Lake Compounce announces new Venus Vortex water slide for Crocodile Cove’s 2020 season

By | November 27, 2019

BRISTOL/SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — Something new is taking root at Lake Compounce’s Crocodile Cove water park! New England’s family theme and water park announces the newest addition to its water slide lineup that’s sure to catch you in its trap, Venus Vortex – opening summer 2020!

Standing six-stories above the lake and decked in bright green and yellow, Venus Vortex features a unique ride experience never before seen in New England. Resembling the carnivorous mouth of a hungry venus flytrap ready for its next meal, this slide tempts brave prey to navigate twists, turns and sudden drops. After journeying through a dark tunnel, riders will experience weightlessness as they suddenly plummet down the near vertical drop into the jaws of the hungry creature. As your three- person raft slides back and forth in between rows of teeth, you must escape before it traps you inside. Take a big sigh of relief as your raft reaches the final splashdown: you’ve narrowly missed being eaten!

“Venus Vortex will be Lake Compounce’s largest and most thrilling slide to date,” said Jerry Brick, Lake Compounce General Manager. “This addition will further solidify our park as the go-to water park in Southern New England.”

Venus Vortex will be located right alongside the lake, next to Bayou Bay Wave Pool and across from Johnny Rockets, and is scheduled to open to guests Memorial Day Weekend 2020. Those who can’t wait to experience Venus Vortex next summer can follow the progress of the ride with exclusive updates, statistics and renderings on the Park’s social channels @LakeCompounce or at LakeCompounce.com.

Guests looking to experience all that next summer has to offer, can do so with the purchase of a 2020 season pass. Passes are now on sale at LakeCompounce.com for as low as $87.99 and include the rest of the 2019 season.

Amusement industry mourns passing of Sergio Soriani

By | November 27, 2019

Sergio Soriani, Managing Director and Owner, with his two brothers, of Soriani s.r.l. passed away on November 25,  2019 at the age of 64 after battling a long illness. He is survived by his wife Luana and daughter Giulia.

A funeral service will be held at the Church of Matteo San Materno Vescovo in Melara (RO) Italy, on Thursday November 28th  at 10.30 AM

At the end of World War II, Arrigo Soriani, Sergio`s father, opened a small workshop to manufacture and repair agriculture equipment and right away came the opportunity to produce a simple fair attraction for a carnival family that was stationed during the winter time in the nearby Bergantino, now also known as the “Paese della Giostra”.

After manufacturing few more rides for local carnival owners, in the 50s, Arrigo began a cooperation with the company SDC of Reggio Emilia and Soriani became the supplier of the Telecombat up to the early ‘70s.

Once the founder Arrigo passed away in 1985, Sergio became one of the company`s Managing Directors and developed many new attractions, some still in operation in many Amusement Parks and Fairgrounds.

Among them the Polyp, Tagada’, Apollo 2000, Music Express, Wind Shear….. just to name a few.

Sergio was also instrumental for the creation and the lead over the years of the strong working relationship started in 1998 with Zamperla Spa.

The cooperation, still in place nowadays, helped Soriani s.r.l. to became one of the leading manufacturer of thrill flat ride with presence in all the major Amusement Parks in the World with attraction like the Z-Force, Turboforce, Discovery and the Endeavor.

Sergio, who has been the core and soul of Soriani,  will be remember and miss for his leadership, entrepreneurship and creative vision that allowed a family run Italian company to survive and prosper for more than seven decades and still make a difference in the Amusement Industry worldwide, now and  for years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Amusement Today!

By | November 27, 2019

All of us at Amusement Today want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Our office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov. 29. EXTRA! EXTRA! Your Desktop Edition will not be published on these days.

Your Desktop Edition will resume daily publication on Monday, Dec 2.

Hersheypark and MajorMega announce Hyperdeck for 2020

By | November 26, 2019

HERSHEY, Pa. — Hersheypark, the 121-acre amusement park in Hershey, Pa., and MajorMega, a Pennsylvania-based virtual reality studio and location-based entertainment company, today announced an all-new, immersive virtual reality experience planned for summer 2020.

Hyperdeck, MajorMega’s immersive, multi-player virtual reality experience, will be offered as part of Hershey’s Chocolatetown in summer 2020. Two unique, 300-square-feet Hyperdecks will create a dynamic virtual world featuring a full-motion floor and multi-sensory effects like strong winds, heat, and earth-rattling movements. The game continues outside as spectators help or challenge players via tablets stationed outside Hyperdeck.   

The announcement was made at The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAPPA) Expo in Orlando, Fla., where attendees could enjoy a live demonstration of Hyperdeck.

“Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, our team has loved Hersheypark for years!” said Michael Bridgman, co-founder of MajorMega. “We are beyond excited by the opportunity to partner with a leader in the amusement industry and debut the Hyperdeck at Hersheypark.” 

“Throughout our 112-year-history, we have always focused on providing our guests of all ages with fun and innovative entertainment experiences,” said Vikki Hultquist, general manager of Hersheypark. “We’re excited to debut Hyperdeck as a first-of-its-kind immersive VR game and the first on the Northeast as part of our transformational expansion of Hershey’s Chocolatetown.”

Hershey’s Chocolatetown is a new region at Hersheypark where guests can eat, play, shop and gather year round. The $150 million transformational expansion is the largest in company history and a 23-acre development.

Las Vegas Monorail to stay open round-the-clock for 43 hours straight for New Year’s revelers

By | November 26, 2019

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Monorailwill be the only motorized method of transportation operating along the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s Eve. It will operate continuously from 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31 through the entire New Year’s Day (Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020) and until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, for a total of 43 straight hours. Customers who purchase their two-day or longer passes online at lvmonorail.com before Friday, Dec. 20 receive a 20 percent discount with code NYE2020.

Regularly priced tickets are $5 for a single ride and unlimited-ride passes are available for 24 hours, two days, three days and more beginning at $13. Regular tickets and multi-ride tickets may also be purchased at customer-service booths or online in advance at www.lvmonorail.com. Electronically purchased tickets may be directly downloaded to riders’ mobile devices for added convenience. More information on this option is available at www.lvmonorail.com/scan-go-mobile-tickets/.

“Just like Las Vegas’ world-famous New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Monorail’s nonstop service during the Strip’s closure is an annual tradition,” said Ingrid Reisman, vice president and chief marketing officer, Las Vegas Monorail. “It’s our pleasure to provide safe, efficient and cost-effective transit along the Strip during the destination’s most exciting weekend of the year.”

Last year, more than 300,000 people gathered along the Las Vegas Strip, which shuts down to automobile traffic from approximately 5:45 p.m. New Year’s Eve night until 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day. With streets closed off, the Monorail is the only motorized form of transportation available along the Strip on New Year’s Eve.

The Monorail has five stations along the Las Vegas Strip: MGM Grand; Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas; Flamingo/Caesars Palace; Harrah’s/The LINQ and SAHARA Las Vegas. Two more stations are located at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Westgate Resort & Casino.

MK Themed Attractions helped Jesperhus Feriepark increase sales with 300% with new IP themed FEC area

By | November 26, 2019

RINGSTED, Denmark — Right before the summer holiday Jesperhus Feriepark, a popular amusement park in Denmark, opened their re-themed Family Entertainment Center (FEC), where MK Themed Attractions had produced, delivered and installed famous Danish IP (Intellectual Property) characters.

The re-theme of Jesperhus Feriepark’s existing play center is an extensive colorful explosion that lets guests escape from reality and into the world of their famous Danish IP characters the monkeys Zik and Zak as well as many more. The investment costed 6.5 million Danish Kroners (870,000 EUR) and included a 7×40 meter extension of the area along with new ventilation, new toilets, new kiosk, floor heat, paint, playground elements and the themed IP characters that MK Themed Attractions produced and installed.

The re-theme of the FEC area resulted in 45,000 visitors the first six weeks of opening which gave a sale on tickets, food and drinks at the play center that was 300% more than budged. When Lars Nielsen, Themed Attraction Specialist at MK Themed Attractions, was asked why he believe Jesperhus Feriepark has experienced such great results he answered “Today guests want to enter a storytelling world that let them escape the stressful everyday life, and this new colorful explosion, where the world of Zik and Zak has come to life, is exactly that – a storytelling themed world.”

It was the vision of Peter Overgaard, the Managing Director at the park, that the world of the IP characters of the park should be turned into reality, and by the help of MK Themed Attractions that became possible. “The last couple of years we have intensified the themed experience at our park which has had a very positive outcome.” Overgaard continues “MK Themed Attraction helped our new water park Hugos Badeland come to life last year, and this year the world of Zik and Zak, so of course we continue in 2020 by adding a complete themed outdoor playground right in front of our new play center, and it will again be MK Themed Attractions who will produce the themed fiberglass items.”

The production of the new themed fiberglass items including a red sports car, boats and IP characters are already in production at MK Themed Attractions’ world class production facility in the Philippines. Besides adding a new water themed playground the amusement park will also add a brand new 1:1 red sports car and a 1:1 sized caravan that will enhance the brand of the Jesperhus Feriepark being a Family Friendly amusement park with own campsite.

Somatic designed the new play center as well as the new themed playground and themed items that will be added in 2020.

Cirque Du Soleil Entertainment Group and Grupo Vidanta announce new water-themed resident show and dinner experience opening in 2021

By | November 26, 2019

MEXICO CITY — At the five-year anniversary of Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ in Riviera Maya, and celebrating its unrivaled success, Grupo Vidanta, the developer of Mexico and Latin America’s leading resorts and JOYÀ’s award winning theater design, along with Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group officially announced the launch of an exciting new show that will include a mesmerizing high-level gastronomic experience. Grupo Vidanta, with construction already underway of their Vallarta area entertainment parks, has also begun the construction of a specially designed, world-class theater – equipped with innovative technology and a capacity of up to 600 guests.

“With the launch of Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ, Grupo Vidanta forever changed the entertainment landscape of Mexico by creating the must-see and world’s only Cirque du Soleil show and dinner experience. Now, propelling forward with our multi-year operating experience, we are certain the new theater and culinary experience currently being built in Nuevo Vallarta will be an unforgettable experience for the senses that will once again present to the world a unique and unmatched tourist attraction available only in Mexico,” said Iván Chávez, Executive Vice President of Grupo Vidanta.

The new theater will be located in an area dedicated to Cirque du Soleil in Vidanta’s entertainment parks currently under construction in the Vallarta area. In addition to the theater and show, the area will feature multiple acrobatic and artistic attractions integrated in the Cirque du Soleil area where guests can immerse themselves in the world of Cirque du Soleil, where outdoor animations will come to life.

“Throughout our unique collaboration and long-standing partnership, Cirque du Soleil and Grupo Vidanta have always shared the same vision for high-quality entertainment and captivating experiences. We are thrilled to embark on this second venture; it’s an opportunity to unleash our creativity within the exquisite surroundings of this new Vidanta resort” said Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. This will be the 53rd creation of Cirque du Soleil and its 16th resident show. As the project continues to evolve towards its opening date slated for 2021, Grupo Vidanta will share further details about the development of the innovative entertainment destination now represented by Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta.

Worlds of Fun to partner with Sporting KC and The Victory Project during WinterFest

By | November 22, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Worlds of Fun and Sporting KC are teaming up this holiday season with a new charitable partnership. During WinterFest, the Kansas City amusement park is raising awareness and funds in support of The Victory Project, the Major League Soccer club’s foundation that unites players, staff and fans to help children battling cancer and all of life’s challenges. 

Throughout WinterFest, guests will be able to “Kick to Victory” in Worlds of Fun’s new soccer-themed game near the entrance of Planet Snoopy, where 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards the cause. The park is also accepting donations from guests in the park and through any online ticket purchases. 

“Worlds of Fun and Sporting KC are two of our region’s most enjoyable entertainment destinations,” said Alan Dietrich, Sporting KC chief operating officer and The Victory Project co-president. “We’re thrilled to partner together to support a tremendous cause and celebrate this special time of the year by creating memorable moments for thousands of guests at WinterFest.”

On Dec. 6, Worlds of Fun will treat local honorees and families from The Victory Project to an exclusive VIP experience that includes a special tree lighting ceremony, private igloos and a night of family activities during WinterFest. Sporting’s No Other Bus will be adding to the night’s festivities, giving guests the opportunity to tour the portable fan engagement platform with luxury lounge chairs, the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy and big-screen televisions equipped with video games. The first 500 guests that night will receive a co-branded Sporting KC and The Victory Project recyclable tote bag.

“We are very excited to partner with The Victory Project and help support the impact they make in the lives of those facing the challenge of childhood cancer in our community,” said Tony Carovillano, general manager and vice president at Worlds of Fun. “The holidays are a time for giving back, and we couldn’t be more excited to support such a worthy cause during WinterFest.”

Worlds of Fun will open for WinterFest on select nights from Nov. 23 through Dec. 31. Now in its third season, the event features Kansas City’s largest collection of holiday lights and décor with live shows, local artisan shopping, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, rides and more. Guests can make donations at any cash register in the park, at the park entrance, when purchasing tickets on the Worlds of Fun website or by playing “Kick to Victory.”

Popcorn Revenge celebrates TEA Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement at IAAPA Expo

By | November 22, 2019

 WAVRE, Belgium — Alterface is proud that the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) jury has selected the interactive dark ride Popcorn Revenge in Walibi Belgium for a Thea Awards Outstanding Achievement, Limited Budget. It is the second year in a row that an interactive Alterface ride receives this prestigious award in the same category. Last year Bazyliszek at the Polish Legendia was honored with a Thea Award in Anaheim. Both rides are the result of a successful partnership of Alterface and the respective park teams with ETF Ride Systems, Jora Vision, Painting with Light, Barco and Showtex. 

“This attraction, hands down, had us grinning from ear to ear,” says the TEA Thea Awards Committee. “Brand new IPs are tricky to execute and difficult to immediately captivate the imagination, but Popcorn Revenge’s delightful mix of quirky characters, pun-filled signage and simple-yet-effective gameplay – all under the guise of a richly themed Bollywood cinema – delivered on that premise and more. In a footprint of just 400 square meters this unique family attraction demonstrates excellence in design and décor and provides unique technical solutions in an accessible and affordable option for regional parks. Instead of all the vehicles taking visitors on the same linear track, each (trackless) vehicle follows its own unique route. This ‘erratic’ or unpredictable ride choreography result in a variable visitor experience with no two rides or experiences the same, thanks to a proprietary software that delivers seemingly endless combinations. Each player’s score builds up over time and is displayed and rewarded at the end of the game. Popcorn Revenge highlights a new frontier in balancing high-energy creative with successful investment.”

Benoit Cornet, CEO & Founder of Alterface comments: “We are thrilled with this award as the ride has been produced on a very limited budget. It does prove however that with the right combination of technology, creativity and dedication, it is possible to craft a high-quality and fun ride for family parks within an affordable budget. I’d like to thank the Thea Awards Committee for this recognition and congratulate our customer, partners and team members for such truly outstanding achievement!” 

Popcorn goes Universal 

Popcorn Revenge is based on Alterface’s Erratic Ride™ technology, deploying a non-linear ride concept which offers unique visitor experiences. The interactive dark ride in Walibi Belgium received in Europe numerous industry awards, Best Use of Technology with its Erratic Ride technology and Best Family Attraction 2019. Alongside several park awards by fan communities, this confirms the successful concept and, most importantly, an amazing visitor experience! 

Alongside being a great storytelling engine, the Popcorn Revenge IP fuels a varied merchandising programme. This extends the visitor experience and represents an interesting revenue generator for the park, recuperating a significant part of the park’s initial investment. Moreover, part of the merchandising revenue is reinvested by Alterface in the further IP development. 

Alterface has worked many years to develop a flexible and universal IP that works in any environment. Benoit Cornet announced at IAAPA Expo during a press conference that they will be further expanding the IP for other attractions across an entire venue or a specific themed park area. Based on its successful Popcorn Revenge ride, the popcorn IP will be shaping up into an all-encompassing and magical ‘Popcorn Universe’.  

WhiteWater announces Brass Ring Award for Tailspin at Whirlin’ Water Adventure Waterpark

By | November 22, 2019

ORLANDO — At IAAPA today, WhiteWater received a Brass Ring Award for Tailspin in the Best New Product: Water Park Ride/Attraction category. A big anchor attraction without the associated price tag, Tailspin has been designed to deliver a thrilling ride experience and high impact presence while also being an affordable to buy and affordable to maintain water slide. The slide creates a memorable ride experience with an optimal mix of physical and visual sensations that create a high-thrill, multi-sensory ride experience for the entire family. 

By merging a disc with a helix, Tailspin is itself a fusion, combining the high-banking rotations of a bowl with the rapid descent of a flume. The slide is a proven crowd pleaser, and the open Tailspin gives riders a chance to see the journey that lays ahead as they’re pinned high on the outside wall, spiraling downwards at up to 25 kilometers per hour (16 mph). 

“We’re incredibly excited to have Tailspin recognized by IAAPA as a ground-breaking slide. Every park, from small municipal recreation centres to sprawling water parks aim to provide their guests with safe and fun attractions; on top of that, all parks look to have unique and iconic rides to differentiate themselves and to help drive their gate. Tailspin delivers all of this and more,” explained Geoff Chutter, President & CEO of WhiteWater. 

Often, big anchor attractions will also come with big price tags, putting them out of reach for municipal recreation centres and small to mid-size parks. With Tailspin, these parks can now have an iconic ride of their own that will be an eye-catching landmark that can be printed on ads, souvenirs, posters, and other marketing material. 

This past summer, Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark in North Charleston, South Carolina, introduced their newest slide complex, The Washout, which features two WhiteWater water slides. On one side of the 65 feet deck is where visitors will find the ground-breaking Tailspin. The slide is a fusion, with an AquaSphere at the top and a Rattler at the bottom. 

Tailspin’s design delivers ‘big flume’ excitement and maximum thrills in a minimal footprint. Available in 2-person inner tube and 3 and 4-person family raft sizes, Tailspin is a high-thrill slide that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Its robust design also allows for extensive ‘fusionability’, as the Tailspin can enter and exit most other features that have a range of flow rates, speeds, and oscillations—as well as not requiring an additional pump. With no moving parts, sprayers, or jets, Tailspin also requires minimal maintenance.