ARM Inc. issues statement addressing incident involving the Super Shot at Frederick County, Virginia Fair

By | August 2, 2016

WINTERSVILLE, Ohio – A.R.M. (USA) Inc., the manufacturer of the Super Shot ride involved in the July 25th accident which occurred at the Frederick County, Virginia fair wants to extend its prayers and well wishes to the woman who was injured. In addition, A.R.M. is compelled to address inaccuracies and misinformation reported in the news concerning the event. Contrary to early news reports, there has not been a structural failure of the passenger seat frame, main vehicle frame, or a failure of a cable or hydraulic brake. Based on information from post accident inspectors who have viewed the subject ride, the sole cause of the accident was a failure to properly assemble the ride before use.

A.R.M. is a well respected US ride manufacturer which has been in business for over 18 years. The company has designed and manufactured hundreds of rides, which have safely thrilled carnival and amusement park guests across the US. A.R.M. has manufactured over 60 Super Shot rides, which have had an impressive safety record.

The transportable Super Shot, like all portable amusement rides, must be properly assembled and inspected before operation. The company wants to assure its other Super Shot owners that by following the manufacturer’s assembly, inspection and maintenance procedures, their ride is safe for operation.

For further information please contact: Mike Gill -­‐

IAAPA Announces Steve Van den Kerkhof, Plopsa Group CEO, as Keynote Speaker for GM and Owners’ Breakfast at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016

By | August 2, 2016

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the global trade association representing the attractions industry, announces Steve Van den Kerkhof, Plopsa Group CEO and Studio 100 chairman of the board, as the keynote speaker for the GM and Owners’ Breakfast at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016, the premier trade show for the global attractions industry. The Expo takes place Nov. 14-18, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, and attracts more than 30,000 attractions industry professionals, 1,000 exhibitors, and some of the biggest names in the industry to network, learn, and experience new products and technology. The GM and Owners’ Breakfast will take place on Wednesday, November 16 at 8:15 a.m. EST in the new location of the IAAPA Theater.

“We are honored to have someone with the experience and reputation of Mr. Van den Kerkhof address senior attractions industry executives from around the world at IAAPA Attraction Expo 2016,” said IAAPA Vice President of Education, Professional Development, and Training Services, Rebecca Turner. “We look forward to Mr. Van den Kerkhof’s insight and the behind-the scenes-story about the growth of Plopsa Group from a local park to a global entertainment company.”

Steve Van den Kerkhof has been leading Plopsa Group for more than 17 years, and co-founded the theme park division when Studio 100 bought its first theme park in 1999. Under Van den Kerkhof’s leadership, the Plopsa theme park group grew despite price competition, and economic crises. Today, Plopsa Group owns and operates six themed entertainment facilities in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany that together welcome more than 3 million visitors annually. Prior to joining Plopsa Group, Van den Kerkhof worked as an auditor and received his licence in commerce from Antwerp College.

With nearly two decades of attractions management experience, Van den Kerkhof has developed the reputation of an amusement park revitalization expert. His professional philosophy is that quality will prevail and this perspective has helped him transform a local company with local characters into a global family entertainment company and one of the most visited parks in Belgium.

In addition to Mr. Van den Kerkhof’s keynote address, the IAAPA Service Awards will also be presented during the GM and Owners’ Breakfast.

New roller coaster coming to Kings Island

By | July 29, 2016

mystic timbers ki_out_4c_glowMASON, Ohio – Construction is underway on a new wooden roller coaster adventure for visitors to Kings Island.

Themed to an area surrounding a lumber company becoming overrun by a mysterious medusa-like overgrowth of vines as nature reclaims its land, Mystic Timbers will be 3,265 feet in length, reach 109 feet in height and weave along steep cliffs, down ravines, cross over water and go through an extreme S-turn, among a forest of trees, at speeds up to 53 mph.

The ride will feature a total of 16 airtime hills, a mid-course tunnel and interact with parts of the Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad and White Water Canyon attractions.

“Mystic Timbers is naturally exciting because of its setting in a densely wooded area,” Kings Island’s vice-president and general manager Greg Scheid said. “The natural rugged terrain and tunnel ensures a unique and memorable ride experience.”

Mystic Timbers is custom designed and built for the topography of Kings Island by Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCI) of Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  Three trains will accommodate 24 passengers each (four riders per car and six cars per train) with a capacity of 1,200 riders per hour. Guests must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. The ride experience will last more than two minutes.

“Everyone who enjoys the fun and thrills of riding a roller coaster will want to experience this attraction,” Scheid said.

Mystic Timbers will debut in the spring of 2017 and become Kings Island’s 16th roller coaster and its fourth wooden.

With the addition of Mystic Timbers, Kings Island’s wooden roller coasters will combine to measure 18,804 feet of track, which will be the most at any amusement or theme park in the world.

Those who cannot wait until spring may take a virtual ride on Mystic Timbers at Visitors of the website may also access exclusive updates and features, including virtual ride renderings, ride statistics, construction photos and a live Web cam.

Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.”

The Orlando Eye Becomes The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye

By | July 28, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. – After celebrating its first birthday this past May, Orlando’s 400-foot observation wheel is bubbling with happiness over its new name: Coca-Cola Orlando Eye.

This exciting partnership with Coca-Cola allows guests to share enhanced new experiences on the observation wheel from the moment they enter the attraction. Guests will be greeted with a bold and contemporary look throughout the interior and exterior of the Eye’s terminal building, featuring Coca-Cola’s signature red and white colors. On the wheel itself, select capsules have been transformed to offer the ultimate visitor experience, featuring special décor, an upbeat music selection, selfie sticks, themed tablets and Coca-Cola coolers.

On Thursday, July 28, all guests to the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye will receive a complimentary Coca-Cola® beverage in celebration of the 400-foot observation wheel’s new name. Guests can continue to share their memories and moments, taken with selfie sticks, on social media by tagging their experiences with #cocacolaorlandoeye.

“In just one short year, the Orlando Eye has become recognized as a Central Florida icon. We are delighted to partner with Coca-Cola, an iconic brand globally recognized for sharing moments of happiness and celebration with loved ones,” said General Manager Robin Goodchild. “The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye combines these elements to create an enhanced experience, giving guests the opportunity to create and share new memories.”

“For Coca-Cola, our mission is simple – to refresh the world and inspire moments of optimism and happiness, while creating value and making a difference,” said Krista Schulte, Vice President of Foodservice and On Premise, Coca-Cola North America. “Our partnership with Merlin Entertainments to create the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye helps us achieve our mission together by providing guests special memories while taking in the views of Orlando in an enhanced and refreshing way.”

For more information on the observation wheel, visit

Alethea Roads, First Lady of of Wonderland passes away

By | July 28, 2016

IMG_1099AMARILLO, Texas — Alethea Roads passed away on Tuesday, July 26, at a hospice in Amarillo, Texas. She was 100 years old. Alethea & her husband, Paul Roads, founded what was originally Kiddie Land in August 1951 at Amarillo’s Thompson Park. Kiddie Land opened with three rides — a kiddie car ride (built by Paul Roads), kiddie boats, and a Herschell Li’l Dipper roller coaster. For the first several years, Paul held a full time day job and spent his nights and weekends working at the park. In 1958 he quit his day job to work full time at the park. Inspired by Alice in “Through the looking Glass,” Paul & Alethea changed the name of the park to Wonderland in 1967. Alethea ordered supplies, sold tickets, kept the books, managed personnel, and was in charge of customer relations. Alethea was the only person in the office until her daughter Paula began helping in the 1970’s. When Paula’s husband, Paul Borchardt, finished his stint with the U.S. Navy, the two relocated to Amarillo to help run the park. Today Alethea’s daughter and son-in-law Paula and Paul Borchardt (also known as P.D.) run the park along with Alethea’s granddaughter, Rebecca Parker.

Alethea was a role model for all her employees. Young people spent several summers working for Mrs. Roads and former employees often returned to visit Mrs. Roads to thank her for the knowledge they gained while working at Wonderland. She continually stressed positive work ethics and many of her employees have become successful adults in education, business, finance, medicine, engineering, etc.

In 2003, IAAPA selected Paul & Alethea Roads to receive the 2003 Lifetime Service Award which recognizes individuals for consistent and long-term achievements in the amusement industry. The award reads “As founders of Wonderland in 1951, your work ethic and innovations have been an inspiration to small amusement owners everywhere. As members of IAAPA since 1962, your leadership and contributions have been invaluable.”

Alethea started a School Ticket Fundraiser with Wonderland Park, allowing grade schools and middle schools in Amarillo to sell ride passes to Wonderland, keeping 30% of the sales. In the 1950s Alethea was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader.

Alethea was awarded the Amarillo Women’s Network Lifetime Achievement Award for 2008.

In 2009, Wonderland Park received Amusement Today’s Publisher’s Pick Golden Ticket Award for Park of the Year.

The funeral will be held 11 a.m. on Monday, August 1, at Saint Paul United Methodist Church. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2820 Virginia Circle. The family suggests memorials be made to the Saint Paul United Methodist Church, 4317 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX 79106; or the Khiva Shrine, 305 SE 5th Ave, Amarillo, TX 79101

H-2B Visa Program in Jeopardy – Help Support OABA’s “Back the PAC” Campaign Now

By | July 28, 2016

The Outdoor Amusement Business Association Political Action Committee (OABA-PAC) donations to federal legislators helps develop strong relationships with legislators that help to get favorable regulations to protect your seasonal, guest workers in the H-2B visa program. Because OABA’s Board and OABA-PAC Committee strongly understand the importance of a reliable and dedicated staff for your operations, we now need your help to replenish our PAC funds. These funds are specifically dedicated to support members of Congress that go out on the limb to help us fight for less regulations and the returning worker exemption.

The OABA over the past three years has spent well over $150,000 in PAC funds to keep legislators, who our DC lobbyists and members of our Government Relations Committee believes are fighting for our changes to keep the H-2B visa program workable for this industry. These OABA PAC donations help to insure that these legislators are re-elected as Senators and Representatives and continue to help our H-2B stakeholders. The entire OABA Board of Directors approves these PAC contributions each year.

Your voluntary, personal contribution will help replenish our PAC Fund and as a company that benefits from the H-2B program, we urge you to “Back the OABA PAC”Campaign and donate today.

Simply go to the OABA website at and click on the OABA PAC icon on our home page to donate now. Our OABA PAC contribution form must be completed, on-line, and use a Visa or MasterCard to make a simple, fast and easy contribution. The PAC form is a requirement of the Federal Election Committee. If you have any questions, please call 800-517-6222.

Our lobbyists in DC are working hard to protect the H-2B program from unreasonable and onerous regulation by our government and keep this program a reliable source of seasonal guest workers to save American jobs.

Funtown Pier owner will not rebuild

By | July 27, 2016

SEASIDE PARK, N.J. — Funtown Pier, the amusement park pier that was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy then subsequently destroyed in a 2013 fire, will not be rebuilt. An attorney representing the former owner said restrictions placed on the park by the borough’s zoning board would not allow the park to be profitable.

Plans for a rebuilt pier called for rides up to 300 foot in height including a Skycoaster and drop tower. The zoning board initially set the height restriction at 50 feet, then agreed to double that to 100 feet. Attorney Stephen Leone indicated that would not be enough and that with these restrictions in place, the owner, William Major was not interested in rebuilding, fearing he might never recoup his investment. Major stated that he needed six to 10 large thrill rides to justify spending an estimated $20 million on a new pier park.

Local residents expressed concerns over potential noise generated by the rides, as well as lighting displays over 100 feet. Councilwoman Nancy Koury indicated the board was unhappy that Major and his attorney never proposed any alternate plans and that they left the meeting before it was over.

Funtown Pier dates back to the late 1950s and was home to more than 40 rides including four roller coasters, a flume ride, Ferris wheel, Skycoaster and drop tower. Some of the previous rides on the pier exceeded 100 feet in height.

Premier parks acquires wild water kingdom water park near Toronto

By | July 22, 2016

Premier AttractionsLAKEWOOD, New Jersey — Premier Parks, LLC, an operator of multiple theme and waterparks across the United States, has acquired Wild Water Kingdom. The 100 acre water park and entertainment facility, which has not operated since 2014, is located in Brampton, Ontario, in the Greater Toronto Area.

Premier Parks is led by Kieran Burke, former Chairman and CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, and operates 12 theme and water parks including two resort properties with lodging, marina, and an adventure park. This portfolio also includes Wet ‘n’ Wild waterparks in Hawaii, Palm Springs, Phoenix and Houston.

“Premier Parks is excited about the opportunity to completely rebuild Wild Water Kingdom into a first class water park that Canadians can be proud to call their own,” said Kieran Burke, CEO of Premier Parks. “Design teams have been hard at work and we look forward to announcing our specific plans for the park in the very near future.”

The enormous population base of the Toronto market, lack of stand-alone waterparks, and the Canadians’ fondness for a resort experience were all contributing factors in the decision to purchase Wild Water Kingdom. Premier Parks also has familiarity with the Canadian market due to the advertising and sales efforts of its theme and waterpark resort, Darien Lake, just outside Buffalo, NY, which attracts hundreds of thousands of Canadian visitors annually.

Plans for Mark Moore memorial service still pending

By | July 20, 2016

IMG_9221-revSANTA ANA, Calif. — Uremet would like to thank all those individuals for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers we have received in regard to the passing of our beloved company President, Mark Moore.

Plans for a memorial service have not yet been arranged. The family expects to make an announcement in the next few weeks for a memorial service that will be held near the end of August. We appreciate your support at this time. An announcement will be made in a coming electronic edition of Amusement Today for all those interested in attending.

A Note from Polin Waterparks

By | July 19, 2016

KOCAELI, Turkey —

Dear All,

This note has one purpose: To deliver our endless thanks to you.

Most days, our team works on creating experiences that we hope make YOU – and your guests – smile. But, over the last few days, it was YOU working to make US smile. And, for that, we are incredibly grateful.

Your outpouring of concern and compassion regarding our safety during recent events in Turkey gave us great hope and optimism for the future – not only for our country but for the world as a whole. As a Company, we’ve always believed strongly in peace, democracy and human rights. We are thankful to report that all members of the Polin team are safe.

As we face the future, your kindhearted messages will remind us of the many wonderful people who share our vision for a future of peace and hopefulness. You give us strength to remain focused on our goal of bringing joy to people’s lives and delivering positive, happy experiences. We are so proud to have developed such a large number of strong friendships with good people in countries all over the world. We know that no matter what our different cultures or locales, we are all connected through our hopes, our beliefs for a better, peaceful world and single-minded hearts.

We remain committed to our promise of offering the best products and service to you all – our thousands of past partners, current partners and future partners all over the world – and we will be working even harder to build a better world for everyone with whatever means we have.

Again, thank you for your messages, e-mails and generous gestures of kindness . We are so grateful to have you in our world.

Kind regards,

Polin Team