Front Gate parkworld-online.com
Figures of Fun
pound sterling ($1.55/€1.15) – admission fee that local authority is considering increasing at Water Adventure
Play Park in Weston-super-Mare, England 43
number of rides, slides and attractions at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi – the most expensive waterpark kit list in the world
metres (400ft) – height of the world’s newest tallest Star Flyer, currently under construction at Gröna Lund, Stockholm
number of workers Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey) hopes to hire for the 2013 season
Number of unionised ‘cast members’ demanding a bonus (and threatening to strike if they don’t get one) following record 2012 attendance at Disneyland Paris. In France, it seems, even Mickey Mouse is militant!
Ups & Downs
A Century Of Smiles – Luna Park Melbourne – Australia’s oldest theme park – celebrated 100 years of business over the Christmas period
Europa-Park set a new attendance record in 2012 following its most capital intensive season ever. The German park attracted recorded more than 4.5 million visits, with 2.5 million rides enjoyed on Wodan, its new wooden coaster, and over 100,000 guests staying at the new Bell Rock hotel since it opened in July. The 2013 park season kicks off on March 23.
According to local press reports, the key infrastructure and support facilities for Shanghai Disneyland are now in place, and work can start on the next phase of construction. The park in Pudong is expected to open in 2015 and some major structures should take shape later this year.
The Welsh amusement park Oakwood is to spend £4 million ($6.3m/€4.7m) on a themed area featuring seven new attractions – its largest new investment for more than a decade. Its last major new ride was a Gerstlauer EuroFighter coaster added in 2006, two years before the park was sold by Paddy McNamara to the Spanish Aspro Group.
More than four years after a fire ravaged the Grand Pier in the English seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, a judge has found the alarm provider System 2 Security at fault. In his December ruling at Bristol Mercantile Court, Judge Havelock-Allan found ”no contributory negligence” on behalf of operator Grand Pier Limited (GPL) and awarded an immediate payment of £30 million ($47m/€35m) plus interest to GPL. However, System 2 went into administration three days before the court case began. Grand Pier co-owner Kerry Michael has stated he is, “determined to pursue those responsible.” The pier has since received a £51 million tranformation including a new Pavilion building housing an FEC-style operation.
What caught your eyes at this winter's trade shows?
Fernando Eiroa, Palace Entertainment: I look forward to attending IAAPA every year, but this year in particular was great due to Palace’s participation in several seminars and panel discussions. On the trade
show floor, the new technology was very appealing to us, such as the 4D+ attractions. Also, new technology to better serve and capture guest transactions and more importantly the improved technology to better enhance the safety of our parks.
Håkon Lund, Kongeparken, Norway: One of the most interesting trends right now within the industry, we think, is the fusing of smartphone technology with the
experience in the park. How
we can strengthen the attraction experience, put in extra layers and use external platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a trend we are looking at spending more and more time and investment on. There were several companies offering these services at IAAPA..
Molly Deese, Wild Adventures, USA: The things that caught our eye this year at IAAPA were the Wild About Monkeys travelling animal exhibition, Professor Pumpkin
animatronic character that
shares stories, jokes and conversations with guests, and the custom mascot costumes offered by Mask US.
Caution Crocs! – 15,000 crocodiles were on the loose last month from Rakwena Crocodile Farm in South Africa following local floods
Roller Soaker? Game Over! – As the Bandit Bomber water coaster opens at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, Hersheypark in Pennsylania has retired its similar Roller Soaker ride
Log On – The Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm – America’s oldest log flume – is getting a multi-million dollar refurbishment
Merlin Most Admired – Merlin Entertainments has been recognised as one of Management Today’s 100 Most Admired British Companies
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