transform. We created many festival experiences as official design partner of Insomniac Events, making us the perfect supplier to create a festival like atmosphere in the theme park. 


Sonar Station

Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen

Leisure Expert Group has been assigned by Wildland Adventure Zoo Emmen to redesign the Terra Explorer experience located in the Nortica area of the park, into the Sonar Station.


Haunted Houses

Chimelong Paradise

After working for Chimelong Paradise on "The Drain" in 2017, we were asked to redesign 2 of their other existing Haunted Houses into new experiences for their guests to enjoy. The results are Master Puppeteer and Cursed House which are our 2nd and 3rd Halloween Houses in mainland China.


Park Entrance redesign

Djurs Sommerland

Leisure Expert Group was responsible for masterplanning and designing the 2020 upgrade of the entrance area of Djurs Sommerland.


IAAPA Theatre

IAAPA Expo Europe

Leisure Expert Group was asked to design the IAAPA theatre for the annual IAAPA Expo Europe in 2019 and produce all events taking place there. Next to the time coded opening ceremony we worked on the stage design and provided front of house staff during all events.