Attraction Supplier News:
---- THE LATEST INDUSTRY NEWS ----
(12/2/20) A Deal For All The Readers Who Are Industry Professionals
(12/1/20) American Wave Machines Moving Ahead With Projects in California and Florida (MORE...)
(11/28/20) Interlink Signs Contract To Build New Themed Super Flume in Qatar (MORE...)
(11/20/20) CAVU Shows Off New QUEST Attraction Concept (MORE...)
(11/16/20) Skyline Attractions Shows Off One-Train Skywarp Orbit Concept (MORE...)
(11/8/20) Great Coasters International To Patent New "Titan Track" (MORE...)
(12/2/20) I’ve got a quick word to all of my readers who are professional theme park and attractions suppliers. For everyone in the business, we’ve worked out a deal with our friends at ThemeparX that may interest you, but it is only available if you act between now and December 15th. ThemeparX is now offering Screamscape readers a 20% discount off your first year’s subscription to their “Supplier 100” service. This service will get your company listed with a link on the ThemeparX pages where your company is involved in any given project.
This is 2020 after all and with IAAPA and every other major industry convention having been canceled or switched to a virtual format this year, your sales team likely didn't have the chance to be involved in any face to face sales talks, let alone the chance to meet any new clients on the show-floor. Signing up for the ThemeparX Supplier 100 program will drive those missing clients to your door through links, as well as raise the SEO profile of your company on Google searches.
The proof is already there as well in great testimonials they have gathered from your fellow industry professionals who have already taken advantage of the Supplier 100 service. But your advantage over them is that just by mentioning Screamscape when you inquire about the service, you will get 20% off the price of your first year, but only if you take action by December 15, 2020. Follow the link to read all about the service and how it can help your company rise to the top again. After all, your loss may be the competition's gain.
Alterface - (1/18/20) Alterface has announced some staffing changes this week. Alterface founder, Benoit Cornet, will be taking on the roll of President to focus on developing new business and market opportunities. The current COO, Stéphane Battaille, will assume the role of CEO and take over the daily management of their headquarters. Other changes include a recently appointed CIO Gillian Basso, Laurence Beckers continuing as Creative Director, Olivier Noel as CFO and new appointments of Etienne Sainton as Product Manager and François Danhaive as Program Manager.
Congratulations to all and looking forwarding to seeing all the latest innovations from Alterface over the upcoming year.
American Wave Machines - (12/1/20) According to a report on American Wave Machines, the plans to build a huge new PerfectSwell surf park at the Thermal Beach Club in Palm Springs has been unanimously approved. The Thermal Beach Club is a new project set on a 240 acre undeveloped site and is not affiliated with the previously announced plans to transform the former Wet ‘n’ Wild Palm Springs waterpark into the Palm Springs Surf Club.
Plans for a second PerfectSwell wave pool was also approved as part of the master plan for the Ocean Gate Commerce Center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
B&M - (9/28/20) I’m not sure how much of a market for this there is, but according to a detailed post at Coaster101 B&M has filed for a new patent for a new form of restraint to be used on roller coasters that are ridden standing up. To date B&M only made 7 Stand-Up coasters, and only four of them still run as Stand-Up coasters, after three of them were converted into Floorless coaster designs (Patriot at California’s Great America, Rougarou at Cedar Point and Firebird at Six Flags America).
The new restraint design seeks to make the stand-up ride experience more comfortable for the riders it seems. And before you ask the obvious question that will come to any man’s mind… they are NOT removing the uncomfortable quasi-seat from the crotch area. Instead the redesign is focused entirely on the upper half of the restraint, removing the more traditional B&M overhead padded bars that would often “box” riders ears repeatedly during the ride, and replacing that system with what looks like a copy of the same restraint system used on the B&M Wing coasters. This restraint system moves the OTS grips away from the riders head, allowing for a more open viewing experience, but also uses that thick padded “vest” as well.
I’ve discovered I have a bit of a dislike for the vest during my last ride on Wild Eagle at Dollywood where it suddenly made me feel very “squeezed in” and made me so claustrophobic that I was seconds away from begging the ride ops to let me out. This was a strange reaction from me, considering that I’m not claustrophobic at all, so the brief feeling of terror came out of nowhere, before I realized I could tuck my thumbs into the vest near the shoulders and pull it forward to provide much needed breathing room. I know B&M uses a similar vest system on their Flyer coasters as well, but I’ve never had a problem with that one.
According to Coaster101, they believe B&M may be getting ready to add a new generation stand-up coaster to their line-up in the near future, with the first one possibly going to SeaWorld Orlando at some point in the future. I guess we’ll have to stay tuned and see what happens. Unfortunately the first three B&M coasters ever built were stand-up coasters starting in 1990, and this was followed by a brief resurgence of four more in the late 90s, but after that… I think the market lost their design for new Stand-Up coasters. This begs the question… if the world ready to buy more of these machines from B&M, or is this something B&M is using to target more specific international markets that were not around during the 90s, such as China.
CAVU Designwerks - (11/20/20) CAVU has announced ‘Quest’, a new attraction concept they are calling “Themed Entertainment’s First Walkthrough Ride”. Visit CAVU’s website to see the video introduction to the concept, which can be customized to fit a variety of location spaces and experiences. Think of it as part escape room and part themed walk-through experience, with lots of options to be used to tell a variety of stories and reflect a mix of themes.
(11/23/19) CAVU pulled back the curtains at IAAPA on what they are calling the industry’s first intelligent trackless dark ride vehicle. Using technology similar to what is used in self-driving units at warehouse facilities, CAVU’s new SDV (Self Driving Vehicle) is able to adapt to changes in the environment. Inspired by the warehouse machines designed to run 24-hours a day, every-day, with 99% uptime, the idea was to adapt that technology into a themed attraction vehicle, able to handle integration with other equipment and set pieces as well as avoidace of other ride vehicles. They are offering two models, a “standard” model able to handle 8-riders with the ability to move forward, back and rotate, while the “plus” model holds 6-riders but adds in a 3-DOF motion base and on-board special effects.
(10/30/19) CAVU Designwerks has announced that they will unveil details about a next generation trackless dark ride vehicle at IAAPA Expo 2019 in Orlando this November. Follow this link for a few more details about what they are up to while we wait for IAAPA to get here.
Dynamic Attractions - (10/19/19) According to a report from Empire Industries the company had previously decided to leave ‘the low margin, commodity-style steel fabrication industry” and instead focus on their higher profit and profile sub-companys under the Dynamic brand name: Dynamic Attractions, Dynamic Structures and Dynamic Co-Ventures. According to a corporate presentation the company’s future lies in the design and building of rides as well as co-ownership of major tourist attractions. As such Empire has asked their Shareholders to approve a name change for the company to “Dynamic Entertainment” going forward.
(11/20/18) A great video showing off the power of Dynamic Attraction’s new Dual Power Coaster concept ride system can be found below… and it’s simply amazing. At the end of the video they confirm that the first one will open in 2019, and at IAAPA it was mentioned that this first one would be in Malaysia. I can only assume this is going into the 20th Century Fox World theme park slated to open in 2019, and based on the look of the construction pics posted thus far at ThemeparX, you can see a similar ride system being built with a desert mountain façade, rumored to be a Sons of Anarchy themed attraction. If true… then the vehicles could very well be motorcycle themed as well I suppose.
(11/14/18) Dynamic Attractions announced a new ride concept at IAAPA called the Dual Power Coaster which was also selected as the winner of the 2018 Brass Ring Award for Best New Product Concept. The idea features a hidden coaster track on a motion platform, so the only thing you see from the surface is a road surface and a small slot down the middle, similar to Disney’s Test Track concept. In addition to the motion base the coaster cars feature wheels attached to a separate power drive which makes “capable of doing spin-outs, drifting, air time and other racing moves.”
Screamscape will be heading to IAAPA later this week to check this out first hand and gather more info. Sure sounds like a system that would be ideal to use if you wanted to make… say… a fun dueling coaster ride themed to MarioKart or Fast & Furious. Don’t you think?
Great Coasters International - (11/8/20) According to this article Great Coasters International (GCI) is now seeing a patent for a new kind of track system they’ve designed called Titan Track. According to the description, Titan Track is a new steel track system that has no welds. “The track is a full rivet based system that allows for less maintenance, less need for frequent testing, and easy replacement of the rivets when needed”. The track also allows for inversions as well as for use with launched coaster systems.
In addition to being able to build full roller coasters from the ground up with Titan Track, they can also use Titan Track as a track replacement technology to replace “high-stress” segments of track on existing rides, or allowing them to re-track older rides to add modern new elements like inversions. If this sounds familiar, I believe this is now the official name for the “hybrid” style track GCI first put on display at a private event at IAAPA 2019 at Fun Spot America in Orlando. We mentioned not long ago that a segment of this new track system was being tested on Fun Spot’s White Lightning wooden coaster. Another US coaster will also soon have Titan Track, click here to find out where.
The article also mentions GCI’s roller coaster trains being offering, the existing and well known Millenium Flying Trains, the Mini-llenium Trains for the junior coasters and now the Infinity Flyer Trains described as “a class 5 modern age train capable of taking on the most extreme coaster elements”. The new Titan Track was designed to work with the new Infinity Flyer Trains. Please note that the Infinity Flyer trains were actually first shown off as a new concept at IAAPA in 2018 but I’m not sure if they’ve actually been put to use on any operating coaster to date. (If I’m wrong, please do let me know!)
GCI has confirmed they are currently working on four coaster projects: One in Dubai (Bollywood Dubai), one in Vietnam and two in China. Beyond that they say they have proposals out for up to 8 new coasters in China, 3 in Europe and 2 in the US.
(11/22/19) GCI made a surprise announcement this week at IAAPA… one that should worry RMC a little bit. GCI introduced their own Hybrid track system on Wednesday night at a special event held at Fun Spot America. You can see pictures of their new track system posted to Twitter below.
HOLOGATE - (10/24/20) We’ve seen HOLOGATE bring their own take on VR attractions to many locations over the past few years, and from the one or two I’ve been able to try myself, I found them to be fun experiences. How HOLOGATE is said to have partnered with ARVI VR to add a series of virtual Escape Room experiences to the HOLOGATE brand. The first line of HOLOGATE VR Escape Room experiences will include three themed experiences: Cyberpunk (a high tech heist), Mission Sigma (secret service themed), and The Prison (a prisonbreak experience).
(11/26/19) HOLOGATE, a leader in the world of LBE VR systems, came back to IAAPA with something new this year called HOLOGATE BLITZ. The Blitz system incorporates between 2 to 8 motion platforms that the players will sit in, equiped with a control wheel able to be used for multiplayer flying, driving and underwater based VR adventure games. With a nearly silent drive system the motion platform is 6DOF with 30º of tilt in every direction and able to move a meter in height.
You can see some excellent photos of the HOLOGATE BLITZ motion platform over at BlooLoop this week, where they also describe the first game, Hyper GP, where you pilot futuristic hovercraft in a multiplayer race around floating islands, desert wastelands and ice caves.
I’ve had the pleasure of playing the original HOLOGATE myself at a local FEC here in the Charlotte, NC area (Frankie’s) and this is the real deal. It was a great platform able to handle many different game concepts efficiently in a way that was so fun to play with my kids and have a great time. While being a VR system, you are still able to play socially with the other players and shout out when surprised or you need help… much to the enjoyment of the audience watching the groups of four play each game, flailing about at invisible enemies.
HOLOVIS - (4/29/20) If you missed the live webinar from Holovis about their new Crowd Solo software, you can see it again at the link in the tweet below. The replay is just under an hour long.
(4/27/20) For any attraction out there looking for a free solution to help with the social distancing problem as well as other difficulties, Holovis is hosting a Webinar on Tuesday, April 28th to show off Crowd Solo. Crowd Solo is a new app being developed by Holovis that will be made free to attraction operators and includes an attraction reservation and queue-management system, real time proximity alerts to track guest movements and more.
HUSS - (12/15/19) Huss Park Attractions has announced the opening of a new Sky Tower attraction at Changsha OCT Window of the World park in China. The new 120 meter tall observation tower attraction provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, holding up to 70 passengers at a time and can accommodate guests in wheelchairs, with an hourly capacity of 1400pph.
Intamin - (7/26/20) Intamin has made more interesting posts to their YouTube channel, this time showing off four brand new ride concepts (see below) from the company… though I can’t help but think that these all feel very familiar. Up first is the Intamin Ultra Splash, which immediately appears to be a near-clone of the Mack Power Splash ride, but they’ve changed the track style used here to something that looks like a massive RMC style mono-rail system and opted out of even trying to feature a turn-table station for increased capacity.
The second ride is another water ride called the Giga Splash, which looks like a re-engineered version of Intamin’s old Mega Splash ride system, which premiered to the world as Perilous Plunge at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2000. This new Giga Splash concept appears to use the same monorail style track structure as the new Ultra Splash system, adding in a fun air-time hill at the bottom before the splashdown. The unique aspect here is that there is no traditional lift hill and turn-around, instead they have created a tower to hold up the drop, with a built in elevator system that will spiral-around giving riders a fun view as they climb to the top and prepare to drop down the 40 meter tall waterfall at an 87º angle.
The third video is for something called the “Vertical LSM Coaster”, which essentially appears to be Intamin’s attempt to create something similar in concept to the popular Premier Ride’s Sky Rocket II coaster system, starting things off with a Triple-Launch that shuttles back and forth through the station before shooting out to the rest of the layout. In this case the train will actually hit the world’s first “Upside-Down Boost” higher up that will shooting riders up to the very peak and into a “Torpedo Dive” element. Again, this is similar to the Skyrocket II spiral concept at the top, except you take it while on a downward hill. You zoom past the station at the bottom and up into another element that Intamin is calling a World’s First called the Zig-Zag Loop. I’m sorry, but I have to call “BS” on that claim, because not only did the Hollywood Rip, Ride Rockit do this first in 2009 at Universal Orlando, but every Premier Ride’s SkyRocket II has the same element as well. According to the Intamin video, this is the “most compact triple launch coaster in the world”, so if that part is true, this will fit in locations where even Premier’s ride was deemed to be too big. Given how many coasters Premier has sold, I’ve got a feeling we’ll see a few of these Intamin rides start to show up in parks very soon.
The final ride concept from Intamin is something called the “Hot Racer”, which is being offered in three different layouts. This one also screams in your brain that you’ve seen this before… twice. Imagine if RMC took their new Raptor single-rail coaster system, and then tried to build a Hot Rod side-by-side racing/dueling themed version with magnetic launches. In other words… just imagine if Six Flags had asked RMC to build a Raptor version of the of the West Coast Racers attraction (from Premier Rides) that just opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Ok… got it? Now imagine that Intamin just copied them both and you’ve got Hot Racer. Check it out below.
(7/23/20) For those wondering about the Intamin promotion for a Tourbillon ride, Screamscape sources tell us that Intamin actually did buy ACE Rides a couple of years ago, so they do own ABC’s ride concept now. As an interesting off-note, I’m told that many of the former ABC staff departed the company during the buyout and along with the former founder of ABC Rides, they formed Ride Engineers Switzerland (RES). RES has been making the unique new Roller Ball coasters as well as working on the new Mystic River Falls rapids ride that just opened at Silver Dollar City.
(7/22/20) In an odd move, Intamin has posted a video promoting the “Tourbillon” ride, along with video footage that appears to be of the Cyborg Cyber Spin ride at Six Flags Great Adventure, which was from ABC Rides. So I guess the question is, did Intamin buy ABC Rides, or buy the Tourbillon from ABC Rides, or are they simply working in partnership with ABC Rides to promote and sell future Tourbillon rides? Something similar to the later brings to mind Intamin’s relationship with Giovanola who manufactured a few different rides that were marketed by Intamin in the ‘80s and 90’s, such as the first gen Freefall rides.
Interlink - (11/28/20) Interlink has announced that they have signed a contract to build a new Super Flume ride at a new waterpark project in Qatar’s Qetaifan Island North. The new SuperFlume is said to be a “first ride of its kind” to be installed in Qatar and will have several unique features. Riders will climb aboard 20-passenger themed boats and go on a voyage to see the “history and techniques of oil exploration in the region over the last 100 years.” Along the way riders will encounter various lifts and drops as the story unfolds, passing through different themed zones. The finale comes when the boat enters “the cracking tower” where it slowly rotates and rises up a vertical lift tower along with special effects until it exits into the daylight at the top to drop down a 16m high chute.
IRM Rides - (12/1/19) The owner of IRM (International Rides Management), Anthony Rossi, is now selling the company to the current VP of Sales, Samuel Shurgott. With 30 years of experience in the amusement industry, IRM will be focusing primarily on the US market while maintaining connections internationally through IRM partner, Premier Rides. While a new website is being prepared for launch, IRM’s list of current partners include Premier Rides, Sally Dark Rides, Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, Swannee River Railroad Co, Great Events of Colorado and has now added Pan Amusements, ITAL Resina Rides and Fibrart to the IRM family group.
Katapult - (10/20/20) I’m very curious to know more but Katapult has announced that in collaboration with Simworx they are developing a new attraction called Torchlight. Details are slim to none, other than a basic description that Torchlight will be “a gripping, new horror dark ride experience.” Ok… I’m hooked. Tell me more!
Katapult has also released a couple of pieces of concept art for Torchlight so far (see below), but nothing more, other than a link where you can sign up to be the first to learn all about it when the time is right.
Lagotronics - (4/13/20) Lagotronics has been granted a US patent on their GameChanger attraction concept, a rotating indoor and interactive dark ride concept that allows for many different themed to be applied to the same basic ride hardware and setup, allowing for the theme of installed rides to be changed into an entirely new ride with a simple software upgrade. The attraction’s small footprint can be made to fit a space as small as 36 square meters.
Legacy Entertainment - (11/21/18) Legacy Entertainment confirmed that the Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park project they worked on officially opened on Nov. 16th. Two other park projects they have been working on will open in 2019 in Indonesia: Trans Studio Bali and Trans Studio Action Zone (near Jakarta). Our friends at BlooLoop have posted some concept art and more details about the differences between the projects, including the Bali one which is being promoted as “the world's first social media theme park".
Maurer Rides - (10/17/19) A reader pointed out an interesting fact to us the other day that could likely mean that two more of Maurer’s Spike coasters may soon traveling around the world’s oceans in the near future. While Dream Cruises just announced that their first coaster would be going onto the Global Dream which should enter service in 2021, a quick search of the company’s fleet of vessels also shows that an unnamed sister ship to the Global Dream just began construction last month and is expected to open to guests about a year after the Global Dream.
By the same token, a search of Carnival Cruise Lines also shows that the new Mardi Gras vessel launching in 2020 will also have a sister ship launching in 2022 that has yet to be named. It is very possible that both of these twin-ships may also feature the powered coaster rides, much like how both of Disney Cruise Line’s second generation ships (Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy) both launched with the AquaDuck water coaster slides.
(10/14/19) While Carnival Cruise Lines will be the first Cruise Line to have a coaster at sea when they open Bolt on the new Mardi Gras vessel in 2020, a second similar coaster was just announced for “Dream Cruises”. According to the release the company’s new “Global Dream” vessel is now under construction in Germany and will launch in early 2021 with “Space Cruiser”, the world’s longest roller coaster at sea. Just like Carnival’s ride, the new Space Cruiser coaster will also be a powered “Spike” coaster from Maurer Rides, but with a 300 meter long track and able to reach speeds of 37mph.
The coaster will be part of an amusement zone on top of the ship that will also feature inflatable attractions, a trampoline park, a ropes course, a surf board simulator, mini karts and even a small flat ride or two.
Mondial - (11/28/19) Mondial had a number of new attraction concepts in development that were on display at their IAAPA booth this year. Amusement Today has posted a video showing off two of the models for these new attractions which you can see below.
Escape - a spinning ride with seats that swing and flip.
Surf’s Up - a spinning ride with wind surfer looking vehicles where the rides control the swing motion by moving a bar to control the sail, much like a Flying Scooters ride.
Mondial is also offering the Avalanche - a large swinging pendulum looking ride that features two arms of seats connected to the one ride where rides are seated with their legs dangling in the air.
Premier Rides - (8/15/20) Premier Rides has announced that their Premier Service division has been awarded their largest service contract to date. According to the press release, the new contract will see the company “producing a new fleet of trains in addition to providing other technology upgrades for a non-Premier Rides existing attraction.” The exact location of this project will be announced by the client when they are ready to do so.
The new trains will incorporate “advanced technology elements used on the Sky Rocket series of attractions”. Jim Seay, President of Premier Rides commented that, ““We are honored to be able to provide a fantastic technical upgrade to a truly iconic roller coaster. Fans will be excited when the location of the effort is announced. The Sky Rocket attractions continue to be recognized for their advanced technology and superior rider comfort, and the Premier team is certain that the addition of these newest generation of trains will take this coaster’s ride experience to the next level.” The plan is to have the new trains ready in time for the 2021 season.
Now… while Premier isn’t saying anything about which coaster this is going to be for, the first one to come to my mind is Mindbender at Six Flags over Georgia. The park has already announced that the classic Schwarzkopf coaster would be closed for the entire 2020 season, they’ve been working on track update and were even spotted with a borrowed train from the Revolution at SIx Flags Magic Mountain on site earlier this year, which to me says that they were in the market for new trains anyway. When the ride is to reopen in 2021, the park has already announced that it will be officially renamed as The Riddler Mindbender and themed after the comic book Villain. I could be wrong, but for now I’m putting my money on the Mindbender.
(8/7/20) A small group of very well known ride manufacturers for the amusement industry have banded together and released a statement to say that they will not be attending the 2020 IAAPA Expo this year. The group is made up of Chance Rides, Great Coasters International, Larson International and Premier Rides. I have posted the letter they released in entirety below:
August 6, 2020
To our Valued Customers,
The IAAPA Expo in Orlando is the most important annual gathering of amusement industry professionals and enthusiasts and is truly the epicenter of attractions innovation and business. In 2019, a record-setting 42,000 attendees including CEOs, global leaders, visionary designers, sales people, and technical experts gathered to conduct business, educate, and network at the industry’s gold standard conference and trade show. The 2019 show was a confirmation of the strength of the attractions industry which this past year set all-time records globally for attendance. Business had never been better.
2020 will not be the same. The companies listed below represent well over 100 years of continuous exhibiting at the IAAPA Expo. We are competitors, yet we work together closely to ensure amusement ride safety. We put our heart and soul into this industry with the like goal of creating lifetime memories for millions of people around the globe. And we all look forward to the opportunity each year to gather in Orlando and to be with colleagues and friends from nearly every country in the globe. There are no better words to describe the show environment than “one big family”. With that in mind, we are deeply saddened to share the news with you that we will not be exhibiting at the 2020 IAAPA Expo. We know this news will come as a great disappointment to many of you, and we have made this hard decision with great angst and with significant consideration of several factors.
First, the industry is hurting on all levels. Even with a global effort lead by IAAPA to establish very safe facility operations, our guests have not come back to the parks in the numbers for which we had all hoped. As suppliers to the industry, we know that successful business for us requires successful business for our valued clients. We get it. We understand there is a right time to sell and this is not the right time. Parks and attractions need to focus all their attention on keeping their facilities healthy and well-maintained so they can open strong in 2021. We are here to help you in any way possible, whether it be service or technical support and we will be here when the time is right to talk about new innovative attractions.
Additionally, and understandably, the ability to travel from both a global and a domestic standpoint has been so greatly diminished to the point it is impractical. Each day the news brings additional quarantines and restrictions. Flying from around the globe to Florida is almost impossible, and even in the US with its myriad of quarantine rules it would presently require 28 days of quarantine to visit the show from New York. Again, impractical.
And finally, and most importantly, we need to prioritize the health of our employees who have dedicated themselves to making our companies successful and who are what make visiting our booths so great and so welcoming. We understand all the precautions that are being taken for the IAAPA Expo, and we are grateful for that significant effort. There is indeed hope for the near future with rapid global achievements in the medical field. But for this show, with just over three months to go, the clock has run out.
We have each reached out to our valued clients around the globe and also here in the United States. The message has been the same. For all the reasons above, “we can’t come” is what we are being told. We understand and respect the situation and for the same reasons we will not be at the show either. We will dearly miss you.
The show is a major investment and we have already spent significantly on the show; funds that can never be recovered. We will use the savings from not exhibiting to maintain our company’s operations in order to be ready when you are. In addition, our industry is known for giving and we are all making some generous donations with part of our savings.
We will be giving to:
Give Kids The World to help make up for the annual IAAPA Expo Harley Davidson fundraiser.
Doctors Without Borders in recognition that we are indeed a global industry that positively impacts people around the world. https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
Heart of Florida United Way because we care deeply about the people of Orlando, the home of IAAPA and the IAAPA Expo. https://www.hfuw.org/
We encourage everyone who reads this to also consider contributing to one of more of these organizations, even if the amount is small.
We work in an industry that is extremely resilient. Through wars, through recessions, and yes, even through pandemics, our industry has survived. People have a basic need to smile, to have fun. And in tough times, amusement parks are a place where families can enjoy themselves.
The show must go on and will go on! Just not this year.
We will see you again in 2021. And yes, we will once again smile.
Thank you for your understanding.
(11/28/18) In case I forgot to mention this, Premier Rides is working with Kuka to open the world’s first robotic coaster at the new Wanda park opening in Guangzhou, China in 2019. Based on the artwork, imagine a set of roller coaster seats mounted to the end of a giant industrial robot arm… which is then mounted to roller coaster wheels on a coaster track. While I’m sure it wont be moving too fast or anything as it rounds the course, this should offer some all new sensations unlike anything else we've experienced to date.
Ride Entertainment - (2/5/20) Funtime and Ride Entertainment have announced the launch of a new attraction concept called the Booster Unhinged, a revamp of the classic Booster ride concept. The world’s first Booster Unhinged opened at Prater Park in Spring 2019 under the name ‘King Size’ and now it is available to all comers.
“Booster Unhinged takes the proven extreme concept of the original Booster and revs up the adrenaline to another level. Riders experience three separate motions all at once: the rotation of the main boom, powered rotation of the seating rigs, and the free-flipping gravitational motion of each individual seat.”
Riders are placed into unique individual seats that allow for an unobstructed view as they arc their way through the sky, “not knowing which way is up.” The prototype at Prater Park (seen in the video below) has seating for 8 riders at a time (4 on each end of the boom), but Funtime is offering larger scale versions with 16 and 32-seat configurations.
(11/12/19) Ride Entertainment has launched a couple of new high-tech upgrades for their Skycoaster attraction line. The first is the JoyTech Skycoaster Video System, a new onboard digital recording system that can deliver personal videos (with self-editing software) right to the rider’s phone within minutes of their Skycoaster experience, perfect for sharing with friends and social media. You can see an example of the new JoyTech system in action in the video below.
The second new option is through a partnership with KCL Engineering who will be showing off an all new LED lighting package added to the 250 foot tall Skycoaster at Fun Spot America in Orlando during IAAPA. Now the massive structure can be lit in a variety of ways, such as seasonal colors, to support a local sports team, or for special awareness events.
S&S - Sansei - (10/27/20) Last week S&S announced their new Spin Shot Tower concept and now we get a look at the new ride concept in action in this video from S&S.
(10/20/20) S&S - Sansei has announced a new tower creation that they are calling the “Spin Shot Tower”. According to the description the Spin Shot Tower takes the thrills of the S&S 4D Free Spin coaster seat by adding them to a classic S&S shot tower ride experience. The good news is that any park with an S&S tower can opt to have the new Spin Shot Tower seats retrofitted to work on the existing tower rides as well.
“Custom ride profiles can be programmed to orient the rider, face-up, face-down or even upside down during the tower ride sequence! This thrilling experience will be mechanically controlled to ensure maximum safety and thrills for all riders.”
S&S recognizes the current market challenges and the limited capital expense budgets most parks now face. Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, Josh Hays said, “Our CEO, Tim Timco, challenged us to develop an exciting attraction that parks could offer their customers at a modest budget. We believe our talented engineering team has met that goal. Parks want to offer their guests new and exciting experiences every year. That is a difficult task right now, but we believe our new Spin Shot Tower will allow parks with existing tower rides to reward their guests with a thrilling experience that doesn’t break the bank.”
I like the sound of this myself, as it reminds me of a throw-back S&S ride experience that never got the chance to make it big… the Sky Sling. The Sky Sling was a redesigned version of a previous S&S creation as well once known as the “Insane”. The old Sky Sling features the same concept of programmable seats able to provide unique ride experiences by rotating the riders forwards and back during the shot ride experience, which at the time was a capsule that was attached to three towers by cables and shot up into the sky. (Follow this link to see my review of the old Sky Sling ride from 2002 when we went out to S&S HQ in Utah to try out all their latest creations at the time, the Sky Swatter, Screaming Squirrel, Sky Sling and the infamous “Tilt Seats” that I don’t think ever really made it into full production beyond a prototype tower or two)
So from what I’m getting here, the new Spin Shot Tower is taking the programmable seat spin concept from the Sky Sling, but adding it to a traditional S&S Space Shot style tower ride instead. Sounds like a wonderful idea to me, so I can’t wait to see one in action.
(11/22/19) A great new video showing off new S&S Axis Coaster animation as well as live-action footage from the test track can be seen below.
(11/21/19) S&S has now posted an update to their website all about the new Axis Coaster concept along with a bunch of new concept art showing off possible layouts and track elements, as well as a unique near-vertical lift hill system for the concept. It is worth mentioning that despite how the prototype was loaded and launched, S&S did say that the standard Axis Coaster was meant to be able to load/unload in the Inverted Coaster style posture (because it is easier) but going up the near-vertical lift hill in the Inverted posture sure would be interesting, especially if the cars are able to freely roll about on the Axis.
(11/11/19) Coaster Studios got the chance to visit S&S in Utah and test out the new Axis Coaster prototype with some really amazing new video footage that shows off the Axis concept in more detail than ever before.
(10/29/19) S&S - Sansei has pulled back the curtain on their latest creation… the Axis Coaster. Check it out in the YouTube video below, and be sure to drop by their booth at IAAPA where they will be sharing all the details! For those who can’t wait… it looks like they have created a coaster where the rider seats are attached to an axis that allows them to barrel roll around freely as the coaster soars around the track. From the rider’s point of view, this is especially cool as you can’t predict exactly what the ride is going to do based on your view of the track ahead, as you may be riding on top of the track, under the track, or even on the side of the track at any given point in the ride. It looks like a hell of a lot of fun for sure and I’m glad we get to see an amazing new coaster innovation come to the market!
SBF/Visa Group - (11/28/19) According to this IAAPA wrap-up report, Rides 4 U reported selling the first Big Air Coaster from SBF/Visa to the Craig’s Cruisers FEC in Silver Lake, Michigan. They were not clear if sale was for a new custom layout unit, or if they actually sold the model from the show-floor, or if it would include the new hamster-wheel style spinning car.
Meanwhile the mini Sky Flyer Micro Coaster they had on display was also sold to Deno’s Wonder Wheel park in Coney Island, NY.
(11/22/19) A fun video clip of the Big Air Coaster’s spinning hamster wheel style seating was shot by Attractions Magazine, which includes some POV footage shot by the riders inside the wheel as well if you keep watching.
(11/20/19) A few days ago I told you all about the Big Air coaster that would be on display at IAAPA at the Rides 4-U Booth. Check out the video clip below to see that wild and crazy new lead car, flipping riders all over the place in action. It looks crazy!
(11/16/19) An interesting new mini coaster will be on display, and fully rideable, at the IAAPA tradeshow this week from the Rides R-U booth called the Big Air Coaster. The ride system is actually from client SBF/Visa and is built to fit into a compact area, while still allowing for other small attractions to fit into the center of the footprint. At first glance the coaster uses the SBF/Visa Spinning Coaster car system that has been set up at previous IAAPA shows as a rideable display. Be sure to look carefully at the first car of the train however, which features an entirely different way to ride this coaster, seated inside a giant circular shaped car, where it looks like the face to face seats are able to freely rotate within the circle as the coaster runs along the track.
Sally Corporation - (11/20/19) A few fun pictures and video clips from IAAPA show off the Sally Corp. booth display which has a few new figures coming to Six Flags’ first China park for a Garfield and Friends dark ride experience.
(10/3/19) Congratulation to Sally Corp. and PortAventura as their new dark ride, Sesame Street: Street Mission, was the recipient of two major industry awards during the IAAPA European Expo. The attraction received the Park World Excellence Award for ‘Family Ride of the Year” and placed 1st at the European Star Awards in the “Europe’s Best New Rides” category.
(9/18/19) Sally Corp and Aardman have announced two new dark ride concepts at IAAPA Expo Europe 2019. One is themed to Aardman’s “Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon” film as aliens arrive on Mossy Bottom Farm. The second concept is called “Adventure Through Time” which is themed to a brand new Aardman IP that will feature a unique storyline involving travel through the worlds of Egyptian Pharraohs, the Pirates of the East China Se in the 1800’s as well as the Cretaceous Period.
Simworx - (9/25/19) Simworx announced two new products at the IAAPA Expo Europe in Paris last week. This included the “AGV Dark Ride” and a “Mini Flying Theater”. The first new Mini Flying Theater attraction, developed as a smaller size option for smaller venues, will soon open in Vietnam at Baosun Wildlife Park in Hanoi.
The new AGV Dark Ride will push the boundaries of the genre with no tracks or power cables, allowing the vehicles to freely roam along a programmed path “at speeds unrivalled within the industry”.
They also showed off a new “Metro of Time” attraction concept that “puts a twist on the traditional 4D cinema, taking guests on a time travelling adventure in fully themed metro carriages.”
Skyline Attractions - (11/16/20) Skyline Attractions has posted a concept video of a new Skywarp Orbit ride model that would only run a single train on the layout. The single train makes for easier loading and allows some room to add theming elements to the attraction layout as well.
(11/15/19) Skyline Attractions has announced another new version of the Skywarp ride concept, this one is called Skywarp Orbit. This one was designed to fit in a small footprint and feature both an inversion as well as an airtime hill, all at a size that can even fit into an indoor location.
Tacumeon Rides - (12/24/18) There is a new interesting player in the industry it seems called Tacumeon Rides. The group is said to be some kind of offshoot creation of Mack Rides and MackMedia looking to create and market new attraction concepts that merge the technology and hardware of the two proven groups. The first creation is something they call The Gamestormer, where they use the Mack Sea Storm flat ride (which is really an under-appreciated flat ride these days) and surround it with enclosure with a 360º projection screen system and load each of the vehicles with a couple of interactive cannons / blasters allowing the riders go through sequences where they may be just riding through an incredible themed environment shown on the screens surrounding the ride, and then slow down or stop to have moments of interactivity where the riders can battle with the projections before going into full blast high speed ride mode again, to repeat the sequence of events as many times as needed. To accomplish this, they are teaming with Lagotronics for the interactive elements.
For now concept artwork is all we have to go by, but I have to admit that I really like the idea of this ride system and with the right creative and themed elements, this could turn out to be something very cool indeed.
Triotech - (10/20/20) Triotech has announced they are building a major new attraction of Fabland Xiangyang in Hubei, China. The new attraction is described as a “double walkthrough attraction” that will serve as an immersive and interactive experience for the park guests themed around the world of Space Pirates and interstellar Bounty Hunters. According to Triotech the concept will add a “dark ride” style attraction to the park without the need for an expensive ride system.
(9/20/19) Triotech and CL Corp announced that they are joining forces to create new media-based experiences and attractions for the industry. CP Corp is known for their motion platform expertise throughout Europe while Triotech is known for their heavy involvement in interactive attractions technology. It should be facinating to see what the two can come up by putting their creative minds together.
(11/22/18) TrioTech had a couple of interesting new projects on display at IAAPA this year. The biggest was an interactive theater experience called Rabbids Team Battle. Guests enter a theater outfitted with Triotech’s XD Dark Ride interactive theater seats, each armed with a blaster, facing a 270º projection screen. Once the show begins you are taken into a battle arena filled with Rabbids cheering for their respective champion battle-bots… Red and Blue, who begin to fight. The theater audience is also divided down the middle into Red and Blue teams, and you aid your team’s battle-bot by blasting at glowing weak-spots on the opposing team’s battle-bot.
As you might expect from an attraction featuring Ubisoft’s Rabbids characters, the action is fast, furious, and funny. It doesn’t take long before the battle spills out of the arena and into the city streets, and your trigger finger begins to ache from the non-stop carnage.
Overall the experience was very enjoyable and felt like a very polished and fun experience, even in this temporary demo setting at IAAPA. It actually reminded me quite a bit of the Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare attraction that opened at Carowinds in 2016… but more modern, with smoother graphics and interactive blaster technology, plus being a bit more fun due to the Rabbids characters. In a lot of ways the Rabbids kind of have a universal appeal, much like Universal’s Minion characters to which they share a lot of similarities. They’re both small, cute, fairly indestructible and speak an utter gibberish language that has global appeal. (A quick note to Cedar Fair, this would make a great replacement attraction for those Action Theater buildings you've got at the former Paramount parks.)
The Triotech attraction that really blew me away however was Triotech’s new VR Maze attraction. First announced at last year’s IAAPA as part of a deal with Ubisoft the first experience was themed to the Rabbids, but this year the new Assassin’s Creed experience was on display and was not to be missed. The fully title is “Assassin’s Creed: The Temple of Anubis” and you are outfitted with HTC Vive headgear and controllers which become your virtual bow and arrow. Nocking a flaming arrow into your bow and unleashing it upon your enemies in the game is actually quite an empowering experience. Loving every second, I was immediately immersed in the experience, exploring the tomb, fighting the ancient forces of evil, rescuing a fellow assassin and finding treasure. The experience ends with a VR recreation of an iconic Assassin Creed moment from the game series… a leap of faith from a tall tower that was quite a rush.
The experience was slick, polished, well themed and to be honest, highly addictive, because even now I want to try it again. This is exactly the kind of VR experience you’ve been waiting for, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Vekoma - (4/25/20) Ready to ride a brand new roller coaster design? Vekoma released a POV video of their new “Firestorm” model coaster making a test run at the remodeled Vinpearl theme park in Vietnam set to re-open sometime in 2020. According to RCDB the coaster’s final name will be Wrath of Zeus. It features a magnetic launch, three inversions, tons of twists and turns, an underground tunnel and lots of low-to-the-ground terrain hugging maneuvers.
Walltopia - (11/15/19) Most of us have seen Ropes Courses by now, but Walltopia will introduce a new take on the concept at IAAPA next week called The Tree Course, which resembles an 85 foot tall tree where the climbers head out on the various curved branches to tackle all the crazy obstacles. It looks wonderful and terrifying all at the same time, but is also a fantastic way to make a ropes course look like an attractive addition to your landscape.
Wiegand - (9/4/20) Wiegand, who is perhaps mostly well known in the attraction’s industry for their amazing Alpine Coaster attractions have come up with an all new creation: the CoasterKart. Based on the concept of the Alpine Coaster, the CoasterKart will feature a two-passenger vehicle, but with side-by-side seating, not unlike a car. The track will be wider and the speed of the Kart will be controlled by a foot pedal and gain speed boats via magnetic LIM motors. Even better, the idea for the CoasterKart is to combine two side-by-side tracks to allow guests to race against the car next to them.
You can see footage from the prototype track Wiegand built below, but the first official CoasterKart attraction is now set to open later this year in Pigeon Forge at the Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park.
WhiteWater - (7/31/20) Whitewater reports that they have opened the world’s first “Orbiter Water Slide” at OCT’s Adventure Bay park in Xiangyang, China. The park has named it, Turbo Shuttle, and it features a unique 360º-degree ascending spiral element. You can see pictures of it below.
(6/20/19) WhiteWater announced at the IAAPA Expo Asia last week that following their licence deal with Wiegand-Maelzer last year for the SlideWheel attraction, they reached a new deal in 2019 that has granted exclusive rights to the SlideWheel attraction to WhiteWater, making this award winning new attraction concept “exclusively available from and manufactured by WhiteWater.”
WhiteWater has also been involved with a few large projects that have hit the headlines as of late including: Island H2O Live! (new waterpark at Margaritaville Resort, Orlando), Perfect Day at CocoCay (private waterrpark from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines) and in China the new Guangzhou Sunac Water World.
Zamperla - (9/28/20) Zamperla is sharing the results from two researchers who published their findings called “Amusement Parks – a Non-Conventional but Effective Measure Against Stress from COVID-19”. The research paper explores how amusement parks were found to be a valuable way of fighting the depression and stress caused by the threat of COVID-19 this year. They find that a safe amusement park experience can serve as an important tool for mental wellbeing.
I would have to agree, as I suspect most of the Screamscape readers would as well. As a theme park and thrill ride fans, few things in life are able to bring about such immediate joy to my soul as a visit to a theme park, or the exhilaration of the high speed rush of a roller coaster ride.
(11/23/19) Zamperla put two new coaster train designs on display at IAAPA this past week, the DangleZ and Lightning trains. DangleZ has elevated trains mounted to a controlled spinning axis point that apparently can rotate the riders up to 80º to the left or right of the direction of the track. Lighting is more like an evolution to the previous Thunderbolt train design, this one seating four across (up from 3) and made from stronger/lighter material, able to handle launches, vertical lift-hills and have an on-board sound system. You can see pictures of both new train designs in a Tweet embedded below.
Of course they also brought along a fully functioning NebulaZ flat ride for everyone to see and test-ride, spinning and whirling in action in every direction while comfortably fitting inside the convention center on the IAAPA show floor. Most impressive! I can’t wait to see these start to appear in parks.