Virtual reality, Irish mythology come together in Busch Gardens' Battle for Eire

Jimmy LaRoue

If you like your virtual reality with a pint or two of Irish mythology and packaged inside the feel of a roller coaster, then the newest Busch Gardens attraction will take you on a journey unlike any other in the amusement park.

Park officials said Battle for Eire (pronounced eye-er), set to open this spring, will incorporate state-of-the-art virtual reality that will provide a crisper viewing experience than what people experience through their phones.

And if you haven’t yet experienced virtual reality, or VR for short? Not to worry.

About 5 percent of people in the U.S. have tried virtual reality, according to the data research group eMarketer.

Busch Gardens plans to immerse visitors to the attraction in the Battle for Eire mythology while providing a 360 degree virtual reality experience on a motion simulator.

While each person’s experience will be different, the basics of the myth include hopping onto a dragon and joining the battle to rescue the sacred Heart of Eire, the source for all magic in Ireland.

Before donning the VR headsets, you’ll learn the backdrop to the story and the characters — Addie the heroine, Ollie, Addie’s dragon sidekick, Balor the villain and Sluagh, Balor’s minions.

The ride is still under construction. During a behind the scenes look Wednesday at Battle for Eire, it was teeming with workers preparing it for battle, so to speak.

Park officials did not have a date for the ride to be ready, though it is aiming for sometime this spring.

Busch Gardens opens March 24.

For more coverage of Busch Gardens’ Battle for Eire, see Saturday’s Virginia Gazette.

LaRoue can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342, by email at or on Twitter @jlaroue.

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