February 2024

By | January 22, 2024

The FEBRUARY 2024 issue includes:

  • It’s ready, set and go in Florida for IISF Trade Show, Extravaganza
  • Knott’s Berry Farms’ Camp Snoopy gets refreshing makeover
  • San Antonio Zoo opens captivating entrance
  • Third Carnival cruise ship launches with Bolt coaster from Maurer
  • Lubbock’s Joyland Park sells final rides
  • SeaWorld San Antonio opens Aldabra tortoise habitat attraction
  • Betson Enterprises completes 80-game installation for Spare Time
  • Alabama’s 2023 Greater Gulf State Fair features six first-time rides
  • Pair of rides at Pennsylvania Farm Show turn dollars for scholars
  • PGAM purchases a spectacular thrill ride from Technical Park
  • Nerveless Nocks daredevil shows date back nearly two centuries
  • ProSlide providing four RideHouse attractions to SeaWorld Parks
  • Cincinnati’s Coney Island sold, closed; music venue forthcoming
  • The small but mighty transportable wheels of Wadkins Expo Wheel
  • Wild Adventures breaks ground on new campground
  • Focus on the Horizon: Rides 4 U’s Stephanie Magnani
  • Ride Training Camp, NWSC Seminar prepare to welcome attendees
  • AIMS International seminar celebrates three years of record growth
  • Baynum Solutions, Palace Entertainment continue partnership
  • Agreement aligns the AIMS’ industry expertise to California OSHA
  • Ellis & Associates launches new aquatics education resources
  • Designer Rick Bastrup reveals personal industry ‘Adventures’ in his new book … and much more!

Betson completes FunZone Arcade installation for Pizza Ranch Detroit Lakes

By | February 23, 2024

Betson Enterprises, the industry’s leading distributor of location-based amusement products, proudly announces the completion of a 20-piece game room installation as part of Pizza Ranch & FunZone Arcade Detroit Lakes.

Betson regional sales director Ron Hunt prepared a unique game room design & layout for the Pizza Ranch FunZone to optimize for the local market. The FunZone boasts various redemption and video arcade titles, including Carnival Wheel, ICE Ball FX, Jurassic Park Arcade, Prize Time, and Spider-Man Coin Pusher.

“Ron and the team at Betson are great to work with,” said Nick Price, Owner of Pizza Ranch Detroit Lakes. “They offer a concept-to-completion experience that allows us to create unmatched FunZone experiences.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Pizza Ranch to create another FunZone experience, said Ron Hunt. “Nick and his team are doing tremendous work creating experiences that families can enjoy.”

About Pizza Ranch FunZone Arcade
We had the vision to make Pizza Ranch not only a destination for legendary pizza and The Country’s Best Chicken but also as an entertainment destination for both kids and adults. The answer was an arcade with the latest and greatest games, as well as a prize booth.

The vision became a reality, and now people of all ages flock to Pizza Ranch to eat their favorite pizza and play their favorite games. Today, there are 35 FunZone Arcades, and that number continues to grow each year.

Embed gears up for DEAL 2024, International Women’s Day Celebration

By | February 23, 2024

DUBAI, U.A.E. — Embed, the ultimate cloud-based, cashless solutions provider for the amusement, entertainment, and leisure industries is heading back to Dubai to showcase its breakthrough innovations at DEAL from 5 to 7 March and celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day at the show. 

Home to the development of world-class themed destination parks and full-scale major events, the MENA region is using state-of-the-art tech like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) for its major upcoming projects like Six Flags Qiddiya, Kuwait Entertainment City, and more. Regionalising events and entertainment like FIFA World Cup and music festivals broadens the tourist interest in the region and diversifies MENA’s resources to more than just the oil sectors.

“Exciting things are happening in Dubai, where entertainment is a major contributor to the Middle East’s GDP, and we’re happy to be a part of the MENA region’s thriving entertainment sector growth,” says Renee Welsh, CEO at Embed. “Virtual platforms, Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, and cashless technology have now become interactive for maximum audience engagement, more than just entertainment channels. This is why we’re in a competitive position to convert FECs in the region to go fully cashless to reap the benefits like guest personalisation, data analytics, rich data collection, revenue-boosting generators, and lower costs.”

Embed is set to exhibit the latest breakthrough innovations at DEAL, including its SaaS solutions like the award-winning Mobile Wallet and STATS. Embed’s Mobile Wallet 2022-2023 metric results from its customers show a whopping 5x increase in average reload value (around AED 185.74) compared to cash (around AED 36.36) and credit card (around AED 117.35), with 60% of reloads happening before guests arrive at the FEC. Last year, the Mobile Wallet enabled Majid Al Futtaim’s Magic Planet to win the Most Innovative Application of Technology at the 2023 MENALAC Awards.

With STATS, the business intelligence dashboard powered by Amazon Web Services, operators have real-time visibility to their FEC data like game performance, revenue prediction based on retro data, inventory, and even manpower allocation.

The smarter, faster, and supercharged smartTOUCH+ will also make its way to the Middle East, with its supercharged 512 MB DDR3 RAM; faster 528 Mhz processing power; supersized 4 GB storage; super signal at 23 dBm; and data transmission at 2.4 and 5 Ghz. “It’s everything our customers love about our current smartTOUCH™ and more,” says Saeed Abdillahi, EMEA Sales Manager at Embed.

International Women’s Day Celebration at DEAL
“At Embed, we believe in the value of diversity in our talent pool. We have a shared commitment to gender parity at all levels of the organisation because we believe in the boundless intellectual, leadership, cultural, and commercial strength that results from harnessing and realising the talent capital of gender and cultural equality. We take great pride in not only being gender-equal but putting an end to gender inequality in our tech sector,” says Welsh.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that Embed is 100% aligned with the United Nations 2024 International Women’s Day platform theme: ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.’ At Embed, we’re already there! At Embed you should ‘Expect HER in Tech!’” says Sara Paz, CMO at Embed. “A 2023 McKinsey study shows that companies with significant female representation at the top earn up to 50% higher profits and stock performance! Women@Embed are never spectators – they’re equal part of leading the high-performing teams transforming the industry of fun.” 

To honour the amazing contributions and achievements of women in the industry, Embed will be giving away exclusive Women@Embed pins during DEAL – celebrating International Women’s Day with the same gusto from previous years

Catch the Embed team and the roster of integrated hardware and software solutions such as the KIOSK+, TOOLKIT suite, and a showcase of game cards and wearable media at DEAL from 5 to 7 March 2024.

Make a splash this spring break at Sea Life Park Hawaiʻi

By | February 23, 2024

WAIMĀNALO — Local residents and visitors are invited to take advantage of exciting opportunities at Sea Life Park Hawaiʻi this spring break. From unforgettable animal experiences to educational presentations to mermaid makeovers—there is something for everyone! Recently ranked as one of the most beautiful aquariums in the U.S. and home to a Travelers’ Choice lūʻau*, Sea Life Park also just launched its “Year of the Honu” celebration commemorating 50 years of its Honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle) Conservation Program. Spring break is the perfect time to check out all that’s in full bloom, including:

Easter Shell-ebration
Hop on over to Sea Life Park on March 24 and get an early start on Easter fun with a dynamic day of learning and exploring! First stop is a beach cleanup directly across from the park, conducted with environmental nonprofit 808 Cleanups and immediately followed by the release of Hawaiian green sea turtles from the park’s Honu Conservation Program into the ocean! Then bounce back to the park for an Easter-themed Keiki Day, complete with scavenger hunts throughout the park for eggs-cellent prizes, activities with local vendors, face painting stations, photo ops with the Easter Bunny, mermaid sightings and more!  Plus, on this special Keiki Day, up to two children get free admission to the park for every paid adult admission. 

In an extra perk for those that can lend a hand in keeping  coastlines free from marine debris, the first 100 cleanup volunteers to pre-register/sign a waiver at 808cleanups.org/calendar or via the 808 Cleanups App at 808cleanups.org/app can get free park admission for the day. Members of the Sea Life Park team will be beachside to help in the collective cleanup effort and provide qualifying volunteers that wish to experience the fun at the park afterwards with passes for free access. 

  • 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Beach Cleanup across from Sea Life Park; 10 a.m. Honu Release.
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Keiki Day with Easter Fun back at Sea Life Park! 

Celebrating National ASL Day
Sea Life Park Hawaiʻi will host a celebration of National ASL (American Sign Language) Day on April 15, conducted in partnership with Comprehensive Service Center—an organization offering programs to support Deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind individuals, as well as their families. The event will feature interpreted programming throughout the park grounds and an ASL Story Time. Attendees who are Deaf or hard of hearing receive free park admission, and their family members can enjoy special Kamaʻāina (Hawaiʻi resident) pricing. Festivities run from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

JW Winco: Securely fastened loads

By | February 22, 2024

A crane, rope, or chain may be required when something needs lifting – plus anchoring points on the load. JW Winco offers a wide range of solutions to fasten the load securely.

The classic and simplest lifting points are lifting eye bolts, when a female threaded hole is present the DIN 580, lifting bolt is used, when a male threaded stud is present a female DIN 582 is used. JW Winco offers these standard parts in steel and stainless steel.

However, a look at the JW Winco portfolio reveals far better and stronger lifting points that are optimized for specific materials and – most important – easier to handle. In particular, the integrated RFID tags are worth mentioning as a special highlight. These make it possible to clearly identify specific lifting points during wear and safety inspections and manage them digitally and without system interruption.

Such RFID tags can be found in the lifting eye bolt GN 581 and the lifting eye nut GN 583, which can rotate around their vertical axis even after installation. These options also identify load rings
GN 586.1, although the lifting eye can be folded down. And thanks to the eye ring with ball bearing, load rings GN 5860 are fully rotatable even under load.

Load rings GN 587.1 are not screwed in but welded on. This load ring is also suitable for outdoor applications since the design of the weld-on block permits a closed seam that is safe from corrosion. The ring can swivel 180 degrees, and an optionally integrated spring can secure it in any position.

The lifting point GN 589 for welding can accept loads from any direction and impresses with its minimal height. This is an essential feature when the maximum hook height of the lifting equipment is limited.

A practical alternative to threaded or welded solutions is the mounting bolt solution, predestined, for example, for devices or tools that change position frequently and quickly. GN 1130 operates according to the lifting pin principle with axial locking and a release button.

The new threaded lifting pin GN 1133 eliminates the time-consuming process of screwing into and out of the thread on the load. Rather than balls, this part uses threaded segments that are retracted and extended at the push of a button to create a positive connection. The integrated shackle, which rotates 180 degrees, connects to the lifting gear.

Speaking of shackles, you can also find those in the JW Winco product range. The shackles GN 585 are based on the US standard RR-C-271 and feature a significantly higher load capacity than the DIN version.

When it comes to lifting points, JW Winco always has an eye on the details – making the parts even simpler and more efficient to use.

Kings Island: first piece of new coaster’s track installed!

By | February 22, 2024

Kings Island is having a busy offseason as the amusement park continues to make progress on the construction of its new Camp Snoopy. Included in the area will be the new family roller coaster, Snoopy’s Soap Box Racers. And, today the park is sharing images of the first piece of track being installed. Kings Island reports construction is going well. The park opens for the season in April, and Camp Snoopy will open in late spring.

Chuck E. Cheese to give away 50 million e-tickets

By | February 22, 2024

IRVING, Texas — Chuck E. Cheese, the No. 1 global family entertainment fun center, is celebrating a thrilling new makeover to make its locations even more fun for today’s kids with its 50 Million E-Ticket Giveaway, which will give 1,000 lucky kids across the U.S. and Canada 50,000 e-tickets for a dream-come-true prize wall spending spree.

The average kid would have to visit Chuck E. Cheese every week for two years — the equivalent of over 100 hours of gameplay — to win 50,000 e-tickets. With 50,000 e-tickets, a kid can take home tons of awesome prizes from the iconic prize wall, including jumbo plushies, tabletop board and arcade games, playsets, branded merchandise and much more. Now through March 3, families can enter the giveaway at chuckecheese.com by submitting their preferred local store, email address and phone number — no purchase necessary.

The Chuck E. Cheese 50 Million E-Ticket Giveaway celebrates the brand’s most significant transformation yet, with a more than $300 million investment to enhance Chuck E. Cheese fun centers across North America, as well as the brand’s extension outside of its restaurants. This new era for America’s favorite family entertainment will also be supported with a multi-million-dollar publicity and advertising campaign developed for the latest generation of families and kids.

The brand transformation not only modernizes the facilities and aesthetics but also includes significant improvements to the Chuck E. Cheese experience, including:

  • New entertainment in and out of the fun centers, including large-format video walls and screens with audio connected throughout the fun center, interactive dance floors for a more immersive experience, and over 5,000 screens in U.S. and Canada locations playing original, family-friendly content.
  • Over 12,300 new games shipped to upgrade the games experience for more fun at more locations.
  • New technology to fit the needs of families and children today, such as play pass cards and play bands instead of tokens, touchless payment, self-service kiosks, QR code-enabled tableside ordering, large-format video walls and more.
  • 100 new Trampoline Zones that offer kids a dedicated, worry-free space to bounce and play with friends, now available at select fun centers, with more opening each week.
  • New birthday party packages and the all-new Chuck E. Live birthday show in three languages, including ASL.
  • New menu, including Buddy V’s cakes and a Grown-Up Menu with new options catering to millions of bold-flavor seekers to satisfy family palates that crave tastes beyond pizza.
  • New prizes and merchandise that include Chuck E. Cheese and friends character plushies plus the first-ever Pasqually’s plush, gifts and crafts to award for good behavior throughout the year, school supplies, toys, musical instruments, outdoor apparel, and fidget and sensory toys.

“We’ve spent $300 million to completely refresh the Chuck E. Cheese experience,” noted Executive Vice President Mark Kupferman. “Our Fun Centers look amazing, and guests tell us they love the new games, the new entertainment and all the other new features. Now it’s time to celebrate! The 50 Million E-Ticket Giveaway is just the beginning. We have a lot planned for 2024. This year, every kid will be a winner at Chuck E. Cheese.”

Super Nintendo World-themed Spirit Airlines aircraft in the skies today!

By | February 22, 2024

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Universal Studios Hollywood and Spirit Airlines have joined forces to launch the first-ever Airbus A320neo featuring a SUPER NINTENDO WORLD aircraft wrap. The flight takes to the skies today from Detroit (DTW) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), and the specially-themed aircraft will continue flying to destinations through May 2024.

The plane featuring the special-edition livery belongs to one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the industry. Travelers can experience Spirit’s affordable nonstop flights from 20 U.S. cities to Los Angeles (LAX) enroute to Universal Studios Hollywood and SUPER NINTENDO WORLD. Flight bookings on the specially-themed aircraft are based on the plane’s flying schedule.

Spirit Airlines travels to more than 80 destinations and 15 countries in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, inviting guests to enjoy the latest interior designs featuring wider seats, extra cushions and more usable legroom for an enhanced experience in style and comfort.

As Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates the one-year anniversary of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, guests can find new ways to level up, including the debut a commemorative, special-release Golden Power-Up Band and a complimentary 1-Year Anniversary Button, while supplies last. Guests can also enjoy the all-new Power Up Cafe, serving Super Mario Power-Up themed menu items.

First time visitors and returning guests to the land will be swept up into the 360-degree world of Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach where they become an integral part of their exhilarating world. From the moment guests pass through the iconic green pipe, a journey filled with exploration, discovery and play awaits that is unlike anything they have ever experienced. Their journey begins as they enter Peach’s Castle before venturing further into the colorful Mushroom Kingdom.

SUPER NINTENDO WORLD is a visually spectacular land, located within an expanded area of Universal Studios Hollywood, filled with the vibrancy of colors and architectural ingenuity. The land features the groundbreaking “Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge” ride, as well as many thrilling and interactive activities to engage the entire family within the captivating Mushroom Kingdom.

Along with themed dining at Toadstool Cafe™ and shopping at the 1-UP Factory retail store, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD is an inspiring, game-changing addition to the world-famous theme park.

LA ProPoint promotes several industry execs

By | February 21, 2024

SUN VALLEY, Calif. — LA ProPoint, the leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of theatrical and theme park systems, has promoted several of its key execs to even more prominent leadership positions.

Susie Pucelli has been promoted to Vice President of Projects. Starting with LA ProPoint in 2015 as a Project Manager, Pucelli now leads the management team on all projects. She has 20 years of project management experience in the theme park and oil refinery industries, where she managed projects for facility, show action equipment, and show sets. She has a unique ability to manage multiple disciplines within a project, including engineers, artists, fabricators, and contractors. Her past experience includes working as a facility project engineer for Universal Studios Japan, MICE Creative and Scenario Design, and the Atlantic Richfield Los Angeles refinery. Pucelli earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from California State Long Beach.

John Torres has been promoted to Vice President of Design and Engineering. He began as the Manager of the Design Department for LA ProPoint in 2017. Torres has over 30 years of engineering and management experience, including roles at Walt Disney Imagineering as a project engineer on Shanghai Disneyland and for Universal Studios Japan. Torres is a licensed Professional Engineer and earned a mechanical engineering degree from San Diego State University.

Oscar Arevalo has been promoted to Senior Project Manager. He started with LA ProPoint in 2017 as an installation supervisor, and now manages a diverse set of projects. Arevalo earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Cal Arts School of Theatre; he also is teaching Fundamentals of Technical Direction at Cal Poly Pomona and helping LA Mission College with their current season.

“We are thrilled to promote these exceptional individuals to further leadership positions at LA ProPoint,” said Jim Hartman, managing partner and vice president of LA ProPoint. “From our management team to project employees, it is the perseverance, courage to innovate, and dedication to customer service that have differentiated our success for over 20 years.”

LA ProPoint was founded in 2002 out of the back of LA ProPoint President Mark Riddlesperger’s pick-up truck. After surviving economic downturns and even a global pandemic, LA ProPoint now boasts 50 employees working in a 30,000 square foot building. The company has worked on numerous high-profile projects for some of the biggest companies in themed entertainment and general contracting.

Luxurious new Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa to welcome guests this spring

By | February 21, 2024

JACKSON, N.J. ─  Six Flags Great Adventure Resort is thrilled to announce the grand opening of Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa, welcoming guests beginning June 14. Reservations are now being accepted for the new luxury glamping experience nestled in the heart of the 350-acre Six Flags Wild Safari, home to over 1,200 animals. The exclusive resort promises an unforgettable, first-class experience for those seeking an indulgent retreat.

Guests will be immersed in a one-of-a-kind resort destination where every detail has been meticulously crafted to create a haven of serenity and adventure. From the moment guests arrive, they will be greeted with warm hospitality and personalized care, with no detail overlooked.

Key Features of the Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa:

  1. Luxurious accommodations: The resort offers 20 glamping suites that vary in size, sleeping two to six guests. Each suite is thoughtfully designed to provide the utmost comfort and style with world-class amenities.
  2. Unmatched views and VIP experiences: During their stay, guests can choose their own adventure. Whether relaxing with sweeping views from their suite, participating in close-up animal encounters or exploring the local watering holes of the Six Flags Great Adventure theme park or Hurricane Harbor water park, guests will have opportunities to create memories to last a lifetime.
  3. Included benefits: With a two-night minimum stay, guests will enjoy a giraffe feeding, daily breakfast, multi-park passes giving access to all 3 Six Flags Great Adventure Resort parks, and more.
  4. VIP dining: Guests will embark on an indulgent culinary journey with featured items curated to enhance the glamping experience.
  5. Spa services: Guests can rejuvenate their senses at the Savannah Sunset Spa which features holistic treatments with expert therapists to promote relaxation and wellness.
  6. Event spaces: Ideal for small gatherings from weddings to corporate retreats, Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa offers a versatile event space with stunning views and top-notch service to make every celebration unforgettable.

“We are excited to welcome guests this spring to the Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa, where opulence meets the open savannah in the heart of New Jersey,” said Park President Brian Bacica. “Our team is planning every detail to create a luxury experience welcoming guests to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of our resort. Whether you seek relaxation, a family adventure, or a romantic getaway, Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa promises to exceed your expectations.” 

Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa is part of one of the largest investments at Six Flags Great Adventure Resort in nearly two decades. In celebration of the destination’s 50-year history, Six Flags Great Adventure Resort is also debuting its 15th roller coaster this summer. THE FLASH: Vertical Velocity, the first coaster of its kind in North America, joins the highly-anticipated return of the Safari Off Road Adventure, and modern updates to the nostalgic Log Flume and Big Wheel rides. In addition, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor will open Splash Island, a new family-centric area giving guests of all ages an opportunity for some interactive fun in the sun.

Visit https://www.sixflags.com/savannahsunset to reserve your spot for this one-of-kind luxurious safari overnight experience right here in the United States. 

Six Flags Over Texas announces a new family Ride, a returning favorite and the retheming of a classic attraction

By | February 20, 2024

ARLINGTON, Texas — Six Flags Over Texas, the Thrill Capital of Texas, today announced new park enhancements for the 2024 season. One new ride, Sylvester and Tweety Pounce and Bounce, and one returning ride, Daffy Duck Bucket Blasters, will be coming to the Bugs Bunny Boomtown section of the park Memorial Day weekend. A retheming of the classic Chaparral Antique Cars into Dino Off Road Adventure will follow later in the summer.

Additional park enhancements include new theming elements in the queues for BATMAN: The Ride and MR. FREEZE , and the building of a permanent structure for the Boomtown Bar.

“For 63 years, generations of guests have come to the park to have fun and experience thrills with their families,” says Park President Richard Douaihy. “We’re so pleased that these new attractions will offer our guests the opportunity to make even more memories with the people who matter most.”

The new attractions include:

  • Sylvester and Tweety Pounce and Bounce is a family drop tower that lifts riders 41 feet in the air before beginning a sequence of downward pounces and upward bounces;
  • Daffy Duck Bucket Blasters is a spinning ride that features water blasters on its bucket-shaped guest compartments so riders can spray each other while the ride is in motion. It is returning to the park after a three-year absence. The ride was removed in 2021 during the construction of AQUAMAN: Power Wave and is now making its triumphant return;
  • Dino Off Road Adventure will revamp the second-oldest attraction in the park with new cars, a redecorated queue, and 13 dinosaur animatronics along the ride’s route.