It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Herschend Enterprises co-owner JoDee Herschend.

By | November 29, 2018

JoDee passed away on Sunday, November 25 surrounded by her loving family following a courageous 24-year battle against cancer.  She was deeply loved by her family, friends and thousands of Herschend employees blessed to know her.  We all feel a tremendous loss.

JoDee Remien grew up in Springfield, MO and took a job at Silver Dollar City in the summer of 1962 while a student at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State).  At SDC, JoDee worked in the General Store and also was a street performer playing the role of “Sarey Ellen” alongside a young Peter Herschend.  Their street performances led to true love and eventually marriage.  Over the next 50+ years they worked together to build Herschend Enterprises and raise five children.

Beyond her work with the family, JoDee founded The Caring People, an international ministry to single mothers. More than two decades after its founding, The Caring People has grown to serve single moms in more than 30 locations in four states and in Central America.

A long-time resident of Branson Missouri, JoDee and Peter invested time and treasure in a wide range of ministries and projects at the local, national and international levels including Acts 29, Episcopal World Missions, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. JoDee and Peter helped establish Sigma House, a drug rehabilitation center in Branson, and the Ozark Food Harvest.

JoDee Herschend was an incredible woman of God, whose faithfulness was contagious and inspiring.  May we keep the Herschend family in prayer during these difficult times.

A celebration of life is scheduled for Monday, December 3, 2018 at 11am at James River Church in Ozark, MO.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in JoDee’s memory to The Caring People at

Chance Rides receives the first ever Innovation of the Year Award

By | November 29, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. — Chance Rides is extremely eager to announce its latest achievement. The company was nominated and won the first ever Innovation of the Year Publisher’s Pick Award.

On Saturday September 8th, at the Golden Ticket Awards in Branson Missouri, Dick Chance proudly accepted the Innovation of the Year award. Chance Rides was nominated for its advanced green technologies applied to The Electric C.P. Huntington Train. This reinvented train is making a huge impact on the industry and pushing it in a clean, Eco friendly direction.

Since 1961 the C.P. Huntington has set the industry standard for quality and we continue to raise the bar with the latest evolution of the Electric C.P. Huntington train. After many years of manufacturing the C.P. Huntington train we knew it was time to take a step above the rest and started creating plans for the first ever all electric zero emissions train. The Electric C.P. Huntington was displayed at IAAPA last year in Orlando and caught the attention of many.

This year in April its prototype was installed at Landry’s Downtown Aquarium in Houston and has been a major success! The electric operation will take over most of the work for train operators’ hands by programing the ride experience tailored to your park needs as it accelerates or decelerates up and down hills and around curves as well as designated loading and unloading spots, in turn making the ride much safer for its passengers and pedestrians nearby. They are quieter, have a very minimal cost for fuel and furthermore being Eco friendly allowing for applications indoor as well as outdoor! This virtually reduces maintenance and operations cost tremendously.

Our trains have always been hand-built by the finest craftsmen in the industry resulting in the highest quality train, both aesthetically and operationally, available today. The future of transportation will be built around green, electric powered driven systems, Chance Rides embraces these green technologies and has invested in developing the first of its kind with many more to come!


Call for Nominations for the AIMS International Board of Directors

By | November 28, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The AIMS International Nomination Committee is pleased to announce a call for nominees to serve on the AIMS Board of Directors. The committee seeks nominees willing to lend their leadership and vision to AIMS International’s mission to improve safety in the amusement industry through leadership in education, and to contribute to defining the organization’s path forward.

Per AIMS by laws both Active and Associate members are eligible for board positions.

Active members are defined as manufacturers or suppliers of goods and services to the amusement industry and are entitled to attend meetings and vote for the Board of Directors

Associate Members are members who don’t otherwise qualify as active members (e.g. State ride inspectors, park or carnival owners or operators, employees of owners or operators, etc.). Associate members shall not have a right to vote unless serving as an elected member of the Board of Directors. Associate members may hold a position on the Executive Committee.

Nominations should be submitted by December 10, 2018. If you are interested in serving or submitting a nomination, please send the nominee’s name, company affiliation, contact information, and a brief statement in support of the nomination to: Karen Oertley, Executive Director, at

The new Board members will be elected by the vote of Active Members of the Association attending the Annual AIMS Membership meeting to be held January 14, 2019 at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort in Galveston, Texas.

AIMS International is a non-profit 501(c)(6) association dedicated to improving amusement Industry safety through leadership in education. AIMS International provides training classes and certification programs for ride inspectors, maintenance, operations, and aquatics personnel through its annual Safety Seminar and at other venues throughout the year. AIMS also serves to inform its members on legislative and other issues relating to industry. The AIMS Board of Directors holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the dates and location of the Annual Golden Ticket Awards presented by Amusement Today.

IAFE celebrates a raft of honorees at annual convention

By | November 27, 2018

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — Plenty of news has already been generated during the128th annual convention of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), being held Nov. 25-28 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Marlene Jolliffe of the State Fair of Virginia in Doswell was inducted into the IAFE Hall of Fame. The highest honor bestowed by the IAFE, the Hall of Fame Award is presented annually in recognition of an individual’s distinguished achievement in, or contribution to, the fair industry.

Jolliffe, who got her start in fairs at the age of 18 and earned a Master of Science degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from Clemson University, became manager/CEO of the State Fair of West Virginia in 2004 and joined the State Fair of Virginia as executive director in 2015. Among numerous contributions to IAFE, Jolliffe chaired the association’s Industry Relations Committee — guiding the group through the creation of white papers on matters of transfer of ownership and contracting processes between concessionaires and fair management.

Steven Patterson of the Indiana Association of Fairs was named the State and Provincial Associations of Fairs Executive of the Year. The award goes to an association executive who has held the position for at least five years. Candidates must be recommended by their respective associations and are judged on their participation and their industry involvement in the local, state and association levels.

Mallory Hines of the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo was presented with the Rising Star Award. The award was created by the IAFE Young Professionals Initiative to recognize leadership and industry contributions of young IAFE members. Nominees are any employee, volunteer, or board member under age 40 of a member fair, show, exposition or exhibition in good standing with the IAFE.

IAFE also hosted the Heritage Awards, sponsored by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, which were presented to five exceptional individuals in the field of fair management who were nominated by their fairs’ staffs and/or board members. The winners: Terry Atchison of the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days in Walla Walla, Wash.; Allen Heine of the Cedar County Fair in Hartington, Neb.; Edsel Matthews of the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Mo.; Dr. Sally Nolt of the Elizabethtown Fair in Elizabethtown, Pa.; and Sharon Wessel of the Hennepin County Fair in Hamel, Minn.

Based in Springfield, Mo., IAFE is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members — all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs, shows, expositions and allied fields.

Extended Range of Shaft Collars are Available from JW Winco

By | November 21, 2018

NEW BERLIN, Wisc. — JW Winco, Inc., A Ganter Company, a leading supplier of standard industrial machine components, now offers an extended range of Shaft Collars that include a variety of different configurations. The products include Semi-Split Shaft Collars GN 7062.1 with Extension Tapped Holes, GN 7062.2 with Flange Holes, and GN 7062.3 with Damping Washer, along with Two-Piece Shaft Collars GN 7072.1 with Extension Tapped Holes, GN 7072.2 with Flange Holes, and GN 7072.3 with Damping Washer.

Available in full, slotted, and split versions, JW Winco’s range of Shaft Collars can be used in multiple ways in machine and fixture fabrication. They secure shafts and axles, acting as a positive stop or as an attachment option for additional functional elements.

The affixed damping washer of both versions absorbs mild shocks and has a sound-dampening effect when the shaft collars come into contact with other components.

“The shaft collars can be assembled safely and easily with a high clamping force by reducing the slot width, without damaging the surface of shafts and axles,” said John M. Winkler, CEO, Office of the President at JW Winco.

The shaft collars are made of sintered steel, while the socket cap screw is stainless steel and the damping washer on both GN 7062.3 and 7072.3 is elastomer, transparent and temperature resistant up to 176 °F (80 °C).

There are also standard part accessories, such as GN 7062.30 Elastomer Damping Washers, for Semi-Split Shaft Collars and GN 7062.10 Stainless Steel Sensor Brackets for Shaft Collars.

JW Winco is a manufacturer/distributor of inch and metric standard parts. JW Winco offers an extensive selection of plastic, steel and stainless steel adjustable levers, cabinet U-handles, hinges and locking mechanisms, revolving and retractable handles, hand wheels, hand cranks, tube connection and conveyor components, construction tubing, shock absorption mounts, leveling mounts, hand knobs, spring, ball and indexing plungers, jig, fixture and fastening components, retaining magnet assemblies, toggle clamps, casters and wheels, universal joints, oil sight glasses, and metric tools for the industrial and commercial equipment industries. JW Winco’s new website, with improved 3D CAD and online buying, is viewable at

Dinner Honors ‘Mr. NEAAPA’

By | November 21, 2018

The New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) held its annual Tom Morrow Dinner & IAAPA Social during the recent International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando, Fla. The evening gala was held at Maggiano’s Little Italy and sponsored by a number of NEAAPA members. The sponsors in attendance were (from the left): Michael Marra-Powers, Premier Rides; Chris Bourgeios, Rhode Island Novelty; Christian Gainer, Santa’s Village; Michael Mancini, Neptune-Benson / Evoqua;  Joanna Guy, Premier Rides; Michael Amaro, IALDA; Tim Timco, S&S Worldwide;  Sara Seay, Premier Rides; Tom Tessitore, National Ticket; Dorothy Lewis,;  Anthony Berni III, Canobie Lake Park; Kaz Ulaky,  Canobie Lake Park; Ed Reeder, Uncommon USA; and Gary Slade, Amusement Today. The dinner honors the late Tom Morrow, a past president of NEAAPA and operations manager at Canobie Lake Park, Salem, N.H., who became affectionately known as “Mr. NEAAPA” for his years of dedication to the association. A record turnout of 140 attended the event.  (NEAAPA photo)

Past NEAAPA Presidents

By | November 21, 2018


The New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) held its annual luncheon and business meeting during the recent International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo in Orlando, Fla. A number of NEAAPA past presidents attending included (from the left):  Jason Freeman, Six Flags; Kevin Naughton, Naughton Insurance Inc., Providence, R.I.; George Frantzis II, Quassy Amusement & Waterpark, Middlebury, Conn.; Carl Berni, Canobie Lake Park, Salem, N.H.; Dave Sugrue, Ocean Beach Park, New London, Conn.; David Daly, Daly Cavanaugh, LLP, Wellesley, Mass.; and Greg Chiecko, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, Mass.  (NEAAPA photo)

Christmas Crackers at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

By | November 21, 2018

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is starting the countdown to Christmas with twelve days of Christmas Crackers.  Each day a new cracker will open on Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s social media pages and reveal a fantastic offer which would make the perfect Christmas gift for amusement park fans.

Starting on Saturday 24th November and running through to Wednesday 5th December, a new deal will go live at 9am but you’ll have to be quick as each one will only be valid for 24 hours.

The offers could be anything from discounted merchandise and show tickets to special deals on park entry.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach opens for the new season in February 2019 and during WOW Weekends there are so many things to do.  ICON is the UK’s first ever double-launch rollercoaster, propelling riders at speeds of up to 85 kmph during an intense, jaw-dropping two and a half minutes of thrills and spills.  The two powerful thrusts of acceleration can only be likened to that felt by Formula 1 drivers!

There are so many other things to enjoy while visiting Blackpool Pleasure Beach.  Test your nerves on Red Arrows Skyforce, which will have you spinning, swirling and exciting your senses while your fellow pilots take control of their own flights.  Experience the breathtaking views and adrenaline thrills on the UK’s tallest roller coaster, The Big One then turn your world upside down on Pleasure Beach’s classic looping coaster, Revolution.

For action packed family fun, Nickelodeon Land is the place to be.  Nickelodeon Land is a 6-acre area of Pleasure Beach, home to 12 rides and attractions and guests can rub shoulders with famous Nick characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Amanda Thompson OBE, Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, comments,  “2018 has been a fantastic season with the launch of ICON – the UK’s first double launch rollercoaster and an investment for Blackpool Pleasure Beach of £16.25M.  We want to make next season even better for our guests so we are launching this series of offers in time for them to make amazing Christmas gifts that can be enjoyed in 2019.

ICON Attractions Awarded St. Louis Wheel Project in Historic Union Station

By | November 16, 2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — ICON Attractions has been selected by Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) to operate The St Louis Wheel, a 200-foot tall observation wheel under construction at Union Station. The firm will also operate a carousel and other family-friendly attractions, all part of a $150-million entertainment complex in historic downtown St. Louis.

Union Station in St. Louis is a National Historic Landmark, once the busiest and largest train station in the world. Converted in the early 1980s, Union Station now features the stunning, four diamond St. Louis Union Station Hotel and The Grand Hall at Union Station. The Train Park at Union Station currently includes beautiful festival space – home to the Polar Express, food outlets, an outdoor plaza and fire and light show. The destination continues to flourish with the construction of the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, St. Louis Wheel, Carousel, Mini Golf, Ropes Course and Mirror Maze, all set to open in 2019.

“St. Louis is the heart of America,” said LHM President and COO Stephen M. O’Loughlin. “Reimaging the future of Union Station, opening a world-class aquarium, and delivering a year-round family entertainment destination, all while preserving an important part of history, is something we are incredibly excited about.”

“LHM is a highly-respected and innovative hospitality firm,” said ICON Attractions CEO Eli Stovall. “We are thrilled to be working with LHM on the development of new family experiences at Union Station St. Louis, and honored to be part of this award-winning team.”

The redevelopment of Union Station in St. Louis is not the first mixed-use project for ICON Attractions. In 2019 The Capital Wheel and Harbor Carousel at National Harbor, under the management of ICON Attractions, will celebrate a 5-year anniversary at the riverfront development.

“The Capital Wheel has been an iconic addition to National Harbor and the Washington, DC region,” said ICON Attractions COO Curtis Parks. “Since opening in 2014, our team has grown and thrived in the hospitality arena. Our longtime experience in water parks, amusement parks and family entertainment centers has proven invaluable as we expand into retail entertainment experiences.”

Icon Attractions is actively seeking opportunities to develop, acquire, and mange observation wheels, water parks, and retail entertainment projects.

The St. Louis Wheel is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2019. More information about the project is available at

Triotech and Ubisoft partner to develop next generation interactive attraction – Rabbids Team Battle

By | November 15, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. — Ernest Yale, Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of TRIOTECH announced a new breakthrough in high-capacity interactive attractions with Team Battle™. This innovative experience features interactivity, both team and individual play, and ride elements with full 4D effects. 
Triotech partnered with Ubisoft, leading creator and publisher of interactive entertainment, to develop the first software to be played with the ride: an epic robot showdown orchestrated by Ubisoft’s fun, irreverent yet irresistible Rabbids. The two industry leaders collaborated closely on developing this interactive experience with Ubisoft leveraging its long-standing expertise in game design and 3D animation. 
“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring an all-new experience for the entire family. Up to now, interactive motion simulators have been limited in the number of players due to screen clutter,” said Ernest Yale, Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of TRIOTECH. “We feel that with Team Battle™, Triotech has broken that barrier and we can offer much higher THRC than previously possible while still delivering an amazing guest experience for park visitors.” 
“Triotech’s ambition to come up with a breakthrough attraction is what drew us to the project,” said Jean de Rivières, Vice President of Location Based Entertainment, Ubisoft. “As an entertainment company coming from the video game industry, Ubisoft has a unique approach to Location-Based Entertainment. We want to create innovative ways for audiences to experience our worlds and have fun. If we can accomplish these
goals, we believe we will appeal to both fans and newcomers.” 
Triotech’s Team Battle is a first-of-its-kind high-capacity dueling interactive attraction. Two teams will battle it out in an oversized multi-sensorial arena. Team Battle™ is based on Triotech’s award-winning XD Dark Ride Interactive theater technology. Each guest is seated in a motion seat equipped with a new model of light blaster, providing individual feedback. Using new technology and game-play design, the experience boasts both individual and team scoring elements driving interactivity and providing high replay value. A larger-than-life enveloping 270 degrees of screen combined with wind, light, and haptics effects enhance the immersion. The ride elements are enhanced through motion seats featuring D-BOX technology. 
Ubisoft’s Rabbids, which originally appeared in video games are now a major brand in the entertainment industry, with 16 million games sold worldwide, a theme park ride, multiple VR experiences and 4 seasons of an animated TV show that garnered 2.4 billion views on free digital platforms as of September 2018. 
A working demo of Rabbids Team Battle™ is showcased at Triotech’s booth (#1578) at the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions annual trade show in Orlando from November 13th to the 16th.