Sacoa to showcase cutting-edge innovations at CinemaCon 2024

By | April 4, 2024

Sacoa, the global leader in entertainment solutions, is thrilled to announce its participation at CinemaCon 2024, scheduled to take place from April 9th to 11th at Booth #919J in Las Vegas, USA.

Commenting on Sacoa’s participation, Sebastian Mochkovsky, CEO of Sacoa USA, expressed his gratitude for returning to the shining city, stating: “Las Vegas holds a special place in our hearts, especially after seeing my father, Jorge Mochkovsky, President and founder of Sacoa, inducted into the AAMA’s Hall of Fame in the same city just a few days ago.”

He also adds: “For many years, Sacoa has been a proud participant in CinemaCon, consistently bringing forth the latest innovations to enhance the cinema experience. We are excited to showcase our newest releases, which we believe will elevate the entertainment journey for moviegoers worldwide.”

Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights returns earlier than ever this fall

By | April 4, 2024

ORLANDO — This year, the horror begins earlier than ever before as Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights returns on select nights* from August 30 through November 3 – unleashing a new slate of frights and nightmare-inducing terror at every corner of Universal Studios Florida. Guests can secure their spot for the screams now and purchase select tickets and offers to plan the ultimate fall getaway where they can experience the adrenaline-pumping thrills of Universal’s theme parks by day and the terrifying chills of Halloween Horror Nights at night.

Every fall, guests from all around the globe brave their worst nightmares coming to life at Halloween Horror Nights – consistently named the world’s premier Halloween event. This year, a chilling new collection of horrifying experiences await guests, including 10 all-new movie-quality haunted houses inspired by cinematic greats and eerie original stories created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment team, and five scare zones filled with hundreds of menacing creatures who will reign the streets of Universal Studios Florida. And in between the screams, guests can enjoy an energetic live show, fuel up for the next round of scares with sinfully delicious food and beverage inspired by the event’s haunts, shop the latest merchandise at the highly-themed Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store, and enjoy some of Universal Studios Florida’s most exciting attractions.

Single-night event tickets and Express Passes for Halloween Horror Nights are available for purchase now. Guests can also stay, scream and save up to $200 (based on a seven-night stay) with a special vacation package that includes one-night admission to the event and accommodations at a Universal hotel located just minutes from the haunts. This package also includes admission to all three Universal Orlando theme parks to enjoy some of the most innovative rides and attractions ever created during the day, before facing the chills of Halloween Horror Nights at night. Plus, hotel guests receive exclusive benefits including access to a dedicated Halloween Horror Nights gate for faster entry into the event, Early Park Admission to the theme parks during the day, complimentary resort transportation, and more. Savings vary based on length of stay and this package is available for purchase now through November 2 for use from August 30 to November 3.

Halloween Horror Nights upgrades are also available for purchase now, including the guided, nighttime R.I.P. Tour experience where guests receive priority V.I.P. access to the haunted houses; and the Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour that offers a glimpse into how the scares are brought to life via a daytime, lights-on journey through select haunted houses. For guests who can’t wait to peek at what’s in-store this year, there’s also a limited, three-house Behind The Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour available for purchase for select days starting Aug. 11.

Guests can also start to get into the Halloween Horror Nights spirit with an all-new merchandise collection that has launched today – featuring a t-shirt, hat and tumbler celebrating that Universal Orlando is “Where Horror Lives.” The collection is available now at and at Five Dime at Universal Studios Florida as well as All Hallows Eve Boutique at Islands of Adventure.

Three Intercard international customers are winners in BCM’s 39th Bowling Center Architecture And Design Honors

By | April 4, 2024

ST. LOUIS — Intercard congratulates three of its international customers who are among the bowling and family entertainment centers that earned top honors in the 39th annual Bowling Center Architecture and Design Awards competition conducted by Bowling Center Management magazine.

Domestic centers and international centers were judged in separate divisions, with dedicated categories for new venues and modernized facilities. Awards were given for the best overall venues, the best exteriors, the best interiors and the best ancillary profit centers (such as arcades, dedicated billiards rooms, karaoke rooms, etc.).

The winners in international categories will be featured in the May 2024 issue of BCM. Intercard customers among the winners are:

  • Best Arcade — Ozone Bowling, Valladolid, Spain
  • Best New Center — Brass Monkey Citywalk, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Best Interior — The Game Luxe Kurla, Mumbai, India

“Intercard congratulates our international customers who have been recognized by BCM for the excellent architecture and design of their amusement centers,” says Alberto Borrero, senior vice president of international sales for Intercard. “These are smart and creative operators who offer their customers the best guest experience in every facet of their centers from the front door to the arcade and beyond. Intercard is proud to contribute to the creative and business success of these businesses.”

Gateway Ticketing Systems appoints Chris Angelos as the new sales director to drive growth and innovation

By | April 1, 2024

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa. — Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc., the world leader in ticketing, admission control, and revenue-generating solutions within the attractions industry, is thrilled to announce Chris Angelos as its new Director of Sales. Chris has ten years of extensive sales leadership experience and a dynamic, out-of-the-box approach to sales strategies, making him a valuable addition to the company’s executive leadership team.

Chris has a proven track record of driving revenue growth and building strong client relationships in the technology industry. He also has experience improving and streamlining operations. His innovative and strategic approach to sales aligns perfectly with Gateway’s vision for expansion and market leadership.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris to our team,” said Michael Andre, President and CEO of Gateway Ticketing Systems. “His wealth of experience, fresh perspective, and dynamic leadership style will be instrumental in leading our Business Solutions team to new heights. We are excited about his contributions to our company and look forward to a successful partnership.”

Chris will lead the sales team at the company headquarters in Gilbertsville and will play a crucial role in driving the sales strategy. Chris will lead and manage the Business Solutions team, including developing and executing sales strategies, managing customer success, tracking sales performance metrics, fostering client relationships, and driving revenue growth across key markets. Chris will work closely with the executive leadership team to identify new business opportunities and ensure that the sales team is aligned with the company’s goals and objectives. Additionally, Chris will oversee the implementation of sales policies and procedures to ensure that the sales process is efficient and effective.

“I am thrilled to join Gateway and be part of a team at the forefront of innovation in the tech industry,” said Chris Angelos. “I am excited to leverage my experience and work collaboratively with the talented sales team to drive success, exceed targets, and deliver exceptional value to our clients by providing them with world-class service.”

In addition to Chris joining the Gateway sales team, Todd Walton and Grant Smith have recently joined. Todd joins the team as a Partner Development Manager based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he oversees the company’s worldwide value-added reseller accounts. Grant joins the company as the UK Regional Sales Executive, based in London, where he manages accounts in the United Kingdom region.

Gateway is confident that Mr. Angelos’s sales team leadership will be pivotal in driving the company’s growth trajectory and achieving its strategic objectives. His appointment reflects the company’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and unparalleled customer value. He joined the Gateway team in February.

New adventures unearthed at Adventureland Resort ahead of its 50th celebration season

By | April 1, 2024

ALTOONA, Iowa — Adventureland Resort has been hard at work unearthing its newest attraction, the reimagined Underground. The classic ride through an abandoned coal mine returns for the Altoona theme park’s 50th celebration with a fresh new look. It’s just one of many improvements and additions to the park as Adventureland celebrates its golden anniversary. 

The headliner of the 50th celebration will be the return of Underground, the world’s only indoor wooden roller coaster. The ride, which has become ingrained into Iowa culture over the years, has undergone an extensive transformation. From the moment guests walk up to the ride, there will be a noticeable difference. Riders will enter through a portal designed to look like a mine and will be transported into an abandoned coal mine with new scenes, elevated theming, enhanced audio and special effects, along with a few unexpected surprises. The reimagination of Underground goes beyond a mere refurbishment. It delves into the depths of local history and culture, incorporating authentic elements from Altoona’s coal mining past. 

“Guests will notice the improvements to Underground from the moment they walk up to the ride. The theming will be unlike anything else guests have experienced at Adventureland to date,” Adventureland General Manager Mike Lusky said. “We are thrilled to introduce an elevated experience that will take our guests on an unforgettable adventure that will leave riders returning again and again.” 

Riders will be taken on a journey deep below the park in a search for gold stolen in a heist by notorious outlaw Bad Bob and his gang. As the legend goes, Adventureland was built right over the top of an abandoned mine that had become the hideout for some of the most wanted outlaws around.  

Underground is not the only new thing guests will experience when the park opens on Saturday, May 18. For pork enthusiasts, Adventureland is unveiling its newest food concept, Oink’s. The new restaurant will offer a mouthwatering selection of Berkwood Farms Berkshire Pork products. From juicy tenderloins to savory pork chops, there is something to satisfy every palate. Whether refueling between rides or indulging in a delicious snack, Oink’s promises to be a haven for pork lovers. 

Craft beer enthusiasts will rejoice at the Iowa Craft Beer Takeover experience. During select weekends throughout the summer, this new experience for guests 21 and older will showcase breweries from across the state. Guests can sample a variety of brews on a brand-new patio, right on the Boulevard, celebrating Iowa’s vibrant craft beer scene. 

Just in time for Adventureland’s 50th celebration, park guests can relive the magic of a beloved classic as the Falling Star Lounge makes its debut. Featuring the iconic sign from the Falling Star ride, beautifully refurbished and proudly displayed, this lounge area will be the perfect spot to unwind and reminisce after a day of adventure. 

As the sun sets on select days this season, Adventureland will come alive with a dazzling new light show illuminating the Boulevard. With extended closing times in 2024, guests can enjoy colorful light and laser displays dancing across the night sky, creating magical memories under the stars. 

With more than five decades of history to celebrate during the 2024 season, Adventureland promises a birthday bash like never before. Special events throughout the season include Bernie’s Birthday Bash and the Festival of Decades. Concerts every Saturday night July into August will feature a different decade that helped shape Adventureland’s history, followed by fireworks and a light show. Guests will also relive the past with historical displays throughout the park. 

From thrilling rides to delectable dining options and live entertainment, Adventureland is set to be the ultimate destination for fun and excitement this year.

Fun Spot America Atlanta kicks off spring break by celebrating the first anniversary of ArieForce One

By | April 1, 2024

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Fun Spot America Atlanta, Georgia’s favorite family park, is open daily for Spring Break! To launch the park’s extended Spring Break hours of operation, coaster fans came together on Saturday to celebrate the first anniversary of ArieForce One, the park’s incredible roller coaster. On March 30, 2023, Fun Spot America Atlanta officially debuted the one-of-a-kind ride, and one year later, the park celebrated the milestone anniversary with rides, cake, and more rides.

“One year ago, we were standing right here welcoming our first guests to experience a roller coaster unlike any other in the world,” said Andre Corbin, Regional Manager, Fun Spot America Theme Parks. “Since then, the ride, and the feedback have been HUGE!”

Corbin highlighted some of the special awards and accolades the park has earned since opening ArieForce One, including the 2023 Golden Ticket Award for Best New Attraction Installation by Amusement Today. In addition, he thanked the Fayetteville community and Fun Spot America Atlanta’s guests for their support. He then introduced one of the park’s most ardent fans.

“While there are thousands of fans of ArieForce One, its biggest lives here in our backyard. James Fordham has ridden ArieForce One more than 5,700 times! That’s an average of 15 times a day! Today, while we know James plans to ride, we invited him to pause for a moment so we could share a special surprise as our thank you for being part of the Fun Spot America Atlanta family.”

He then presented Fordham with a commemorative, exclusive gift of a glass rocket ship and shared the park had added a desk plate with his name on it to the queue of ArieForce One, so he would forever be a part of the ArieForce One story.

Fordham, a resident of Fairburn, said, “I have always loved roller coasters! I’ve had so much fun on this ride and am proud to have gotten to know the team here at Fun Spot Atlanta. Thank you for including me in this celebration. I’m proud to call Fun Spot America Atlanta my hometown park.”

Corbin also invited all ArieForce One and Fun Spot America Theme Parks’ fans around the country to help the coaster earn another national accolade. ArieForce One has been nominated for a Readers’ Choice Award for Best Roller Coaster by USA Today’s 10Best. 

Guests can vote once a day until April 22. 

After the presentation, Corbin and the Fun Spot Atlanta Team invited all park guests to sign the ArieForce Once first-anniversary banner, enjoy cake, ride ArieForce One, and experience the park’s other attractions. Throughout the day, hot dogs were sold for just one dollar each, with all proceeds benefiting Camp Southern Ground, the Fayetteville-based organization that serves youth and veterans with memorable summer camp experiences on its 400-acre farm.

2024 What’s New Guide

By | April 1, 2024

Amusement Today will be publishing its annual amusement industry preview in the May 2024 issue. To make certain your new-for-2024 installs are included, send a list of your 2024 projects to

The deadline for inclusion is April 12, 2024. AT is looking for any new ride or attraction at parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, traveling carnivals shows, cruise ships, even stand-alone attractions such as giant wheels, tower rides and alpine coasters.

Gardaland Resort’s new season has begun

By | March 29, 2024

Gardaland Resort has officially reopened its doors to fun with the arrival of spring and warm weather, a time loved by families for carefree outings, especially with the Easter holidays round the corner.

The new season, which began at the Welcome Show with our friendly mascot Prezzemolo, is full of novelties and experiences resulting in even more amazing entertainment for guests of all ages.

Contributing to the all-round involvement of visitors in every thematic area of the Park and at different times of the day, this year’s street entertainment – by paraders and background figures, musicians and performers along the streets of Gardaland – intensifies and becomes even more exhilarating and extensive, with the opportunity to take some memorable photos with iconic characters.

With an eye on its youngest visitors, Gardaland reconfirms the presence of the beloved Meet&Greet sessions: an opportunity to meet and greet favourite characters in a joyful and engaging atmosphere. Prezzemolo will also be on hand, helping everyone go wild to the beat of music; the unmistakable Peppa Pig; JJ, protagonist of the famous musical series CoComelon, with the appointment “Dance with JJ!”; and the irresistible 44 Cats. For an international audience, in the current season, interactions with the beloved favourites will be offered in three languages: Italian, English and German. There are a number of innovations regarding the shows as well, starting with Gardaland Theatre, which expands its programme and, in addition to reconfirming the Nautilus live show with the extraordinary contribution of well-known journalist Cesara Buonamici, stages a new illusion-themed magic show that will astound audiences of all ages. There is also a new screening at the 4D Cinema, which never misses an opportunity to reinvent itself and amaze viewers, young and old; it now brings a must-see classic to its screens: LOONEY TUNES™ 4D.

A must-visit from June, in the heart of the Park, is the new attraction for 2024: a Drop & Twist Tower with a strongly impressive visual impact that will inaugurate a new chapter of fun in perfect Gardaland style, able to involve different generations of thrill-seekers and adventure lovers, targeting families and youngsters. A highly prominent figure comes in the form of a majestic and imposing wolf of over 16 metres tall with its jaws wide open, which, struck by a curse, has turned to stone! The bravest guests will have to free the wolf by climbing aboard a “gondola” – the 16 seats arranged circularly on the octagonal tower that will take them 25 metres up in breath-taking scenery, light effects and clouds of smoke for a memorable adventure!

The arrival of the first warm weather also brings the long-awaited reopening of LEGOLAND® Water Park Gardaland – the first in Europe – where young visitors can enjoy themselves among colourful slides and millions of LEGO® bricks, letting their creativity run wild.

The evening events, held until late at night during the summer months, are not-to-be-missed with music, guests and exclusive DJ sets, and – throughout the season – special themed events such as Gardaland Oktoberfest, Gardaland Magic Halloween and Gardaland Magic Winter.

Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium is also back in full force, the entirely themed aquarium that is home to over 5,000 sea creatures and a spectacular ocean tunnel, where it is possible to undertake a journey of discovery into the most fascinating species that live on our planet. Always committed to teaching youngsters about respect for the marine environment, the Aquarium also offers a wide range of educational proposals, including guided tours and new interactive workshops designed specifically for preschool and elementary school children. Don’t miss the daily presentation of the sea lions: Leo, Honey and Davy Jones.

To extend the adventure and fun even beyond the Park closing time, you can stay at the Resort’s themed hotels: Gardaland Hotel, the quintessence of fantasy which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Gardaland Adventure Hotel, for exciting adventures, or Gardaland Magic Hotel, dedicated to the world of magic.

For stays from 23 March to 30 June: for bookings made by 14 April, you can enjoy a discount of up to 30% on the package, which includes: overnight stay in one of the three 4-star hotels, breakfast, tickets for Gardaland Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium and the second day of admission to the Park for free.

Idlewild reveals major improvements to its beloved Story Book Forest for upcoming season

By | March 28, 2024

LIGONIER, Pa. — Idlewild & SoakZone is gearing up for its 2024 season with a massive improvement project across the park’s beloved Story Book Forest. The Best Kids Park in the World is also unveiling an expanded operating schedule, thrilling special events and entertainment and much more for its 147th season.  

Story Book Forest, which features character scenes from fairy tales and nursery rhymes along a winding path through a real forest will delight guests with several improvements and returning elements this upcoming season, including:

  • The multi-year paving project has continued with a large portion of the path being paved creating better accessibility for strollers and wheelchairs and improving the overall guest   experience for everyone visiting Story Book Forest 
  • Rub-a-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub will splash back on the scene with the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker in a brand-new tub; 
  • Jack and the Beanstalk will sprout again in the lineup with the original characters along with a new beanstalk and pea pods;  
  • Restoration and improvements including a new roof for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cottage and new wood siding on the Good Ship Lollipop; and  
  • The lake is getting refreshed to ensure it remains as picturesque as its surroundings, along with motion returning to the Windmill and waterwheels in the center.   

“The upcoming Idlewild season will be full of reasons to visit, with Story Book Forest’s multiple improvements and additions, brand-new concepts for our special events plus several other upgrades throughout the park,” said General Manager Tim Heger. “We take great pride in being Pittsburgh’s Best Amusement Park for Kids and Families and strive to elevate the fun and playfulness every year for our guests.” 

Story Book Forest is just one part of the improvements throughout The Best Kids Park in the World. Also new in 2024, Skooters is adding all-new bumper cars, more than doubling the ride’s capacity and offering more options for families to enjoy throughout their visit. Others include the continuation of a multi-year restoration project of the park’s Carousel in Olde Idlewild. The carousel horses, which date back to 1931, were stripped down to bare wood and carefully hand-painted to restore this timeless classic to its original beauty. The SoakZone Gift Shop is also being upgraded from top to bottom, offering guests an enhanced shopping experience. New floors, new wall units and beautiful displays to complement all-new park merchandise are in store for this coming season. 

The 2024 Idlewild season will feature new elements and enhanced entertainment for its popular event Kids Fest, plus the Halloween favorite, HALLOWBOO!. This fall event will have its longest run yet beginning on September 14 and running weekends through October 27. Idlewild will open its gates for the 2024 season on Saturday, May 18 with SoakZone opening on Saturday, May 25.  

Legoland California Resort honored as Best Place to Work at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce CBAD Awards

By | March 28, 2024

CARLSBAD, Calif. — LEGOLAND California Resort, a premier family theme park destination geared towards families with children ages 2 – 12, is thrilled to announce that it has been recognized as the Best Place to Work (large company) at the prestigious Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce CBAD Awards.

The award is a testament to LEGOLAND California Resort’s commitment to creating an engaging, inclusive, and rewarding work environment. The Resort’s dedication to its employees, combined with its unique and fun-filled atmosphere, has set it apart as an employer of choice in the community.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this recognition,” said President of LEGOLAND California Resort Kurt Stocks. “Our team members, or whom we call Model Citizens, are at the heart of everything we do. We want to be the greatest place to work just as much as we want to be the greatest place for families to play.”

The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce CBAD Awards is an annual event that recognizes outstanding businesses and individuals in the Carlsbad community. The Best Place to Work award is given to companies that demonstrate exceptional commitment to their employees through comprehensive and innovative HR, DEI and practices. This recognition is joining the numerous accolades that LEGOLAND California has received in recent years, including:  

  • The City of Carlsbad 2022 Certificate of Recognition for People’s Choice Award
  • The Carlsbad Business, Achievement, and Distinction Award for 2022 People’s Choice Award
  • The 2023 Community Partner of the Year Award
  • The 2024 Poppy Award for Best Public Relations Campaign

In addition, LEGOLAND California has earned recognition as one of the world’s top amusement and water parks by Tripadvisor. Furthermore, both LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel have been consistently ranked among the top 25 family hotels in the United States. LEGOLAND Castle Hotel’s attainment of the Environmentalist Level (highest level attainable) in the California Green Lodging Program reflects the Resort’s commitment to sustainability and conservation, making it a leader in environmental stewardship within Carlsbad. Just last year, out of approximately 40 hotels in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel were the only two hotels to reach this level of sustainability and conservation awareness. This is the culmination of many fantastic initiatives launched by the Resort’s Green Wave Committee and its parent company, Merlin Entertainments.  

In a continued dedication to inclusivity, LEGOLAND California recognizes April as Autism Awareness Month, affirming that everyone deserves an awesome experience year-round. The family theme park became a Certified Autism Center (CAC) in 2022 with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). IBCCES is the only credentialing organization providing this type of certification, which includes evidence-based training as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals