In addition to the nine themed areas and a 4D cinema experience, the attraction’s Spirit of London ride provides an exciting and nostalgic black cab journey through London’s history. Guests are transported in near darkness from Tudor England to the 20th century, travelling through scenes featuring figures of some of London’s best known characters. From the golden age of Queen Elizabeth I to the Great Plague and Fire of London, to Christopher Wren’s re-building of the Capital right through the Victorian age, to World War II and the swinging sixties.
The animated ride harnesses animatronics, lighting and smoke special effects, and a fun soundtrack reflecting the various scenes and time periods, to create an immersive atmosphere for guests.
With Spirit of London reaching its 25th anniversary, the on-site AV team were keen to upgrade the attraction’s lighting to more energy efficient, eco-friendly LED fixtures, as part of their overall environmental policy.
Having previously commissioned A.C. Special Projects to provide a bespoke exterior colour-changing lighting solution bringing the building to life at night, as well as specifying various LED solutions for lighting upgrades to some of the themed areas inside the attraction, Madame Tussauds London approached them again to assist with the Spirit of London upgrade.
The venue’s AV team were so impressed by the ProLights LED fixtures that had previously been specified for inside the attraction by Chris Little, project manager at A.C. Special Projects, that they decided to utilise the brand’s fixtures throughout the ride upgrade. Working in conjunction with the AV team, Little assisted with the specification and supply of the various fixtures for the ride.
Over 180 ProLights Accent 1Q RGBW LED projectors have been supplied, some of which have been fitted with optional 25 or 40° lenses to help deliver powerful full colour-mixing lighting of set details and figures. The Accent 1Q’s very compact design made it ideal for achieving discreet installation of this main lighting fixture throughout the ride.
ProLights MiniEclipse Warm White LED profiles fitted with 36° lenses are used to pick out key figures, such as Sir Christopher Wren introducing the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Over 60 ProLights DisplayCOB Warm White and DisplayCOB RGB Full Colour fixtures provide homogenised output illumination for main set lighting on the ride. The DisplayCOB RGB fixtures were also used to help achieve the technically challenging ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ illusion in the Great Plague scene.
Finally, a ProLights RadonStar LED fixture provides a ‘time tunnel’ effect through the fog tunnel as guests enter the Elizabethan age.
Madame Tussauds London’s senior AV technician, Chris Gutteridge commented: “A.C. Special Projects have been extremely helpful in helping us to source the right lighting fixtures to achieve the best results for each of our themed areas.
“At their previous recommendation, we were already using several of ProLights’ LED fixtures in our A List Party, Fashion and The Sherlock Holmes Experience to great effect, so were very happy to choose them for the Spirit of London ride upgrade. We estimate that the new LED fixtures will result in a lighting energy saving of at least 70%, helping reduce our building’s overall running costs and carbon footprint.
“The service and support from A.C. Special Projects has been excellent as always.”
Picture: i101Digital and A.C. Special Projects