February 2023

By | January 30, 2023

The February 2023 issue includes:

  • 2023 IISF Trade Show preview
  • Australia’s Sea World unveils Leviathan
  • Hersheypark, RMC partner on new-for-2023 Wildcat’s Revenge
  • Funtown-Splashtown, Sally partner for Haunted Hotel
  • Palace Playland, Preston & Barbieri jumping into 2023 
  • Wisdom Rides introduces multi-national company: Noble Rides, LLC
  • Altitude Park is bouncing into new Arizona location
  • 2022 State Fair of Louisiana attendance dips
  • Western Fairs Association announces HOF, Barham recipients
  • Two iconic slides from ProSlide highlight Warner Beach expansion
  • Farm tourism businesses adding entertainment, amusement rides
  • Nichols retires after more than 40 years in the industry
  • Silver Dollar City investing in employee housing by Holtz Builders
  • Great Coasters completes wooden coaster rehab at Arnolds Park
  • Baynum Solutions working on multiple industry coastal projects
  • Universal announces attractions for Las Vegas and Texas … and much more!

Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild now hiring more than 2,000 team members for the 2023 season

By | January 27, 2023

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild — are now accepting applications to fill more than 2,000 positions available for the upcoming season. The parks are gearing up for their most exciting season yet, highlighted by the debut of the out-of-this-world ride, Spinvasion at Kennywood.

Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild & SoakZone offer their employees competitive wages, growth opportunities, and flexible schedules. All team members also receive several great perks including free admission to the parks, discounts on food and retail, free tickets for family and friends, recognition and scholarship programs, and exclusive events.

Job opportunities available for the 2023 season include, among others:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Rides
  • Lifeguards
  • Admissions
  • Security

All applicants must be 14 years of age or older. Applicants can apply online for Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild jobs right now. In-person job fairs are scheduled for March 11 and April 1. Interested candidates should visit each park’s website for additional details.

While hiring is well underway, park teams are busy getting ready for the upcoming 2023 season, which is shaping up to be the most exciting yet:

  • Kennywood continues its 125th Celebration with the debut of Spinvasion. The first ride of its kind in the United States will blast off as the centerpiece of the all-new Area 412, providing an electrifying combination of speed and gravity. Plus, other park enhancement projects that will be announced soon;
  • Sandcastle is Better, Brighter, and Fresher than Ever and gearing up for the most exhilarating season yet, with stunning park enhancements and the return of Bombs Away. Pittsburgh’s Hometown Water Park’s newest attraction thrills with a 305-foot-long freefalling flight of screaming, soaking fun; and
  • Idlewild & SoakZone will kick off its 2023 season with more family fun than ever before. With fresh park upgrades and improvements, more than 35 rides, SoakZone waterpark and Daniel Tiger meet-and-greets, The Best Kids’ Park in the Country only gets better this year.

For more information about the job fairs and the 2023 Season at Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild, visit Kennywood.com, SandcastleWaterpark.com, and Idlewild.com.

Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc. gives 42 awards for remarkable performance during employee recognition presentation

By | January 26, 2023

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa. — Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc., the world leader in ticketing, admission control and revenue-generating solutions within the attractions industry for over 30 years recently acknowledged some of its most outstanding people during its annual Employee Service Awards. This year’s honorees were chosen for their exceptional commitment to the Company’s values and their unwavering commitment to the success of the organization.

“Our employees are a quintessential part of our success and, as a leader, seeing their passion, drive and desire to see the Company and their colleagues succeed is inspiring.” said Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc. President and CEO Michael Andre. “We truly have some of the best in the industry working with us at Gateway. Taking time to honor them during this ceremony is a privilege.”

The awards focus on impactful performance and accomplishments, in 2022, based on Gateway Ticketing Systems Core Value beliefs; observations and priceless encounters by leaders and colleagues; as well as a coveted recognition by the Company’s President & CEO. Each year, the ceremony is broken up into three main classifications—Core Value Awards, Polaris Awards and President’s Award—the recipients are truly a symbolic microcosm of the Gateway Ticketing Systems team.

Core Value Awards — The criteria within these categories are the essential and foundational tools that the Company has used to maintain its success for more than three decades. Recipients of these awards have displayed going above and beyond, in these areas, garnering notable accolades from their managers and colleagues.

  • Customer Care Award – This is bestowed to an employee who consistently exhibits exceptional performance of customer service in their delivery and presentation, allowing Gateway Ticketing Systems to forge a customer experience unrivaled in our industry. This year, two people within the Company were honored—Erik Kapilow and Jason Cloud.
  • Integrity Award – This is given to an employee who consistently exhibits strong character, honesty and fairness in all interactions with customers and peers. Three Gateway employees were given this award—Bill D’Angelo, John Patterson and Angela Izzo.
  • Passion Award – An employee who shows extraordinary dedication and enthusiasm for the company, mission and customers is given this honor. Three Gateway employees received this accolade—Hillary Rooker, Wes Moser and Matt Steckiel.
  • Accountability Award – This is presented to an employee who demonstrates a high level of ownership and responsibility in their work by seeing projects through to the end, meeting deadlines and maintaining the highest quality. This year, two people within the Company were honored—Rachel Shaw and Ted Mike.
  • Teamwork Award – An employee who demonstrates excellence in developing and sustaining cooperative and collaborative professional relationships is presented this award. Three Gateway employees were given this award—Tom Traegler, Norman Castor and Kori Richards.
  • Communication Award – This is obtained by an employee who consistently exhibits effective and concise communication. They always listen before reacting and always assume positive intent. Gateway gave two employees this award—Marcy Emory and Daniel Demkiv.
  • Innovation Award – An employee whose creative and radical ideas uphold Gateway’s status as a cutting edge and industry pioneer is the recipient of this award. This year there were two recipients of this award— Angela Izzo and David Lambert received this award.

Polaris Awards — Employees recognized with these awards are those who served as a shining example and guiding presence to their coworkers throughout the year.

  • Calm in the Eye of the Storm Award – This is given to an employee who is seemingly unperturbed during chaotic and high-pressure situations, delivering outstanding results with clarity and focus. Two employees were acknowledged with this award—Thomas McAree and Shawn Kramer.
  • Positive Vibes Award – An employee who motivates peers and keeps things positive through encouragement and humor and makes the workplace fun is given this award. Two Gateway employees received this award—Kevin Robinson and Katie Hull.
  • Outstanding Mentor Award – This is presented to an employee who is influential to others in meeting departmental objectives, mentoring or providing assistance for others, suggesting initiatives or changes that will support group productivity, investing in coaching and/or mentoring newer associates. This year, two employees within the organization were honored—Jen Porter and David Lambert.
  • Out of This World Performance Award – The employee who is considered the “A” Player and delivers phenomenal results on a daily basis, is well respected by their peers, and exemplifies all the core values while maintaining a positive outlook receives this award. Three members of the Gateway team received this award—Chad Wallace, Jarod Kulp and Ignacio Mosqueda.
  • Overcoming Obstacles Award – This is given to an employee who doggedly pursues goals despite adversity by finding a way to complete the mission regardless of unexpected challenges, limited resources or inflexible timelines. Gateway honored three employees with this award—Dana Amole Ronitz, Jenny Hoffman and Bon Soma.
  • Unsung Heroes Award – An employee who is in a non-customer facing role and whose behind-the-scenes support has a critical impact on the more highly visible operations of the company is the recipient of this award. Four Gateway employees received this award—Donna Walp, Linda Bush, Randy Tapson and Jen Butler.
  • Company Spirit Award – This is bestowed to an employee who exemplifies the company’s culture, mission and values in their interactions with customers and other employees. This year, Gateway acknowledged two employees in this category—Kelly Bules and Glen McWilliams.
  • Technical Excellence Award – An employee recognized in this category is someone who consistently displays excellence in problem solving, developing, or implementing challenging or complex issues, projects or applications. Three Gateway employees were given this award—Matt Steckiel, Dan Haviland and Jerry Burchard. Rookie of the Year Award – This award is presented to the individual who started within the last year who, in a short period of time, has significantly impacted their team and the company with an all-star performance and game-changing potential. Gateway honored two employees with this award—Dan Sheehan and Lisa Hustej.

President’s Award —The President’s Award is a prestigious award given to an individual that exemplifies high performance, with significant personal achievement that drives substantial results. The award recipient embodies the Company’s Core Values in everything they do. This year’s recipients are Kori Richards and Matt Steckiel.

Gateway employs more than 140 employees, comprised of software developers, technical experts, IT resources, project managers, customer service representatives and other professionals in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. For more information on Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc. and its products, visit Gatewayticketing.com.

Area15 to expand district by 20 acres

By | January 25, 2023

LAS VEGAS — AREA15, the immersive art and entertainment district located minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, announces a monumental expansion spanning 20 acres to its north along Interstate 15. Universal Parks & Resorts will anchor the District expansion with a new, year-round horror entertainment experience inspired by its popular Halloween Horror Nights. The new development extends beyond AREA15’s main complex, renowned for its iconic immersive experiences such as Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, Illuminarium and Lost Spirits Distillery. AREA15 is seeking tenant partners to bring even more best-in-class immersive experiences, attractions, curated retail, unique entertainment and adventurous food and beverage destinations to the immersive entertainment District.

The AREA15 District’s expansion will include more than 450,000 square feet of customizable retail, office and residential space featuring different types of building structures, with tenant leasing opportunities ranging from 1,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet. The recently unveiled anchor experience, Universal Parks & Resorts, will occupy over 110,000 square feet in a stand-alone building on the southern end of District. Additionally, more than 85,000 square feet will be dedicated to pop-ups and outdoor experiences, including a salvaged Boeing 747 aircraft to be repurposed as an event space. With consumers continuing to gravitate towards immersive retail experiences, the expanded district’s future tenants will have the opportunity to create bespoke storefront concepts adding to AREA15’s vibrant, immersive ecosystem.

“AREA15 curates a constellation of world-class experiences and our partnership with an internationally renowned entertainment company such as Universal marks a significant milestone in our evolution,” said Winston Fisher, chief executive officer, AREA15. “Consumers continue to gravitate toward artful new forms of entertainment providing immersive experiences, authentic connections and real emotions. The demand for more AREA15 experiences is high, and we are ready to dive into this substantial expansion and find more partnerships that will have a lasting impact on the AREA15 District and the City of Las Vegas.” 

“AREA15 has positively transformed this area of my ward and turned it into a vibrant and creative arts community,” said City of Las Vegas Councilwoman Olivia Diaz. “The further expansion of the District will be invaluable for our city, especially for those interested in the immersive entertainment industry.”

“Las Vegas is an entertainment destination unlike any other and AREA15 has helped change the landscape in the city since opening in 2020,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “We are very excited about their plans to expand so dramatically. Just minutes from the Strip, this immersive experience is the next unique and groundbreaking attraction Las Vegas has to offer our visitors and locals alike.”   

AREA15’s existing complex has welcomed nearly 4 million visitors, created more than 1,000 jobs and hosted over 200 live events and performances in its two and a half years of operation. Among the numerous accolades it has received, AREA15 has been named “Best Immersive Art Experience” by USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards, one of “The 10 Most Innovative Urban Development and Real Estate Companies of 2020” by Fast Company, “Reader’s Choice—Best Attraction” by Las Vegas Weekly, “Best Arts Hub” by Vegas Magazine, claimed the No. 1 spot in Blooloop’s “World’s Top 11 Immersive Art Experiences,” included in Las Vegas Magazine’s Hall of Fame and earned the Urban Land Institute Nevada’s Placemaking Award for Excellence in the private sector category. 

Universal Orlando Resort’s Rock The Universe 2023 kicks off this weekend

By | January 23, 2023

ORLANDO — Get ready to rock, ride and rejoice – Universal Orlando’s Rock the Universe 2023 kicks off this Friday for an unforgettable weekend of faith and fun at Universal Studios Florida. Fans and youth groups can once again come together at Florida’s biggest Christian music festival to enjoy gripping performances by some of Christian music’s top artists including ten-time GRAMMY-nominated artist, Tauren Wells, GRAMMY award-winning singer, Zach Williams, GRAMMY-nominated rock band, Skillet and Billboard’s #1 Hot Christian Song artist, Matthew West – from January 27 – 28. See below for the full concert lineup.

Rock the Universe 2023 Weekend Headliners
Friday, January 27Saturday, January 28
SkilletZack Williams
Tauren WellsMatthew West
Rend CollectiveAnne Wilson
Bethel MusicDante Bowe
Evan CraftWe Are Messengers
Katy NicholeCAIN

Beyond the main stage performances, Rock the Universe attendees can enjoy a dedicated FanZone presented by Coca-Cola featuring live performances from up-and-coming acts, and worship experiences throughout the weekend – including a powerful Sunday morning worship service to wrap up the faith-filled weekend.

Fans still have time to purchase tickets and can take advantage of admission to all three Universal Orlando theme parks with a 3-Park Rock Your Weekend Ticket, starting at $135.99, plus tax

AIMS International Online Level I Certification exam dates now available

By | January 23, 2023

The 2022 AIMS International Safety Seminar was a huge success thanks in large part to the participation of sponsors and attendees. Additionally, AIMS is so very grateful to its volunteer instructors and sponsors who gave so generously to make this event possible.

Many recent attendees have called/emailed to ask about online AIMS International certification exam opportunities, and AIMS is happy to announce that it has has added the following dates/times for online testing:

  • February 7, 2023 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • February 8, 2023 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • March 14, 2023 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • March 15, 2023 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Please note: online testing is currently available ONLY for Level I exams (Operations, Maintenance, Aquatics and Associate Ride Inspector). These exams are available in English and Spanish.

If a participant took a Level I exam at the seminar and did not pass, they must wait at least 60 days from the date of their original exam date (January 13) to re-take the same test. Therefore, the March 14 online exam date will be the first date that they will be eligible to re-test.

Here is the link to register for an online AIMS International LEVEL I certification exam.

Accesso welcomes roster of new clients to global portfolio in H2 2022

By | January 19, 2023

TWYFORD, U.K. — accesso Technology Group (AIM: ACSO), the premier technology solutions provider for attractions and venues worldwide, has signed strategic agreements with 18 new partners within the theme parks & attractions, ski, hospitality, cultural and zoo markets across the U.S. and the U.K. This selection of new clients will leverage a mix of the accesso Passport eCommerce ticketing suite, the accesso Siriusware point-of-sale ticketing solution, the accesso ShoWare live event ticketing platform and accesso’s guest experience management platform to redefine the guest and patron experience at their venues.

  • 10 clients will now harness the power of the mobile-first accesso Passport eCommerce ticketing solution to make meaningful connections with guests in the pre-trip planning process, including Battersea Power Station – a new, innovative shopping and leisure destination in London.
  • Of those 10 new clients, five will also leverage – in tandem with the accesso Passport eCommerce ticketing solution – the accesso Siriusware platform to simplify operations while driving greater sales onsite. This set of combination clients includes: Snowy Range Ski Area in Centennial, WY, San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, CA, and two properties owned by Lazarus Entertainment Group, at which accesso’s mobile F&B ordering solution is also being leveraged to deliver an enhanced, on-the-go dining experience for guests.
  • Willamette Pass Resort in Crescent Lake, OR, will also utilize the accesso Siriusware platform to flexibly manage onsite operations and offer fast and easy transactions for guests.
  • 6 new clients have signed on to leverage the accesso ShoWare live event ticketing platform to enhance ticketing operations at their venues, including the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in Columbus, GA, and McPherson Opera House in McPherson, KS.
  • Additionally, Timberline Mountain – a popular ski area in Davis, WV – will now utilize accesso’s guest experience management platform to deliver personalization at scale and an immersive on-the-mountain experience, available to guests via mobile app.

“2022 was incredible for our team at Accesso, and we’re pleased to have closed out the year welcoming such a unique set of new partners to our worldwide client network,” said Steve Brown, accesso CEO. “We look forward to deepening our global footprint even further in 2023, helping operators unlock new opportunities to drive revenue and deliver a better guest experience in the process.”

accesso solutions help to redefine the guest experience for more than 1,000 venues in 29 countries around the globe. The newly signed roster of clients will enhance their operations with:

  • The fully hosted and award-winning accesso Passport eCommerce ticketing suite provides an easy-to-use eCommerce experience for guests, available at their fingertips via desktop, tablet or mobile device. With the ability to deliver personalized, unique up- and cross-sell opportunities, operators can ensure each guest has access to everything they may need for an upcoming trip – from dining packages to parking passes and stroller rentals. Onsite, the accesso Passport ticketing suite provides a streamlined front gate point of sale, focused on driving improved sales results.
  • The accesso Siriusware point-of-sale solution offers operators everything they need to customize and simplify their operations while providing fast and easy transactions for guests. The modular solution provides operators with a complete view of guests’ purchasing behavior – including merchandise purchases, food & beverage orders, and more – all on one platform, eliminating the need for separate systems and databases.
  • The accesso ShoWare ticketing suite – with over 600 installations in theaters, concert venues, sports arenas, casinos and attractions around the world – empowers venue and destination operators to enhance the experience for guests and patrons while driving meaningful revenue. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution enables full management of the end-to-end ticketing process on a single platform while providing guests a seamless purchasing experience, whether they buy tickets online or on-site. It also offers operators ultimate flexibility and control over ticket sales in assigned seating venues, allowing them to streamline the ticketing process while maximizing revenue.
  • accesso‘s guest experience management platform serves to bridge the physical and digital aspects of a guest’s journey, giving operators insight to every step of a guest’s experience – pre-, during and post-visit. The system empowers operators to deliver personalization at scale by enabling them to leverage existing customer data alongside real-time location and behavior, which they can use to deliver personalized, contextual messaging, recommendations and offers to guests at just the right time and place.

Exclusive line of popcorn pops into marketplace just in time for National Popcorn Day

By | January 19, 2023

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ask anyone their favorite flavor of popcorn and responses will include everything from sea salt to caramel to butter even cheesy or drizzled in chocolate. A favorite food for more than 5,000 years, popcorn is synonymous with snacking.   

Today, in honor of National Popcorn Day, Santa Cruz Fun Foods has exclusively launched a new line that unites the tradition of fresh popcorn with a beloved sweet treat brand. ICEE Popcorn is now available, and will soon be found in theme parks, movie theatres, stadiums, attractions, and even living rooms.

Available in two unique flavors – Cherry and Blue Raspberry, and Caramel Corn mixed with Apple – ICEE Popcorn is the latest collaboration between Santa Cruz Fun Foods and the ICEE Company.

“At Santa Cruz Fun Foods, we believe in creating smiles one taste at a time,” says Jenny Whiting Gump, director of marketing. “We are always inspired by the fun foods found on the boardwalk, and the nostalgia that people feel with a favorite snack. With ICEE Popcorn, we have an exclusive treat that starts with the iconic tastes of the ICEE brand and reimagines classic popcorn in a fun, unexpected and flavorful way.”

How did the idea for new popcorn come to bite…light? Santa Cruz Fun Foods used the time during the pandemic to dream of – and try – new flavors for classic treats. Time, taste, and talent came together, and the company’s first collaboration with The ICEE® Company emerged.  

ICEE Cotton Candy provided a new brand of flavors for the sweet summer staple. Using ICEE’s beloved flavors and blending them into new, cottony goodness, ICEE Cotton Candy has surprised and delighted guests of all ages since debuting in 2021. With the success of the updated summer staple, Santa Cruz Fun Foods and ICEE continued to explore what could be next and looked to the ubiquitous snack – popcorn.

Each year, Americans consume more than 17 billion quarts of popcorn; by volume, it is the country’s favorite snack. Bite-sized, shareable, and easily distributed, popcorn can be found just about anywhere people are enjoying themselves.

“Food enjoyed at places like parks, attractions, and stadiums, are an important part of the overall experience,” Gump continued. “It is both nostalgic and iconic. With ICEE Popcorn we now have flavors that make popcorn simultaneously traditional, and wholeheartedly new. We can’t wait for everyone to try it.”

Available in pre-filled, branded popcorn bags, ICEE Popcorn can be directly ordered from Santa Cruz Fun Food at santacruzfunfoods.com. Bulk shipping and wholesale opportunities are available, with direct-to-consumer buying options coming soon.

Best season in history: more than six million visitors come to Europa-Park for the first time in 2022

By | January 17, 2023

In the 2022 season, for the first time in its almost-50-year history, Germany’s largest theme park exceeded six million visitors, representing a significant expansion of its market leadership. Europa-Park owner Roland Mack says, “We see this record as a huge vote of confidence from our visitors, and one that comes in a difficult year in which war, supply problems, inflation and the energy crisis have been making things difficult for all of us. People are looking for leisure and balance, and the Europa-Park Resort, alongside the Rulantica water world, offers just that, which is an attractive travel destination in its own right. The beds of the hotel resort, which number approximately 5,800 hotel beds, were also often fully booked in 2022. In November, the internationally acclaimed new restaurant of the future ‘Eatrenalin’ was opened. A total of over 80 million Euros have been invested within three years.”

For the year 2023, Europa-Park expects a significant increase in energy costs. On this, Roland Mack says, “We are investing, with the automobile logistics company Mosolf, in a photovoltaic system covering more than 20 hectares in Kippenheim near Lahr. After completion, the plant will produce around 25 gigawatt hours of electricity from renewable energies. The total investment amount of the project is around 30 million Euros. The plant is scheduled to go into operation in 2024. In the long term, Europa-Park will then be able to supply itself with renewable electricity largely independently of other energy sources, particularly in the summer months.

We already operate photovoltaic systems, hydroelectric power plants and combined heat and power plants, but this new system opens up a completely new dimension for us in terms of renewable energy supply.” The connection to the international rail network via a direct ECE, and more recently the TGV connection available directly from Paris, is also an important step for Europa-Park, especially with regard to environmentally friendly solutions.

The search for employees continues to be one of the major issues. Roland Mack said, “It’s a big challenge for us, but our HR department is very creative when it comes to recruitment. We are very flexible here and already offer over 70 different working time models. We currently have young employees at Europa-Park who are extremely motivated and capable, and our opportunities for advancement are much higher than in many other companies. Around 300 Ukrainians are already working for us and we have recruited several hundred employees from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, many of whom speak fluent German, by the way. We have built accommodation for 1,200 employees, rented hotels and set up high quality container villages. A company kindergarten will also be opened this year, and accommodation for another 500 people is to be added. Without housing, we hardly find new employees. We also offer many other incentives.” Europa-Park employs over 4,500 people, and around 8,000 indirect jobs are linked to Germany’s largest theme park.

Europa-Park will continue to invest in 2023. Among other new attractions, a new slide tower is being built in the Rulantica water world and work has begun on the rollercoaster in the new Croatia themed area.

Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, designed by Legacy Entertainment,  awarded ‘China’s Best Theme Park’ by China’s Theme Park Research Institute

By | January 17, 2023

SHANGHAI, China — As it approaches the fifth anniversary of its grand opening, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park has been named “China’s Best Theme Park” by The Institute for Theme Park Studies in China. This designation is only the latest of the many major accolades that have been bestowed upon the 73-acre Marine Life Theme Park which was created by California-based entertainment design firm, Legacy Entertainment.

“We continue to be thrilled for the success for our friends and partners at Haichang,” says Eric Carnagey, Legacy’s Managing Director, as well as one of the firm’s owners. “Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, which is positioned as the chief competitor to the superlative Shanghai Disneyland, was realized for less than 15% of the former’s investment. Given this, the park’s many achievements and successes are all the more remarkable.”

Some of the past awards which have been bestowed upon Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park include “Best Theme Park” by China’s largest theme park organization, CAAPA (Chinese Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions); “Outstanding Themed Land Park,” “Outstanding Family Entertainment Center,” and “Outstanding Social Media Famous Tourist Attraction” at 2020’s Golden Crown Awards; as well as “2021’s Most Popular Attraction” at The China Cultural Tourism Innovation and Development Forum.

Prior to the start of the COVD-19 era, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park was drawing over 3,000,000 visitors per year. Despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic, the park’s performance continually defied projections, with a recent attendance surge attributed to the popular Ultraman-themed offerings which launched in July 2022. The experiences, which include a large-scale museum, boutique, and restaurant, were also recognized with awards from The Institute for Theme Park Studies in China.

“The licensing and successful roll-out of Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman intellectual property by Haichang is a huge milestone for the Chinese domestic theme park landscape,” adds Carnagey. “China, the world’s second largest Theme Park market, has generally been slow to adopt international IP. Given the undeniable success of Haichang’s Ultraman activations, we expect a fundamental shift to the landscape to play out over the next five years.”

Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, which first debuted in November 2018, is a signature project in the portfolio of Legacy Entertainment, a renowned global design company which has–in recent years–seen itself become one of the world’s most in-demand aquarium design companies. April 2022 saw the opening of Vietnam’s largest aquarium at VinWonders Theme Park on Phu Quoc Island. Summer 2023 is expected to usher in the arrival of the Legacy-designed Chimelong Marine Science Park–a sprawling complex which will take the crown of “World’s Largest Indoor Theme Park” upon its debut.