July 2, 2001
Kings Island, OH -- You've played the games. You've seen the movie. Soon, you can take the ride. Paramount Parks, a unit of the Viacom Entertainment Group, announced today plans to transform this summer's epic adventure, Paramount Pictures' "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," into a unique, multi-sensory adventure ride. Tomb Raider: The Ride will open in 2002 at Paramount's Kings Island near Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Paramount Pictures feature film is based on the wildly popular Eidos Interactive, Inc. action games: Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider II, Tomb Raider III: The Adventures of Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and Tomb Raider: Chronicles. Since its debut in 1996, Tomb Raider and its heroine, Lara Croft, have become a worldwide phenomenon. With total sales of the action games reaching 25 million units worldwide, each game has topped the PlayStation game best-seller lists. The recent Paramount Pictures feature film had an explosive $48.2 million mid-June opening-weekend box office gross giving it the title of best debut ever for a film based on a video game property.
On Tomb Raider: The Ride, adventuring guests are in for an experience unique to the theme park universe that is filled with all of Lara Croft's real passions: raiding tombs, besting bad guys and one extreme adventure after another. The excitement begins with a journey into a foreboding ancient temple. As stone walls give way to others, guests will proceed through mysterious chambers, engraved with strange, runic symbols and the debris of failed expeditions, as a sense of impending doom grows. With only seconds to spare before certain calamity, guests strap in to the only possible vehicle of escape. Playing off scenes from the motion picture filmed in Cambodia and Iceland, the escape will include rocketing upward for a close encounter in an ice cave with menacing, razor-sharp stalactites and a face-first plunge straight down toward a pit of boiling, red-hot lava.
"Part of the thrill of the Tomb Raider property is the mystery and intrigue that surrounds each adventure. We want to preserve this mystery with the Tomb Raider ride until the first group of adventurers braves it in 2002 - so, we aren't going to disclose all of the surprises in store for riders," said Tim Fisher, executive vice president and general manager of Paramount's Kings Island. "But this attraction will change the face of thrill ride history and become one of the greatest adventure rides in the world."
In making the announcement, park officials unveiled a dramatic 42'x 28' in-park display featuring actual props used in the filming of the motion picture. Members of the project team visited the soundstages at Pinewood Studios outside London, England and hand-selected key props to use throughout the ride experience. Some of these props are a part of the display located at the base of the park's signature Royal Fountain and Eiffel Tower attraction. The movie props on display throughout the summer include:
- The impressive six-armed Brahma statue, known as the Warrior Goddess Durga, featured in the Cambodian tomb
- The evil stone monkeys that are mobilized in the Cambodian tomb raiding scene
"It is our intention to bring the excitement, adventure and technology of Tomb Raider to life in a stunning multi-dimensional experience. Ensuring the authenticity of this experience is of the utmost importance to us," Fisher said. "We want guests to feel like real tomb raiders from the moment they enter the attraction."
Tomb Raider: The Ride is currently under construction in the Rivertown section of the 364-acre theme park. All will be revealed in 2002 when the park expects to unveil the new attraction.