July 2020 issue available!

By | June 26, 2020

The July 2020 issue of Amusement Today is available for FREE via Digital Edition and/or downloadable PDF!

  • NEAAPA honors Amusement Today
  • Florida’s theme parks begin reopening
  • Arnolds Park’s numerous improvements enhance guest experience
  • Parks start to reopen nationwide
  • Arizona Boardwalk has new name, new attractions
  • Tonga Twister adds heart-pounding attraction to Aquatica
  • WhiteWater supplies new Endless Surf
  • Joyland Park handles shutdown challenges
  • Rulantica’s operations succeed on energy efficiency
  • BactiBlock coating offers protection from bacteria
  • Plexiglass dividers aboard Chance train
     …and more!

Hydro Adventures to remain closed for the remainder of the 2020 Season

By | July 2, 2020

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — Hydro Adventures will remain closed for the remainder of the 2020 season due to the devastating impact of the coronavirus epidemic. In light of the shortened operating season and social distancing guidelines created in response to the coronavirus, opening the park for any portion of the 2020 season is not a financially viable option. 

“We are deeply disappointed to have to make this difficult decision,” said Edgar Novoa, Hydro Adventures General Manager. “We love being a place for families to gather and make memories.”

This decision came after careful consideration by park management and after review of local and state public health guidelines. Hydro Adventures will be issuing refunds for all season passes and tickets previously purchased for the 2020 season. 

Hydro Adventures is undertaking a strategic review to determine the future of the park. The options under consideration include the sale, redevelopment and repurposing of the park.

A&A Global Industries announces asset purchase of HMS Monaco

By | July 2, 2020

BALTIMORE, Md. — A&A Global Industries, a leader in redemption, amusement and vending industries’ products, announced today it has completed an asset purchase of HMS Monaco a Jersey City, New Jersey based company specializing in plush and redemption merchandise.  

HMS Monaco’s well-known product line and founder Ira Erstling joins the A&A Global family effective immediately as HMS Division Manager assisting with product development, sales and purchasing.

“The timing is perfect to join A&A’s powerful team,” said Ira Erstling, founder of HMS Monaco. “As part of A&A, we can expand our product lines and services to HMS customers – as well as the other way around.  This is not the end of HMS – just the launching pad of a new and exciting future,” Erstling added. 

Over the next few weeks, HMS’ inventory will be transferred to A&A’s Baltimore headquarters. “Because we are so close to Baltimore, the transfer will not affect our customers, as we can ship from Baltimore as soon as the product arrives.  The technology and operation that A&A has is very impressive and that will expedite the process,” Erstling said.  

“The natural synergies between our companies makes for a deal that is a win-win for all A&A’s and HMS’ customers.  The opportunity for us all is amazing,” said Brian Kovens, A&A Global’s Co-President. “We are enthusiastic to have Ira join our team.  He built an incredible company and know that he will bring those skills to A&A.” Kovens added.  

Kings Island Amusement Park debuts Orion, the seventh giga coaster in the world

By | July 2, 2020

Today, Kings Island debuted Orion, its newest coaster. Joining the world-class line-up of coasters at the park is Orion, one of only seven giga coasters in the world, a class of coasters having a height or drop of 300-399 ft.​​

​​Orion plunges riders down an exhilarating 300-foot drop before sending them on a high-speed journey over seven more hills at speeds of up to 91 mph. Racing along 5,321 feet of track; it is Kings Island’s tallest, fastest and longest steel coaster.​​

​​Along with the introduction of Orion, the park welcomes guests back to the park for a later than expected 2020 opening. The amusement park has put stringent health, safety and hygiene protocols in place to allow a safe opening that align with CDC recommendations and have been shaped by information from company and industry health and safety experts.   Download the Welcoming You Back Guide here.​​

​​The park opens daily for Season Passholders with a reservation on Thursday, July 2, and to everyone on Sunday, July 12.  Reservations are available on the park’s website, www.visitkingsisland.com.

Malahat Sky Walk selects Gateway Ticketing Systems to be their ticketing system partner

By | July 2, 2020

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa. — Malahat Sky Walk, a new attraction on Southern Vancouver Island set to open in Spring of 2021, has chosen Gateway Ticketing Systems and their Galaxy Ticketing and Admission Control software.

Malahat Sky Walk will provide amazing views of Southern Vancouver Island from its 2,133 feet (650m) treetop journey which leads you to a gently sloping spiral 131 feet (40m) above the forest floor. But the attraction is not just about the amazing views, as Malahat Sky Walk aims to bring interactive activities for guests to immerse themselves in local Malahat Nation culture, all within an adventurous venue that is comfortably accessible to all guests, including those in wheelchairs or with strollers. The Sky Walk will also boast a shop, café, kid’s playground, and picnic area.

Malahat Sky Walk was referred to Gateway by another recent customer in their region. After an in-depth online demo and extensive decision process, they ultimately chose Gateway Ticketing Systems as their ticketing provider of the future.

The attraction initially plans to launch with Galaxy Ticketing Point-of-Sale, as well as Membership, Order Entry and Upsell modules. Since they are opening with a café and gift shop, they will also be utilizing Galaxy’s Food & Beverage and Retail modules, unifying their other profit centers with their Ticketing POS to drive increased revenue and gain a more comprehensive view of per-cap spending. Malahat Sky Walk has also adopted Galaxy Admission control so they can efficiently and securely validate tickets and memberships, and track their real time capacity with hand-held scanners. They will sell tickets and memberships online through the eGalaxy Web Store.

The Sky Walk also signed up for a yearly subscription to Galaxy’s self-paced learning courses which will walk users through a series of interactive e-learning presentation of configuration options and examples to help them more quickly train on the software in preparation to open.

“We looked at a number of operating systems and we did not find another one that offered such a comprehensive suite of services that touched every facet of our business”, said Ken Bailey, General Manager of Malahat Sky Walk. “We are confident as we grow in the coming years Gateway Ticketing Systems will be there to support our growth.”

“We’re so grateful to welcome Malahat Sky Walk to the Gateway family,” says Peter Wolf, Director of Sales and Marketing at Gateway Ticketing Systems. “First and foremost, they are a spectacular attraction with an A+ team that is a pleasure to work with. Their focus on accessibility and learning amidst a gorgeous landscape and breathtaking architecture makes us proud to be selected as their ticketing provider.”

Peter continues: “We are also particularly proud that Malahat Sky Walk was referred to us by one of our current customers. And that despite the coronavirus pandemic, they felt comfortable moving forward with purchasing and implementing our Galaxy product suite right now.”

Malahat Sky Walk plans to open and go live with Galaxy in March, 2021.

There’s magic in the air in downtown Wildwood. Real magic at New Jersey’s only Open Air Theater of Magic

By | July 1, 2020

You won’t believe your eyes as New Jersey’s first and only Open Air Theater of Magic comes to Downtown Wildwood. Guests who previewed the spectacular new “Belmont Evening of Fun & Magic” show declared it, “The Best Family Show in Wildwood!”

The show stars award-winning Magicians, Al & Sue Belmont, who have headlined aboard cruise ships, at state fairs and at major theme parks across the USA. The show also features guest artists John Bundy and Morgan who have dazzled audiences throughout Europe and Asia.

It’s one-hour of fast moving family fun featuring big TV style illusions, a potpourri of smaller effects, thrilling escapes and the enchanting Circus on a String Marionettes.  

The unique outdoor setting is especially appropriate at this difficult time. In addition, seating will be limited to only 33 social groups per show. All families will be seated together, socially distanced 6’ from all other guests. All seats will be disinfected before every show and a hands-free Sanitizing Station will be available for all as they enter.

Belmont is the recent winner of the prestigious Milbourne Christopher “Master of Magic” Award.The Award recognizes magicians for “excellence in the magical arts.” Previous winners include David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Siegfried & Roy and Harry Blackstone Jr.

Belmont offers mirth, magic and spectacular surprises. With state of the art illusions, live animals, colorful costumes and lots of audience participation with no actual contact, the Belmont Magic Show adds up to fast-moving entertainment for all from 6 to 96! In addition to receiving the Christopher Master’s Award, Belmont’s credits include Performing Arts Centers, the NJ Festival of Ballooning, the famed Florida Strawberry Festival and Northern Quest Casino.

The Belmont show also includes Master Illusionist John Bundy, well known from many appearances on TV Talk Shows; Morgan, the Ultimate Liberated Woman, a real “Houdini in Heels”, named “Escape Artist of the Year” by CW Network’s “World Magic Awards”; and the enchanting Circus on Strings, great fun for all ages, featuring a cast of beautifully hand-crafted marionette entertainers including a Juggler, Unicyclist, Contortionist and Trapeze Artist.  

Belmont presents more than tricks. He creates great family entertainment melding illusions, humor, a captivating voice and warm rapport with the audience to create Real Magic. The charismatic conjuror’s shows elicit wonder, a smile and something to tell your friends about! “Belmont’s Evening of Fun & Magic“, will be presented at 7pm and 9pm every Friday, Saturday & Sunday through Labor Day at Downtown Wildwood’s Outdoor Theater of Magic located at 3501 Pacific Avenue, by Byrne Plaza, at the corner of Pacific and Schellenger. Regularly priced at just $ 15 for Kids to age 12, and $ 17 for adults, July features a Grand Opening Discount of $2 per ticket. Tickets are available before each show at the theater. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (609) 206-5244 or email belmontmagic@verizon.net

Daytona Lagoon celebrates Independence Day with early-bird special and season pass sale

By | July 1, 2020

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona Lagoon is offering guests multiple ways to save this 4th of July with an online-only season pass sale as well as an in-park early bird special on Independence Day. Guests who purchase a water park general admission ticket on July 4 before 2 p.m. EST will receive 20 Bonus Arcade Credits for free. 

In addition to the early-bird special on July 4, Daytona Lagoon is discounting season passes beginning July 1 through July 3. Guests who purchase 2020 season passes using the promo code FLASHSALE20 will save $10 on each Waterpark or Super Season Pass. With the $10 discount, a waterpark season pass is $74.99.

With more limited choices for summer travel this year, Daytona Lagoon remains a place for families to get away and have fun. Around the country, families are looking for options closer to home.   With the park’s new implementation of additional health protocols in compliance with the CDC’s recommendations, Daytona Lagoon is the perfect getaway for residents throughout Florida.

“Since locals are not taking as many vacations nor traveling as much this summer, our waterpark season passes are the answer for a lot of families looking for summer fun,” explains Tyler Currie, general manager of Daytona Lagoon.

Tidal Wave rolls into Quassy!

By | July 1, 2020

A work crew was busy this morning unloading shipping containers at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, Conn., as the park’s new giant swinging ship, Tidal Wave, arrived from SFB/Visa Group of Italy.

The thrill ride is the sixth attraction from SBF/Visa to be added at Quassy in recent years and will be erected in front of the redemption arcade. The Italian manufacturer is represented in North America by Rides 4 U, Somerville, N.J. This marks the 18th consecutive year the family-owned and operated property has made significant capital improvements. Quassy is now open daily through Labor Day. (Quassy photos)

Safety features technologies provided by Z+

By | June 30, 2020

How technology and innovation can reconvert a production helping to realize devices to guarantee social distancing and safe environments?

The  Covid-19  found  us  unprepared  to  adapt  to  an  unexpected  new everyday reality, that brought us to reprogram our habits thanks to the use of technology, which has allowed us to move forward in the phase of lockdown.

Reinventing not only the approach to work but also our societal environment, with the help of new state-of-the-art solutions to contain the spreading of the Coronavirus, Zamperla has not stopped its innovation journey. Thanks to our highly creative people, with a wealth of skills and a great interest for innovation we have been able to adapt part of our production implementing and realizing new products.

Our Z+ division, specialized in hi-tech developments, attempts every day to bring together the latest technologies and industry insights to propose the best solutions in the amusement sector. This challenging time brought us an opportunity to adapt and reinvent ourselves, using the extensive experience and knowledge in the technology field to launch new products on the market of healthcare prevention, specifically developed to contain the spreading of the Coronavirus.

We began producing our own smart and safe features solutions focusing on how to help tackle the pandemic, working on new products that could meet current needs: starting from a People Counter to an Intelligent Temperature Test Device monitoring body temperature to a Welcome Modular Tunnel designed to combine safety with entertainment items.

The Z+ People Counter works thanks to a camera tracking system, easy to implement, that accurately regulates the number of people going in and out of a building or an enclosed area, giving a real-time data on the totals. Useful even after the Covid emergency, thanks to a management software that provides the statistics on the attendance of visitors and use them to optimize businesses.

The Intelligent Temperature Test Device can be used at the entrance of common enclosed spaces and any social gathering place to detect body temperature and regulate the entry safely to mitigate the risk of contagion from diseases caused by viruses, especially COVID-19. Without displaying degrees, the scanner indicates the temperature of the person passing by illuminating itself in three different colors (green, yellow, and red) and guaranteeing a protected environment.

WELCOME Z+ is a control and safety modular tunnel designed by our division to transform the required security checks into a positive and entertaining experience through smart technology. Z+ has developed various options of the tunnel to fit different requirements for each specific customer, reducing operational costs increasing safety and efficiency.

Every WELCOME module has been built and equipped with the aim of performing precise features that range from an information module about recommended behaviors, to a thermo scanner module and a disinfectant module that subjects the visitor to a totally non-toxic substance to eradicates viruses, bacteria, and fungi quickly and efficiently and a hand sanitizer.

Marvel Star visits Wild Adventures

By | June 30, 2020

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Ga. welcomed a pint-sized member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Saturday when actress Lexi Rabe visited with her family.

Eight-year-old Lexi is best known for her role in Avengers: Endgame as Morgan Stark, the daughter of Tony Stark, a.k.a Iron Man. Rabe has also appeared in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the CW’s “Stargirl” and more.

Jessica Rabe, Lexi’s mother, said the family chose to visit the park, in large part, because of the new safety measures put in place that require social distancing, face coverings and increased cleaning to protect guests and employees.

Lexi’s dad, Joshua, said the park has become a favorite destination for the family.

“For me, this is one of Georgia’s little gems,” said Joshua Rabe.

As for Lexi, she was excited to ride one of her favorite rides, Go Bananas, with her brother Logan. Go Bananas has its own movie history as one of the many Wild Adventures attractions that were featured in the 2009 film Zombieland.

“My best friend, the first time I came here, she showed me that ride, and I rode it 50 times with her,” said Lexi Rabe. “It is my favorite.”

Jessica said her children love spending time at the park, and they plan to return for Halloween and Christmas celebrations later in the year.

“I love it 3,000,” said Lexi Rabe. Wild Adventures is currently offering free admission for all active and retired military during Celebrate America Week through July 5. All healthcare workers and first responders are being offered free weekday admission through July 31. Information about both offers is available at WildAdventures.com.

SeaWorld Orlando announces summer fireworks to celebrate Independence Day!

By | June 30, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. — This Fourth of July weekend, families and friends can enjoy three nights of the new physically distant fireworks presentations “Light Up the Sky” on Friday, July 3, Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5 included with park admission. Visit Seaworld.com/orlando/events/4th-of-july for full details. 

To promote safe physical distancing while still offering incredible views of the fireworks displays around the park, SeaWorld has identified additional viewing locations and added dates to provide more opportunities for guests to safely enjoy the festivities this year. Spaced seating, increased sanitation, additional park signage and additional staffing will be implemented throughout the park, and additional exits will also be added for a safe exit from the park at the conclusion of the display. For detailed information about the measures that guests can expect when visiting the park, including key operational changes, visit Seaworld.com/orlando/safety.

“Guest safety is our foremost priority and to be able to maintain safe physical distancing while still providing amazing vantage points of the fireworks presentation, we have re-configured the annual fireworks display to be viewable from multiple locations,” said Park President Kyle Miller. “We are committed to creating a safe environment for our guests so they can spend a memorable, fun and enjoyable holiday weekend with us.”   With SeaWorld’s enhanced health and safety measures in place, reservations for July 3-5 are available now and required for park entry. Reservations can be made by visiting the park’s website Seaworld.com/orlando/tickets/reservations/.