Statement on the incident at Cobra Adventure Park from Orlando Slingshot and Slingshot Group of Companies

By | August 22, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — Earlier Wednesay, an incident was reported at the Cobra Adventure Park involving an attraction named the “Vertical Accelerator.” The Vertical Accelerator and Cobra Adventure Park are not affiliated with the Orlando Slingshot or Slingshot Group of Companies, which operates the Funtime Handels-trademarked Slingshot attractions in Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach, Fla.

“There is nothing more important to us than creating a safe, secure and memorable experience for our guests,” shared Ritchie Armstrong, partner of Slingshot Group of Companies. “For that reason, our trademarked Slingshot attractions have always maintained the highest safety standards, which includes the use of industrial steel cables rather than rubber cables and the Funtime-patented Spring Machine device in all of its Slingshot attractions. These features, plus an ongoing commitment to implement the latest technologies ensure our guests a secure yet thrilling ride experience.”

Intercard to showcase cashless arcade management technology at CineShow 2019 on August 28

By | August 21, 2019

ST. LOUIS — Bill Allen and Jason Mitchell of Intercard will attend the 21st annual CineShow in Dallas on August 28, 2019 hosted by the Theatre Owners of MidAmerica (TOMA). CineShow is the region’s premiere trade show, highlighting innovative products, services and technologies that help cinema operators bring magic to the movie-going experience. The event will be held at the Hilton Dallas Frisco Hotel Convention Center.

 As the movie exhibition industry evolves, increasing numbers of theatre owners are creating “theatre entertainment centers” that combine movies with arcade games, laser tag and other attractions that provide fun for families and increased profits. This has increased the need for cashless technology to help proprietors manage, maintain and secure more sophisticated amusement operations.

“Intercard has many satisfied customers in the exhibition industry,” says Scott Sherrod, CEO of Intercard. “We invite show goers to learn how our technology helps leading companies like Cinergy Entertainment Group, Schulman’s Movie Bar Grille and Santikos Theatres take advantage of new trends and audiences.” CineShow visitors can see the latest innovations from Intercard at booth #311 including the new iTeller Element, a self-service kiosk designed for the route operator and arcades with fewer than 30 games. Also on display will be the versatile i3 reader and the Edge Mobile App Collection for arcade management. To book an appointment with North America sales manager Bill Allen, please email him at ballen@intercardinc.com.

Tidal Wave to roll into Quassy for 2020 season

By | August 20, 2019

MIDDLEBURY, Conn. – Quassy Amusement & Waterpark’s ship is about to come in!

The lakeside property will introduce Tidal Wave, a thrilling family ride that incorporates a huge clipper-like themed vessel suspended on a swinging pendulum that soars more than 30 feet into the air.

“We’re certainly excited about bringing this new attraction in for next season,” said Quassy President Eric Anderson. “It will replace the Pirate ship, which has been at the park since our centennial in 2008.”

Currently being built by SBF/Visa Group in Italy, Tidal Wave will have a capacity of 32 persons with eight rows of bench seats to accommodate up to four guests each.

As the ship swings back-and-forth, it gains momentum and height, creating the sensation of weightlessness at its highest point. The colorful attraction will also feature a state-of-the-art LED (light emitting diode) lighting system that will illuminate the ride towers and pendulum as well as the entrance area.

“Our other new rides installed in recent years all have LEDs and we’ve added the computerized lights to a number of other existing rides and attractions in the park,” Anderson said of the energy-savingfixtures.

New Rides From Manufacturer

Tidal Wave also marks the sixth new ride from SBF/Visa Group that Quassy has purchased over the past decade.

“We really like the build, looks and repeat ridership in our SBF/Visa lineup,” the park official asserted. “They’ve been in the business for more than 50 years and have a very diverse catalog of equipment with hundreds in installations worldwide.”

Quassy’s first SBF/Visa ride was introduced in 2010, when the park embarked on a multi-year capital improvement plan. Free Fall’N, a 33-foot family drop tower, was ordered in November of 2009 at International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo and delivered the following March, prior to the park’s April opening.

“Free Fall’N is as popular today as it was when we first opened it,” Anderson said of the thrill ride that holds 12 guests and plunges them during a series of drops more than 30 feet above the midway.

First In All Of New England

During the 2014 IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Fla., the park held a press conference at the SBF/Visa booth to announce another new ride for the upcoming season.

Called FRANTIC, the attraction was said be the first of its kind in all of New England as riders would do a series of 360-degree flips while seated facing outward in a circular configuration.

“Needless to say, FRANTIC was an immediate hit with our guests, and offered a new and thrilling ride experience like we’d never had before at Quassy,” Anderson said of the attraction that made its debut the following spring. The park also installed SBF/Visa kiddie bumper cars near the new major ride, filling a void for young park goers.

Another First

Quassy announced in the fall of 2015 the purchase of Reverse Time, a spinning oscillating ride that would be introduced for the 2016 season. It would be the first Reverse Time ride in all of North America and the park – again – took advantage of the opportunity of officially announce the acquisition at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando.

“We had executives from SBF/Visa and Rides4U holding backward clocks when the press corps showed up for the announcement,” Anderson recalled. “It made for some interesting photos with a banner of the new ride as a backdrop.”

Rides 4 U of Somerville, N.J., represents SFB/Visa in the United States and Canada.  

 In 2017 the park ushered in a new kiddieland area on the lakefront, which included Skipper’s Clippers, an SBF/Visa piece with mini pirate ships that have interactive functions for children. Adults can participate on the attraction with their youngsters.

One of only seven giga coasters in the world to join Kings Island’s coaster lineup

By | August 16, 2019

MASON, Ohio — Thrill-seekers will experience a new level of excitement when they visit Kings Island in 2020. 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 will plunge 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 will be Kings Island’s tallest, fastest and longest steel coaster.

“Orion reflects Kings Island’s commitment to providing top notch thrills and value to our guests,” said Mike Koontz, Kings Island’s vice president and general manager. “Beginning today, coaster enthusiasts from around the world are adding Orion to their list of must-ride coasters in 2020.”

Orion was exclusively designed for Kings Island by Switzerland-based Bolliger & Mabillard, which also designed the park’s popular Banshee and Diamondback coasters.

Orion’s Backstory

Themed to the park’s new Area 72, the ride features the latest prototype vehicle developed by the Project X initiative. Scientists are in a race against time to develop technology capable of weaving transport vehicles through a coming meteor storm and traveling to a new planet within the Orion constellation. For the program to be successful, it needs volunteers to help with testing.

National Rollercoaster day is sounding amazing for The Big One

By | August 15, 2019

Friday 16th August is National Rollercoaster Day and to mark the occasion, Blackpool Pleasure Beach are launching a soundtrack for the park’s legendary rollercoaster, The Big One.  

This brand new composition will be heard by guests whilst they are queuing, and preparing to board the ride.  The music reflects the thrills and exhilaration of the ride and incorporates effects from the ride itself.

The Big One’s new soundtrack has been composed by The Notable Stranger who is also behind the ICON soundtrack and music heard during performances of the park’s ice show, Hot Ice.

The soundtrack will be playing on the ride from Friday 16th August and will also be available to download from music retail sites very soon.  

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the rollercoaster capital of the UK with an amazing ten rollercoasters including four wooden rollercoasters – The Big Dipper, Grand National, Nickelodeon Streak and Blue Flyer, the UK’s first 360 degree looping coaster, Revolution, and the UK’s first double launch rollercoaster, ICON.

Since the Big One opened in 1994 an estimated 30 million people have ridden the Big One and it has travelled an amazing 800,000km which is just over the distance to the moon and back.  When it opened it was the world’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster and is still the UK’s tallest.

Announcing the tallest drop on a raft ride in the western hemisphere – Silver Dollar City

By | August 13, 2019

BRANSON, Mo. — Silver Dollar City is making a historic splash starting Fall of 2019 and going through the park’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee of 2020 by investing $30 million into new park offerings.  This represents the largest investment, made during a one-year time frame, in the 60-year history of Silver Dollar City. 

As part of a series of upcoming attractions, the largest of the announcements will open next summer with the debut of Mystic River Falls. The exhilarating new water raft ride will feature the “Tallest Drop in the Western Hemisphere.”  This addition will take themed water experiences to the next level, setting an ever-higher standard for guest expectations.  Additional 2020 announcements include a highly-themed area and dining experience, bringing the total investment to more than $27 million. 

Pumpkin Nights
Still to reveal during 2019, Silver Dollar City will soon open its doors, day and night, to a glowing Fall Harvest Festival that showcases Pumpkin Nights, a concept all new to Silver Dollar City.  Between live and specially-carved, there will be more than 8,000 pumpkins.

Most prominent will be the illuminated pumpkins and custom-designed carved pumpkin icons that reach from the ground to as high as 4 stories, such as a massive cat, spider, owls and others.  A nighttime black light dance party, along with rides and attractions, will keep the park glowing into extended hours of 9pm/10pm on weekends.  During the day, the park is adding a new acrobatic adventure of a lumberjack production show from Canada, Cirque Eloize, plus dozens of new to the City crafters, including a new Makers’ Market. Food at the park also adopts a fall look and palette with pumpkin-flavored churros and ice cream, glow-in-the-dark beverages and classic fall favorites like caramel apples and cider. 

An Old Time Christmas
An Old Time Christmas, already heralded as one of the biggest and brightest holiday celebrations in the land, brings more to its entertainment menu with the addition of a custom-engineered & designed 8-story, lighted, special effects Christmas tree.  The tree combines color, music and animated imagery to create an immersive experience “Joy on Town Square.”                                   

Mystic River Falls
Mystic River Falls, itself a $23 million investment, will be a River Adventure that is themed to the history and legend of the great Marvel Cave, which was the catalyst for Silver Dollar City six decades ago.  Riders will splash through nearly a half-mile (2100’) scenic journey, navigating hairpin turns, high tides and a hidden mine shaft on more than a 5-minute trek. 

Plus, Adventurers will discover industry-leading special features:

  • 82’ Tall Lift TowerRiver Adventurers will ascend a more than 8-story lift tower, exposed to the open air as their rafts rotate during the climb! The rotation elevator lift of 4 platforms is unique to this ride and will be the only one like it in the world to go up so high.
  • More than 6-Story Elevated River Channel, 180’ LongThe rafts will connect to an elevated river channel suspended in the air 66’ high and travel within the channel for 180 linear feet.
  • A Grand Finale Waterfall of 4.5 Stories of Thrilling Adventure! Racing down and through the ride’s queue building, River Adventurers will brave the Mystic River Falls finale…The Tallest Raft Ride Drop in the Western Hemisphere4.5 Stories to

The Wettest Splashdown in the Park’s 60-Year History!
Mystic River Falls will be the highlight of a new themed area of the park, Rivertown, where 1880s townfolk are caught up in a high-spirited celebration, representing Silver Dollar City’s Diamond Jubilee.  The all-new Rivertown Smokehouse, the largest dining investment in the corporation’s history, will serve the park’s famous BBQ plus new favorites, providing 450 viewing seats along the banks of the Mystic River. 

And to think, it all started with a hole in the ground. Marvel Cave in Branson was among the most popular “show caves” in the 1950s and 60s. In fact, the Herschends started Silver Dollar City so tourists to Marvel Cave had something to do while waiting for their tours. The family quickly learned they had entered into the theme park business!   

Mystic River Falls calls upon that rich history for theming and backstory, intermingling fact and fiction, legend and lore, to arrive at an attraction that celebrates the spirit of adventure that’s part of Ozark culture. 

An underground body of water that seems to come from and go nowhere, Mystic River truly appears on the park’s historical maps as discovered and documented by botanist S. Fred Prince in the late 1800s, and to this day, flows in Marvel Cave. For the new ride, guests will be transported back to the 1880s in a storyline that revolves around a historically-based fictional character named Pearl Brazen, an intrepid explorer who’s eager to take them on a bold quest to find the headwaters of the Mystic River.

Silver Dollar City’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee will begin in March, 2020 along with park opening; an Anniversary Celebration will launch the weekend of May 1, 2020, followed by Mystic River Falls opening during the summer season. As is tradition, cave tours are offered daily, so in 2020 park guests can step into the past by exploring the cave, and then look toward the future by experiencing a record-breaking, game-changing water ride that reminds us all that The Greatest Adventures Lie Ahead!   

Strates Shows sets single day record at Erie County Fair

By | August 13, 2019

HAMBURG, N.Y. — The James E. Strates Shows announced today that it has reached an all-time, single day gross revenue record at the Erie County Fair on Saturday, August 10th. This single day milestone was just one day of a record-breaking opening weekend in Hamburg, New York as the Strates Shows celebrates its 95th year providing the amusements at the Erie County Fair. Gross revenues for the Strates Shows midway are trending 25% over 2018 number. 

“This past weekend we recorded three, all-time high ridership days. Since 1924, when my grandfather James E. Strates first brought his show to the Erie County Fair, the show has never had a three-day run like the one we just experienced.” said John Strates, Strates Shows Operations Manager. “To say we had the biggest day in our history during our 95th year makes the milestone even more special.” 

During the 180th Erie County Fair, the Strates Shows “mile long” midway includes 67 rides and over 100 games & concessions. The show is highlighted by the return of the beloved “Sky Wheel” (double Ferris wheel) and the addition of several spectacular rides including the “Claw,” “Frisbee,” the “Avenger,” and the “Crazy Mouse” rollercoaster. These rides join traditional Strates amusements that include the “Big Wheel,” the two-story carousel and Huss manufactured “Pirate.” 

In addition to new rides, the Strates Shows debuted a new “guest relations” booth located on the midway with the goal of increase customer service satisfaction. 

The exclusive, 95-year relationship between the Erie County Fair and the Strates Shows is considered a historical milestone in the modern amusement industry as it is considered the longest continuous run of any carnival midway in the United States. 

Uremet Corporation names Jessy Coffeen new CEO

By | August 9, 2019

SANTA ANA, Calif. –– Uremet Corporation, the leading manufacturer of high-quality, high-performance solid polyurethane wheels, announced that it has named Jessy Coffeen its new Chief Executive Officer. The appointment became effective in April.

Coffeen has worked her way up at Uremet in her 12 years with the company, serving first as a temporary receptionist and then joining the Accounting Department. In the latter role, she demonstrated a strong worth ethic and attention to detail. Coffeen later was elevated to Accounting Manager and then to President and Chief Operating Officer before becoming CEO.

During her tenure, Coffeen has made substantial contributions to the strong, steady growth of Uremet, which has expanded from 20 to more than 60 employees and currently is moving from its original Santa Ana location to a larger, 44,000-square-foot headquarters in nearby Garden Grove. With a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Arizona and her years of company experience, Coffeen is spearheading various projects and initiatives aimed at fueling Uremet’s continued growth in the amusement wheel and other high-performance application market sectors. 

“Jessy has worn a lot of hats since she started at Uremet and knows its business operations inside and out,” said Chris Ayayo, Uremet’s Chairman of the Board. “She has really stepped up her game over the past few years, and we look forward to her putting that experience, dedication and enthusiasm to use as our new CEO.”

Steve Zamolo, a 20-year Board member and shareholder, added: “I hired Jessy as an intern in 2004, and as the granddaughter of one of our founding partners, she has been exposed throughout her life to the uncompromising expectations we have for manufacturing the highest quality amusement ride wheels. Her leadership qualities combined with her knowledge of all of the operational standards that make Uremet unique provide the perfect fit to be successful as our CEO.”    

“It has been a privilege to be a part of an organization that delivers the highest quality product to the biggest, fastest and most exciting roller coasters in the world,” Coffeen said. “I will do my best to serve the amusement industry by continuing to bring solutions and innovative products to market, such as our new Uremet Lighted Wheel.”

Holiday World announces ‘Cheetah Chase’, world’s first launched water coaster

By | August 7, 2019

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. — Named Cheetah Chase, Holiday World’s third water coaster will feature two ProSlide rocketBLAST-powered racing slides totaling more than 1700 feet of track. Riders will experience a water-powered flat launch before racing against their families toward the finish line.

The ride features the first-ever head-to-head dueling zone on a water coaster, as well as two other RallyPOINTS where rafts will synchronize with one another. Each side also features two FlyingSAUCER elements—which create “a faster and tighter ride with stronger g-forces,” as well as “maximum curving speed and centrifugal force,” according to manufacturer, ProSlide.

“Cheetah Chase is the perfect thrill ride for families. The three-person rafts allow families to race face-to-face, and the launch is the first of its kind,” says Holiday World’s president, Matt Eckert. “There’s nothing like this out there.”

With a total investment of approximately $7 million, Cheetah Chase is the world’s first full-circuit racing water coaster. It will travel at 30 feet per second and will have the tallest RocketBLAST section in the world—27 feet tall. Each side will feature five RocketBLAST sections: one flat and four uphill.

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari’s existing water coasters Wildebeest and Mammoth have been voted the #1 and #2 water park attractions, respectively, by the Golden Ticket Awards presented by Amusement Today.  Wildebeest has won the #1 spot for nine consecutive years and Mammoth has been certified by Guiness World Records as the world’s longest water coaster.

“With the addition of Cheetah Chase, Splashin’ Safari will now be the undisputed Water Coaster Capital of the world,” adds Eckert.

Magic Memories launches MyMemories – a new mobile platform to significantly increase guest engagement for the attractions industry

By | August 6, 2019

LONDON — Magic Memories, experts in creating and distributing personalized content for the attractions industry, today announces the launch of MyMemories, a mobile platform designed to enhance the digital guest experience while significantly increasing engagement and revenue streams in the attractions sector. 

With 83% of consumers stating the importance of sharing photos of memorable experiences on social media, the MyMemories platform has been developed to address the high consumer demand for digital images and videos that can easily be shared across social media during or after attraction visits.

The MyMemories platform is a seamless and intuitive user experience which delivers guests content while on-site, and provides the option to buy and share memories via their mobile phone. This can happen either on-site or post-visit by simply scanning their QR code. 

By giving guests the option to buy digital products at a later date – and not limiting transactions to on-site only – Magic Memories partners are now able to address a significantly larger audience that could not previously be reached. Active personalised campaigns delivers additional content or offers directly to the guest, continuing to enhance their experience and allowing attractions to increase brand engagement.

“With the majority of people now wanting access to their memories via their mobile, it was important for us to be at the forefront of this trend. We have been investing heavily in new products and technologies to create a platform that met the needs of guests, today and into the future.”

“This means our partners can now meaningfully engage with guests before, during and long after they have left which is something they haven’t been able to do before. The platform will continue to open up a wide range of opportunities and channels for our attraction partners, including higher commercial outcomes, increased guest engagement and significant social sharing.”