Fun food for the family at Interfun Expo

By | March 5, 2019

A1 Equipment, a family-run business selling fun food machinery and
supplies since 1986, is to showcase its range of culinary products at InterFun Expo.

The company has expanded from popcorn and candy floss to provide a full inventory of family favourites including nachos, waffles, hot dogs, churros, crepes, slush, chocolate fountains and much more.

Following A1 Equipment’s decision to exhibit at InterFun Expo, which will take place this year in Leeds on 30 April and 1 May, Lawrence Breindel, company director, said: “We are your one-stop-shop for fun food machinery and supplies providing you with snacks, smiles and success.”

Christine Butterworth, managing director of InterFun Expo, said: “Food and beverage is a hugely important part of the family day out experience.  A1 Equipment has developed an extensive range of products and we look forward to welcoming them to InterFun Expo later this year.”

InterFun Expo is a B2B event aimed at owners and operators of a variety of locations from FECs, arcades and amusement parks to adventure zones, holiday resorts, pubs, eateries, malls, farm attractions and historic homes. It will incorporate a product showcase and a series of inspirational seminars for all those involved in the business of providing family fun. We anticipate a great event. 

InterFun Expo takes place at New Dock, Royal Armouries Square, Royal Armouries Drive, Leeds, LS10 1NF on 30 April and 1 May, 2019.

Action Tag: from malls in the Middle East to InterFun Expo

By | March 4, 2019

Laser tag specialist Action Tag is to exhibit at the InterFun Expo, taking place on 30 April and 1 May, 2019 in Leeds, following the completion of a major installation in the Middle East.

Ron Francis, the company’s founder and CEO, said: “Action Tag is delighted to be taking part in the InterFun Expo, after having completed the largest indoor arena in the Middle East, located in the Abdali Mall in Amman, Jordan.”

He said such new developments highlight the need for an entertainment complex in modern-day shopping malls. 

 “It is needed to combat the influence of the online shopping and to draw people back into the real world, where they can look and touch the products. Having an entertainment centre increases the footfall of the malls and Action Tag are proud to be at the forefront of this new concept,” Francis added.

InterFun Expo is a B2B event aimed at those involved in providing family entertainment and activities within retail and standalone environments. It is free to attend for shopping centre owners, developers and FEC managers by registering at www.interfunexpo.com/register.

Christine Butterworth, managing director of InterFun Expo, said: “Laser tag is a firm favourite when it comes to family entertainment. It is no surprise shopping malls around the globe are looking to this exhilarating activity as a way to encourage more families through the door.”

Snowbound in Connecticut

By | March 4, 2019

MIDDLEBURY,  Conn. — Quassy Amusement & Waterpark, Middlebury,  Conn., opens in just 55 days, but this morning looked more like a winter wonderland rather than a property preparing for its spring launch.  A harsh winter storm dumped up a foot of snow on the area overnight, forcing most public schools to be closed today. Park personnel continue to gear up for Quassy’s 111th season, which starts April 27. (COURTESY QUASSY AMUSEMENT PARK)

Busch Gardens celebrates 60 years of adventure

By | March 4, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. — Celebrating six decades of unforgettable experiences, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay shares even more exciting news with park guests during the 60th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff this evening. In addition to debuting a new menu for the 2019 Food & Wine Festival and the launch of the all-new Pin Trading program, the park reveals more details for upcoming attractions including Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, and a new attraction coming in 2020. 

Opening on March 16, the Food & Wine Festival returns with an exciting new menu, featuring more than 35 dishes inspired by regional cuisine around the country. Guests can sample over 100 wines, craft brews and specialty cocktails while enjoying world-class concerts of all tastes, including Daughtry, Justin Moore, El Gran Combo, Boyz II Men, Foreigner and more! The park recently announced a NEW performance for Stone Temple Pilots on Saturday, April 6. The full menu and line-up, including VIP packages, can be found online at BuschGardensTampa.com

Also as part of the park’s 60th Anniversary, Busch Gardens launches a NEW Pin Trading program today. With more than 150 pins now available in the park, guests can begin collecting and trading the pocket-sized souvenirs. From fan-favorite animals, attractions, and events to exclusive collections not sold in stores, guests can trade pins with employees as they explore the park. 

Excitement is building with the eagerly anticipated spring opening of TigrisFlorida’s tallest launch coaster. With the recent arrival of the ride vehicles, testing for the new attraction will begin soon to prepare for opening day this spring. 

“We’re moving quickly to open our ninth roller coaster, Tigris, with a tenth coaster already underway for next year,” said Stewart Clark, President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. “This cadence of back-to-back new attractions is unprecedented for our park, and continues our legacy as Florida’s thrill ride leader.”  

The buzz continues with more history in the making at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, as construction begins on a NEW hybrid coaster arriving in 2020. When it opens next year, the ride will become North America’s tallest hybrid, and the fastest, steepest hybrid coaster in the world. 

Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the newest addition at Busch Gardens will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall. The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi. Coaster enthusiasts can follow the progress of Tigris and the new 2020 attraction through the park’s social media channels and using #TakeOnTigris and #2020Rising.

Main Event Entertainment is now an official partner of Special Olympics

By | March 4, 2019

DALLAS, Texas Main Event Entertainment is excited to announce it has signed on as an official sponsor of Special Olympics, the world’s largest organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics is Main Event’s first national partner. After a long search for a charitable or other partner organization, Main Event recognized Special Olympics was exactly the partner that the ultimate entertainment destination had been seeking.  

Main Event’s local-level support of Special Olympics helped lead to the national partnership. Several Main Event locations already actively host Special Olympics events, meetings, athlete practice sessions and competitions. Main Event will continue to grow its support of Special Olympics in every state it operates in, including the support of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools and student athletes. 

“Main Event couldn’t be more excited to team up with Special Olympics as our official national partner,” said Chris Morris, President and CEO of Main Event Entertainment. “Main Event conducted a long search to find the right philanthropic partner to align with and Special Olympics is the perfect fit. This is a partnership that can grow as we grow.” 

There are multiple parallels between Special Olympics and Main Event. To both organizations, “Engagement” is a way of life through community, family, schools, living active lifestyles, friendly competition and more.  

To raise funds to support Special Olympics, Main Event guests can donate any amount, $1 or more, to Special Olympics anytime they are in the entertainment center. 100 percent of the funds donated will go directly to Special Olympics and will be used for various events and activities. In addition, Main Event will be hosting a national fundraiser from Feb. 20 through April 16 at all 42 Main Event locations where each center will sell Special Olympics insignias that guests can post in the center.  

Each Main Event center features state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, billiards, more than 100 of the latest interactive video and arcade games. And whether you’re looking for a chef-inspired casual dining experience – with delicious shareables like wings, loaded nachos, oven-baked artisan pizza and more in a full-service American-fare grill surrounded by big screen TVs, Main Event is a FUN place to hang out, watch the big game and challenge your friends to a game or two.

Scruffy Dog welcomes new creative lead

By | March 1, 2019

LONDON — Scruffy Dog Global Creative Services has head hunted Gareth Smy as a creative lead based in the London studio.

Prior to joining Scruffy Dog, Gareth, who specializes in Intellectual Property, worked at the LEGO Group in Billund, Denmark, focusing on the creative & IP management for LEGOLAND Resort & Theme parks worldwide. Gareth’s main role is to lead the company’s global attractions, one of the first being for DreamWorks.

Previous to the LEGO Group, Gareth was at Merlin Magic Making, the creative design division of Merlin Entertainments, where he was responsible for creating some of the newest attractions around the Globe.

Gareth said, “I was introduced to Scruffy Dog and the CEO Joe whilst working on one of their first projects for Merlin, which coincidentally was one of my first too. From there we have always worked really well together. I’m glad that I can continue to fulfill my passion in the themed entertainment industry, developing a multitude of global projects for Scruffy Dog’s growing client base— It’s a dream scenario!”

Gareth is a part of Scruffy Dog’s continued expansion, strengthening the creative team, all of whom have been carefully hand picked from around the world.

A powerful dark arts spell has been cast on The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, bringing a dynamic, all-new light projection experience

By | March 1, 2019

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. & ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort invite guests to experience an exciting new dimension of sorcery at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” with the introduction of the “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle,” a powerful, original and breathtaking projection experience.The “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will illuminate Hogwarts castle and “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” nightly from April 13 – 28 at Universal Studios Hollywood then return from May 25 – 27.

Universal Orlando Resort’s experience will debut later this year with dates to be announced at a later time.

This exciting all-new experience in “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will cast a mesmerizing display of light, music and special effects, unleashing the darkest creatures and villains, including the powerful Dark wizard Lord Voldemort.Illuminating a darker side of the Wizarding World, this spectacular new light projection experience will be a departure from previous “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” and “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.”

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will bring more intense tones and drama that reflect the Dark creatures and wizards that challenge goodness in the Wizarding World.

Guests will be asked to summon their inner strength and bravery in the face of the all-consuming Dark Arts as some of the awe-inspiring moments and creatures inspired by the films come to life within the majestic light display.As darkness falls on Hogwarts castle, Dementors, Death Eaters and other unspeakable creatures from Aragog and Mountain Trolls to Thestrals will cloak the castle with sinister images from the darker side of magic—even conjuring the visage of Lord Voldemort himself, until the Patronus spell—one of the most famous, difficult and powerful defense of the Dark Arts charms in the wizarding world—is cast.

The “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will be accompanied by an exclusive musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment. It was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London, based on the original scores composed for the film series created by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle.From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streetsto the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen.

New ride in production

By | March 1, 2019

MIDDLEBURY, Conn. — Quassy Amusement & Waterpark’s new Bouncing Buggies ride is shown in production at the Zamperla manufacturing facility in Italy.  The Quassy family attraction is from Zamperla’s popular Jump Around line and will mark 16 consecutive years of improvements at the family-owned property in Middlebury, Conn. The new ride will be delivered in March and placed in the heart of the lakeside park in time for Quassy’s 111th season opening on April 27. (photos courtesy of Zamperla)

Bounce About Laser Tag jumps into cashless technology with Intercard

By | February 28, 2019

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Retired schoolteacher Danielle Mirabal made a big leap when she left the classroom to run Bounce About Laser Tag, an FEC in Toms River, New Jersey. Now Intercard has helped Danielle make the jump to cashless technology. With the ability to accept credit cards as well as cash for game play, Danielle quickly saw a jump in arcade revenue. “I want to say at least a 40% increase because I was only able to do cash before,” she says, “and we would lose business.”

After two years of running her 26 arcade games on quarters, Danielle knew her operation had to become more efficient. “We didn’t have a change machine and we were making change at the front desk,” says Danielle “and I had a million quarter jams and I was always fixing coin mechanisms.” The switch to cashless technology eliminated those problems. 

Using Intercard’s cashless technology also helped Danielle improve her marketing and promotions, from being able to offer special pricing for specific times to donating branded game cards to local school fundraisers.  

She also loves Intercard because of its excellent customer service before and after the sale and installation. “You know, like anything with technology, we’re going to have the hiccups,” she says. “I have always gotten someone on the phone at Intercard; I have not been more than caller one or two and they stay on the phone until they solve the problem for me.”  

Danielle also gives high marks to Todd DeMott, her Intercard sales rep, who lives in her area. “He’s come here to fix my games, and he doesn’t have to do that, and he continues to follow up with me,” she says. “He wants to make sure we do well here.”

Showboat starts spring break with a boom

By | February 26, 2019

BRANSON, Mo. — The Showboat Branson Belle, America’s Most Entertaining Lake Adventure, cruises on March 7 to start the 2019 season, featuring specialty cruises and events, plus fireworks on select days.  All cruises offer a unique experience aboard the 700-passenger, historically-inspired paddle-wheeler, with multi-level decks for viewing scenic Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. New for 2019, fireworks cap the evening cruises during spring break on March 15–16 and 22–23.

Inside, in a dining theater that spans three stories, the ship’s performers deliver on the promise of “most entertaining” with new songs, dances and comedy in a variety show featured on noon and dinner cruises. Music genres include classic favorites like Elvis hits; ‘70s and ‘80s classic rock from artists such as the Eagles, Journey and Fleetwood Mac; and movie soundtrack hits from Grease, Footloose, and even Star Wars. The show also features the Deckhands dancers, award-winning comedy and magic, and a live band.

The Showboat Branson Belle is a unique attraction that in itself is a one-of-a-kind experience with three navigable upper decks, 360-degree lake views from the top deck, a fully-functioning pilot-house guests can visit, a six-foot wooden vintage captain’s wheel, and atrium-style dining theater serving up dining options before the show starts.

Dining is a culinary adventure aboard the ship with several options available. Guests in general seating are served a three-course meal, prepared fresh in the ship’s galley, with slow-cooked pot roast and honey-citrus chicken, mixed garden salad and freshly-baked roll, and steamed green beans and garlic mashed potatoes, all topped off with lemon berry ice cream pie. Along with preferred boarding time, the expanded Captain’s Club option offers premium dining with cooked-to-order specialty menu selections like a 12 oz. New York strip with shallot butter, pan-seared chicken in a white butter sauce, grilled pork chops with Ozarks’ compote, or pecan-encrusted trout.

A fireworks finale on the lake also caps the evening cruises on June 30, July 4, each Sunday in July, and August 4 and 11. Seasonal specialty cruises include the kids-themed Princess & Pirate Cruises on select Sunday mornings in June, July and August and Santa’s Pancakes & PJs cruises on select weekends in November and December. Southern Gospel Music Cruises featuring top artists are offered at noon August 25 – September 1.