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EXPO: IAAPA Expo 2019

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Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 2/2020 vom 20.01.2020

For years now, the leisure industry is going only in one direction: Upwards! According to current IAAPA-survey, the branch has recorded more than 1.16 billion park visitors worldwide in the past year, with an annual turn - over of 52 billion US-Dollars (48 billion Euro).

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On almost all the four days a huge rush of trade guests prevailed

The decision to present the worldwide most important exhibition of the amusement world annually in Orlando and not in changing cities, seems to have asserted itself, despite divided views at earlier times. With the establishment of a permanent location, the international ...

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... umbrella association IAAPA has demonstrated its necessary farsightedness to keep trade visitors on track. This is proved once again, by this year’s 27,800 trade visitors (from a total of 42,600 participants) as well as a net exhibition surface of almost 55,000 square metres at the IAAPA Expo 2019. In actual fact the exhibitor number has steadily increased to the current 1,146 number, so that the huge exhibition hall is already bursting at the seams, as it has for a couple of years - with the result that a part of the exhibitors had to be placed outside in a tent. In order to rectify this unlucky situation and due to building works (extension of the exhibition hall), there are plans to use the North Concourse of the Orange County Convention Centre in 2020. This extra exhibition hall is however - very typical American -separated from the very wide International Drive, but this way all exhibitors could be offered adequate “shelter”. However, the problem of a two-hall solution around 400 metres away from each other has naturally also its problems. One must wait and see what the future brings. Orlando definitely continues to en - tice (trade) visitors. The conditions in Central Florida are ideal: The best international connections, a whole lot of hotels, wonderful weather in November, and in addition to the IAAPA Expo, there are also Walt Disney World, the Universal Orlando Resort, the Sea- World-Parks, and a number of other theme parks as well.

The last official act of Amanda Thompson OBE (Blackpool Pleasure Beach) as Chair of the IAAPA Board of Directors was the handover of her position to David Rosenberg (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Bollinger & Mabillard built the “Emperor” for California’s SeaWorld San Diego

This year there were various seminars, meetings, and evening events at a number of these attractions, for example at the Legoland Florida Resort, at Universal Volcano Bay, and the major event “IAAPA Cele - brates” with 2,500 (paying) guests was held at Universal Islands of Adventure with this year’s novelty “Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure” from Intamin in the Harry-Potter-theme area of the park. Additionally, the Brass Ring Award was also bestowed, but more about that in the following alphabetical report.


DOJO looks like a modern 3D interpretation of a “Twister” - “Simon” combination. Alterface created a VR-arena each for four persons, who can play together on a broadband with three different games to choose from, from an age of 9 years of age. In contrast to most VR-arenas, DOJO is surrounded by soft, vertical slats, which protects players so few feel vulnerable, when submerging into their VR-experience. Despite this fact, viewers can still see all the action and encourage new players to join in.
An astonishing further development has happened to the excellent dark ride “Popcorn Revenge” that has been honoured a number of times (for example with the European Star Award), the IP of which has been developed in-house by Alterface: From now on interested parks can be not only be offered the attraction, but also with “Popcorn Revenge Universum”, a complete theme area.

From now on, the interested parks concerned are offered not only the turnkey handover of the attraction together with theming and merchandising, but with “Popcorn Universe” a complete theme area. Benoit Cornet, CEO and founder of Alterface, explains: A dark ride is sometimes not enough to generate enough visitors for a park.” In order to create this new “Popcorn Universum” Alterface is working together with the design studio King Concept, a company that has been active for Studio 100 a number of times. The team is currently developing a 10,000 m² sized plan example for up to 5,000 persons. In the process, the focus remains on the “Erratic Ride”.

Axe Pros

Stan Checketts is an incredibly versatile person and proves once again that he can not only invent Freefall towers, coasters, indoor skydiving and Ziplines. Digit al axe throwing is his latest ploy. The virtual targets can be tailored to the wishes of the operator. During the Expo, guests were able to hurl their axes at among others, devils, spooky clowns, and even at a number pf political personalities. Stan Checketts, President and CEO: “I have 35 grandchildren who just love it, and even 10 year-olds can throw them.”

The new theme area option “Popcorn Universe” with IP from Alterface

Brogent’s “Flying Theatre” for Legoland California and ETF’s dark ride for Legoland New York


The 550 m long and 47 m high dive coaster “Emporer” will be erected at SeaWorld San Diego. The new attraction has a speed of almost 100 km/h and will apparently bring attention to itself in a spectacular way due to the impacts on climate change.

Brogent Technologies

In addition to the large, worldwide popular Flying Theatre (as well as the product ranges by the name of “i- Ride” and “m-Ride), the company also presented new mini simulation platforms as a new, turnkey entertainment concept.

DreamCraft Attractions

With the “Project Eve” a digital person was presented, which interacts in real time. The technology envelopes photogrammetry, as well as volume and activity record ing, with remarkable detail and resemblance.

ETF Ride Systems

Holovis and ETF have grouped together in order to realise the “Lego Factory Adventure” for the Legoland New York Resort. This is the world’s first ride construct - ion where passengers also transform into (virtual) Lego mini figures, and can be rediscovered in a virtual room per online-tracking. Worldwide unique in a Lego-Park is also a ride through the small Lego-factory on-site, something that was only a short introduction per film previously. During the press conference, both manufacturers involved introduced trackless ETF-vehicles that fit perfectly in the non-linear ride experience. “With the trackless vehicle guests should have the feeling that they are a part of the automatic robot machine”, said Ruud Koppens, CEO of ETF Ride Systems. The resort will apparently open in July 2020.

A “Flying Theatre” concept from Falcon’s Treehouse for Katmandu Punta Cana

Great Coasters Inter - national has erected the “Texas Stingray”, a 30.5 m high and 1,030 m long hybrid coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio

Bumper car specialist Bertazzon has cars on offer fitting to every taste

Falcon’s Treehouse

During the press conference detailed plans for the first theme park in the Dominican Republic were revealed: Katmandu Punta Cana, a new experience and shopp - ing world that is planned to open in 2021. Included are various indoor rides, among others a “Suspended Flying Theatre” from Falcon’s Treehouse as general contractor. Whilst the ride hardware will be prepared by Oceaneering, Kraftwerk Living Technologies will contribute to the attraction with its audio-visual ex - pertise.


The world’s highest “Starflyer” with its 142 m (5 m higher than in Orlando), will be erected at the Allgäu Skyline Park.


The German company for turnkey compact Multiplayer- VR-Systems has announced a new virtual-reality experience: “Das Boot - VR Escape”, named after a wellknown anti-war film and a new television series: 4 players take over the control of a German U-boat together. The game was developed by remote control product - ions and Aesir Interactive, exclusively for Hologate.


Fitting to the introduced novelty for Legoland New York (in cooperation with ETF), visitors to the Holovis stand could have a virtual Lego mini-figure created. The “Holo Trac” platform uses progressive vision and tracking technology that is based on an in-depth neuronal network based facial recognition: Recognition algorithm - all in less than 0.5 seconds. Peter Cliff, Creative Director von Holovis: “The min-figure transformation is the object of our HoloTrac technology. As it is completely invisible to our guests, the experience feels like real magic to them”.

Hologate brings a wellknown cinema and TV hit to the virtual experience world

Intamin’s new coaster for Busch Gardens Williamsburg


The Triple Launch Coaster “Duelling Dragons” at Guangzhou Sunac Land (see Park International 8/2019) was honoured with the main prize “Best New Product - Major Ride/Attraction (Product cost of US$ 5 million or more)”. Intamin erected a so-called “LSM Blitz Coaster” at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Under the name of “Pantheon”, the attraction will be 55 m high and 1,014 m long, and will offer 2 inversions and a 95° steep drop.


The American company is global market leader in cash less technology, and introduced the new “iRead - er Impulse”. This makes it possible for operators to record credit cards from impulsive players. The latest customer is Antic’s Land VR Zone. This indoor park with small coasters, a number of 5D and 7D cinemas as well as VR games, is located in the Sharjah Mega Mall in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


The new “SFX Motion Seats” from the Austrian manufacturer are not only available with pneumatic control now, but also with electronic steering.

Lagotronics Projects

Ride Entertainment as American sales agent intro - duced a “GameChanger” attraction with Smurf them - ing. The first attraction with this popular IP worldwide will be realised at the theme park Shimano Dream City in Shanghai.

Mack Rides

Good news for all theme park fans with a handicap: From now on Mack Rides of offering special coaster safety belts ideal for passengers with special needs, which can also be used even by leg amputees. And the best thing is that all modern Mack attractions can be upgraded with this type of restraint! Another novelty at Mack is “The Rocking Boat”, a type of boat ride where the up to 6-seat boats are affixed to a motion platform.

New motion seats from Kraftwerk Living Technologies

“The Smurfs” attraction from Lagotronics Projects was announced at the Ride Entertainment stand

Mack Rides is delivering a “Power Splash” ride to Six Flags Over Texas

Notable presentation from Christine Duffy, President of the Carnival Cruise Line about the first coaster on a cruise ship: “Bolt” from Maurer Rides

Walibi Holland upgrades an already existing theme area and engaged the firms MK Themed Attractions and the Leisure Expert Group for the process

Maurer Rides

Shaquille O’Neal, CEO of the Carnival Cruise Line, introduced the world’s first coaster on a cruise ship, which generated major media interest: “Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster” from Maurer Rides will be a so-called “Spike Coaster”, using two-seat cars that can be accelerated by the passengers themselves.

MK Themed Attractions

Walibi Holland in cooperation with the Leisure Expert Group will undertake a comprehensive restructuring of the park within the next few years. Following the design for “Untamed”, the “Speedzone” area will be upgraded (where in addition to kiddie attractions the Intamin coaster “Goliath” is also located).

Polin Waterparks

A new and spectacular water slide has been an - nounced by Polin: The attraction “Time Rider” contains not only the world’s largest sized “Bowl” element at 18 m diameter, but at the same time four possible sliding paths (each 175 m long), lighting effects, breathtaking moments of weightlessness thanks to the built in steep wall in the bowl, and an observation and insight platform for curious on - lookers. Large 6-person rafts provide for an ad - equate capacity. Polin also presented a further development of “Glassy” that was introduced last year - the world’s first completely transparent water slide from composite material.
Further along the “Splash Bucket AllCan” is a new interactive game for water parks. Additionally, the team spoke of a newly developed user-friendly media experience by the name of “AIPIX” that will be realised in cooperation with Pomvom. And a remarkable cooperation with Noah’s Ark Water Park was presented: A kiddie slide will be realised according to the design of 5-year-old Hannah from Wisconsin.

The new “Time Rider” slide from Polin Waterparks

Söhret Pakis and Hannah with her slide design

Premier Rides

After a long waiting period due to building planning guidelines, the spectacular racing coaster “West Coast Racers” from Premier Rides could finally open as first attraction of the year 2020 on the 9th January. Another launch coaster with forward and reverse sequences will be erected as the “Ice Breaker” at SeaWorld Orlando. SeaWorld - the research of the ocean and its inhabitants and the relaying of knowledge.

Polin’s contribution to inclusion: “Splash Bucket Allcan” is also perfectly ideal for handicapped persons to have a fun day at a water park

SBF Visa introduced an interesting version of a compact spinning coaster with looping cars

A new attraction will be erected at the Ravensburger Spieleland from SBF Visa


Ride Engineers Switzerland was also thrilled about a Brass Ring Award: Second Place for the “Rollerball M” in the category “Best New Product - Major Ride/At traction (Product cost less than US$ 2 million)”.

Sally has developed a dark ride with Garfield theme for a Chinese park

Sally Corporation

A 4D interactive family attraction was presented with “Garfield‘s Underwater Adventure”. The riders undertake an adventure together with Garfield, Jon und Odie while travelling under water and attempt - ing to collect together the contents of their sunken midday basket. Ten 6-passenger vehicles, 5 large interactive 3D projection walls, aroma machines, 3 Garfield, Jon, Odie animatronics, as well as 12 anima tronic underwater friends wait for the guests during the 3:45 minute long ride on 900 m² at the future Six Flags China.

SBF Visa

“Big Air Coaster” is the name of the latest product from SBF Visa. Here a car from the extremely success ful compact spinning coaster has been replaced by a type of hamster wheel, which makes inversions for the two passengers possible. A fully operational prototype stood ready and available for testing for interested customers at the IAAPA Expo.

Simtec Systems

The German company introduced its new “HEXaFLITE 2.0” platform for Flying Theatres, which comes along with 6DOF and a huge margin. It is available in various versions with 16, 40, or 80 seats.


The further developed, trackless dark ride vehicle “AGV” can reach a speed of 2.3 m/s and follow a preprogrammed path. The 8-seat vehicles have an in - tegrated 3DOF-motion platform. Further along the Mini Flying Theatre is being offered as an in-house development and turnkey solution - ideal for the smaller parks, FECs and shopping centres. The first Mini Flying Theatre is currently being installed at the BaoSon Paradise Park in Vietnam.

Introduction of the train design for “Iron Gwazi” at Busch Gardens Tampa (RMC novelty) / “HexaFlite” from Simtec

Skyline Attractions

The American manufacturer is expanding its un - usual coaster-like attraction. The model “Skywarp Orbit” in the form of a Pringle-chip requires a ground area of only 22 by 16 m, so that a 28-seat train can conquer the 61 m long track at a maximum height of 9 m a number of times forwards and even in reverse.

SPREE Interactive

The company has become a specialist in turnkey VR-solutions for bumper cars. The company has also worked in cooperation with Pixomondo to create the Multiplayer-VR-Experience “Mission to Mars”.

The Producers Group

Together with the Texan Firm Extreme Engineering, “The Dark Rider” was presented, a 1-mansuspend ed-coaster with integrated show system. It combines a tried and tested coaster track, modular pillars and the most modern components, so that a cost effective, turnkey product could be offered.


Triotech will be newly designing and interpreting the classic “Bear-y Tales” ride for Knott’s Berry Farm: “Return to the Fair” will be the name of the new interactive 4D-dark ride, which will open on the occasion of the 100- year park anniversary. Additionally, the company also introduced its latest, as coin-op operated VR-game, “Storm”. In the case of the VR-game experience, the player interact with gesture control, by simply waving the hand, which was deployed before only by the big attractions “Lego Ninjago The Ride”.
It offers 3 different adventures, 2 moving seats and special effects such as wind, which all provide a surprisingly exciting ride. Further encouragement com - es from the AMC licenced “Fear the Walking Dead Survival” attraction - half Walk - through, half interactive motion ride. The latest installation is at the newly opened Trans Studio Bali.
Triotech also made known that it has been contracted by Vinpearl JSC (Hanoi, Vietnam) for a media based interactive dark ride for the new theme park Vinpearl Land, located on the tropical holiday island Phú Quốc. “Dragon’s Spell” will be the first media based interactive dark ride in Vietnam, and is completely designed by Triotech. The project design includes handling, characters, environment, gameplay, queue line, pre-show, and riding area. 9 eight-seat trains will be used on the 106 m long course.

New compact concept from Skyline Attractions

Simworx: Possible ap - plication of the AGV, whilst the first “Mini Flying Theatre” is already under construction

Dark ride “Dragon’s Spell” from Triotech for Vinperl Land Phú Quoc

Dark ride “Bear-y Tales” from Triotech for Knott’s

Valo Motion

“Super Stomp” is the world’s first game for two players on a trampoline that at the same time can be transferred to a video - completely without a Green Screen.

Vekoma Rides

A number of remarkable coasters are queuing up at the Dutch manufacturer: In addition to two coasters for the German Freizeitpark Tripsdrill (see extra report in this edition), there are also two in - teresting coasters and the “Shockwave” double launch coaster with 5 inversions by the name of “Abyssus” for Energylandia in Poland (see IEE report in 11/2019), but the Chinese operating group Fantawild provides Vekoma with lively activity in particular.
Four “Family Boomerang” attractions will open in various Fantawild-Parks, and furthermore two “Top Gun” launch coasters, a “Space Warp” launch coast er and a 720 m long, 27 m high “Hyper Space Warp” looping coaster (a spectacular mixture of 6 airtime hills, 3 inversions and 2 underground tunnels).

WhiteWater West

A worldwide licencing agreement with RCI Adventure Products, well known for the “Adventure Play” series has been concluded. Further along, partner - ships with the safety and technology company Mobaro, as well as the manufacturer Life Floor were announced. New projects are taking place in the whole world, for example in Qatar. The highest slide tower that the company has ever built will emerge there.
Additionally, an IAAPA Award was given for “Best New product” for the attraction “Lava Drifting”, a type of combination of dry ride (Rapids Ride) and wet ride (water slide) at Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park.

Presentation from Valo Motion

Car design from The Gravity Group: “Leviathan” at SeaWorld Australia (Opening end of 2020, 1,000 m long, 32 m high


An award was also given for the concept idea of the already introduced “SlideCoaster” last year - a combination of launch coaster and water slide. It is the first coaster-water slide combination world - wide! This attraction was developed together with Frank Heimes from up & down Engineering: After passengers start in just a few seconds from 0 to 50 km/h and g-forces of up to 0.8 g are experienced, there follows a high speed water slide.

@Distinguished: The slide coaster from wiegand.waterrides

Technical Park

The new development “Winx” features three arms that extend from a central, vertical, rotary axis. There are four passenger carriers, each accom - modating two persons, affixed to each arm. These can be tilted at various heights, so that individual rotations can result.


Alberto Zamperla, who has just recently been admitted to the “IAAPA Hall of Fame” announced a row of novelties. Above all the opening of the Luna Farm near Milan stands in the forefront. This is an indoor park, which has not only been equipped by Zamperla, but is also operated by Zamperla.
Further along the Luna Park at Coney Island, also managed by Zamperla, will be equipped with new attractions, for example with the “Big Wave Z”, a “Super Flume Ride”, and a “Junior Coaster”.
Naturally other parks around the world will receive new attractions from Zamperla, among them the up to 52 m high “Giant Discovery” by the name of “CraZanity” for Six Flags Mexico.

Zamperla’s new “Air Race” with a higher flight position will also be present at Six Flags Fiesta Texas


A top seller from Zierer is the family Freefall tow - ers, which will be installed in four different German parks during the next season, as well as in Canada, Armenia, France, Denmark and Japan. In addition to the family Freefall tower, Marineland Canada will also receive a signature ride, but further details have not been revealed.

“Winx” from Technical Park

Two family coasters are currently in production, one a “Force One” for the Swedish Furuvik Park, and a “Force 190” for an unrevealed US park. Further attractions such as a roundabout, a “Flying Fish” as well as two kiddie wave swingers are also in production.
Zierer has a large portfolio ready as basic equipment for new park planning. No wonder then that a newly planned indoor park in Switzerland will be equipped with Zierer attractions, as well as the company being awarded a large contract for a new park project in Armenia. In this case it is the Yerevan Park, which in July 2020 will open with among others an elevated-seating coaster, a wave swinger, Kontiki, flying gondolas, as well as a family-friendly Freefall tower.

Vehicle design for the new Zierer-coaster “Draken” at Park Furuvik (Group: Parks and Resorts Scandinavia)

IAAPA 2020

The IAAPA Expo 2020 will take place from the 17th to 20th November once again in Orlando. Additionally, the IAAPA Expo Asia takes place from the 9th to the 11th June in Macao, and the IAAPA Expo Europe from the 22nd to 24th September in London.

Photos: IAAPA, diverse Quellen Wolfgang Payer