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What is your big new attraction for 2017 and how is construction going?

Steve Beckley, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, USA: Our new ride is the Haunted Mine Drop. It’s similar to other drop rides that you night have experienced, except that instead of pulling riders up in the air, we’re going to drop them down a 120 feet (37m) shaft inside Iron Mountain. Because this has never been done before and we are dealing with weather conditions on a mountain at an elevation of 7,100ft (2.1km), we have not announced an opening date yet, but construction has been going well. The ride itself it being built by Soaring Eagle of Logan, Utah, while we lay the foundation and erect the mine-themed building. It took us

about eight months to excavate the shaft. We will be so excited to introduce the attraction to our guests this summer and will be providing updates on our Facebook page as we get closer to completion.

Thorsten Backhaus, Movie Park Germany: This spring, exact date to be decided, we will be opening our triple launch coaster Star Trek: Operation Enterprise. The three high speed launches, the twisted half pipe and 30m-high top hat will give guests the adrenalin rush of their lives, but it’s not enough today to have a unique coaster. You also need the perfect storyline. Movie and TV licences are what our park is all about and Star Trek has been inspiring people for more than 50 years. The Star Trek Next Generation franchise and the rollercoaster are the perfect combination. The main ride structure, by Mack Rides, was completed over the winter and we

are now working on the theming and other details so that guests will feel part of something exciting from the moment they enter the attraction to the moment they leave. We can hardly wait for Star Trek: Operation Enterprise to open so that we can give them a unique intergalactic experience.

Scott Simpson, Playland's Castaway Cove, USA: The big new attraction this season is a continuation of our 2016 project with the addition of two feature rollercoasters, Gale Force and Whirlwind. Installing two coasters of this magnitude in a small space within close proximity to each other has delayed installation. We are also adding a further five rides which we look at as one comprehensive addition for the summer in conjunction with the coasters. Along the way, a few modifications and improvements have been made to all the equipment being installed. Opening times will hopefully happen within our 2017 schedule, but as with

every project there are many factors that we cannot control.

Figures of Fun

305 number of new Lego-themed guest rooms opening in 2017 across Merlin Entertainments' park portfolio including new holiday village at Legoland Florida (166 rooms), Legoland Billund holiday village expansion (80) and second hotel at Legoland Windsor (59)


number of visitors in last two months of 2016 at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Numbers are expected to have risen significantly since the opening of all three theme parks at the start of this year


attendance target for current season at Global Village in Dubai. The international showcase of shopping, food and entertainment – including Fantasy Island fun fair/theme park – opened for its 21st season in November and continues until April 8. Last season's attendance was 5.3 million


number of tourists to Dubai in 2016 (5% up on 2015), making it the world's fourth most-visited city. The three top source markets were India, Saudi Arabia and the UK


total number of visitors in 2016 across Merlin Entertainments' international portfolio of 100+ parks and attractions (up from 62.9 million 2015)

MARCH 2017



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