Show Daily - Update from Orlando
From The Floor
SeaWorld Orlando, Oceaneering Unveil New Ride Vehicle
SeaWorld Orlando, in conjunction with Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (Booth #1054), on Tuesday showcased for the first time the new ride vehicle that will be used in SeaWorld’s “Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin” attraction, due out spring 2013.
SeaWorld officials said the eight-passenger vehicle (two rows of four) is a brand- new concept for the industry.
“This is the world’s first motion-based, completely trackless ride-simulation technology,” said Brian Morrow, creative director for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Riders are able to make a choice along the ride experience between intense and non-intense.”
SeaWorld is still keeping broader details about the ride experience under wraps, but Morrow said there will be multiple programs loaded into the ride vehicle that will provide “a wide range of unpredictability.” He continued: “Inside those different ride paths, there are various things you may or may not see each time.”
The ride will be part of a larger “realm” that re-creates the glacial rift of Antarctica, Morrow said.
“This is not a dark ride—in fact, we don’t know what to call it. We made up some words, but we stopped using them because they didn’t make sense,” he joked. “We’re doing something that’s never been done in the industry. This ride is all around you. It’s not scene by scene; it’s world by world.”
Rocky Mountain Shows New Coach for Silver Dollar City’s ‘Outlaw Run’
On Tuesday, Rocky Mountain Construction Group (Booth #3860) and Silver Dollar City theme park unveiled the custom-designed, plum-red Western Missouri Stagecoach car that will be used on the park’s new $10 million wooden coaster, “Outlaw Run,” set to open in March 2013.
On hand for the event was Pete Herschend, executive vice president and vice chairman of Herschend Entertainment (HFE), which owns Silver Dollar City; Joel Manby, president and CEO of HFE; Brad Thomas, general manager of Silver Dollar City; and Fred Grubb, president and co-owner of Rocky Mountain Construction, which is building the ride.
Manby hailed the ride as groundbreaking, and Thomas noted it will set three marks for wooden coasters: world’s second-fastest, at 68 mph; steepest drop, at 81 degrees; and three inversions, taking riders completely upside down.
Herschend told the Show Daily it was Rocky Mountain’s skill and commitment that made it HFE’s choice to build the ride, and noted that “Outlaw Run” is perfect for Silver Dollar City. “With steel, you can get quite a bit of expansion and contraction,” Herschend said. “But wood absorbs all of that, and that makes a wooden coaster just perfect for the park’s location in the Ozark Mountains.”
One Systems Offers High-Tech Speaker System
New Expo exhibitor One Systems (Booth #6073), based in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, announced the debut of its Crossfield Array-2 high-intelligibility direct-weather-capable speaker system.
Perfect for large venues like amusement parks and sports venues, the system boasts pristine sound quality and high intelligibility at great distances.
“The new One Systems Crossfield Array-2 is a very compact yet high-output speaker system that’s designed for use in large open spaces and designed to cover adjacent areas and stadiums and very large-scale sports venues where it has to cover from the press box to the bleachers to the other side of the field 500-800 feet away … it will deliver very high sound pressure level,” said Mike Torlone, the company’s marketing and sales manager.
The Crossfield can be oriented vertically or horizontally to ensure the best coverage, and One Systems has a variety of hardware options for suspending the system appropriately for the venue or event.
Pacific Lights Provides Weatherproof Digital Signage
Pacific Lights Inc. (Booth #1833), an outdoor products company, displayed its new MirageVision Weatherproof TVSign for attendees at IAAPA Attractions Expo. Pacific Lights took an existing high-end TV and made it brighter, sharper, and weatherproof for outdoor use. This particular model can display regular TV programming while simultaneously displaying facility marketing, such as food specials or discounts, along the side of the screen.
“These can be taken outdoors, rained on, put in direct sunlight, and still have an incredible view,” said Michael Yslas, a representative for the product.
“The new concept is the digital signage that is extremely affordable, extremely easy, the software already comes with it. And anybody can actually make their own digital content; it’s that simple,” said Yslas.
PDC Touts Green Screen Social Media App
Precision Dynamics Corporation, or PDC (Booth #2654), an automatic wristband identification company, debuted its new Green Screen Social Media Application this week. The marketing tool, compatible with Apple, Windows, and Android tablets, allows visitors sporting PDC’s RFID-enabled wristbands to e-mail, text, or post branded pictures and product links directly to their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
First, guests associate their RFID-enabled wristbands with their social media accounts. After an event photographer captures a photo using a green screen and tablet camera, the photo size and background can be customized. When associated with the RFID wristband, the photo is then uploaded to the guest’s Facebook or other social media outlet of choice.
IAAPA attendees can experience a live demonstration of the application at PDC’s booth.
Colorvision Feels the Force on Show Floor
In celebration of its 35th anniversary, Colorvision—Amazing Pictures (Booth #4203) is bringing some special guests to its booth this week. On Tuesday, famous “Star Wars” characters Darth Vader and R2-D2 posed with attendees. On Wednesday, Total Nonstop Action wrestlers Christy Hemme, Matt Morgan, Samoa Joe, and SoCal Val will be in attendance. And on Thursday, the famous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be on hand.
All three of these are licenses Colorvision works with across its many platforms, said Mark Simmons, the company’s president/CEO/owner. Colorvision provides guest photography for attractions around the world. This week, the company is showcasing its new mobile app that allows guests to “subscribe” for the day; the app then allows them to see all of the photos taken of them from all around the park immediately. www.amazingpictures.com
The Gravity Group Takes ‘Hades’ on a Roll
At a Tuesday press conference on the trade show floor, The Gravity Group (Booth #5507) announced a major and surprising enhancement to “Hades” at Mount Olympus Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells. In 2013, the coaster becomes “Hades 360” and will sport a complete upside-down roll.
The roll will be located near the circuit’s turnaround, which is after the coaster rises from its underground journey inside a 700-foot tunnel before descending back into the tunnel for its return voyage. Nick Laskaris, co-owner of Mt. Olympus, said he’s wanted to do a wooden roll for years, and when asked if he was fazed by the continued problems that dogged another wooden coaster with a loop built a few years ago, he responded, “Not at all—it didn’t deter me a bit. Anyway, that was actually steel and this one’s wooden, and we’ll just make it better!”
Larry Bill, partner and engineer with The Gravity Group, told the Show Daily, “We’ve been limited in being able to do this until we had a train that could handle it. We’ll completely rebuild that section of coaster where ‘Hades’ comes out of the tunnel.” www.thegravitygroup.com
Arihant Brings Water Disco to U.S. and Europe
Arihant Industrial Corp. Ltd., (Booth #3254), a water attraction manufacturer based in India, announced on Tuesday it is introducing its popular Aqua Disc attraction to the European and U.S.markets.
The attraction is a UFO-themed water disco that combines water effects, music, and lights for a fully immersive dancing experience. “From the part of the world we are in it’s pretty hot in water parks all year round,” said Pranay A. Safari, Arihant’s director of marketing. “This is a very popular attraction in India and a lot of parks in Asia where people like dancing.”
The concept marries a family attraction with a place to cool down, he said, adding that there are seating areas for those who just want to relax and keep cool.
SkyRide Experience from SimEx Soars and Excites
SimEx-Iwerks (Booth #2247), provider of immersive 3-D and 4-D attractions and films, promoted its new 6-D Vertical Theater System at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 on Tuesday.
The 180-seat theater features seats that move, recline, and rumble along with the special effects of a movie for a more immersive experience. The theater design, suitable for kids and adults of all ages, is also capable of incorporating special effects from snow to bubbles, wind to fire, scent to water spray, as well as lasers, strobes, FX lighting, and more.
“It has an IMAX feel, but with motion,” said Richard Needham, creative director at SimEx-Iwerks. “The seats feel like a magic carpet ride. The safety rails and floors can fall away so you feel like you’re soaring.”
Needham says the theater design is especially complementary to travelogue-style films, and that with the theater’s unique tiered seat design, every member of the audience sits the same distance from the screen. www.simex-iwerks.com
Water Park Toys Shows New Types of Cannons
Water Park Toys (Booth #5456) of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, debuted three new water cannons at IAAPA Attractions Expo. These easy-to-install cannons don’t require power or pumps; kids just crank the handle and the water is drawn from the main water sources. “You can retrofit them to any facility, new or old, without cutting up the concrete,” said company president Craig White, adding that they can be placed in a variety of locations. “You can put it in a pool; you can put it on the edge of a pool and draw the water from the adjacent water source. You can even put it on a dock, up to four or five feet above water, they can draw the water from that source.”
Parks can use Water Park Toys’ stock themes, or order custom character or logo designs. The cannons come in a standard version, a shorter version for smaller kids, and a model that shoots the water from the top of the cannon, creating a rain effect.
Intercard Debuts Three New Products for FECs
Intercard (Booth #1015), a cash management solutions company based in St. Louis, Missouri, announced three new systems ideal for family entertainment centers.
The iPlanner, an online reservation system, allows guests to book space and specific resources (laser tag vests, etc.) for events. What sets the system apart, according to Jason Mitchell, the North American sales representative for the company, is that administrators, users, and frontline staff are all using the same system, so it can identify any conflicts and offer solutions.
Points for Play is an e-ticket payment option that lets people use their points or tickets toward items like food, additional play, and merchandise. “It opens a new doorway for companies that are trying to incentivize their guests to play their redemption games,” Mitchell said, adding that those who might not want a redemption prize to take home might instead want to use their points for more play, food, or merchandise.
iTeller is an automated teller with barcode scanner that allows guests to redeem coupons from marketing e-blasts or QR codes. “The customer just brings that single-use coupon back to your facility, scans it on the barcode scanner on the automatic teller, and it dispenses the card with their awarded value. There’s no longer a need to go to an employee or a counter or a POS station to claim your redeption prize,” he said. Plus, the back-of-house can track the redemption of those coupons. “You can find out if these promotions you send out are actually working for your business,” he said. www.intercardinc.com