Coney Island Kicks Off 2018 Season by Taking PLAY to New Heights

By | April 25, 2018

CINCINNATI, Ohio — May 26 marks the opening of the 132th season at Coney Island and there is a lot of new fun to be had at Coney this summer!

Coney Island is thrilled to be kicking off the summer by bringing North America’s largest mobile Ferris wheel-style ride to Cincinnati. The Island Wheel will open for 6 weeks on May 26. This exciting 155-foot ride will take families soaring above and beyond, giving 360-degree views of Coney Island, the Ohio River, and more. At night, the wheel comes alive with more than a half million LED points of light, visible for miles around. The Island Wheel will be located adjacent to the park’s popular Sunlite Water Adventure area, towards the Riverbend Music Center. Families can take the massive Island Wheel for an unforgettable spin from May 26 through July 8. Wheel admission per rider is only $5.

New for 2018, Coney Island is partnering with ThinkTV and CET to create a “beyond broadcast” experience that incorporates popular PBS Kids characters with a “play and learn” environment. Included will be interactives that have been chosen specifically to align with the PBS Kids mission of building imagination and curiosity. Starting with the new PBS Kids Backyard, a playground area for kids to climb, slide, play, and learn. When it’s time to cool down or calm down, parents and kids can head to the new PBS Kids Quiet Time area. PBS Kids Quiet Time area allows moms and their little ones a cool quiet place to step away from the sun and crowds for a needed break. The room is equipped with two private breast-feeding stations, changing tables, private restroom, and a quiet space for kids to relax. This new space is equipped with PBS Kids “quiet time” videos to aid in calming little ones and perhaps help foster nap time. Also, be sure to look for a very special lunch event with Daniel Tiger on Memorial Day weekend!

Guests of all ages are sure to have a fun-filled summer at Coney with the addition of new live shows, renovated mini golf course, and new paddle boats on Lake Como. Families will love taking in one of the three new live shows: the Circus Mojo, where kids can join the cast for a chance to perform a few circus tricks, a new Country music show, Love My Country, that will keep toes tapping with contemporary and patriotic county hits, and a 90’s Mixtape show, with all of the greatest hits. Nothing says summer fun with the family like playing putt-putt together at the newly renovated mini golf course featuring nine famous Cincinnati landmarks, like the Brent Spence Bridge. Floating on Lake Como will be new paddle boats that kids will be in awe of – graceful Swans and daring Dragons! These new paddle boats will be a sight to see and even more fun to ride around the lake.

“Since last year’s renovations at Sunlite Water Adventure were so well received by our guests, we’ve brought that same sense of excitement to the Rides & Attractions side of the park.” says Sally Derrick, VP of Marketing. “Our guests will see new theming, bright colors, fresh paint, and new signs creating a playful atmosphere for families to enjoy together.” Many rides have been updated including the popular rollercoaster, The Python, which will have a brand-new look that will have kids and adults alike excited to ride through the jungle.

Be sure to mark your calendar for all the Coney Island Special Events this summer! Lots of family favorite events are returning.

This Mother’s Day, May 13, guests can treat their moms to an unlimited brunch buffet in historical Moonlite Gardens which also includes a carriage ride around Lake Como, admission to Coney Island and to the Appalachian Festival. Coney will also offer a second buffet option in Moonlite Pavilion which includes admission to Appalachian Festival. Visit coneyislandpark.com/event/mothers-day-brunch-2018 for more information.

On Memorial Day weekend, celebrate the official kick off of the season with the opening of Sunlite Water Adventure, Coney’s Rides & Attractions, and the Island Wheel.

The annual LaRosa’s Balloon Glow will be held on July 3. Hot air balloons of every color illuminate the night skies at dusk followed by a spectacular Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks display over the banks of Lake Como to end the evening. Families can spend that day at the park visiting Sunlite Water Adventure and Rides & Attractions.

Countries from around the world will be competing in Coney Island’s annual international firework competition, Fire Up the Night on September 22. Three countries will compete for international bragging rights and Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks will end the evening with a fantastic finale over Lake Como. This fun night out includes live entertainment, Coney’s Rides & Attractions and more.

Fall-O-Ween returns the first three weekends in October (Oct 6,7,13,14,20,21). This fun fall event features rides, shows and pumpkin throws. Families can enjoy activities together including a Trick or Treat trail, hayrides, pumpkin launching, Apple Pie School, live shows, petting farm, pony rides, mini golf and more! Coney’s rides will also be open during the event.

Moonlite Garden Dance Parties are the place to be on Fridays in the summer!

MediaMation, Inc. Expands MX4D Esports Theatre Network To Chicago

By | April 25, 2018

TORRANCE, Calif. —  MediaMation (MMI) and Hollywood Esports will open a second hybrid-esports theatre at Cinemas Entertainment Lawndale 10 in downtown Chicago to compliment the flagship MX4D Esports Theatre location at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, CA.

The new MX4D Esports Theatre in Hollywood was designed to convert between “Cinema Mode” and “Esports Mode” in under one hour, allowing cinema operators to enjoy dual revenue streams from MX4D films and then the quick conversion of the theatre to support the specialized needs of esports tournaments and events. “We are honored to be partnering with Cinemas Entertainment to build and operate this leading-edge esports theatre in downtown Chicago,” said Robert K. Laity, CEO of Hollywood Esports.

Mr. Henry Leong, President & CEO of Cinemas Entertainment commented, “Cinema owners are exploring new ways to appeal to our customers and as esports continues its rapid expansion in the US, cinemas have a unique ability to host weekly events and tournaments through Hollywood Esports utilizing MediaMation’s innovative esports venue technology. We look forward to offering players, spectators and fans in Chicago a unique and immersive place to enjoy esports events in our new MX4D Esports Theatre.” The Chicago metropolitan area is home to a population of more than 9.5 million people and has a number of highly successful esports organizations and enthusiasts.

The first Hollywood Esports MX4D Esports Theatre location is located at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatres. It was completed in late 2017 and opened with the launch of Wargaming’s World of Tanks North American Championship esports event in November. Through Hollywood Esports, the TCL Chinese Theatres has been hosting a weekly series of tournaments, events and viewing parties during the weekdays. Alwyn Kushner, President & COO of TCL Chinese Theatres, said “Hollywood Esports has built a loyal following of fans, players, and spectators who are attending weekly events primarily during Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We have seen our theatre attract a crowd of over 100 enthusiasts coming to the theatre on weekday nights to participate in events. It’s nice to see the fans, many of whom are driving more than 30 miles, come to these events to both spectate and play.”

MMI has been building immersive high-tech theatres for over 25 years. Dan Jamele, Co-Founder and CITO explains, “MMI’s MX4D Esports Theatre starts with the company’s motion and special effects technology and adds an innovative package of patent-pending features that are designed to support esports.”

“This is one of the most advanced and innovative movie theatres I’ve ever seen. It creates an interactive experience that brings the esports content and audience together through the use of motion and special effects. This takes being an esports spectator to the next level,” said Kevin Winston, editor of Digital LA, a well-known technology blogger covering a range of advances in innovation. As spectators and gamers watch a tournament, a “game jockey” animates the entire auditorium with motion and special effects in response to the tournament action on the screen. Spectators enjoy over a dozen special effects that punctuate key points in the game play.

“Hollywood Esports adds value to our expanding network of MX4D Esports Theatres by developing and managing tournaments and events that appeal to the gaming community. Our focus is to create esports events with game publishers and tournament organizers that we can scale across the network of MX4D Esports Theatres and manage along with our cinema partners,” added Mr. Laity. “Most importantly, we want to create a sense of a home town community of gamers who come together at weekly events to compete, spectate and socialize. We want to create a network of locations that becomes the place for gamers to meet and share their passion for gaming, tournaments and spectating. We want a place they feel belongs to their local gaming community. The common technical infrastructure that MMI has built creates consistency across the planned 50 MX4D Esports Theatre locations and allows cities and locations to host events easily at low cost.”

SeaWorld San Diego is only place to see Sesame Street-themed parade in California

By | April 25, 2018

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Sesame Street Party Parade, a colorful, musical, show-stopping parade, will kick off at the San Diego marine park starting Saturday, May 5. The parade, which is the only one of its kind in California, will feature 10 larger-than-life themed floats including iconic Sesame Street favorites such as Mr. Hooper’s Store and Count’s Castle. Elmo and his furry cast of friends will join more than 20 dancers, who will engage with guests during this highly energetic, 20-minute experience. The toe-tapping good times will roll through SeaWorld this summer every Saturday and Sunday starting May 5, 2018.

The Sesame Street Party Parade includes a pair of impressive interactive show stops. The first includes performers jumping rope, hula hooping and grooving with their favorite furry Sesame Street friends. The second stars Rosita, a favorite Sesame Street character who likes to play the guitar and is fluent in English and Spanish. The parade is the latest Sesame Street addition to SeaWorld San Diego. The park’s Sesame Street Bay of Play area is celebrating its 10th year in 2018.

“We are beyond thrilled to bring this brand new, engaging and endearing experience to visitors, especially those with young children and grandchildren,” said Marilyn Hannes, president of SeaWorld San Diego. “Our partnership with Sesame Street fits nicely with SeaWorld’s mission to educate and entertain.”

The Sesame Street Party Parade is included with park admission. VIP parade seating is available for $24.99, and Dinner With Elmo & Friends is $25 for ages 10 and older and $20 for children ages 3 to 9. The best way to experience the parade is with an Annual Pass, which costs $109.99 and includes 12 months of unlimited admission, free general parking, in-park discounts and invitations to members-only events. With an Annual Pass, visitors can be among the first to experience San Diego’s tallest and fastest roller coaster—Electric Eel, slated to open May 10, as well as enjoy all the exciting seasonal events the park has to offer. For more information, visit www.SeaWorldSanDiego.com.

The New Electric C.P. Huntington Made Its Debut at Landry’s Downtown Aquarium in Houston

By | April 25, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. — The new Electric C.P. Huntington Train from Chance Rides made its public debut last weekend at Landry’s Downtown Aquarium in Houston, TX.  Our 400th C.P. Huntington Train manufactured in the Wichita, KS facility will now operate in Houston as the Electric Eel Train and it will take guests on the Shark Voyage.  The Downtown Aquarium also hosted a Party for the Planet in honor of Earth Day.  This made a fitting debut for the Electric Eel Train as it is a zero-emissions, lithium-ion battery powered train.  The specially designed coaches have clear tops so you can see the fantastic array of sharks as you enter the shark tunnel.  It is a unique train experience and we are so proud that they can now do this with our Electric C.P. Huntington Train.  The Downtown Aquarium is making a statement to their guests about their commitment to the environment with the addition of this attraction.

Dick Chance, CEO and Aaron Landrum, President and COO were on hand for the unveiling before an excited crowd of Houstonians.  The Downtown Aquarium offered free rides to all their guests for two hours following the unveiling.  You can now enjoy the Electric Eel Train seven days a week!

Experience the space adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets on Eurosat Coastiality

By | April 24, 2018

Europa-Park and star director Luc Besson are once again joining forces following ARTHUR ‒ In the Minimoys Kingdom. Over the course of the extensive renovations to the French themed area, the upcoming virtual reality experience on Eurosat Coastiality will be playing Besson’s space blockbuster ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’. In order to make this special riding pleasure possible, a separate station with track switches is being integrated into the dark rollercoaster for the first time. Thus, from summer 2018, with the classic Eurosat ‒ CanCan Coaster and the innovative VR ride, there will be two attractions within one ride, using the same route ‒ a world first.

Gigantic sets and spectacular visions of the future ‒ that’s what French film producer Luc Besson is known for, among other things. After the successful cooperation with the themed ride ARTHUR ‒ In the Minimoys Kingdom in 2014, Michael Mack, Managing Partner of MackMedia, is looking forward to continuing to work together. “I cannot imagine a better partner for the Eurosat Coastiality project. The combination of Luc Besson, the French star director, and Valerian’s sensational space story is a perfect fit for us”, said Europa-Park’s Managing Partner after signing the contract. “I am happy to be able to pick up on the popular space theme ‒ as previously with the cult rollercoaster Eurosat and the ‘Mission to Space’ flight ‒ and offer it once again to our visitors.”

In Paris in mid-April, Luc Besson, Chairman of French motion picture company EuropaCorp, also added: “‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ on Eurosat Coastiality will be both exceptional and exclusive. With ARTHUR, the Mack family and I created a fantastic attraction through great respect for each other. This has since developed into a great friendship. When Michael Mack approached me after the movie ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ and said that it should become an attraction, I immediately felt a great deal of trust and appreciation.”

The joint realisation of this innovative project is both a prime example of a visionary, cross-border cooperation and a successful Franco-German partnership that will inspire people from all over the world at Europa-Park.

A world first: Two stations in one attraction

Since September 2015, visitors to Europa-Park have been able to enjoy the innovative VR experience of Alpenexpress Coastiality. This summer, MackMedia will be creating another spectacular rollercoaster thrill using VR glasses in the redesigned French themed area with Eurosat Coastiality. There is one peculiarity here: in order to make this special riding experience possible, a separate station with track switches is being integrated into the dark rollercoaster for the first time. Thus, with the classic Eurosat ‒ CanCan Coaster and the innovative VR ride, there will be two attractions within one ride, using the same route ‒ a world first.

Together with the startup VR Coaster, the media company of Europa-Park with Managing Partner Michael Mack will be responsible for the technical realisation of the Eurosat Coastiality attraction. Likewise, MackMedia will produce the futuristic 360-degree content from ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ which will eventually be featured on the VR headset. A lift will also provide convenient access to the train station.

French Tradition and Modernity united at Europa-Park

With the extensive redevelopments and redesigns in the French theme area, Europa-Park offers its guests the highest degree of authenticity and French zest for life. The entire façade of the Eurosat ‒ CanCan Coaster has a new and lively look, presenting to visitors an attractive design rich in culture and based on the well-known ‘Moulin Rouge’ ‒ the Parisian trademark for fun and entertainment since 1889 and a remarkable piece of French history. With the new partnership, Europa-Park is the world’s first theme park collaborating with the traditional Moulin Rouge. Luc Besson’s ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ stands for modernity à la française and visionary future scenarios that can be experienced in an innovative way on Eurosat Coastiality. As part of the conversion, another attraction can be found by the entrance to the cult sphere: a traditional Alsatian souvenir and curio shop named Madame Freudenreich Curiosités that will sport a characteristic half-timbered look. The house for huge dinosaur fans embraces the tradition of the popular French border region of Germany’s largest theme park and creates a wonderful experience for the whole family.

Start your engines: Universal Orlando Resort’s new immersive, family attraction, Fast & Furious – Supercharged, is now open

By | April 24, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Orlando Resort’s new attraction, Fast & Furious – Supercharged, is now open at Universal Studios Florida. Now, guests and their families can join the Fast family on an authentic and immersive experience that places them right in the middle of the action.

With a worldwide box-office of more than $5 billion, the Fast & Furious film franchise is one of the highest-grossing of all time and has become a global phenomenon that captivates audiences from around the world with action-packed storylines, unique characters and high-speed cars. Now – Universal Orlando guests can step into the blockbuster franchise and straight into the heart of the Fast & Furious films right alongside the Fast & Furious crew – including Dom, Letty, Hobbs, Tej, Roman and Mia – all played by the series’ superstars.

During the experience, guests will:

  • join up with the Fast crew as they feel what it’s like to step into their favorite Fast & Furious film;
  • immerse themselves in an authentic recreation of the Fast & Furious crew’s warehouse headquarters – filled with actual props, iconic scenes, authentic details and supercharged vehicles from the films;
  • ride with the family and crew as the films’ soundtracks pump, vehicles flip, rockets fire – and the action builds;
  • and check out more than a dozen of the supercharged cars from the films – including some of the ones driven by their favorite characters.

Fast & Furious – Supercharged is the next attraction at Universal Studios to feature the new Virtual Line system. Guests can select a time to ride via the Official Universal Orlando Resort Mobile App or at kiosks located near the attraction entrance, and then enjoy other experiences throughout the park until it’s their ride time. Guests can also access a special mobile experience for Fast & Furious – Supercharged on the Official Universal Orlando Resort Mobile App while inside the attraction, including messages from Mia and the rest of the family, character bios, quizzes and more.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Takes Top Honors at The World Travel Awards for the 4th Consecutive Year

By | April 24, 2018

ABU DHABI, U.A.E. — Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, was voted the ‘Middle East’s Leading Theme Park’ for the second year in a row by the World Travel Awards, during a gala ceremony held on the evening of April 19th. This recognition by guests and theme park enthusiasts from across the world, follows the iconic Ferrari inspired attraction having previously been selected as the “Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction” in 2015 and 2016, as well as the “Middle East’s Leading Theme Park” for 2017.

The prestigious World Travel Awards are recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of excellence in travel, tourism and hospitality. Winners across all categories are selected through public voting, with Ferrari World Abu Dhabi’s win for this year, further endorsing the Park’s continued success in creating unsurpassed experiences for its guests.

Accepting the award, Jesse Vargas, General Manager, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi said: – “We are honored to receive such positive and encouraging recognition from all the guests and fans who voted for us. To be prized a 4th title as the region’s most exciting theme park is testament to our ongoing commitment to providing truly distinctive experiences that not only spark adrenaline, but bring enjoyment to all our guests.

“At Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, we aim to fuel excitement in the hearts of our guests from across the world, and being voted the Middle East’s Leading Theme Park in the award-winning destination, Yas Island is a great privilege,” he added.

The multi award-winning Park is home to adrenaline-filled rides and engaging attractions including Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest Rollercoaster which peaks at speeds of 240km/hr, Flying Aces, the ride with a 52-meter high loop and Turbo Track, the heart-pounding ride that shoots guests through the park’s iconic red roof to Yas Island’s highest point. In addition, the Park regularly hosts a number of cultural and seasonal events, enticing guests with action-packed activities and unique experiences.

MediaMation, Inc. (MMI) Announces New CEO and Partnership For Rapid Global Growth

By | April 24, 2018

TORRANCE, Calif. —  MMI’s global growth has expanded once again. The evolution began in 2014 when Luxin-Rio (LR) aligned itself with MMI US to migrate the MX4D brand to China with great success. Together, they have produced over 200 MX4D® Motion EFX Theatres in China, bringing the MX4D footprint to over 300 theatres worldwide. Recently, Volfoni S.A.S. and Arts Alliance Media (AAM) joined forces with MMI and LR to create a more integrated solution for the cinema industry.

With LR, Volfoni, AAM, and MediaMation, the company can now offer better integrated solutions and help enhance the exhibition experience.. This includes 4D cinema technology and programming, VR and ESports gaming, content and operational solutions, service support and data management, 3D equipment and glasses and leasing services. MMI provides 4D theatre systems and interactive technology integration services, LR provides turnkey solutions for entertainment equipment. Their primary businesses include sales of 3D/4D cinema systems, integration services of cinema equipment and software, and interactive technologies. Volfoni S.A.S is the world’s leading 3D cinema technology brand. AAM is the global leader in cinema software and services.

Along with the new strategic partnership, MMI is reinforcing its stronghold in the industry with a new executive staff. Howard Kiedaisch has been named Chief Executive Officer. Kiedaisch currently serves as LR’s Senior Vice President of International and has an extensive background in the film and technology industries having previously been CEO of Motion Pictures Solutions and worked on the film distribution side at Orion Pictures, PolyGram Film and as CFO of Universal Pictures International.

MMI’s co-founder, Dan Jamele, has become the company’s Chief Innovation and Technology Officer (CITO). “My wife, Alison, and I founded MMI in 1991, literally in our garage, and cannot be more proud of the people, projects, and growth that we have seen over the years,” said Jamele. “The company is proudly moving upward and forward in our vision to surpass our endeavors.”

Kiedaisch stated, “MediaMation has been put in a great place due to all the work of the team and with the support of Luxin-Rio and their partners, we are ready to make significant expansion in both the cinema and attractions businesses. This is only the beginning.”

Rapids to be unleashed

By | April 24, 2018

The new Category 5 Rapids – Extreme Waterslides will be unleashed Saturday, May 26, at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, Conn.  Final touches were being put on the massive project over the weekend as construction crews prepped the area for concrete walkways and fencing. The three-slide attraction – provided by ProSlide Technology of Canada – is the largest single project in the park’s 110-year history. Torrent (photo 013) is the name Quassy has given to the largest slide, which incorporates two gigantic bowls which will oscillate riders before they are swept into the next series of rapids. All three rides, shown on Sunday, will operate with the use of rafts. The amusement ride area of the family-owned park opens Saturday.

Hot off the press

By | April 24, 2018

Printing of Quassy Amusement & Waterpark’s 110th Anniversary Commemorative Magazine is underway at Prospect Printing in Prospect, Conn. The Middlebury, Conn., property will have copies of the 44-page publication available May 1 for guests at no charge. Produced in-house by the park’s marketing department, the magazine chronicles the storied history of Quassy with numerous feature articles and photos. Hard copies will also be mailed through an online postage and handling landing page that will be set up once the magazine becomes available.