Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Kernels – December 2012

Investindustrial is now the sole owner of leading Spanish theme park PortAventura after the local La Caixa bank sold its remaining 50% stake to the Italian investment group in November for €150 million (US$190m). Based in Milan, Investindustrial originally purchased half of the park’s capital in 2009.

Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark will introduce what is billed as the world’s tallest, fastest and most extreme waterslide in 2013. The four-person raft Meg-a-Blaster combines the best elements of Schlitterbahn’s Master Blaster technology with the steep drops of a speed slide. To ensure it’s world-record status, Schlitterbahn is not going to confirm the final height and scope of the project until it opens.

Gateway Ticketing Systems has been recognised as one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania. Good for them!


Germany’s number one theme park, Europa-Park is teaming up with French film director Luc Besson to realise an ambitious new dark ride project focused around Arthur et le Minimoys (Arthur and the Invisibles). By exploiting this particular intellectual propert), Europa-Park hopes to extend it popularity with French guests (the park sits just 5km from the border), who in recent years have contributed a growth in park/hotel visits of 20 and 2% respectively. Arthur The Ride will feature a ride system by Mack (who else?) but the media content is believed to be similar to the Arthur 4D attraction at Futuroscope in France.

Premier Rides will install a hybrid dark ride/LSM launch coaster at the new Dream Park in Mumbai, India, in 2013. Featuring 480-metres (1,575ft) of track, it will have a highest point of 16m (52ft) with a top speed of 72 kmh (45 mph). Up to 600 riders per hour will experience two inversions during the ride.

Merlin Magic Making (MMM), the creative arm of Merlin Entertainments, has appointed Michael Braithwaite as its new shows director. Reporting directly to Merlin creative director Paul Moreton, Braithwaite’s role will be to improve the quality and content of all live entertainment formats within Merlin’s resort theme parks, hotels and ‘Midway’ attractions, ensuring they reflect the brand positioning and audience profile of each venue. Braithwaite served most recently as a senior producer for the Mayor of London’s Outdoor Festival.

Following the display at IAAPA Attractions Expo of an eight-arm trailer-mounted Air Race, Zamperla is about to introduce a 6-arm version aimed at the FEC market. Orders have come in already from facilities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Larger, 12-arm park models of the ride are destined for Dreamworld in Australia and Tvoli in Copenhagen.

Following the introduction of various Wicki/Vicky the Viking rides and attractions at sister Plopsa parks in the Benelux, the original Plopsaland De Panne in Belgium is introduce a Wicki Land for 2013. TAA Industries will provide theming.

The Pennsylvania amusement park Knoebels Amusement Resort will add a drop tower ride by ARM/Larson for the 2013 season.

The Swiss manufacturer ABC Rides has confirmed a number of new water ride projects for 2013 including 360-metre-long (1,181ft) River Splash ride for Freizeitpark Plohn in Germany and a flume ride for a “big German park” to be confirmed.

Severn Lamb has appointed Chris Freed to handle technical support of its trains and people moving products in the United States. Chris, whose company Rail Mechanical Services, also operates an rail freight service, will handle installation and maintenance of the British company’s equipment.

The Hong Kong Government has just finished tendering for the operation of a giant Ferris Wheel on the city’s Central waterfront. A prime site has been earmarked in front of piers 9 and 10 (close to the Star Ferry terminal) for a wheel of at least 50-metres in diameter.

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