Polin transforming each piece of waterslides into a masterpiece

By | June 7, 2021

TURKEY — Polin has set a new standard for waterslide manufacturing excellence. Polin’s technology innovation turns waterslides into genuine works of art with both interior and exterior designs – fully embedded into the production of the waterslides – that will change the way waterslides are themed forever more.

In 2016, Polin Waterparks changed the way that waterslides look when it offered the first waterslides composed via Resin-Transfer Molding (RTM) technology. That manufacturing technology was revolutionary when it was introduced 14 years ago, and today it continues to set the standard for the waterslide parts.  

The result has been a range of waterslide options from Polin that range from solid colors to translucent with optional Special Pattern EffectsNatural Light Effects and, most recently, Slide’n Roll.

Fusing Waterslides with Art
Polin Waterparks is offering nearly unlimited opportunities for waterparks aiming to set themselves apart. Not only can they offer guests a thrilling ride experience but also fully themed slides that seamlessly reflect a park’s motif in ways never before available with its Triangulated, Honey Comb, Graffiti, Wood’n Slide, and so much more.

Now, Polin is offering a game changer technology ‘’UTEXTURE’’ that will change your park ambiance with its wide range of pattern options.

This is the new generation VARTM (Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding) production technique that pushes the limits of imagination. You will be able to differentiate your facility with its unique technology that provides natural color transitions and artistic approaches.

  • Unlimited theming possibilities
  • Perfect chemical durability against UV and pool chemicals
  • Aesthetic appearance
  • Glossy finish

Museum to debut newly unearthed, historic ride footage

By | June 4, 2021

PLAINVIEW, Texas — As pioneers of the amusement industry, the Arrow Development company built some of the most legendary roller coasters ever created from 1959 to 2001. Now, the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives (NRCMA), the world’s largest collection of amusement ride vehicles and blueprints, will soon debut never-before-seen, recently preserved test footage from their Arrow film collection.

“To be able to preserve and then share this footage with fans around the world is an absolute thrill,” Richard Munch, NRCMA Historian. “By digitizing these incredibly rare films, we will be able to tell the history of the roller coaster that much better, to a much larger audience than ever before.”

The Arrow film collection, which will debut as part of American Coaster Enthusiasts’ “West Texas Roundup” event, consists of film reels, tapes and DVD’s. They were donated from roller coaster manufacturer, S&S Sansei of Logan, UT, who purchased Arrow’s assets in a bankruptcy sale in 2002. There are hundreds of hours of donated footage still requiring digitalization and preservation, some of which can be seen now at rollercoastermuseum.org.

While continuing its expansion and collection of artifacts, the NRCMA needs support from the industry and from fans of amusement parks everywhere to continue these efforts. Donations can be made online at the site listed above or by mailing the NRCMA at P.O. Box 5424, Arlington Texas 76005.

Liseberg opens after being closed for 520 days

By | June 4, 2021

“On June 3, 2021 it was finally time for Liseberg to open it’s gate, after 520 days of closure. It was an emotional day for all of us working here as well as our guests,” says Andreas Andersen, CEO & President of the Liseberg Group.

The re-opening of Liseberg on June 3, 2021 marked one of the most important and happiest days in the park’s almost 100 year history. With a limited number of guests in the park and many extensive COVID-19 measures, the Liseberg-visit will be somewhat different in the 2021-season, but nevertheless the atmosphere in the park was cheerful and optimistic.

In the children’s area Kaninlandet (The Rabbit Land), the new dark-ride Underland finally opened. The dark-ride, which is a custom-made project made for Liseberg by Quarryfold Studios, P&P Projects, Gosetto and LifeFormations takes guests on an underground journey through the rabbit’s secret world.

In addition to Underland, several new additions open in the children area; a renovated river ride Morotsresan (the Carrot Journey), a new stage and a rabbit-themed restaurant for children, Bergs Bistro.

“We’ve invested almost SEK 200 million (EURO 20 million) in our most important guests; children,” says Andreas Andersen.

This year, two new restaurants at Liseberg also opens. The Art Deco themed new restaurant 1923 takes you back to the beginning of Liseberg’s almost 100-year long history. The menu includes modernized classics, and the two-storey outdoor terrace offers a magnificent view of the Main Stage.

The rebuilt The Green Room, which opened in 2015 as the world’s first vegetarian theme-park restaurant, now serves 100% plant-based food. The restaurant aims to have zero food waste, and offers home-made food, made with primarily organic ingredients sourced from local producers.

All new BBC Earth 4D Experience delivers tentacles, claws and jaws

By | June 3, 2021

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment announces its latest BBC Earth release, Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience, a custom special effects show that highlights one of the most captivating creatures of our planet’s oceans: the octopus. Developed from BBC Earth’s critically acclaimed Blue Planet II television series, this brand new 4D Experience premiered at John G. Shedd Aquarium on Friday, May 28, 2021.

SimEx-Iwerks collaborated with Shedd Aquarium and BBC Earth to develop the multi-sensory experience. The result is a compelling 12-minute show that reveals extraordinary octopus behaviors and dynamic oceanic landscapes.

“This collaboration with our long-term partner, Shedd Aquarium, is a great example of how we work closely with our 4D Theater partners to deliver exciting shows that resonate with guests,” says Kate Magnusson, Vice President, Partnerships and Marketing, SimEx-Iwerks. “The addition of this show to the aquarium’s highly successful 4D Theater creates a powerful lineup of films for Shedd’s guests this summer.”

Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience goes beneath the surface to explore how the octopus masters its physical and mental strengths to outwit and escape its underwater rivals. In addition to the eight-tentacled wonder, the 4D Experience showcases several other ocean-dwellers including the pyjama shark and sally lightfoot crab.

The 4D Theater features a variety of in-theater and in-seat special effects to heighten the on-screen action, creating a must-see experience. Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience is now available to 4D Theaters worldwide.

Dollywood announces new resort property, half-billion dollar investment strategy

By | June 3, 2021

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — After having just finished a decade of unparalleled growth, The Dollywood Company embarks on an ambitious investment strategy that will see the Smoky Mountain vacation destination invest more than half-a-billion dollars over the next 10 years across its properties. Announced today, one of the first projects in the campaign is the 302-room Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort.

The new HeartSong Lodge, located adjacent to the much-heralded Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, serves as the next element in the company’s thriving lodging business. Set to open in 2023, the new property ushers in another period of tremendous growth for the company and for the entire Smoky Mountains region. Earlier this year, Tripadvisor named Gatlinburg as the number one trending destination in the United States, with Pigeon Forge ranking fourth on the same list. Last year, Dollywood was “traveler-ranked” number six on Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Top 25 United States Theme Parks list and number eight on the Top 25 Worldwide Theme Parks list based on guest reviews.

The new investment plan provides Dollywood’s Dreamer-in-Chief plenty of opportunities to do what she does best for many years to come.

“I’m always dreaming and coming up with new ideas and things I want our guests to experience,” Parton explained. “We wanted to talk about this last year, but with everything going on, we knew we needed to pause because it just wasn’t the right time to do it. Things are looking brighter and with the popularity of the Smokies soaring, there are more people than ever wanting to visit our area.


“I’m so proud of this place that we’ve been able to build here in the Smokies,” she continued. “I always dreamed of accomplishing two things with Dollywood. I wanted to give jobs to the folks who live here and I wanted to give visitors another reason to come and experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. We celebrated our 35th season last year, so I think it is fair to say we’ve been able to do that. I’m so happy with what we are doing to make sure our guests have a great season this year, and being able to announce the new HeartSong Lodge & Resort is just one more way we’re going to be able to help families reconnect, explore and discover together. I truly believe the natural beauty of the Smokies and the warmth of this special place will inspire every guest to nurture the ‘heartsong’ within them.” 

Tucked away in a beautiful cove in the rolling foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort is a well-appointed, reimagined property that features a variety of accommodations and amenities. Our ‘reimagined lodge’ is designed to bring that intangible feeling to life, honor everything that makes the Smokies special, and invite you to experience the wonders of finding your own heartsong.

Welcoming the outdoors in with high ceilings, exposed beams and natural layered textures, Dollywood’s newest resort offers lodging options for multi-generational families and couples. Spacious family suites and bunk rooms feature lovely touches that are inspired by the beauty of the Smokies, inviting guests of all ages to gather for meaningful connections.

For one-of-a-kind getaways, the five-story resort also features themed suites and loft rooms tucked into the dormers. Many of the resort’s spacious rooms include balconies, which provide a “place among the leaves” for families to escape everyday stresses while reconnecting.

This reimagined Smoky Mountain lodge features four-story, lantern-inspired windows in the resort’s welcoming atrium, epic indoor and outdoor pools that provide guests a refreshing escape in all seasons, and a picture-perfect outdoor cove with family gathering spaces, communal firepit and screened-in porch. With 26,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, the property can accommodate gatherings for several hundred guests. From the two-story HeartSong Event Center to spacious outdoor meeting spaces and event lawn, the resort offers numerous options to provide a unique and inspiring setting for groups. 

“From the time we announced Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort in 2015, we have seen the entire region emerge as one of the nation’s leading family vacation destinations,” said Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company. “We’ve been able to help Dolly achieve the dreams she had more than 35 years ago, and with this announcement today, we’re going to be able to put wings on even more of her dreams.

“With the success we’ve experienced at DreamMore Resort, we feel this is the perfect time to expand our portfolio of resorts,” Naughton continued. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we had a relatively strong 2020 and we currently are outpacing our original expectations for 2021, so we are confident in the potential we see in the continued growth of the Smokies. We’ve earned a number of awards and accolades the last few years, and with this addition and the epic plans we have in the works, Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains will continue to be mentioned among the best places in the country for family travel.”

“As a complete family destination, we can’t wait to welcome more visitors who want to experience what makes us different,” added Bill Doyle, Senior Vice President of Hospitality. “From our award-winning theme park and water park, to our world-class accommodations and unique dinner attractions, we know families are ready for the special moments they can only find here at Dollywood.”

With more than three million visitors annually at Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, the Pigeon Forge parks comprise Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction.

“Our state is the proud home of Dollywood, a cherished destination for families from around the globe” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “Tourism sustains jobs, increases economic opportunity, and highlights the best of Tennessee, and we’re grateful to Dolly Parton, Dollywood, and all who helped bring the new HeartSong Lodge & Resort to this community.”

Since 2010, The Dollywood Company has invested more than $220 million into its properties as part of its ongoing investment plan. Expansions undertaken since 2010 include Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, roller coasters Lightning Rod and FireChaser Express, as well as TailSpin Racer at Dollywood’s Splash Country. In 2019, the park opened the $37 million Wildwood Grove.

“As a member of our community for the past 35 years, Dollywood theme park has been a significant part of the growth Pigeon Forge has experienced as a family vacation destination through the years,” Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster said. “Dolly and her team have contributed greatly to our community, and our city is proud to work alongside them as The Dollywood Company continues to make Pigeon Forge a wonderful place to visit, to live and to work.”

AMOA Coin-Op Cares Education & Charitable Foundation awards Wayne E. Hesch Scholarships

By | June 3, 2021

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — The AMOA Coin-Op Cares Foundation board met last month to review scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 scholastic year and are pleased to announce the Foundation will be awarding 58 $1,000 scholarship awards.

Over the years, the Foundation has been widely recognized for directing its Wayne E. Hesch Memorial Scholarship program named in honor of late AMOA past president, Wayne E. Hesch (1979). The Hesch Scholarship program has been awarding monies to college students annually for more than 30 years. Since its inception, more than $1.5 million has been awarded to college students, most of whom have a connection to the coin-op industry.

“For over three decades Coin-Op Cares has provided several hundred students with scholarships to assist them in their pursuit of higher education,” said Foundation chair and AMOA president Greg Trent. “In a year that’s been challenging for so many, the Foundation Board unanimously voted to award scholarships to all applicants who submitted a complete and qualifying application.” The Coin-Op Cares Foundation board also announced they have begun accepting 2022-2023 Hesch Scholarship applications. The 2022-2023 scholarship application can be found at amoa.com or by contacting AMOA’s association headquarters at (815) 893-6010.

It’s time to start planning for the 2022 AIMS International Safety Seminar!

By | June 3, 2021

Despite the challenging times that have been affecting us all this past year, our staff is optimistic about the future and plans are underway for the 2022 AIMS International Safety Seminar, which will be held in Galveston, Texas January 9-14, 2022. As plans for the Safety Seminar unfold, AIMS staff will be considering ways to keep those who may not be able to travel connected, and will look to new technology tools to help reach those in the industry who are in need of education and certification, but may be unable attend in person. One of these tools, which is currently available at https://aimsintl.org/education, is AIMS connectED, the new on-line learning platform where amusement industry professionals can gain the education and CEUs they need to keep their certifications current. While we hope everyone will be able to connect, learn and network in person, rest-assured, we will put together a comprehensive seminar that meets the needs and expectations of our industry.

Call for INSTRUCTORS and PRESENTATIONS for the Safety Seminar
In an effort to streamline and simplify the process of selecting courses for the upcoming seminar, the AIMS team has employed a new online tool for the sole purpose of soliciting, collecting and reviewing presentation proposals. The Call for Presentations for the 2022 AIMS International Safety Seminar portal is open now through July 31, and can be accessed through the following web link: AIMS CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS or by visiting https://aimsintl.org/get-involved/be-an-instructor

AIMS International Annual Safety Award nominations now being accepted
The AIMS International Safety Award is presented annually to the individual or organization that demonstrates leadership, innovation, and foresight in improving safety in the amusement industry. With safety as the industry’s number one concern for guests and employees worldwide, efforts in improving safety are shown in many forms: the design and implementation of new products and technology, the development of safety education programs and training, and by exemplary leadership in influencing others.

Nominations for the AIMS International Safety Award can be submitted via email to info@aimsintl.org. Please include the name and contact information of the nominee, in addition to a short description of why the nominee deserves to be recognized. The winner will be selected by a vote of AIMS International’s Board of Directors and presented during the 2021 Virtual Golden Ticket Awards in September. The deadline for award nomination is July 15, 2021.

The mission of AIMS International is to improve amusement industry safety through leadership in education. The annual AIMS International Safety Seminar is recognized by major parks and attractions as the worldwide leader for safety training and education. The next AIMS International Safety Seminar will be held January 9-14, 2022 in Galveston, Texas. For more information, visit www.aimsintl.org.

Green light for Efteling’s development plan ‘Wereld van de Efteling 2030’

By | June 3, 2021

Today, the Dutch Council of State ruled on the development plan ‘Wereld van de Efteling 2030’ and the appeals against the plan that were submitted. The appeals have been rejected, which means that the development plan is definitive. This rewards the extensive and several years’ preparation by the amusement park. 

Giant step towards the future
“In 2015, in cooperation with the municipality of Loon op Zand, we started with the first sketches for the development plan ‘World of Efteling 2030’. Since then, there has been much and careful consultation with local residents, the municipality and nature organisations. The fact that the development plan is now definitive makes me very proud. For us, it really feels like the first giant step towards the future of the World of Efteling that we have in mind”, says Fons Jurgens, CEO of Efteling.

Construction probably from next year onwards
With the approved development plan ‘Wereld van de Efteling 2030’, the framework for Efteling’s future has been established. Despite the positive ruling, this does not mean that the building activities will begin immediately. Due to the financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, among other things, large investments such as this will only begin from next year onwards. The very first step planned by Efteling is the expansion on the eastern side of the existing amusement park. 

‘3-D’ Fireworks will light up sky over Quassy Amusement & Waterpark

By | June 2, 2021

MIDDLEBURY, Conn. — The Independence Day weekend will be one of celebration at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark here. The highlight will be “3-D” Fireworks on Saturday, July 3, over Lake Quassapaug as the show is presented from barges anchored offshore.

Special “3-D” fireworks viewing glasses will be sold for $2 on July 3 at Quassy to benefit Give Kids The World Village. The glasses will be on sale starting in the afternoon until they are sold out.

“We put the ‘3-D’ spin on our fireworks nearly 20 years ago and our guests really enjoy it,” noted Quassy’s George Frantzis II. “Thanks to our presenting partners, the response continues to be phenomenal.”

The park will again shoot its 10:15 p.m. fireworks display from barges so everyone in attendance will be able to enjoy them.

Sponsoring the event are: Pepsi-Cola of Bristol, Price Chopper/Market 32 supermarkets and Shaker Auto Group.

Parking on July 3 and 4 is $15 at Quassy with rides and attractions opening at 11 a.m. Rides will operate until after the fireworks on July 3. Quassy Beach and Splash Away Bay waterpark will operate until 7 p.m. during the holiday weekend with the rides closing at 8 p.m. July 4 and 5.

In addition, there will be a special evening beach party starting at 8 p.m., July 3 with a disc jockey. Admission to the Blast At The Beach is $10 with children – accompanied by an adult –  under 45 inches free. All paid guests at the beach event will receive “3-D”fireworks glasses and food and beverages will be available for purchase at Splash Away Bay Café. A limited number of tickets will be available for the beach party and may be purchased in advance using promo code BLAST121 on the Quassy website ticket purchase page. Season pass holders are admitted to the beach event free of charge.

Quassy will operate 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 4 with a disc jockey party 3 to 8 p.m. near the park’s boat landing.

Lego Ninjago Days returns to LEGOLAND Florida Resort this weekend!

By | June 2, 2021

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — For three weekends in June, LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s guests will “discover their inner ninja” and meet their favorite heroes from the world of NINJAGO [NIN-JAH-GO] as LEGO NINJAGO Days take over the theme park in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the LEGO NINJAGO brand. This limited-time event will feature ninja-themed activities, exclusive LEGO character meet-and-greets and delicious, kid-friendly treats all the Theme Park built for kids. 

LEGO NINJAGO DAYS
LEGO NINJAGO Days runs Saturdays and Sundays, June 5-20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NEW FOR 2021! – NINJAGO Legacy Quest
To celebrate 10 years of LEGO NINJAGO, guests can take part in a limited time AR (augmented reality) experience, NINJAGO Legacy Quest, during event days. Unlock six Golden Amulet fragments and reunite them to protect the Spinjitzu legacy! Kai, Cole, Zane, Jay, Lloyd, and Nya will digitally share their individual elemental powers and lead the way as guests pose with them through AR to complete each challenge. When the quest is complete, guests will be rewarded with a mini AR video of their adventures alongside the NINJAGO team.

NEW FOR 2021! – School of Spinjitzu
Ready to hone your skills to kick, chop, spin, and balance like a ninja? Learn from the masters and show off your best ninja moves at the all-new School of Spinjitzu ninja training academy during event days. *Grownups, do not try this at home*

RETURNING EVENT FAVORITES

  • Watch ninjas demonstrate advanced abilities in mastering the elemental powers. The Dojo comes to life with kicking, spinning, and tumbling during Elemental Masters on the LEGO City Stage
  • Strike a ninja pose with characters Nya, Llyod, Zane, P.I.X.A.L. and Master Wu at socially distanced photo spots
  • Become one with the rhythmic forces of nature in Earth Beats, a live, ninja-inspired music and drumming show
  • Take part in Master Wu’s Expedition throughout Fun Town and test your ninja knowledge to receive a special reward when you complete this epic scavenger hunt
  • Show off your LEGO brick building skills by helping complete a giant Garmadon build, or taking part in the Good vs. Evil competition build

FUEL UP

  • In LEGO NINJAGO World, the Ninja Kitchen food truck’s menu features delectable offerings including Lloyd’s Energy Boosting Pork Belly Yakisoba and Samurai “S’Mores” Bun
  • Take your taste buds on a tour around the park with delicious treats including Nya’s Ultimate Candy Sushi, Kai’s Ponzu Cremini Burger and Master Wu’s Wonton Chip Nachos

All event activities are included with LEGOLAND Theme Park general admission and select Annual Passes, starting at $9/month with a small down payment. LEGOLAND has built extra fun into every month of 2021 as the theme park built for kids celebrates its tenth birthday. The yearlong birthday celebration includes new events, attractions and shows. Join the party at LEGOLAND.com/florida