Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News


Dec 2007/Jan 2008

Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) is to takeover the management and ownership of two aquariums operated by Steiner + Associates – Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, and Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky.

Atlantic Pier Amusements has gained a one-year extension to its lease with the Trump Taj Mahal and will operate the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for the 2008 season. The pier is due to kick of its season with a fourth annual Easter Egg Hunt in late March and is currently booking corporate events, family reunions and project graduations.

Mondial, the Dutch ride builder, has opened a new factory building at its premises in Terband near Heerenveen, Holland. The new building will be shared with sister company Roodberg, a producer of cranes and marine lifting equipment.

ProSlide Technologies will begin construction in a few months on a 50-acre waterpark in its own backyard. Lottawata Waterpark, owned and operated by ProSlide, will open in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in 2009. According to the company’s Rick Hunter, “We’ll have waterslides for all age groups as well as hot stuff like tornadoes, bowls and pipeline rides. We’ll bring home all the ideas we have developed for water parks around the world.” Initially opening with 10 rides, Hunter expects to spend $20 to #30 million over the next 10 years developing the park.

China’s Golden Horse Amusement Equipment recently installed its first-ever inverted coaster at a venue in Wuhu City, An Hui Province. The ride, which has yet to open, looks very much like a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster but features a screw and bolt construction, rather than welding, making it easy to erect.

Universal Orlando Resort was due to blow the lid off a new attraction this December called Disaster! A Major Motion Picture Ride …Starring You. The ride replaces the current Earthquake attraction. Disaster! offer guests an experience combining the best, most dramatic elements of Earthquake with new ride elements, celebrity talent, digital technologies, interactive components and a fresh storyline.

The manufacturer Technical Park has sold its first Sombrero ride to a client in France. The attraction is a train ride with spinning hat-shaped cars.

The Vitala Group has signed contracts with Antalya Project Developments BV to design and develop a themed entertainment resort project in Antalya, Turkey. The project will contain numerous outdoor leisure facilities and will be anchored by a resort hotel. Project costs are estimated at around US$ 180 million and the project will also be financed by the Vitala Group. Project opening is forecast for 2010.

Bombay Amusement Rides (BARPL) is to supply a 30-metre Ferris Wheel to a customer in Malaysia. The attraction will be installed on top of a building and should become a local landmark when it opens in August 2008.

Empex Watertoys is moving into the construction of full waterpark play structures following success with its creative and colourful Aquaton spray features. “We are going in this direction following requests from customers who say they like the overall look of our product,” Empex’s Wyeth Tracy told Park World at the recent IAAPA Atttractions Expo, where such a play structure was on display.

Schlitterbahn Vacation Village, located in Kansas City, Kansas, will add SkyVenture as part of the $750 million year-round retail and entertainment destination scheduled to open in the summer of 2009. SkyVenture will encapsulate the spirit of skydiving with a state-of-the-art controlled flying experience. Enclosed in an enormous clear cylinder, guests will soar on wall-to-wall airflow created by multiple overhead fans. It will be the first of its kind in the midwestern United States.

Jora Vision from the Netherlands plans to offer new services to its clients following the acquisition of a graphics and sign-making company in France. The theming specialist has named the new enterprise Jora Graphics.

One of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist attractions is to undergo a multi-million euro renovation. The Heineken Experience, located in the former Heineken brewery in the city centre, closed on October 29 and will reopen in June. BRC Imagination Arts has been contracted for the project, which will include new attractions such as a mini brewery, multi-media experiences and a tasting bar.

Halloween Productions is currently working on projects across from the London Dungeon where there wil be an interactive walk-through museum about the London Bridge. In the same building, Halloween is preparing both The London Tomb and The London Bridge Experience.

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