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Operated by the Australian Village Roadshow chain, Wet 'n Wild Phoenix opened this June and is Arizona's largest waterpark, located on a 35-acre site at the Adobe Dam Regional Park. Previously known as Waterworld Safari, the park is packed full of new attractions, many by WhiteWater West, which also assisted with the venue’s redesign.
Ukraine’s largest waterpark celebrated a successful summer as thousands flocked to the renowned mineral waters of the Azov Sea. Located in one of the former Soviet Republic’s most popular resorts, the Cape of Good Hope in Berdyansk welcomed record crowds, and the best ever for a Ukrainian waterpark.
Located in Kansas City, Schlitterbahn Vacation Village is the newest attraction in the Schlitterbahn family of waterparks and resorts. Built at a cost of $750 million (€508m), the year-round facility opened this spring and combines retail, dining, entertainment and lodging.
The Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will, in five years’ time, host the Winter Olympics. This summer, however, holidaymakers have been able to enjoy a much warmer way to have fun.
This November's AIMS Safety Seminar, to be held as part of IAAPA Attraction Expo, will for the first time this year include a track for operators of aquatic attractions. Scheduled classes include such topics as waterpark inspections and the prevention of waterborne illnesses, plus formal aquatic certification testing.
Located in Wildwood, New Jersey, Morey's Piers' Ocean Cafe offers one of the best views on the island, whether on a deck overlooking the water or inside the Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club. But the real treat is the menu, one that goes beyond regular boardwalk fayre.
Jolly Roger Amusement Park, Ocean City, Maryland, continues to add new attractions. This season saw the introduction of a 33-metre giant Ferris Wheel by Vekoma, a wheel that previously operated in Wisconsin Dells.
In its continued efforts to attract families, Six Flags New England, Agawam, Massachusetts, recently opened a baby care centre.
Up to 2,500 people in Mozambique will be able to enjoy clean water thanks to a fund-raising effort by Crealy Great Adventure Parks, which will ensure the installation of a Roundabout PlayPump.
Merlin Entertainments is planning to build a $15 million Sea Life aquarium at Phoenix’s Arizona Mills Mall. If approved by the City of Tempe, it will become the second Sea Life Aquarium in the United States, joining Sea Life Carlsbad, California, which opened in August 2008 adjacent to Legoland California.
Merlin Entertainments’ first attraction in Portugal, Sea Life Porto welcomed 100,000 visitors in its first two months (to mid-August). So popular is the new aquarium that some weekends it even stayed open until midnight!
Wisconsin’s first tree top zip lining adventure, spanning nearly 2,500ft, is now open at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Amusement operators visiting the Euro Attractions Show (EAS) in Amsterdam later this month are being issued with a challenge by a group of Dutch exhibitors: face the “X-perience” jury and get some free advice in return.
The Catanoso family has secured a new long-term lease with Trump Entertainment to operate the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The agreement means the Catanosos can now concentrate on building up the park after years of planning one season at time.
Ahead of its debut next spring, Universal Orlando Resort has revealed more details about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure.
Significant expansions to its American theme parks have been announced by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo, including new attractions at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando and Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim, plus a 3D Star Wars attraction at both domestic resorts.
A new horror attraction is to be created in the grounds of an English farm this autumn. AtmosFEAR! Scare Attractions plans to operate the Scare Kingdom Scream Park on a 10-acre site at Hawkshaw Farm Park at Clayton-le-Dale near Preston from October 22 onwards, with a fireworks finale on November 5.
The organiser of TiLE (Trends in Leisure and Entertainment) is to stage a one-day conference on sustainability during Euro Attractions Show (EAS) in Amsterdam on October 1.
IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, is to establish a regional office in Latin America, staffed by executive director Paulina Reyes (pictured).
Shoot the Rapids, a 2,100-ft long water ride from IntaRide, will soak guests from the start of next season at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio.
The Walt Disney Company is buying Marvel Entertainment for $4-billion (E2.7bn), bringing characters like Hulk, X-Men and Spider-Man into the house of Mouse. Under the deal, which will be completed by a combination of cash and stock, Disney will acquire ownership of around 5,000 Marvel characters.
A short but successful season has created a sense of renewed optimism at the English theme park Camelot. Owen Ralph visits the park that avoided execution.
The Shoot-the-Chutes first appeared in 1817 when the Jardin Ruggieri park in Paris introduced Saut du Niagara, or Niagara Jump. The ride featured a drop of more than 50ft. Paul Boynton popularised the ride he first called Shoot-the-Chutes at his Sea Lion Park at Coney Island in 1897.
Designed to enhance child safety at parks and attractions, as well as presenting a potential new revenue stream, the Childminder wristband is a secure device which sends an electronic signal to venue operators when a child leaves without their parent or guardian. It also ensures that missing children are quickly reunited with their parent of guardian by linking their mobile phone number to the wristband.
Elton Games recently unveiled an eye-catching dark light/ultraviolet version of its popular derby racing game, for use in FECs or other venues with restricted light.
SCS Interactive has introduced a new range of products for the splash park market. Featuring simple but eye-catching design, HydroLine offers an authentic waterpark experience in a small package suitable for a wide range of outlets, from municipal parks to hotels and resorts.
Now available from Wave Loch, the FlowRider Mobile, or “MoFlow”, is a portable version of the company’s FlowRider surfing attraction. It can be enjoyed anywhere that is accessible by road, whether that be a special event or perhaps as a guest attraction at an existing waterpark.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas, has debuted Pirate's Plunder, or AquaQuest, a waterpark version of Creative Kingdoms’ MagiQuest treasure hunt game.
The Cannonball, or Water Splash, is the newest product from Wiegand Maelzer of Germany – and it’s quite a head-turner. See video here.
The board of the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) has unanimously confirmed Steve Thorburn, principal of Thorburn Associates, as its president for a second year. New TEA divisional presidents include SeaWorld’s Brian Morrow (Eastern North America), David Aion of The Aion Company (Western North America) and Alan Wilkinson of Electrosonic (Europe and Middle East).
The Dreamland Trust is on the lookout for a project director, “audience development director” and a project archivist for the Dreamland heritage park in Margate, England. These key positions have been created to help take forward detailed proposals for the world's first amusement park dedicated solely to historic rides and attractions. The appointments are possible thanks to a £384,500 grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. For further details and job descriptions, click here.
Merlin Entertainments has handled a €20 million ($30m) media planning account to Mediacom after a four-month pitch. Mediacom, which has offices in the UK, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and Portugal, will handle Merlin’s 2010 media planning and buying for more than 40 attractions across Europe. “The time has come to leverage the combined strength of our market-leading brands much more in our media buying,” says Andy Davies, Merlin’s commercial services director.
In previous issues, Park World has focused on the indoor waterpark sector in North America, where new hotel and resort-based developments continue to appear. Other parts of the world, notably Northern Europe, have so far failed to embrace the concept with such enthusiasm. But could Australia, with weather surely more suited to outdoor attractions, become the next hotspot for undercover waterparks? Jeff Coy thinks so.
Roy Page, Knights Leisure, UK (pictured): It was actually when I was at First Leisure, and we put a giant Ferris Wheel on Central Pier in Blackpool. It was a big wheel as well; we bought it from Mondial. Geoffrey Thompson, God bless him, said to me ‘I used to have Ferris Wheels at the Pleasure Beach but I chucked them all away, what have you done?’ It wasn’t easy though, because it took some great structural engineering to get that ride on the pier, but it was worth it. What it did for the pier was it made a statement, because you had Blackpool Tower and then right opposite you had the wheel. It’s still an icon, when it’s lit up during the illuminations it looks absolutely marvellous. And it takes a lot of money.
Originally scheduled to open in spring, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Universal Studios Orlando's highly anticipated rollercoaster, finally opened in late August to the delight of park guests and operator alike. It was worth the wait, says Paul Ruben.