Intercard’s Jason Mitchell appears on “Beat The Cheats” panel at IAAPA Expo Orlando

By | November 17, 2023

ST. LOUIS — Jason Mitchell, Intercard’s customer success manager, appeared on a panel of arcade industry experts at “Beat the Cheats: Countering Theft and Scams in the Amusement Industry,” an EDUSession at the IAAPA Expo on November 14, 2023. The highly anticipated event drew a large crowd of operators eager to get an inside look at how to prevent losses of revenue and merchandise from dishonest players.

Arcade veteran Eric Weigand developed the session, which shared ways to protect an arcade business from those seeking more than their fair share. Panelists provided insights from the points of view of installers, game makers, payment specialists, and arcade operators. Topics included how to identify and address potential weaknesses in games and in operational procedures and methods to detect and reduce theft from guests and employees. Common scams were described, and suggestions given on how to monitor social media to stay ahead of fast spreading new threats.

Jason Mitchell has worked in the amusement industry for more than 36 years. For more than 11 years he has brought his deep knowledge of customer service and technology to Intercard’s customers. He has also been a speaker at numerous industry gatherings hosted by such leading amusement trade associations as the BPAA, the AMOA and IAAPA.

Intercard customers can learn more about its Advanced Arcade Operations Training program by contacting Jason Mitchell at or 314.275.8066 ext. 252.

7th Wavegarden Cove opens at Surfland Brasil in Santa Catarina

By | November 17, 2023

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain — During the past week, the first waves at Surfland Brasil in Garopaba have rolled through the latest Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon and top professional surfers, including Yago Dora, Matt Herdy, Joao Chumbinho, Tatiana Weston- Webb, Jess Mendes, Luana Silva as well as elite skateboarders Pedro Barros and Keegan Palmer, have collaborated with Wavegarden’s fluid dynamic experts to program the world´s most extensive Wave Menu. With the soft opening scheduled for November 17, this milestone marks Wavegarden´s second facility in Brazil and seventh globally. The condominium is open to the public and features a 78-bed hotel, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy the waves for a session cost ranging from 75 to 90 euros. Tickets can be purchased on the Surfland Brasil website.

The Surfland Brasil development, which includes the wave pool and a vast array of customer amenities, was created by André Giesta of Giesta Enterprises. The project adopts an innovative product and commercial format with fractional apartment ownership – a system akin to the shared economy trend exemplified by platforms like Airbnb, Uber, and Bike Share. Featuring 278 apartments priced around 30-40K euros and ranging in size from 60- 100m2, owners collaboratively share assets and divide costs, embracing a model where everyone benefits.

Surfland Brasil is more than a resort; it’s a condominium, a hotel, a surf park, and much more,” said Giesta, appointed as CEO of the complex. “We added a 78-bed hotel to allow visitors to enjoy the waves and now this destination is a paradise for anyone who loves the outdoors and wants to pass their vacations in one of the most alluring surf spots in the world.

The vision for Surfland Brasil is to cater for a diverse clientele, ranging from beginners to elite surfers, with a focus on the family market. Giesta´s decision to incorporate a Wavegarden Cove with 52 modules allows for the creation of over 20 different waves, striking a perfect balance between wave length and variety, while offering perfect conditions for all surfing levels. With optimal surfing conditions in the nearby ocean available only 35% of the year, Surfland will guarantee world-class waves 100% of the time to attract surf tourism and foster a stable economy for the local community.

Josema Odriozola, CEO of Wavegarden, expressed enthusiasm about the project, stating, “It’s great to be in Garopaba. This surf town on the south coast of Santa Catarina, with its beautiful beaches and ideal weather, is now even more alluring with the addition of our Wavegarden Cove. Working hand-in-hand with some of the country’s top surfers to program our Wave menu prior to the soft opening this week is a real privilege. The lagoon was filled with water just days before we arrived and unfortunately had high levels of iron in it.

Nonetheless, over the coming weeks our Water Treatment System will transform its color from brown to crystal clear.”

Project ambassador and WSL# 8 Tatiana Weston-Webb has been surfing the beaches around Garopaba her entire life and acknowledges the benefits this will bring to the local community and Brazilian surfers as a whole. “Surf parks like Wavegarden are the future of surfing and the town has already started to explode. The benefits for the local community are already noticeable,” explained Weston-Webb. “I have spent almost 4 hours in the water over the past few days and the I´m really impressed with the Turn and Barrel waves. I have been able to do anywhere from 4-6 turns per wave and I´ve been getting some really good barrels.”

In addition to the surfing lagoon, the complex will gradually open infrastructure for various sports activities like a skatepark designed by Pedro Barros, swimming pools, tennis courts, beach tennis, surf museum, restaurants, jogging track, gym, yoga shala, spa, and play areas for children. The entire site has been carefully designed to make the least possible impact on the environment, integrating green roofs and prefabricated buildings, solar panels, rainwater harvesting and native flora into the infrastructure. Notably, Surfland Brasil has been honored with an international landscaping award, further highlighting its commitment to excellence in design and environmental integration.

Beyond Surfland in Garopaba, Wavegarden remains the dominant player in this sector and has a busy period ahead with new facility openings scheduled for various parts of the world, including Sydney, Australia; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Virginia Beach, the East Coast of the USA.

WhiteWater’s global project updates at IAAPA Expo 2023

By | November 16, 2023

VANCOUVER, Canada — During a press conference at IAAPA Expo 2023 in Orlando, WhiteWater showcased new products, gave updates on the progress of high-profile projects in each region, and elaborated on the trend of vertical water parks. The event began with the presentation of the complete Joy Economy book—a 300-page valuable resource proudly published by WhiteWater’s software arm, Vantage, featuring exclusive interviews with attractions industry leaders sharing their knowledge of best practices for great guest and employee experiences.

New Products, New Sensations
Unveiled at the show was Wall Runner, a new water slide sensation that extends the zero G feeling like never before. Through artfully crafted arcs, this innovative ride creates a drifting experience that propels rafts sideways while maintaining forward momentum. Wall Runner not only offers first-of-its-kind thrills, its unique shape also provides novel branding and theming opportunities for a most photogenic attraction. 

Other products launched earlier this year are:

  • Infinity Master Blaster, WhiteWater’s popular water coaster in a continuous loop ride path
  • Mini Blaster, pint-sized rendition of the thrilling original
  • Elevated AquaForms, the raised version of WhiteWater’s innovative modular aquatic play system, with Elevated AquaForms 12 winning this year’s Brass Ring Award for Best New Product, Water Park Ride/Attraction under $2 million

Also new this year is the now complete range of wave products available to WhiteWater clients: sheet wave with FlowRider®, deep flow stationary wave with FlowSurf™, and surf lagoon with Endless Surf. These products offer different ride experiences yet have the potential be anchor attractions in leisure and entertainment venues.

Vertical Water Parks
Trending this year is the concept of vertical water parks. These sky-high towers not only serve as landmarks, they also pack in the most thrills per square meter. Soon to open is the Icon Tower at Meryal in Qatar, which is breaking two records: the world’s tallest water slide at 85 meters (279 feet) and the most number of water slides coming off a single tower—12.

The tallest water slide tower in North America, The Rise of Icarus, will open summer 2024 at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin, USA. Launching five slides, the tallest one will be 44 meters (145 feet) high. Meanwhile in China, M100 Waterpark in Zhejiang province will be the world’s tallest water slide tower when completed, boasting 100 meters (328 feet) in height and launching 12 water slides.

Global Project Updates
WhiteWater gave updates on prominent projects around the world slated for completion in the coming year, including several record breakers and firsts in their respective regions, as well as a dominance of the Master Blaster—WhiteWater’s fan-favourite water coaster. 

Asia Pacific
In China, the world’s biggest indoor ski hall, SnowStar in Shanghai, will open a world-class water park as part of its greater resort complex, with park design and all 15 of the water attractions provided by WhiteWater, including a rarity—a Blasterango in the form of a Family Master Blaster + Boomerango Fusion. In Japan, Nagashima Spa Land will impress with the world’s largest funnel slide, the Mega Abyss. Having opened its latest expansion, Oasis Gardens, this year, Waterbom Bali in Indonesia will unveil a new kids’ area with the biggest AquaForms in the world, with 16 platforms of interactive fun interconnected by bridges and stairs.

The highly anticipated Oceana at Liseberg in Sweden will be ready to welcome guests to enjoy 14 water attractions, including Europe’s first 6-person water slides and, at 16.4 meters (54 feet), the highest mega-drop Master Blaster in the world. Still in Scandinavia, Fårup Sommerland in Denmark is making the biggest expansion investment in its history with a tower launching two attractions: Parallel Pursuit and the world’s first Boomerango + Tailspin Fusion. In Munich, Germany, o2 SURFTOWN MUC will forever change location-based entertainment in Europe with a state-of-the-art Endless Surf surf lagoon creating waves for all skill levels—as well as spending opportunities in lifestyle, events, food, and beverage. 

In South America, the most visited water park on the continent, Thermas dos Laranjais in Brazil, will open an epic tower featuring two 6-person raft rides: a Family Master Blaster + Orbiter + Anaconda Fusion and a Family Master Blaster + Constrictor + Galaxy Bowl Fusion—both firsts in the world.

The Master Blaster action continues in the USA, where Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee will have the world’s first water slide with Reverse AquaLucent effects. Hurricane Harbor Maryland at Six Flags America will have the tallest water coaster in the Mid-Atlantic. As part of the biggest investment since the water park at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands opened, its new expansion will feature four inner tube rides, including the headlining Blasterango—a Master Blaster and Boomerango Fusion that will be the first water coaster in Georgia. Not forgetting the young children, they will have their own Mini Blaster—the world’s first—at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels in Texas.

On the topic of kids, they will have hours of fun with 180 features and 7 slides on the new beach-themed RainFortress 5 aquatic play structure at Hurricane Harbor New Jersey at Six Flags Great AdventureBavarian Inn in Michigan will open its Bavarian-themed kids’ area, along with large inner tube slides and raft rides, as part of its $80 million investment to create the biggest indoor water park in the state. Over to the high seas, Carnival Jubilee will set sail from Galveston, Texas, later this year with thrilling body slides and a custom AquaPlay on board.

Heading to the Great White North, summer will see Canada’s Wonderland open a 6-person Boomerango—the country’s first—to the delight of regulars to this renowned park.

Middle East
WhiteWater is in the midst of the pulsating attractions industry growth in the Middle East. Together with the extraordinary Icon Tower, Meryal will feature waves, aquatic play structures, and 36 water slides across 160,000 square meters (39.5 acres) of water park inspired by themes of Qatari culture and history. In Kuwait, New Messilah Beach, an upscale club, is being re-designed with fresh aquatic amenities. More major WhiteWater projects in the Middle East will be revealed in the coming months.

“We’re excited to be working on impactful new projects, both with familiar repeat clients and in pioneering new territories,” said WhiteWater President and Endless Surf Co-Founder, Paul Chutter. “The attractions industry is full of buzz again with new investments, and we’re fortunate to have trusted partners to work with to create exceptional guest experiences through our complete portfolio—whether water parks, water rides, surf, or software.”

E&A 40th toast on Wednesday at IAAPA Expo booth 2645

By | November 16, 2023

Clients, partners and friends gathered Wednesday, November 16, in the Ellis & Associates booth at IAAPA Expo 2023 for a toast in honor of Jeff Ellis, celebrating 40 years of elevating aquatic safety around the world. Jeff was presented with two bobbleheads depicting his early years in aquatics, sporting his “speedo” swimsuit, and Jeff in recent times wearing his E&A Hawaiian shirt and flip flops.

After 40 years, Jeff remains active in the company including overseeing the recent launch of two technology innovations – EAVS and Ellis Docs – and connecting with clients from around the globe.

StarGuard ELITE, LLC and LifeguardEye enter strategic partnership

By | November 16, 2023

WINDERMERE, Fla. — StarGuard ELITE, LLC (SGE) and LifeguardEye (LGE) are pleased to announce they have entered into a strategic partnership, combining SGE’s industry leading aquatic risk prevention and consulting services with LGE’s world class drowning detection software and next-gen technology services.

With technology playing an increasingly critical role in every aspect of business, companies recognize that they need to accelerate the development of diverse solutions to ensure they remain on the cutting edge in aquatic safety. The SGE-LGE partnership brings together unrivaled aquatic safety expertise aligned with the latest in AI drowning detection technology.  Together this partnership will provide aquatic facilities of every shape and size the most advanced and adaptable safety system available. 

“The SGE-LGE partnership is a powerful combination. LGE’s understanding of complex digital interactions, its unmatched expertise, and collaborative approach is uniquely complimentary to the services that SGE brings to market. We believe this provides industry leading technology with our aquatic safety platforms to ultimately create even safer facilities.” said Wess Long, SGE’s President.

“Partnering with SGE to deliver transformative drowning detection and prevention software will allow us to build upon the proven success that the StarGuard ELITE platform of services currently provides to clients both in the US and internationally.” said Mark Finas, LGE’s Chief Executive Officer. “Together, working as one team, we will unlock the full potential of our collective companies and place our clients on the best path for success in the new digital business landscape.”

Adventureland Launches 50th Celebration with most eventful season ever

By | November 16, 2023

ALTOONA, Iowa — Adventureland Resort is celebrating 50 years of fun by throwing a massive party like only the Home of Iowa’s Best Thrills can! The Adventureland team is digging deep into the archives to find hidden pieces of history that will be celebrated throughout the next year.  

The 2024 season also marks the opening of the reimagined Underground, the world’s only indoor wooden roller coaster. Guests will notice improved sound, lighting and thematical effects throughout the ride, along with updates to some of the most beloved scenes, along with a few new scenes. Working with local historians, aspects of Iowa’s coal mining history will shine through.

The park team has dug deeper into the original storyline created for the Underground in 1996. It tells the story of a legendary gold heist nearly 100 years ago. As the story goes, local hero, Sherriff Sam, dynamited the abandoned coal mine, trapping notorious outlaw Bad Bob and his gang inside. Now, guests will be invited to go through the old mine to search for the missing gold and the spirit of Bad Bob.

“Adventureland is so engrained in the history and culture of Iowa that Iowans feel a deep connection to the park,” General Manager Mike Lusky said. “As we celebrate Adventureland’s 50th birthday and the return of the beloved Underground, a Season Pass unlocks a year of unforgettable thrills and memories.” 

A 50th birthday celebration would not be complete without Adventureland’s most eventful season yet! Park-goers can look forward to a variety of summer fun and entertainment with the return of the annual Oktoberfest, Phantom Fall Fest and more. Guests can expect even more surprises to be announced throughout the season as the park continues to honor its five decades of history.

Celebrating 50 years of fun, Adventureland is kicking off the holiday shopping season by discounting all 2024 Season Passes by $50. The resort plans for the 2024 season to be its most eventful season yet, with more reasons to visit, in addition to all the fan favorite events that the park’s guests have come to know and love.

The Altoona resort was founded by Des Moines Businessman Jack Krantz in the 1970s. The first phase opened in 1973 with Adventureland Inn and the neighboring campground. The theme park opened in 1974, delighting visitors with attractions like the Silly Silo and Log Ride. The park’s continued expansion introduced new rides and attractions, quickly making it a beloved part of summer in Iowa. The resort made a splash in 2008, with the addition of Adventure Bay water park. In 2021, Palace Entertainment took the reins, injecting fresh energy with 11 new rides and continued investments throughout the resort.

Lake Compounce dazzles the season beginning November 24 with Holiday Lights 

By | November 16, 2023

BRISTOL, Conn. — Magic and wonder fill the air at America’s First Amusement Park as Holiday Lights returns to Lake Compounce for the 2023 season. The holiday season will officially begin on Friday, November 24 at 5 p.m. as the gates reopen to families and the park welcomes guests back to New England’s favorite holiday tradition. 

This season, visitors can expect to be delighted by Holiday Lights, a 2023 nominee for the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Theme Park Holiday Event. The event will feature Connecticut’s tallest Christmas tree, standing at 100 feet tall and boasting more than 120 thousand lights. Holiday Lights will also include a variety of activities and entertainment including meet and greets with Santa Claus, a dazzling light show at the Main Gate, cookie decorating, Kyle’s Holiday Dance Party and the return of Pawliday Lights and the Kid’s New Year’s Eve Bash followed by a spectacular fireworks display on December 31.  

“We are looking forward to spreading holiday cheer to all our guests this season,” says General Manager Doug Hemphill. “With a variety of family rides and attractions, meet and greets with the big man in red, holiday light shows, delicious food and beverage offerings and so much more, we believe this Holiday Lights season will be our best to date and we can’t wait to welcome New Englanders back for a season of magic.”  

Lake Compounce is getting into the spirit of the season as it gives back to the local community beginning with Giving Tuesday. To celebrate the day of giving, the park has partnered with the Bristol Boys and Girls Club and will donate one 2024 single day admission ticket to the club for every 2024 Season Pass sold on Tuesday, November 28. Lake Compounce will continue its season of giving through Holiday Lights with several opportunities for guests to give donations in exchange for free parking. December 1 through 3, the park will host a winter gear drive to benefit the Bristol Boys and Girls Club. Then, pets and their parents are invited to Pawliday Lights December 8 through 10 and are encouraged to bring pet food, toys or treats for the Meriden Humane Society. The giving continues the weekend of December 15 through 18 as the park teams up with Southington’s Bread for Life to collect nonperishable food items for local residents in need.  

 “The Boys & Girls Club of Bristol greatly appreciates Lake Compounce for their generosity towards the Boys and Girls in the City of Bristol that need us most,” said Jay Maia, Chief Executive Officer Boys and Girls Club of Bristol. “Many of these youth would otherwise not have the financial means to enjoy this wonderful theme park located so close to their homes.”  

Lake Compounce will offer a variety of delicious holiday treats including hot chocolate, s’mores, festive funnel cakes, peppermint bark and more. In addition to the spectacular lights throughout the park, guests can enjoy a variety of rides fit for the whole family, including the North Pole Express, Boocifers Haunted Holiday at Ghost Hunt, Zoomer’s Gas n Go, Kiddie Coaster and more. Holiday Lights will run Fridays from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. from November 24 through December 29 and Saturdays and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. from November 24 through December 31 with a bonus Thursday added on December 28. 

Jon Eyerly 1941-2023

By | November 16, 2023

SALEM, Ore. — Jon Eyerly, 82, the third generation of the family to run the former Eyerly Aircraft Co. here, passed away Nov. 6 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease and related complications.

He was born in Salem on March 17, 1941, to Jack V. and June Eyerly and spent his early years at Cascade and South Salem High Schools.

After high school he joined the family business, which was founded in 1930 by his grandfather, Lee. Jon’s first task was sweeping floors before being promoted into the manufacturing process to assemble light strings for the rides.

At age 21, Jon operated the family’s new spectacular Monster ride at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. He then drove trucks to deliver equipment to customers before being named manager of the Eyerly shop.

Though Lee Eyerly first made a name for himself as an aviation expert, it was the development of amusement rides that propelled the business into the spotlight.

By the late 1930s, the company changed its focus from flight simulators to the production of thrill rides such as the Loop-O-Plane and Roll-O-Plane. Despite transitioning into the ride business, Eyerly didn’t change the company name or logo.

Other popular attractions patented by Eyerly included the Octopus, Spider, Rock-O-Plane and Monster. Many Eyerly rides still operate at amusement parks and with traveling shows today. It is said that the company produced around 1,800 rides during its years in business.

Jack Eyerly took the helm of the company when Lee retired in the 1950s and Jon operated Eyerly Aircraft during its final years leading up to 1990.

Jon Eyerly carried on the family legacy and held several patents of his own – most notably the Krazy Kars. He finished a long, distinguished career in the industry with Funtastic Traveling Shows of Portland, Ore.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Susan; his two daughters, Tara Isaac and Mandy Harrell, both of Salem; and his stepchildren Adam Albrich, Annandale, Va., and Amy Albrich, Salem. He has 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Nov. 17 at Salem Evangelical Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jon’s name to Serenity Hospice of Salem.

Dynamic attraction from Triotech to be installed at NEB’s Fun World

By | November 16, 2023

Brace yourselves for lift-off as Triotech proudly unveils its latest attraction SuperFly. This dynamic attraction is set to soar to new heights at NEB’s Fun World, an indoor family entertainment centre located in North Oshawa, Canada.NEB’s Fun World covers 130,000 sq.ft. of indoor space where guests enjoy a variety of attractions from drop tower to bowling lanes, arcade games, and a play centre.

Part immersive simulator, part flying theatre, SuperFly is the ultimate fusion of thrills and spills. The dynamic attraction offers an immersive experience to visitors standing onto motion platforms complemented by special effects. Guests remain standing which greatly enhances the motion and immersion as they embark on thrilling adventures. Special effects such as scents, blast, leg ticklers, water, and fresh wind have been added to enhance the immersion and amplify the excitement. The SuperFly attraction deployed at NEB’s Fun World will feature 23 platforms of two people for a total capacity of 46 per ride.

Tom England, President of NEB’s Fun World, shared his enthusiasm, saying, “Triotech’s innovative SuperFly was selected to diversify our offering and attract new visitors. We’re eager to offer one more Triotech experience to our clients. Having the possibility to change the story for Halloween, the Holidays, and other special occasions is a great advantage for having visitors coming back all year long.”

“We take customer success to heart so it’s always a pleasure when clients want to add new Triotech attractions to their location. SuperFly is a one-of-its-kind experience. It will be the first in North America and the world’s largest. No doubt that NEB’s Fun World will make it a hit!” commented Ernest Yale, Triotech’s Founder and CEO.

Triotech is showcasing at IAAPA Expo in Orlando at booths #1058 & #1317 a full range of attractions and miniature models for theme parks, LBEs, FECs, and arcades.

Roller Coaster Museum welcomes fully restored, 1911 side friction car to Plainview

By | November 16, 2023

PLAINVIEW, Texas – The National Roller Coaster Museum & Archives (NRCMA) is proud to announce the donation of a fully-restored, 1911 ride vehicle, originally from Derby Racer at Lakeside Park in Colorado, making it the oldest vehicle in the museum’s collection.

The vehicle, which was restored over the past 20 years by Randy Duffer, features a rudimentary restraint system and required painstaking attention to detail to bring the vehicle back to life.

“The Derby Racer is a unique part of amusement park history and a missing, foundational piece in our collection,” said Jeff Novotny, President of the NRCMA Board of Directors. “We look forward to preserving and maintaining this special piece of amusement park history for years to come.”

“This really was a labor of love,” said Randy Duffer, the Derby Racer restorer. “After nearly a quarter century of work, I’m thrilled that this vehicle will now not only have a safe and secure location to be forever preserved, but also to be admired for the artistry and technology it represents.”

This exhibit joins a historic Ottaway Train Set and two full Arrow Development trains from Canobie Lake Park for recent donations, all of which will be integrated into the museum’s master plan. While construction continues at the museum’s main facility in Plainview, Texas, it is still reliant solely on the generosity of industry fans and facilities. Donations can be made online at or by mailing the NRCMA at P.O. Box 5424, Arlington, Texas 76005.