Maurer Söhne hosts EAS guests
Maurer Söhne, the Munich-based manufacturer of rollercoasters and bridge protection systems, trades off its reputation for “Innovation in Steel” yet surely one of the biggest achievements was to transform a cavernous steel warehouse at its Munich headquarters into a party venue for the night. Yet that’s what it achieved on Monday, September 29, when it held its latest Rollercoaster Event to coincide with the Euro Attractions Show.
Clever use of coloured spotlighting, lounge seating and a laser show down the full length of the hall created a memorable venue for this industry get-together. Maurer staff had been anticipating a hundred or so people would turn up for this, a factory tour and an accompanying seminar programme, but in the end more than 200 came, with more still arriving in time for the party.
Sitting through seminars after dark and on an empty stomach might not be to everyone’s tastes, but the audience was treated to insightful presentations from two high level speakers.
David A Wilson, a project director for Walt Disney Imagineering, explained his five golden rules to attraction design, and as you’d expect from a Disney man, storytelling was key. Some Disney attractions take ready written stories, such as the sequence from the Finding Nemo film that inspired Crush’s Coaster at Walt Disney Studios in Paris, which uses a Maurer ride system. Others, meanwhile, require a tale to be fleshed out, such as Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom in Florida. David also revealed that the latter attraction was built to provide a new iconic reference point inside the park, as the existing Tree of Life proved too symmetrical for guests to find their bearings.
Steven C Blum, senior vice-president of engineering and safety for Universal Parks & Resorts, provided a fascinating insight into the challenges of incorporating a major new coaster into an existing park that remained open throughout. The ride in question was Hollywood Dream at Universal Studios Japan and Steven and his team are about to embark on a similar journey as they install Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit at Universal Studios Orlando. The latter is a Maurer project, but the supplier nevertheless deserves credit for allowing both speakers to discuss rival manufacturer’s coasters in detail during the evening.
And then it was off to the steel hall for a party that exceeded many guests’ expectations. As well as introductions from Maurer’s Horst Ruhe and Steve Boney, there was a brief speech from IAAPA chairman Bob Masterson, music by Forces in Motion and that light show to remember by HB Laser.