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Park News

Here’s how the Intamin launch coaster will look New Turkish park coming soon

A major new theme park will open this spring as part of a €425,000 development outside Istanbul, the largest of its kind ever in Turkey. Located at the crossroad of two major highways on the border of the Eyüp and

Gaziosmanpaa municipalities, the 200,000 square metre Vialand park is part of a larger, 600,000 square metre development that will also include a large retail offering, concert arena and green spaces.

Scheduled to open on April 23, it promises around 50 attractions spread over four themed zones. Welcoming guests

to the park will be a striking castle structure, leading to a “Main Street” area with buildings and facades that reflect daily life in old Istanbul. The park’s signature attraction will be an Intamin launch coaster. Standing 65-metres-tall and reaching 110km in three seconds, its height will be the same as the Bosphorous Bridge that connects Europe to Asia on Istanbul’s bosphorous strait. Other attractions will include an Intamin family coaster, richly-themed splash coaster (shoot-the- chute), raft ride, two dark rides, a Zierer Star Shape and Huss King Kong.

Istanbul is already noted as an important shopping and entertainment destination for visitors from the neighbouring Middle East and Balkan regions, and the Via Land development is predicted to increase tourists to the city by 15%.

ABC Smart Swing

Part of the Swiss manufacturer’s Smart Rides collection, the Smart Swing from ABC Rides is a simple but effective, low capacity attraction, suitable for riders of 1.2-metres and up.

Auto & Technik Museum

Occupying a 5 x 8-metre footprint, the ride stands 8.5m high and features a single two-seater gondola and arms that turn at up to 14rpm. Pictured here are a couple of installations made last year, at the Atzmännig ski resort in Switzerland and the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany. Atzmännig

The project’s investor and main contractor is the Gürsoy & Bayraktar Investment and Management Partnership, working to plans delivered by Dome Architecture and ANM Group International. By the time it is complete, the complete development is expected to create employment for 4,000 people, including Vialand general manager Mehmet Emeç, who arrives at the park with several years’ Disney experience under his belt. Billed as “Turkey’s first international mega theme park,” it will hopefully prove more sustainable than Istanbul’s ill-fated Tatilya and Landora parks, the latter of which closed last summer after less than a year in business. Isla Magica in the Loop

The Spanish park Isla Magica is the latest attraction to be added to the portfolio of the Looping Group. The French operator has agreed invest

€5 million ($6.m) after acquiring 30 million shares in the park from La Caxia bank. Located in the Andalucian city of Seville, Isla Magica opened in 1997 on the site of the city’s Expo ’92, several buildings from which were incorporated into the park together with new attractions including a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster, C&S Mine Train, Maurer Soehne tower ride and various water rides.

Subsequent additions included a Zamperla Disk’O, 4D theatre and the large pirate-themed dark ride El Tesoro del Capitan Balas. Capital investment has been somewhat muted in recent years, and the park posted a loss in both 2011 and 2012. A new multimedia show is planned for 2013 on its lake. Formed in 2011 to take on a number of smaller parks no longer wanted by Compagnie des Alpes, the Looping Group is backed by the private equity firm HIG Capital. Its other attractions include Bagatelle, Cobac Parc, Parc Mini- Châteaux and the St Malo and Touraine aquariums in France, the Dutch park Hellendoorn, Aquaparc in Switzerland, and Pleasurewood Hills in the UK.

10 FEBRUARY 2013

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