Blog, Guest Experience, Planning

FORREC Designs Two New Attraction Narratives For Lionsgate Zone At Motiongate™ Dubai As Part Of Dubai Parks And Resorts Expansion

Jan 20, 2022

Inspired by Lionsgate’s blockbuster franchises John Wick and Now You See Me, the expanded zone at Dubai Parks and Resorts will feature the world’s tallest free fly and most revolutions of any spinning coaster.


Experience design company FORREC is thrilled to see the opening of the expanded Lionsgate Zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai and its two new roller coaster attractions, John Wick: Open Contract and Now You See Me: High Roller. Inspired by Lionsgate’s film franchises of the same name, the rides are open to guests starting Friday 21st January at the Middle East’s largest integrated theme park, Dubai Parks and Resorts, part of Dubai Holding.

Under the mandate of Dubai Holding Entertainment and in collaboration with Lionsgate, FORREC developed the creative vision, direction, storyline, and planning for the Lionsgate Zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai. It occupies a land area of 16,200 sqm (1.6 ha) including:

Now You See Me covered street storefronts – 730 sqm

Now You See Me Attraction – 590 sqm plus overflow queue, load and unload

John Wick – 655 sqm plus overflow queue, outdoor unload and exit


The expansion in the Lionsgate Zone offers branded retail and new F&B on the New York Street, along with iconic moments inspired by the films. The expanded Lionsgate Zone uses out-of-the-box creativity and innovative technology to ensure the ultimate experience for all visitors, including large 2D forced perspective murals and a multimedia LED canopy.

“FORREC is proud to have played a vital role in the creation, design, and development of these new experiences at MOTIONGATE Dubai” says Cale Heit, President and CEO, FORREC. “We are fortunate to have great partners at Dubai Holding Entertainment and Lionsgate; Dubai Holding Entertainment is incredibly well-seasoned in working with popular IPs and always have the guest experience top of mind, while Lionsgate spares no effort in bringing their IPs to life in the most impactful way possible. Working with both partners on John Wick: Open Contract and Now You See Me: High Roller was an exciting process filled with diverse perspectives and we’re excited to see guests’ reactions with these new, thrilling coasters.”

“Dubai continues to be a leader in the travel and tourism sector, with a reputation for delivering pioneering projects and landmarks,” said Fernando Eiroa, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Holding Entertainment. “The opening of the world’s first John Wick rollercoaster and the world’s fastest spinning rollercoaster are an example of the breadth and diversity of entertainment experiences in Dubai. We are confident that these new offerings will contribute to further enhancing Dubai’s competitiveness as one of the leading international tourism destinations in the world.”

“We are immensely proud of the exceptional, authentic experiences we were able to craft for Lionsgate’s popular John Wick and Now You See Me film franchises,” says Jerry Sabatini, Vice President, Creative of Global Live and Location Based Entertainment, Lionsgate. “The heart-pounding thrill of the new world’s-first rides are delightfully counterbalanced by rich storytelling, deeply immersive interior spaces, and vibrant environments. In collaboration with our partners at MOTIONGATE Dubai and FORREC, we developed clever ways to weave interconnected storylines in and around a dazzling-built world that is both grandiose in spectacle and intimate in detail. We cannot wait for guests around the world to experience the new Lionsgate Zone at MOTIONGATE Dubai.”


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John Wick: Open Contract

As the world’s first attraction inspired by John Wick, John Wick: Open Contract is a 4D free spin, 10-story high roller coaster and is set over a 310-metre track. It can reach speeds of up to 64km per hour and deliver up to 2.8 G-force. Guests begin their journey at the iconic Continental hotel before embarking on an intense, action-packed journey that recreates John Wick’s perilous adventures, as the coaster races down a 4D track that offers forward and backward freestyle spins on the world’s tallest 4D free fly coaster!

Prior to boarding, riders will be given a choice of two different experiences depending on which path they choose to queue through: fulfill a blood oath and help protect John Wick from lethal contractors or become an assassin hired to hunt him down. As visitors move through the queue, they are delighted with an immersive, experiential pre-show that brings the attraction to life, starting with a walk-through of a scaled version of The Continental – the setting and gathering point in the John Wick movies. From there, depending on the chosen line, guests are immersed in the story and navigate through different key moments in the film before coming together in the War Room to board the amazing ride that brings the battle to life.


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As the creative design partners, FORREC was tasked with creating engaging experiences that bring the John Wick IP to life in a meaningful way, while balancing economical design in relation to square footage and establishing a sense of intimacy in an area that is massive in scale. In a strategic design choice, FORREC used the ride buildings as architectural infrastructure to help create this sense of density and close quarters. While the coaster is 34.65m from ground to top track, our design objective was to make the building appear taller than it was – as the Continental is taller than 20 meters.

“It is such a satisfying process to love the content, immerse oneself in the IP and for FORREC the opportunity to be the first to recreate these magical and iconic movie moments in Theme Park environments, we can all walk through and experience time and time again,” said Eric O’Rourke, Senior Director, Theme Parks, FORREC. “The FORREC team was incredible and strove for design excellence at every step. Our objective was to be mindful and deliver on both Dubai Holding Entertainment’s and Lionsgate’s best interests and expectations.” (keep)


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Now You See Me: High Roller

Based on the mind-bending heist thriller Now You See Me, guests will get to experience the film’s masterful misdirection in real-time through a series of optical illusions, magic shows, and immersive storytelling. Riders will reach speeds of up to 70km per hour as they race to escape security and expose the antics of a criminal mastermind during an intense coaster experience.

Now You See Me: High Roller boasts a 20m first drop, non-inverted loops, and Immelmann turn sections, with riders making a full 180-degree turn after entering a half-loop section of the track, followed by a half twist, breaking the record for most revolutions of any spinning coaster in the world, all on a freely rotating ride vehicle!

Set in a casino hotel in an undisclosed location with a contemporary Las Vegas feel, guests will enter the queue in the casino as they walk through the lobby to take part in a heist the Horsemen (illusionists who pull off robberies during their performances) are in the midst of carrying out. While riders are under the guise of seeing a magic show, they are in fact being recruited to assist the illusionists to rob a hotel vault and return the money to its rightful owners.

Centred on the theme of magic and set in multiple cities like the film, FORREC wanted to capture the sense of being “transported” between cities, while also having guests feel a part of the iconic “heists” that are central to the Now You See Me narrative. Guests approach the glittering casino ride façade under a massive 50.m x 19.0 x 6.5 m arced canopy covering an urban themed promenade lined with interactive storefronts and fountains, creating an immersive pre-show space and a shaded amenity for the entire park that comes alive with lights embedded in the facades and LED canopy. Riders eventually reach the “rooftop” of the hotel where they will board the spinning coaster. Acting as a portal, guests are “magically” teleported to New York and disembark the roller coaster, successfully eluding the casino security.

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As guests continue to want more involved and explorative experiences in attractions, FORREC designers worked closely with Lionsgate to create a holistic themed world within the expanded Lionsgate Zone – connecting with audiences on-the-ground through immersive experiences, rather than just a queue onto a ride. Using space and time, both John Wick: Open Contract and Now You See Me: High Roller bring the narrative of the adjacent zones together, creating transformational experiences.