4D film

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Diagram of a 4D theater

4D film or 4-D film is a marketing term for an entertainment presentation system combining a 3D film with physical effects that occur in the theatre in synchronization with the film. Effects simulated in a 4D film may include rain, wind, strobe lights, and vibration. Seats in 4D venues may vibrate or move a few inches during the presentations. Other common chair effects include air jets, water sprays, and leg and back ticklers. Hall effects may include smoke, rain, lightning, air bubbles, and smell.

Because physical effects can be expensive to install, 4D films are most often presented in custom-built theatres at special venues such as theme parks and amusement parks. However, some movie theatres have the ability to present 4D versions of wide-release 3D films. The films Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) and Avatar (2009) are among the films that have received a 4D treatment in certain theatres.[1]

There is no consistent standard for using the term "4D" when describing the presentation of a film. 4D films have also occasionally been marketed as 5D, 6D, 7D and so on in order to emphasize the variety or uniqueness of their theatre effects.

Notable formats for providing different aspects of a "fourth dimension" to films include Sensurround, Smell-O-Vision and 4DX.

Selected filmography[edit]

TitleYearRelease venue/ CountryNotes
The Sensorium1984Six Flags Power Plant, Baltimore, MDThe first 4D film
Captain EO1986Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo DisneylandClosed in the mid-late 1990s. Reopened in 2010 as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson, who stars in the film. Currently playing in four Disney theme parks.
Muppet*Vision 3D1991Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure ParkDirected by Jim Henson
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience1994Epcot, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo DisneylandSponsored by Kodak. Closed in all locations in May, 2010.
Terminator 2 3D: Battle Across Time1996Universal Studios Florida, and Universal Studios JapanDirected by James Cameron
It's Tough to Be a Bug!1998Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney California Adventure ParkBased on the Pixar film A Bug's Life but made by Rhythm and Hues Studios
Pirates 4D1999Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Noah's Ark Waterpark, Thorpe Park in the UK, Enchanted Kingdom in the Philippines, Sentosa Singapore and Phantasialand
PandaDroom2002The Efteling, NetherlandsSame film released in other parks without 4D effects
Mickey's PhilharMagic2003Magic Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo DisneylandIn collaboration with Walt Disney Feature Animation
SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D2002, 2006Six Flags over Texas, Moody Gardens, Shedd Aquarium, Adventure Dome, Six Flags Great Adventure, Movie Park Germany, Adventure Aquarium, Kings Dominion, (formerly at Paramount Parks), Indianapolis Zoo, Carowinds, Camden Aquarium (Camden, NJ), Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida, Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo and other locations
Haunted Lighthouse, (aka R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse 4-D)2003Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo
Shrek 4-D2003Universal Studios Florida, Warner Bros. Movie World, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios SingaporeReleased in an anaglyph version as Shrek 3-D on DVD
Borg Invasion2004Star Trek: The Experience, at Las Vegas Hilton, USAClosed in 2008, to be reopened in Neonopolis, Las Vegas
Fly Me to the Moon2008Six Flags over Texas
Journey to the Center of the Earth 4-D Adventure2008Vibrant 5D, Raipur (Installed by Modern 5D, India) Stone Mountain Park, Dollywood, Warner Bros. Movie World
Pokemon 4-D: Pikachu's Ocean Adventure2008Comcast IMAX 3D Theater in Avon, Massachusetts, as well as in JapanProduced by Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. Distributed by Sarai Inc[2]
Avatar in 4-D2009South Korea, Hong Kong
London Eye 4D Experience2009London Eye
Marvel Super Heroes 4D2010Madame Tussauds London
Rabid Rider2010Cincinnati Zoo
Star Tours II2011Disneyland and Magic Kingdom
Shalem2011?Jerusalem Time Elevator, JerusalemA 3000-year-old guide to Jerusalem's history at the Jerusalem Time Elevator, Jerusalem.[3] It includes moving and tilting seats on a moving stage, air conditioning and smell enhancements, along with a 'light and sound' show highlighting real artifacts. A similar system, 'The Time Mine', has been installed at the Timna Valley park near Eilat, and another at the main hall of the Herzl Museum in Jerusalem.
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World2011United States, India, Canada and UKSmell was achieved by using scratch and sniff cards
Transformers: The Ride2011Universal Studios Singapore, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem2012Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood14-minute simulator ride, starring Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the Minions; setting is 1 year after the events of the original film in 2010.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs2012Shedd Aquarium, Warner Bros. Movie World, North Carolina Zoo and San Diego Zoo14 minute condensed version of the film.
Iron Man 32013Korona World Theatre Nagoya, Japan,[4] Seoul, South KoreaLabeled as 4DX featuring strobe lights, tilting seats, blowing wind and fog, and odor effects.
Rio2014San Diego Zoo, Kentucky Kingdom12 minute condensed version of the film.


  1. ^ Han Sunhee (February 5, 2010). "'Avatar' goes 4D in Korea". Variety. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Big Movie Zone -- Pikachu's Ocean Adventure". Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ Jerusalem Time Elevator Tickets GoJerusalem.com
  4. ^ Marah Eakin (18 April 2013), Iron Man 3 getting sniff-worthy 4D screenings in Japan, Onion Inc., retrieved 28 February 2014 

External links[edit]