Nick Buckley, Flamingo Land, England (pictured): I noticed the rise of the zipline and the low energy attraction.
I couldn’t count how many zipline and related products like harnesses there were but there must have been even more than the now ubiquitous aerial rope courses, which seemed to be one of the growth areas a few year ago. Does this represent the world’s theme parks showing increasing interest in saving electricity now it is getting more expensive? Perhaps it’s the customers voting with their feet for healthy living, back to nature type experiences over the more traditional ‘plastic’ theme park offering? You also had the loop the loop human-powered bike from the Fun Group. Maybe these attractions are more suited to the zoos, farm parks and nature parks, and these kinds of attractions now feel the need to raise their game beyond providing just a nice play area. Whatever the reason, I think it was a definite trend.
John Arie, Fun Spot Orlando, USA: I love the Chance Rides’ Hypercoaster that they’re building for Kentucky Kingdom and the Zamperla Thunderbolt for Coney Island. We’re probably going to be in the market for one of these in the near future.
Peter Osbeck, Gröna Lund, Sweden: The show is always interesting. The Lunch & Learn with George Kalogridis was really interesting, and the IAAPA app was very helpful. Did I see any exciting new products? Not really, today you see most of the news on the internet. For us the social contacts are the most important thing.
Anthony Catanoso, Steel Pier, USA: The little spinning coaster by SBF/Visa, because we have a very successful large spinning coaster by Reverchon. All of those little guys who want to ride the big coaster but couldn’t can now ride this one. We also liked the Trippo inflatable water slide from Freestyle, which will be good for the beach we have at Atlantic City between us and Margaritaville’s Land Shark Café.