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Show Review

the next nine years." "The show has been very good," agreed Rich Allen of

S&S Worldwide, "with a lot of activity, more than in Las Vegas, and a with higher quality conversations. We're very busy in Asia and the US economy is recovering so there is more interest in North America." "We've been very busy, and see a much more positive attitude than last year," added Premier Rides' Jim Seay. "The industry has again proven itself to be recession resistant, enabling the client base to grow with new project opportunities. We continue our focus in Asia."

Interesting Contacts "Compared to Las Vegas, we have seen more clients, and more interesting contacts," disclosed Intamin's Sasha Czibulka. It's been a good show. The first two days were very busy; then it gradually slowed. And we won best new product for our mine train with freefall.” One of this year’s new exhibitors was BauArt, a German supplier of wooden playgrounds: “The reaction to our product has been very positive,” noted Helmut J Albrecht of the company’s Florida subsidiary. “People like to see something different and there seems to be a trend towards customers wanting natural materials.” Also making his IAAPA debut was Enrico Negri from

Fabbri Group subcontractor BN Performance Rides: “This is the first time we have sold directly,” he informed Park World. “It’s funny because people have been coming up to me and saying, ‘this is my ride,’ without realising we actually built it!”

Several European exhibitors approached the show with caution, but were pleasantly surprised by the results: "I did not expect to see so many highly-qualified people," admitted Maurer Söhne's Horst Ruhe. "We had a lot of very good talks that we think will result in future projects." “There are not many customers, but there are some good ones,” remarked Andrea Sartori of the well-known Italian ride manufacturing family. “Most of the people we have been talking to are from the Middle East, India and South America; the US is not spending and the dollar- euro exchange rate is still a problem.” “The American market is not fully recovered yet,” agreed Swiss Rides’ Oliver Goyeneche, “however it’s been a successful show for us and we see the difference in quality compared to Rome just a few weeks ago.” “Our boat definitely created attention,” observed

Christina Angenvoort of theming specialist TAA Industries, with a booth resembling a pirate ship. “It’s better than just bringing brochures. There are not too many entertaining exhibits here, which is a shame because this is supposed to be a trade show for the entertainment industry!” "This has been a thin but enthusiastic show," noted Zamperla's Ramon Rosario, a company that not so long ago would bring numerous rides to IAAPA, but this year showed just a kids’ swing ride plus a plane from its new Air Racer at Coney Island.

Rides, Attractions and iPads

While inflatable attractions dominated the small outdoor exhibition area, there were a couple of interesting rides on display including S&S Worldwide’s new Jungle Swing and a Daytona kids’ car ride from the Fabbri Group. Some exhibitors (and ”suitcase exhibitors”) didn’t need expensive displays to demonstrate their wares. This was, it must be noted; the trade show of the iPad, with seemingly every other person keen to show you their latest projects with just a few jabs of their touchscreen. So was there really a lack of innovation on the show floor? Maybe: “It’s easy to get people over to our booth because there is not much else new to see,” observed Benoit Cornet of Alterface, which recently appointed a US sales partner for its range of interactive theatres and other multimedia attractions. “The visitors are more business-like than in Las Vegas, but I wish IAAPA would do something to give the show new life. I think this one suffered from success of EAS in Rome; we saw more international visitors in Rome than we saw here.” Unhappy with the position of his booth, Ruud Koppens from ETF Ride Systems clearly had an axe to grind: “The organisers need to be more customer friendly. Last year’s show was probably the worst and most expensive IAAPA for us to date. The first two days here have been good, but still attitudes need to change. We need IAAPA, but IAAPA also needs us.”

But if there was one man to sum up the rather more enthusiastic tone of the American exhibitors, it had to be Jeff Pike of Great Coasters International (GCI). It was such a good show for GCI that Jeff donned an inflatable Uncle Sam suit and paraded up and down the aisles. In 2011 IAAPA Attractions Expo will return to the Orange County Convention Center from November 14 to 18. See you then.

The world’s tallest man brings Paul Ruben down to size on the booth of Ripley Entertainment


Speaks Out The Disney

Legends session is

always one of the highlights of the

education programme at IAAPA

Attractions Expo. This year’s contributors, on November 17, were ex-Imagineers Marty Sklar and Mickey Steinberg (pictured) Mickey proved to be a particularly vocal new addition to the proceedings, providing some very outspoken views on developing new attractions overseas.

Asked by chairman Bob Rogers about the “failure” of Disneyland Paris, he offered this response: “It was a huge success. When the park got into trouble it was [because of] those people that built the concept at the heart of the development. I’m not the one who decided to build 50,000 hotel rooms. When they built the first park here [in Orlando] they built 750 rooms, and this was not next to Paris. We were park people, all we did was build the park, and we built the most successful tourist attraction in Europe. In fact, if it wasn’t for that park, the rest of all that haserei they built would probably have gone into disrepair.”

Jordon Dietrich displayed a concept for what he described as "the future of 4D coasters"

This macabre display of clown props was contributed by haunted attractions specialist The Scare Factory


Jeff Pike (honestly!) of Great Coasters International gets in the spirit of the show as Uncle Sam

Image courtesy Adrian Fisher 27

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