Breathing fire into a historical attraction



Deep beneath the mountains of Southern Snowdonia lies King Arthur's Labyrinth, an attraction for all ages, which brings the magical story of King Arthur to life.


For 2017, and The Year of Legends, the team at King Arthur's wanted to add another level of magic and mystery with the installation of dragon river, complete with fire-breathing dragons to meet guests as they resurfaced from the labyrinth. 

Piranha Creative were tasked with designing a creative solution that could simulate the flames and yet still be suitable for the subterranean environment. As an underground attraction, the solution proposed had to be able to handle the low temperatures and the damp and dusty atmosphere of the former slate mines.


As a team, Piranha decided that the best way to achieve the special effect requested by the client was through specialist underground projection. A site was chosen on a bend in the river where the mine projection would be seen from a distance, in order to build anticipation for visitors. Piranha installed an Optoma laser projector, chosen for the fact that it is virtually maintenance-free; an important feature when installing in a hard-to-reach environment. 

Dragon-river at King arthur’s labyrinth was already home to a fiery beast, one who is hidden to guests upon entry, but illuminated upon their exit. The Piranha team wanted to ensure that the special effects we installed matched up with the illumination of the dragon, and so a control system was installed which would trigger the underground projection at the same time. Now, not only are guests suddenly exposed to the protective glare of the fiery guardian, they also see roaring flames dancing up the cavern wall.

In order to protect the underground projection from the inhospitable environment of the mine, Piranha housed the Optoma projector in a specialist bespoke enclosure with an environment-management system. This system includes heating and ventilation which are programmed to come on at the right time in order to keep the projector at the right temperature. Our team also used specialist fixings on this installation in order to drill into ‘live rock’. 

@ 2018 Designed and created by Piranha Creative