IAAPA Expo Asia 2021 moves to Shanghai, China August 10-13

By | January 17, 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. — IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, today announced IAAPA Expo Asia 2021 will take place in Shanghai, China at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) August 10-13, 2021. Originally planned to occur in Macao, China in June, the relocation and date change are in response to the continued impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and growing optimism for increased recovery as the year progresses.

“IAAPA’s role has always been to help members meet, do business, and learn from each other. It is more important than ever we provide such opportunities in a safe manner, at the right time, in the right location. After careful review and with significant input from our team, members, exhibitors, and the IAAPA Board of Directors, the decision has been made to relocate IAAPA Expo Asia 2021 to Shanghai, China,” shared Hal McEvoy, President and CEO, IAAPA. “Given the continued uncertainties impacting travel – international and domestic – we believe the relocation and event date change will provide more opportunity for exhibitors and attendees to participate.”Plans are underway to ensure a smooth transition to the SNIEC. This year’s Expo will begin with a full conference day on Tuesday, Aug. 10, followed by three days of programming featuring a dynamic tradeshow floor, additional education programs, exclusive special events and more August 11-13.

“The health and safety of our members and our team remains our top priority,” McEvoy continued. “While it is hard to believe we are still working through effects of the global pandemic, we are enouraged by news that the initial vaccines are being administered in locations around the world. We know it’s going to take time and the phases of recovery will vary by region, but we are optimistic about the outlook for our industry. During IAAPA Expo Asia we will follow safety guidelines and operational procedures recommended by global and health authorities, and event industry experts. We look forward to returning to Shanghai for IAAPA Expo Asia, and once again bringing the global attractions industry together.”

Ellis & Associates’ 35th Ron Rhinehart – International Aquatic Safety School to be virtual February 8-11, 2021

By | January 13, 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. — Since 1983, Ellis & Associates (E&A) has been the world leader in aquatic safety. For the past 34 years, E&A has hosted the International Aquatic Safety School (IASS) providing in-depth training for their clients from around the globe. Next month, the annual conference will be delivered virtually February 8-11, 2021. The virtual platform will expand access to the program and accommodate participating organizations’ need to manage travel restrictions and expense. Additionally, for the first time ever, IASS educational programming will be open to all aquatic professionals including those that are not affiliated with E&A client facilities.

“The aquatics industry has been challenged like never before and we know the need to research, innovate and advance our collective expertise will continue in 2021,” said E&A COO Richard “RAC” Carroll. “By opening IASS to the entire aquatics community, we can share lessons learned, best practices and expert advice, working together to elevate swimmer safety and improve operational excellence.”

IASS brings together a diverse contingent of aquatics professionals with a common desire to reinforce and elevate a culture of safety and accountability. The 35th edition of IASS will do that and more by offering live, pre-recorded and on-demand programming featuring industry leaders and personal development professionals including: IAAPA Global Safety Committee Chair and Six Flags Entertainment Corporate VP of Security, Safety, Health & Environmental Jason Freeman; performance consultant Matt Heller; leadership coach Shawn Welch; litigation expert and consultant Michael Oostman.

“We will miss the excitement of networking and learning with our colleagues in person, along with the hours we typically spend training in the water, but we also look forward to bringing together an expanded group of aquatics professionals in 2021,” said Carroll. “While a virtual program is an excellent enhancement to our training efforts, and something we plan to continue via Pectora – our learning management system, we certainly look forward to future IASS events in person and in the water.”

Registration for IASS is now open and all aquatic professionals are welcome.

Nik Wallenda to “Walk The Plank” in stunt-stacked, pirate-packed weekend at Legoland Florida Resort

By | January 13, 2021

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A stunt-stacked weekend will kick off on Friday, February 12 as world-renowned daredevil Nik Wallenda will walk across a high wire five stories above park guests to celebrate the debut of LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s all-new Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show and PirateFest Weekends. 

In true pirate-fashion, Wallenda will “walk the plank” 60 feet in the air from inside the Theme Park to the new LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel to kick off the Resort’s first ever pirate invasion! Park and hotel guests are invited to take part in the fun by watching this nail-biting stunt safely from the ground. This one-time-only event will be no “walk in the park” for the Wallenda Team as they will construct a high wire longer than 500 feet for the walk. They will also work closely with LEGOLAND Master Model Builders to craft LEGO bricks onto Wallenda’s 28-foot balance pole. 

This daring demonstration is the first event in a year-long celebration for the Park’s 10th birthday. From the skies to the seas, the stunts keep coming with the all-new show and event! 

NEW! Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show 
Launching Feb. 12, this epic new show features gravity-defying stunts, choreographed to an original score of “punk pirate” tunes and a never-before seen, new LEGO character. Named by LEGOLAND Florida’s social media fans and co-developed with LEGO masterminds, the cunning and fierce female pirate, “Calico Jade,” joins fan-favorite Captain Brickbeard as he whips his crew of new recruits into shape through a series of thrilling stunts on the seas. World-class wakeboarding, barefoot skiing, jump acts and an all-new flyboard act take this high-energy show to heroic heights above the legendary Lake Eloise. 

NEW! PirateFest Weekends
With the all-new Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show weighing anchor, the Theme Park will be overtaken by the famous pirate’s feisty friends, for its first ever PirateFest Weekends! Also debuting Feb. 12, PirateFest Weekends will run for three consecutive weeks, through Feb. 28. Crafty crews can play like pirates with three new LEGO character meet and greets. An all-new musical show will take over the LEGO City Stage, and specialty food will feed even the hungriest buccaneers. 

NEW! LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel
The party continues long after the Park closes when families stay onsite at the all-new LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel. Located just 130-kid steps away from the front gate, this adventure-packed hotel is the ultimate family destination for a long weekend or vacation, and every stay at Pirate Island Hotel includes a free family-style breakfast, nightly pirate fun and in-room treasure hunts.

These can’t-miss events, along with all our upcoming 10th birthday party moments, are included with general admission. The Awesomer Annual Passes grants you unlimited admission to the Theme Park and Water Park with no blockout dates for less than $13/month. 

Gamesindo Speaks to Semnox Solutions on the challenges on re-opening post the COVID-19 pandemic

By | January 13, 2021

Semnox’s Parafait suite of products has helped the entertainment and leisure industry operate venues bringing in ease in operations. Semnox spoke to Andy, Owner of C. V. Mitra Gamesindo, Indonesia to understand more about their re-opening post pandemic.

According to Andy, “One of the main challenges we faced while reopening after the pandemic was in bringing in the staff, especially the technicians, and ensuring that safety protocols are followed. This was also a testing time to ensure all the maintenance operations are completed, and the machines are performing well. To add to it, during these low times, investing in sanitation regimes, masks, plexiglass barriers, thermometers has added to our costs, and not to mention, the promotion costs have also gone higher”.

Andy further added that, while the footfall to the facilities was low, the customers are primarily concerned with the safety measures implemented in the facility, as well as the physical well-being of the staff, to ensure they do not contract the COVID-19 virus from them.

Being indoors has inflicted boredom and an urge for the customers to step out to play zones like Gamesindo, the businesses are doing their best to adhere to a lot of safety protocols to ensure a safe environment for the customers. The Motto for Gamesindo is BSBA (Bermain Sehat Bersih Aman) translated Healthy, Clean and Safe Playing. The facility has been using high-tech disinfectant machines, ozonizers to adhere to their motto, and keep the air in the play zones clean.

“Implementing Semnox’s Parafait suite of products has helped Gamesindo maintain minimum direct contact with the customers, and that sure is a great advantage. Semnox has a great support team which is available for any help in the operations. While reopening during the ongoing pandemic, the support, service, and the terms of payments provided by Semnox needs to be highly appreciated”, added Andy.

Welcome back to the 2021 AIMS International Safety Seminar

By | January 12, 2021

What an amazing day we had at the 2021 AIMS International Virtual Safety seminar yesterday! We are thrilled with the attendee engagement and look forward to the rest of the week only getting better. 

Today’s highlights include:

  • Start your day with a little morning networking. Join Timo Klaus, David Bromilow and Linda Freeman at 8:30 a.m. U.S. Central Time for our daily Coffee Time.  
  • At Noon, join us for a lunch and learn roundtable discussion for the mobile industry with Charlene and Guy Leavitt.
  • Wrap up your day with Happy Hour at 6:30 p.m. featuring David Bromilow, Richard Achard and MJ Brewer.

Wisconsin State Fair Park awarded GBAC STAR Facility accreditation

By | January 12, 2021

WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Wisconsin State Fair Park officials are proud to announce that the Fair Park has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR accreditation. This is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities, and is considered the gold standard for prepared facilities. Wisconsin State Fair Park is one of only two Fairgrounds in the U.S. to currently hold this prestigious accreditation.

Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, Wisconsin State Fair Park has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its facilities. The GBAC STAR program helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program also verifies that Wisconsin State Fair Park implements best practices to prepare for, respond to, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

“Earning this accreditation was a primary goal of ours, as we prepare for future events at State Fair Park in 2021 and beyond,” said Kathleen O’Leary, Wisconsin State Fair Park CEO. “We have always held ourselves to the highest safety standards, and this accreditation acknowledges our continuous efforts to maintain and improve our cleaning and safety procedures. We now have additional knowledge, advanced protocols, and resources in our arsenal to create safer events for our visitors, staff, exhibitors, and partners at State Fair Park.”

To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, Wisconsin State Fair Park was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment, emergency preparedness and response measures.

“We have been working toward this gold standard of preparedness and cleanliness for several years,” said Christian Kowieski, Wisconsin State Fair Park Chief Operating Officer. “Our staff utilizes the OS1 cleaning system training, along with detailed processes and procedures. We strive for the ultimate in safety standards, and this third-party accreditation further proves our preparedness and commitment to safety.”

With the implementation of advanced sanitation protocols to the already robust standard operating procedures, Wisconsin State Fair Park’s year-round facilities are now established as leaders in biorisk preparedness.

Art-FX Studios set to open flagship Escape Theory location

By | January 12, 2021

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. — Art-FX Studios announces Hourglass Escape Rooms is set to open its’ doors as the newest and most interactive escape experience in Tallahassee. The Hourglass location will also serve as a flagship location for Art-FX Studios line of Escape Theory attractions, debuting January 21st, 2021.

Tallahassee residents will have a new unique attraction that is ideal for corporate team building events, birthday parties, date nights and family bonding, or simply as a way to “escape”. Art-FX Studios will be welcoming operators from around the globe to visit and tour the flagship Hourglass location. “We’re thrilled to have a physical location where operators throughout the industry can come to try our attractions first hand,” says Nic Hanzelik, VP of Art-FX Studios.

Hourglass will feature the full Escape Theory line-up of attractions and serve as a beta testing site for new rooms and product launches. Featured experiences include Secrets of the Pharaohs, an Egyptian Tomb adventure where explorers enter a fully immersive tomb using a torch and a flickering flashlight to guide them through clues such as hieroglyphics, parchments and many other elaborate props. Also featured is a classic murder mystery escape experience, Murder in London, where detectives will begin their investigations into a series of murders that have taken place in the dark alleyways of London. Detectives will start by searching for any evidence the police may have missed, leading talented minds through White Chapel’s back alleyways and tavern in a true to life experience of London, set in the 1800’s. Coming soon after opening, Wizard’s Tower will provide escape goers with the opportunity to explore a fantastical wizarding world, travel back to the age of swords and attempt to harness all five elemental runes to unlock the mysteries of the Wizard’s Tower.

Resort hotel planned for Jungle Island

By | January 12, 2021

A 300-room hotel with meeting and restaurant space is proposed for Jungle Island Watson Island in Miami Florida. ESJ JI Leasehold LLC, a subsidiary of ESJ Capital Partners, proposed the major redevelopment of Jungle Island’s parking garage and existing meeting space. The attractions to the east of the development will remain, as will the botanical gardens to the west. Everything else will be redeveloped.

The 300-room hotel would rise 11 stories along the north border of the property. The lobby would be located on the fifth floor, as the proposed hotel would be built on top of a four-story parking garage. According to site plans, some hotel rooms would occupy floors three and four adjacent to the parking garage. The fifth floor would also have a bar, all-day dining, a round-about drop-off area with valet service, a gym and room suites. It would also include a pool deck, another bar and a fire pit outside.

Levels six through 11 would house the majority of the hotel’s rooms. The standard room would be 380 square feet, but suites could be as large as 1,698 square feet. Floor 10 will include a restaurant with both indoor and terrace seating, as well as an outdoor bar. Site plans suggest the restaurant could seat 180 customers. The Jungle Island Hotel would collectively have 9,500 square feet of dining space, including the restaurant on the lobby level. Adjacent to the south side of the hotel would be the expanded parking garage. The structure would provide 787 parking spaces on four floors. The proposal includes significant changes to the property’s meeting space.

The redevelopment would add an additional 12,000 square feet of meeting space, including outdoor event space that could be added atop the existing ballrooms. EoA Group designed the Jungle Island Hotel. Elie Mimoun, chief compliance officer at ESJ, is listed in the application.

AIMS International Virtual Safety Seminar starts today

By | January 11, 2021

Don’t miss the amusement industry’s most prestigious, state-of-the-art safety seminar! Our faculty, comprised of the industry’s top leaders in park operations, ride and product manufacturing, safety inspection and aquatics risk management, will deliver the most up-to-date safety education available. 

Those who need approved education for the State of Pennsylvania or the State of California qualified inspector programs can find those state-approved courses on-line during the AIMS International Virtual Safety Seminar. 

Additionally, stop by our networking events: Coffee Time, Lunch and Learn and Happy Hour each day to relax, chat and learn from industry experts and AIMS International’s staff and board members.

American Dream debuts new dining options

By | January 7, 2021

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Whether coming to American Dream to shop, swim, ski, snowboard or skate, be sure to bring your appetite. American Dream announces the opening of the first Garden State outposts for two iconic New York food brands:

  • Best Pizza: Award-winning Best Pizza has just opened its first New Jersey location at American Dream. A Brooklyn mainstay, Best Pizza first opened its doors in Williamsburg in 2010 by pizzaiolo and TV host, Frank Pinello.
  • Van Leeuwen: This New York-based ice cream company will be opening their first New Jersey location this week at American Dream. This bright yellow store was designed by Carpenter and Mason. Van Leeuwen Ice Cream started out of a truck on the streets of New York City in 2008 by Ben Van Leeuwen, Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill, who were on a mission to make good ice cream from good ingredients that makes you feel good.

Throughout American Dream, guests will find a wide range of food spots for a satisfying treat on the go, including Wetzel’s Pretzels, Grisini Coffee shops, Häagen-Dazs, Cinnabon, Panda Bubble Tea, Real Fruit Bubble Tea, Red Mango and more. The Coca-Cola Eats food court features an expanded list of local and international cuisine, including Charleys Philly Steaks, Kelly’s Cajun Grill, Latin Grill, Wendy’s, and the just-opened PORA, with Taco Bell opening in the next week. 

Look for even more new dining options opening in the coming weeks at American Dream.