June 2023

By | May 30, 2023

The June 2023 issue includes:

  • Dollywood’s Big Bear Mountain roars to life
  • Intamin delivers iconic Toutatis to Parc Astérix
  • Fresno’s Playland Amusement Park set to reopen
  • Hershey’s Great Candy Expedition opens
  • IRM tapped by Joyland Park to find homes for rides
  • Europa-Park and Mack Rides announce huge expansion
  • Interactive gaming relaunched on The Wheel at Icon Park
  • Five Star Parks acquires Scene75, Fun Land FECs
  • Pima County Fair recap
  • Fiesta Texas expands water park, rebranded as Hurricane Harbor
  • Great Wolf Lodge continues commitment to inclusion
  • Embed’s Mobile Wallet proves successful
  • Ellis & Associates celebrates 40 years in industry
  • Amusement Today opens nominations for industry Golden Ticket categories
  • Focus on the Horizon: L3DFX’s Jess Thuer, EIT
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain to run on solar
  • Kings Dominion’s Grizzly comes back with a roar
  • AIMS International welcomes new Executive Director Amy Lowenstein
  • Amuse, Gravity Group keep multiple woodies in top shape
  • IAFE helps members prepare for season focusing on safety … and much more!

Betson Enterprises to showcase top products at the 2023 International Bowl Expo

By | June 8, 2023

Betson Enterprises is excited to announce its participation in the upcoming 2023 International Bowl Expo in Orlando, FL, on June 28th and 29th. As a leading provider of arcade entertainment solutions, Betson will be showcasing the latest releases from Raw Thrills at booths #821 and #833.

Attendees can expect a thrilling display of cutting-edge games, including Fast & Furious Arcade, Halo: Fireteam Raven (4-Player), and MotoGP VR. These innovative offerings are designed to captivate players and deliver an unforgettable gaming experience.

“Bowl Expo is an excellent platform for engaging in discussions about the impressive returns on investment for integrating game rooms into bowling facilities while showcasing the latest arcade releases,” Bob Dipipi, Vice President of Sales & Purchasing at Betson Enterprises.

Fast & Furious Arcade

Fast & Furious Arcade is Raw Thrills’ most breathtaking, immersive driving game ever! The top-earning attraction boasts dual 65-inch UHD monitors, a Thrill-D motion platform, a sparkling, LED-bejeweled cockpit, six globetrotting tracks, eight licensed supercars, killer five-channel audio, QR code player stat tracking, and the ability to link up to eight cabinets in four wild colors.

Halo: Fireteam Raven – 4-Player
Explore the legendary Halo universe and join the fabled Master Chief in battle with an all-new, stand-up four-player edition of the arcade phenomenon Halo: Fireteam Raven! This state-of-the-art version of Halo: Fireteam Raven wields a cutting-edge 85-inch screen, four guns modeled after the iconic Halo Assault Rifle with action-packed force feedback, and a smaller footprint, location-friendly cabinet design.

The smash-hit MotoGP triumphantly returns to the arcade with a new full-tilt, full-throttle thrill ride! Remastered for an ultra-realistic, 360° VR experience, MotoGP VR features an authentic MotoGP motorcycle available in four colors, ten updated international circuits, 12 remodeled bikes and superstar riders like Fabio Quartararo, attractive LED lighting, a mounted wind simulator, and the option to link up to eight cabinets for competitive multiplayer races. A 43-inch display allows the game to be played with or without the powerful HP Reverb G2 VR Headset.

The final production versions of Halo: Fireteam Raven (4-Player) and MotoGP VR will be on display for the first time ever at the event, with both new games shipping to locations worldwide now.

The knowledgeable Betson sales team will be available at booths #821 and #833 to answer questions and guide gameplay. Additionally, Betson’s financial services team will be present to discuss the latest finance specials and address any leasing or financing options inquiries.

Bowl Expo is the bowling industry’s premier annual convention and trade show featuring exhibits with various products and services. The convention includes numerous interactive seminars and “how to” workshops, educating proprietors on the latest tools and technology to improve their profit margins.

Mini pinball game for kids: part vending, part pinball, complete attraction!

By | June 8, 2023

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Brand Vending Products LLC, a leader and pioneer in toys and vending supplies for nearly 30 years, is proud to announce an exciting new experience in toy vending. The SqwishLand Flipper Machine, part pinball, part vending machine, and part game of chance! Every play on the Flipper guarantees an award-winning SqwishLand Toy! What sets this machine apart is users can test their skill for a FREE additional SqwishLand Prize!

SqwishLand has been the #1 Best-Selling 1” vending toy for the last 12 years! This is the first time SqwishLand has licensed a Pinball Machine specifically designed to dispense and vend SqwishLand toys. Wrapped in head-to-toe ocean blue SqwishLand Sea branding it stands prominently bringing kids & adults together from across the room. It’s equipped with a 10” audio/video screen and bright LED’s that loop engaging video content and alluring audio that can be used for the location as an additional ad monitor!

Every SqwishLand Flipper Machine holds 1,000 Toy capsules and can be set for $.50 or $1.00 plays. Additional capsules are available for purchase from Brand Vending Products, Amazon, or other vending retailers at around $0.11 per toy capsule.

This machine creates an amazing attraction and experience to any location it is placed including helping draw attention to existing claw machines and other vending machines. The SqwishLand Flipper has such a small footprint (25” x 17” x 54”) it can fit almost anywhere while standing at the perfect height for kids.

Brand Vending Products is now shipping out the first batch of SqwishLand Flipper’s with an MSRP of $1,199

A December to remember: Motiongate increase rider throughput with 30% using MobaroAuto Draft

By | June 7, 2023

Last December, Motiongate Dubai challenged their ride operations team for an experiment. The goal was to see just how much they could out-perform the results from the previous year and establish a new way of tweaking performance.

After having successfully implemented Mobaro including RideOps during the 2021 season, the road was open to utilize the platform for monitoring and adjusting their ride operations.

  • We decided  to raise the bar in ridership throughput and with the help of RideOps, the result was quite remarkable, says the team at Motiongate Dubai.

Dispatch time vs speed breakers
To achieve a representative data foundation, the rides and attractions team set up ideal dispatch times for each ride to accurately compare with the live ride data collected in RideOps.

To optimize the throughput, the rides and attractions team identified a number of speed breakers or bottlenecks, i.e. anything that would slow down the throughput for each ride. 

When the groundwork was set up, the ride operations leadership team would monitor performance from RideOps on an hourly basis. If dispatch times on a specific ride were higher than expected, it would trigger a follow-up from team leaders to adjust and remedy.

30% increase and zero guest complaints
After having run the setup through one month, the results showed that the extra effort had enabled the teams to out-perform themselves with 30% compared to the same period the previous year.

  • We will definitely be integrating this approach as it evidently enables us to both track, analyse, and act continuously. The results speak for themselves, says the rides and attractions Leadership team at Motiongate Dubai.

On top of the performance increase, they noted that during the same period, the overall guest satisfaction scores exceeded targets.

Free event at Luna Park In Coney Island celebrating historic expansion and 120 year anniversary

By | June 7, 2023

Luna Park in Coney Island is celebrating their historic expansion and 120-year anniversary with a fun-filled event on Wednesday, June 7th at 6:00 PM. Commemorating 120 years since the original inception of Luna Park in Coney Island in 1903, Luna Park is hosting a community-wide celebration featuring a can’t miss night of new attractions, carnival-style entertainment, music and special treats.

For over a century, Luna Park has been a part of the iconography of amusement parks and a vital part of reinvigorating the local Brooklyn community. Today, Luna Park honors its rich heritage of being the most influential park in the world with its newest additions including Tony’s Express roller coaster, Leti’s Treasure log flume, and the Sky Chaser and Sky Tykes Ropes Courses – four innovative attractions unlike any other that pay homage to the history of the Coney Island amusement district. 

In addition to its new attractions, Luna Park is celebrating the countless memories and joyous moments it has brought visitors for generations. From the iconic Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster, which has been thrilling daredevils since 1927 to introducing The Thunderbolt, NYC’s first major steel rollercoaster in 2014, Luna Park has introduced an array of exciting attractions and new locations for all to enjoy, seamlessly blending the charm of the past with the thrill of the future. Admission to Luna Park’s historic expansion celebration is free, with ride prices starting at just $3

Fun Spot America theme parks turning 25

By | June 7, 2023

ORLANDO — Summer birthdays mean HUGE fun for Fun Spot America Theme Parks. In honor of its 25th year providing safe, clean, fun, Fun Spot has announced a special birthday gift for all of its guests. This Saturday, June 10, Fun Spot is holding its best sale of the year with Single Day Passes for just $25 + tax each!

“This year’s birthday sale is a special gift to our guests who love to visit our parks in Orlando, Kissimmee, and Atlanta,” said John Arie Jr., CEO, Fun Spot America Theme Parks. “Our hope is our guests will share in our celebration and purchase Single Day Passes for their friends and family. Fun Spot passes are the perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, and even for visiting out-of-town guests. The gift of Fun Spot is HUGE!”

The Fun Spot Birthday Sale will start online at 12 a.m. Saturday, June 10, and end at 2 p.m. EST.  Single Day Passes for all three Fun Spot parks will be just $25 each plus tax, and guests may purchase up to 10 tickets per transaction. All Single Day Passes sold during the sale will be valid through June 9, 2024. In addition, Fun Spot is adding icing to the Birthday (Cake) Sale, and purchasers will receive a bonus of two (2) free tickets with every purchase of ten (10) Single Day Passes.

“There are more reasons than ever to spend a summer day with Fun Spot,” Arie continued. “With the opening of the incredible ArieForce One coaster this year, now is the perfect time to revisit our Atlanta park or even plan a road trip to Georgia. Our Florida parks also have something new. The Kissimmee park will soon reopen Mine Blower, and the new Firecracker attraction is now open in Orlando.”

Fun Spot America Theme Parks Birthday Sale Tickets can be purchased in two ways:

  • Online starting at 12 a.m. on Saturday, June 10. Guests can sign up for reminder emails here: https://fun-spot.com/save_the_date/
  • At all three Fun Spot America theme parks when each park opens on Saturday, June 10 at 10 a.m. EST.

Hawaiian Falls to host special needs families June 20th

By | June 6, 2023

ROANOKE, Texas — Being able to go to a waterpark isn’t simple for some special needs individuals. Some are overwhelmed by all the usual stimuli. Others may just feel out of place. For the past 10 years Hawaiian Falls has hosted special Champion Days to offer Special Needs individuals and their families a unique waterpark experience. Hawaiian Falls is partnering with Special Olympics to help spread the word about Champions Day in the Special Needs community. 

Hawaiian Falls is welcoming champions (individuals with special needs) and their immediate family members or caregivers to a morning of fun with special accommodations. The park will open early and exclusively to champions and their families. 

“This is one of our favorite days of the year,” said Hawaiian Falls Marketing Director Ron Mckenzie. “The pure joy on our special guests’ faces is priceless. We often meet guests who are experiencing a waterpark for the first time. Their excitement is amazing! Time and time again families tell us how important this special day is to their family.”

This event will start at 9 a.m. on June 20th and will be managed sensitively to accommodate special needs individuals. Hawaiian Falls will turn down the music, add more staff to assist families, and remind staff to be thoughtful about using their whistles. The park will open to season pass holders at 10 a.m. and to the public at 10:30 a.m. A second Champions Day is planned for July 22nd.

Champions are welcome to stay all day at no additional cost or are free to leave whenever they choose. Tickets for champions will be free and family members will have a reduced cost of $10 per ticket, with a limit of four family members or caregivers per champion.

Wild Rivers Waterpark cranks the volume up to 11 after dark

By | June 6, 2023

IRVINE, Calif. — Wild Rivers Waterpark, California’s newest waterpark in Irvine’s Great Park, will be rockin’, rollin’, and waterslidin’ the night away with a hot lineup of local favorite bands and DJ, with 10 events to keep things pumped up after dark. The music begins Wednesday, June 14th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“There’s something magical about Southern California summers, and we want to extend the sun-kissed fun with summer-long entertainment under the stars on these warmer Wild Rivers nights,” said Kevin Kopeny, General Manager of Wild Rivers. “Music makes us move, and at Wild Rivers, our thrill-seeking guests are always moving; they’re twisting, turning, splashing and plunging their way to an amazing park experience, enhanced with their favorite hits .”

There are two sets of entertainment nights.

Wild Rivers will rock Wednesday nights with local bands playing 80s rock, pop and dance classics and current favorites from June 14th through July 19th.  The fun is included for all passholders and daily park admission. Diamond pass holders will have a special VIP area.

Here is the lineup, which is subject to change:

  • June 14  Hiatus (Top 40 & Rockin’ Dance Music)
  • June 21  80’s All-Stars (Smash hits from the 1980s)
  • June 28  RIDE THE TIDE (California Surf & Beach Sounds)
  • July 5 Hiatus (Top 40 & Rockin’ Dance Music)
  • July 12 The Mighty Tornadoes! (Eagles / Tom Petty / Doobie Brothers / Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  • July 19  80’s All-Stars (Smash hits from the 1980s)

In addition to our band nights, Wild Rivers is excited to announce special after-hours Friday Splash Night sessions featuring Christina LaRocca, also known as DJ L Rock the Party.  This local favorite adds a little EDM into the mix, as she spins the best of house, hip-hop, and pop from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  These events will run every other Friday, starting June 16th and ending July 28th.    

Tickets for the Splash Nights are $40 for all guests. Diamond pass holders can attend the events for free. 

“The Diamond pass already offered great value beyond unlimited entry and early day access, like deeper discounts on food, beverages, and cabanas. Now they will have access to the summer entertainment,” Kopeny added.

Excitement on the spot: Maurer Rides tests the Spike Fun at Skyline Park

By | June 6, 2023

SKYLINE PARK, Germany — Maurer Rides’ team was thrilled when they got the unique opportunity to try out the Spike Fun prototype at Skyline Park. As part of an exclusive test run, employees were able to experience Maurer Rides’ all-new product first-hand and record their impressions.

The Spike Fun, the world’s first roller coaster with 45° rearward tilting seats, was put through its paces. The test riders had the opportunity to experience the new ride with the seat’s innovative tilting function and assume various positions during the ride.

Everyone was impressed by the versatility and new riding experience offered by Spike Fun; especially the wheelie effect during acceleration – and in both forward and reverse directions. During the wheelie, the seat tilts back surprisingly during the launch and thus enhances the acceleration sensation immensely. Additionally, the jump over the Camelback triggered great enthusiasm. In the course of the jump, the seat tilt compensates for the respective slope of the Camelback, so that the seat remains horizontally aligned during the descent. The passenger thus feels as if he or she is jumping over the crest, and the rail is no longer visible to them.

The testers made intensive use of the option to interactively adjust the seat position. With this innovation every ride felt differently and there are no limits to experimentation. Of course, the adjustment of the seat tilt can also be program-controlled, allowing passengers to enjoy a ride that has been perfectly tailored to enhance the experience of every second of the ride.

The test run at Skyline Park was a first opportunity to explore the potential of the Spike Fun prototype while immersing ourselves in an invaluable learning experience. These findings will fuel the ongoing evolution and optimization of the product, so that new features will reach their full potential and ensure an unparalleled ride experience.

American Coaster Enthusiasts announce 4th annual celebration of World Roller Coaster Appreciation Month

By | June 6, 2023

A month-long event all about how roller coasters contribute to our lives American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE), the world’s largest club of amusement ride enthusiasts, will kick off the third annual, month-long event celebrating roller coasters. World Roller Coaster Appreciation Month (June), recently selected for inclusion in Chase’s Calendar of Events, will highlight the engineering, architecture, history, entertainment and marvels of roller coasters. Events include the following:

  • Engineering and physics days hosted at participating amusement parks
  • Special activities during  Coaster Con, ACE’s 45th annual convention
  • World’s Largest Ride on June 16th — a celebration of the first coaster operating in the United States, LaMarcus Thompson’s Switchback Railway at Coney Island in New York, which opened on June 16, 1884.  

The month-long celebration will promote roller coasters and roller coaster riding as a family-fun hobby that fits in with a healthy lifestyle and is a fun expression of engineering innovations. In partnership with the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives (NRCMA), ACE will also offer educational features on the history of roller coasters.

Additional celebration activities include the following:

  • Roller coaster history displays available in public buildings
  • Speakers available for virtual or in-person presentations on a variety of topics related to roller coasters
  • Coaster Con 45 (June 18-23 at Dollywood Parks and Resorts and Carowinds)
  • Coaster enthusiast events across the country, such as Roller Coaster Rodeo 
  • Family-friendly hands-on craft activities at parks
  • Speakers and volunteers at education days  

“From ACE’s annual celebration, Coaster Con, to the world’s largest ride and all the festivities both online and in-person throughout the month, World Roller Coaster Appreciation Month allows everyone who loves roller coasters to savor some extra fun from their hobby,” said ACE President Elizabeth Ringas.

“Roller coasters and amusement parks are at the heart of family vacations and the special memories we all have,” said NRCMA Board Member Pete Owens. “Celebrating the roller coaster is like reliving all of those childhood and parenthood memories.”

By creating Roller Coaster Awareness Month, ACE is hoping to share the joy of riding roller coasters with people around the world. To learn more about the event or to launch your own celebrations, log on to ridewithace.com

Intercard brings the latest trends in cashless technology to IAAPA Expo Asia June 14-16, 2023

By | June 6, 2023

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — From June 14-16 in Singapore, the IAAPA Expo Asia will be held for the first time since 2019. Intercard’s team of Scott Sherrod, Alberto Borrero and Asia-Pacific sales manager Jerry Heinz will be in booth #L221 at the Marina Bay Sands resort.

Visit Intercard to learn about the many great innovations in cashless technology that the company has made in the last four years. These include the sales-boosting E-commerce platform for entertainment centers. This software enables guests to buy services online and redeem them at a kiosk with a printed QR code, eliminating a trip to the center’s front desk to check in.

Intercard will also introduce to Asia the iTeller PlusXL, the latest addition to its best-selling line of rugged, durable kiosks for FECs and route operations. It’s the most advanced kiosk in its class, with a 32-inch touch screen monitor, reporting flexibility, reward options and new upselling features with unlimited combinations to increase guest spending.

Be sure to test drive the new iTeller PlusXL kiosk and enter a drawing to win a $500 credit on your next order! See an Intercard rep at booth #L221 for details.

Find out find out why leading attractions in Australia, India, China and Vietnam rely on Intercard for innovative and dependable payment technology that boosts revenues and improves customer service.

With over 70,000 square feet of trade show floor, and unforgettable special events, IAAPA Expo Asia is your destination for cutting-edge technology and innovative business practices that set your business up for the future.