Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Kernels – July 2012

Kidzania, the kids’ role-playing attraction, is to open in two years’ time at Sentosa island in Singapore following a deal with the Malaysian government-backed Themed Attractions & Resorts (TAR).

Italy’s SBF/Visa Group recently supplied three rides to Walibi Aquitaine in France. The attractions in question, a guitar-themed tower ride, Flying Bus and Wander Fly, have all been produced in keeping with the Walibi group’s new music theme.

Merlin Entertainments is to continue the roll out of its Legoland Discovery Center (LDC) brand in North America with the opening of new attractions in New York and Toronto, the latter representing the company’s first venture in Canada. Both will open by spring/early summer of 2013, the Toronto attraction at Vaughan Mills and the New York outlet at Ridge Hill Mall in Westchester County. Each represents an investment of $12 million.

The Fabbri Group is to supply a package of five rides for a new park in Taipei, Taiwan. The attractions in question will be a 40-metre Ferris Wheel, Pirate Ship, Coffee Cups, Telecombat and monorail, the first system of its kind from the Italian manufacturer. Additional rides will be supplied by IE Park. Delivery is expected in 2013 for the parl, which will be run by the local municipality.

Dollywood’s Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is to add a hydro-magnetic waterslide coaster. RiverRush, by ProSlide, is set to open in May of next year and will total 1,175ft in length.

Orlando’s Fun Spot Action Park is ramping up the thrill factor on International Drive with the addition of two new rollercoasters over the coming couple of years. White Lightning, an out-and-back wooden coaster from Great Coasters International, will open next year followed in 2014 by a Suspended Family Coaster from Vekoma.

The brother and sister that rebuilt the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, England, following a fire in summer 2008 have been awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The Big Blue Hotel at Pleasure Beach Blackpool has received a Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor. The recognition is given to the 10% of establishments that consistently achieve outstanding reviews on the website. Opened in 2003, the Big Blue Hotel is features a high quality finish and excellent guest service.

Pan Amusements’ new midway water game Clownin’ Around is flying out of the firm’s UK factory. Sega, which boasts worldwide distribution rights, took delivery recently of 15 machines – and many more are in the pipeline for arcades, FECs and small amusement parks. “There is a tendency amongst venues these days for smaller attractions with a fast payback time,” note Pan’s Paul Whittaker.

A man convicted of reselling discount vouchers to English amusement park Alton Towers has been sentenced to four months in prison. “I do not believe that those who buy from touts fully appreciate the vouchers they are paying for cease to be valid for entry when they are purchased from a tout,” explains Alton Towers divisional director Ian Crabbe. The vouchers sold for profit by Michael Sarginson are typically available for free through various marketing offers.

Eschewing the multinational brands that proliferate many visitor attractions, England’s Paultons Park has chosen a local company as its official ice cream supplier. New Forest Ice Cream ( is a family business founded in 1983, just 14 miles (23km) from the Paultons site in Hampshire. Over half a million New Forest whippy, wrapped and scooped ice creams are sold at the park every year. The company also supplies other UK parks including Camelot and New Pleasureland.

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