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Park News

Airtrail Now that’s a high ropes course!

Innovative Leisure, the UK-based adventure attractions specialist, recently delivered the country’s tallest high ropes course on behalf of American manufacturer Ropes Courses Inc. Named Airtrail, it was officially opened at the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre back in February. Located in the city of Stockton-on-Tees, the 17m-high (55ft) 4-level Sky Trail course is built on a peninsular in the middle of the River Tees and can be seen from the major A19 & A66 roads. The attraction has been added as operator Tees Active Leisure seeks to broaden its offering of adventurous activities. The towering structure is an eight- pole system offering more than 40 elements between 4m and 15m off the ground. Levels three and four are certainly not for the faint hearted. The minimum height for users is 1m if accompanied by an adult, or 1.22m if not. The course is large enough to cater for up to 70 people at a time, with 60

participants able to use the main Sky Trail experience as a further 10 enjoy the UK’s first Sky Rail, comprising a pair of parallel zip rails, allowing them to zip from one launch pad to the next without disconnecting from the system, which they are secured to via a full body harness and belay suspended from an overhead track. Those with

younger families can also enjoy a 6-pole Sky Tykes course, aimed ar those as young as 2 years old and under 1.22m. “This is a very impressive structure offering a fun, challenging experience for virtually all age groups,” notes Innovative Leisure’s Phil Pickersgill. “We are very pleased to have had this opportunity and extremely proud to install the first Sky Rail in Europe as well as the highest Sky Trail ropes course.

Designers pile in with plaudits for

new book “Theme Park Design & The Art of Themed Entertainment aims to be the most in-depth book on theme park design ever written,” says British student and author David Younger. Thankfully the quotes provided by a who’s who of industry designers would appear to back that up. “David Younger has created one of the finest studies of the themed

French fancy

We love the crazy mixed-up colours and patterns on these new waterslides at Campsite Le Chateau Vieux in France. The popular resort in Saint Hilaire de Riez chose Polin Waterparks to supply the two combination rides, including he country's first ever Sphere slide – pictured above – as part of a new 1,000 sq m (10,763 sq ft) aquatic area, which opened last May. The shiny RTM-finish graphic exteriors are complemented by the Turkish manufacturer’s patented Natural Light Effects to deliver a hypnotic visual experience for resort guests as they swoosh and slide through the tubes.

entertainment industry ever attempted,” says Tokyo DisneySea lead designer Steve Kirk. “It is a comprehensive and thoughtful analysis of every aspect of this complex design discipline from the micro to the macro.” Names such as Bob Gurr, Peter Alexander, Anthony Esparza, John Wardley,

Craig Hanna, Monte Lunde and many more also pile in with rapturous quotes, and the book itself contains a foreword/afterword from Disney Imagineering luminaries Tony Baxter and Joe Rohde (who describes it as “a magnum opus” no less). But that’s enough puffing up of Younger’s ego, what’s inside? Across nine chapters and almost 600 pages, the book guides the reader

through every aspect of theme park design, explaining vital concepts such as story design, set design, park and attraction layout design, shop design, rollercoaster design, flat ride design, character design, lighting design and even firework design, each pulling together the diverse perspectives and well-earned wisdom of accomplished designers. Younger wrote the book while undertaking the world’s first ever Art & Design

PhD examining theme park design, during which he worked as a creative designer at Walt Disney Imagineering and served on the board of the Themed Entertainment Association, which may explain how he came by some of those quotes.

“While lots of books have touched upon aspects of theme park design, I

wanted a book that pulled it all together, and covered the areas other books missed out,” explains David. “If it didn’t exist already, I decided, I’d write it myself!”

Theme Park Design & The Art of Themed Entertainment is published by

Inklingwood Press and is available direct with free postage from and, from the end of this month, via Amazon and other bookstores. Both a hardback and softback version are available, at $69.95 and $49.95 respectively, but only the hardback is available in colour.

18 APRIL 2016

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