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Park News

ParkHoppin’ with Paul Ruben

Splashing With Wolves

It was the dead of winter and I was suffering waterpark depravation. What to do? There were two options. Fly to a warm weather destination with an outdoor waterpark, or drive to an indoor waterpark.

Driving meant I didn’t have to overpay for what should be a cheap flight, take my shoes off in the airport, suffer flight delays or endure those onboard who, as the plane lands and taxis to the terminal, phone to tell their friends waiting in the terminal that their flight has arrived. Isn't that why God invented arrival boards?

I decided to head to the Great Wolf Lodge Poconos in Pennsylvania. Because of its

proximity to the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, this is the most heavily attended lodge in the Great Wolf chain. But I went during the week, and the facility was not full. Great Wolf Lodge is a themed 401-room hotel with amenities, lots of amenities, including a massive indoor heated waterpark. It’s the perfect destination for families with young children looking for a few days’ escape. I had no young children, just moi. My Great Wolf Lodge adventure began in the 84°F (29°C) waterpark. I splashed the day away in over 79,000 sq ft (7,339 sq m) of water- packed excitement, including some jaw-dropping slides. I floated along the lazy river, but avoided the zero-depth entry areas for little ones. During my visit I discovered a new second-favourite waterpark element. The lodge is filled with ProSlide attractions, including a Tantrum Alley. I had never been on one before. It begins with a high speed in-run into an enclosed funnel, followed by a dark slide before another funnel and a final splashdown. I’m a fairly jaded thrill-seeker, so when I dropped sharply into the first funnel and nearly flipped, it pulled a scream from my throat. I don’t do that, but I did on the Tantrum Alley, twice. My first- favourite waterpark element is, of course, the hot tub. Pig heaven. Outside the waterpark, the fun continued, at least for the kids. They could play MagiQuest, an attraction that has been rolled out to several other Great Wolf destinations. The interactive treasure hunt game allows guests to fight goblins, slay dragons and interact with magical creatures. Using a magic wand as a wireless controller, visitors move throughout the hotel’s four floors finding clues and hints to solve problems and earn points.

Kids can get an ice cream- themed manicure in Scooops Kid Spa before gathering their family in the Grand Lobby for nightly fireside Story Time, the perfect ending to a Great Wolf day. For me, the perfect ending was a visit to the lounge for an adult beverage, a cold one. The bartender asks, “Would you like your Shirley Temple with or without a cherry?” It had been a long day.

In the interests of taste and decency, readers may prefer the picture of Paul Ruben to the right


A global standard? The quest continues

A group of around 15 industry professionals from across Europe gathered recently in England as part of an ongoing quest to establish a worldwide standard for the safety of amusement rides and devices. The meeting of the ISO/TC254 committee’s working group 3 took place on April 12 and 13 at the premises of Leisure Technical Consultants in Hyde near Manchester, addressing the topic of ride operation and use. The two-day get- together followed meetings during 2011 in Moscow, London and Munich. Allied to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the committee was formed in late 2010 following a proposal from the Russian national standardisation body GOST R and now includes representatives from nine European countries, as well as South Africa, China, Singapore and North Korea. An additional two working groups have been established to examine the biomechanical effects of amusement rides and devices and their design, manufacture and construction. Members of the committee also enjoy a close dialogue with the ASTM F24 committee in the United States. Represented in Hyde were various national trade associations, inspection/certification bodies, plus operators including Pleasure Beach Blackpool and Merlin Entertainments. One of the main objectives of the meeting, chaired by Ken Rundle, was to review the draft ISO/TC245 N9 document. In doing so, delegates set out to remove any ambiguities, particularly important considering many of those following the guidance once it is published may not necessarily boast English as a first language. There was, for example, some acknowledgement from the working group that the term “ride” is not suitable for all equipment due to emergence of certain new amusement devices. Recognising that many attractions are built within Europe and so conform to existing EN1318 standards, it is hoped that ISO/TC254’s efforts will lead to a wider set of guidelines that will apply to all rides or amusement devices, wherever they are manufactured. By definition, an ISO standard should adopt the best knowledge and practice from many different countries. The committee hopes to finalise its work in around a year’s time, issuing a document for the use of designers, manufacturers and operators of amusement rides and devices across the world. As legislation varies from country to country, the content will be for guidance only; nevertheless it is the expected to be the most authoritative work published internationally to date. All three working groups of the ISO/TC254 are scheduled to meet this October during Euro Attractions Expo in Berlin. For more details please contact the committee’s secretary Anna Novikova:

Delegates pictured outside the LTC offices, from left to right: Will Gilbert (LTC), Eric Dudhout (AFNOT/SNELAC, France), Brian Tranter (British Standards Institution), Jimmy Williams (Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain), Vladimir Nikulin (Pax, Russia), Martin Booth (Merlin Entertainments), Vladimir Gnezdilov (Pax), Jens Dahlslund (DS/Force Technology, Denmark), Anna Novikova (Pax/ISO/TC254 sec- retary), Gianni Chiari (Uni-EMASH/ANCASVI, Italy), Bob Nicholls (LTC/ADIPS, UK), Ken Rundle (ISO/TC254), Alex Nicolls (Ferrari World Abu Dhabi), Alex Payne (Pleasure Beach Blackpool/BALPPA), Mark Wolstenholme (LTC/ADIPS/NAFLIC), Janet Nicholls (LTC)

MAY 2012

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