Good business is the best art

By | January 12, 2022

CONCORD, N.C. — Located in the birthplace of Andy Warhol, The Andy Warhol Museum (The Warhol) in Pittsburgh, Penn. holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Warhol first opened its doors in May 1994 with the mission to engage and inspire through Warhol’s life, art and legacy. On top of the everyday museum experience, Brigitte Szivos, Special Events Manager at North Shore, and her team help coordinate special private events – from weddings to corporate events.

Every private event booked with The Warhol is given the option to rent the museum’s photo booth, an Innovative FOTO Triple Strip booth, as an added experience for guests. If a host decides to use the photo booth during their event, they then get to decide if guests will cover the cost of each individual print or if the host will cover the cost. This structure helps Szivos and the rest of the special events team provide a unique experience to fit exactly what the host is looking for.

“The majority of our special events include the photo booth experience in some way,” says Szivos. “In most cases, the host uses the photo booth prints as a party favor to their guests and sometimes opt for the additional package that provides the host with a memory box filled with every photo captured during the party. With the photo booth, we can easily customize prints with logos, headlines or other branding material making them even more special for guests.”

The Triple Strip booth from Innovative FOTO provides a unique and memorable experience for guests without the need for costly staffing. Designed with state-of-the-art software and including DNP’s award-winning dye sublimation photo printers, the Triple Strip Linus booth can be customized to blend in any indoor location, enhance the aesthetic or complement the already existing environment.

Szivos works directly with Pat Maloney of Innovative FOTO to ensure The Warhol is always equipped with the best technology and help with any customization and branding needs.

“Pat and his team have made the entire photo booth experience easy for my team,” says Szivos. “We work directly with our clients to collect branding materials and copy, then the Innovative FOTO creative team is able to draft it up and finalize the design for us. It’s always great to collaborate with the Innovative FOTO team to help ensure our clients have the best event possible.”

“Light of Revenge” – Happy Valley, Nanjing, China

By | January 11, 2022

The fast paced, action-packed space odyssey “Light of Revenge” LSM Triple Launch Coaster successfully opened to the public on December 22nd, 2021 in Happy Valley Nanjing, China.

This beautifully themed Intamin LSM Triple Launch Coaster is based on the iconic and beloved Cheetah Hunt layout at Busch Gardens Tampa but comes with an updated and more exciting ride experience, which is not only owed to the latest train design resulting in the most comfortable seat/restraint and Intamin’s state- of-the-art LSM propulsion system.

The areas around the coaster are heavily themed with large structures to make the ride feel like a real space odyssey, including several near miss moments. Countless light sources are placed along the track, illuminating the attraction in a variety of different colours. The trains also have LED lights built into the chassis for an impressive spectacle when operating at night.

The layout, with its approximately 1300 meters of track and a maximum height of approximately 40 meters, packs all the exciting elements of Cheetah Hunt into this ride and adds some more thrilling moments on top. This change of the layout with new interacting elements and the themed structures placed close to the track let riders feel the speed of this LSM Launch Coaster even more intensely and creates several near miss effects. Finally, the ride features the iconic Figure Eight Tower Element making it a real eyecatcher and crowd puller, visible from far across the park.

The four 16-seats, fully themed trains of “Light of Revenge” with ergonomically shaped seats and over-the- shoulder-lap-bar restraints ensure maximum freedom and comfort with the highest safety for the passengers.

Intamin is thankful and equally proud of having contributed to the continued success of Happy Valley, Nanjing, China.

Merlin Entertainments extends global ticketing partnership with Accesso through 2026

By | January 11, 2022

ORLANDO, Fla. — accesso Technology Group plc (AIM: ACSO) – the premier technology solutions provider for attractions and venues worldwide – has extended its ongoing partnership with leading attractions brand Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. (Merlin), a subsidiary of Merlin Entertainments, to continue delivery of its accesso Passport ticketing solution throughout the operator’s global portfolio, supporting both eCommerce and on-site operations. Through this extended agreement, accesso will continue to serve as the exclusive ticketing technology provider for 113 Merlin venues across 19 countries through to Aug. 2026, with Merlin maintaining the option to extend a further two years.

Led by robust mobile commerce features, the fully hosted accesso Passport ticketing suite powers online ticketing, on-site sales, season pass management, and third-party sales distribution and access control, allowing Merlin to offer its guests an intuitive and seamless digital experience. Guests are able to navigate every element of their visit with ease – from selecting their tickets and pre-purchasing parking passes, to planning ahead with dining packages, stroller rentals and more. With the accesso Passport solution, operators are equipped to tap into the rapidly increasing consumer demand for mobile shopping – a key capability in the ever-accelerating shift to eCommerce. With a user experience tailored to the specific needs of the attractions industry, accesso Passport enables world-class operators like Merlin to easily deploy revenue-driving up-sell and cross-sell opportunities across the guest’s entire purchasing journey.

Merlin specializes in creating unforgettable, magical moments for guests of all ages, welcoming millions of guests annually through the gates of its beloved attractions and iconic theme park resorts, including SEA LIFE Aquariums, LEGOLAND Parks, Madame Tussauds attractions and the world-famous London Eye.

“Since 2015, Merlin has worked in partnership with Accesso to deliver the latest digital software across our global network, giving our guests an intuitive ticketing solution,” said Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments CEO. “We’re pleased to be extending our partnership and continuing to develop and grow our ticketing experience, which puts our guests at the very heart of the customer journey.”

“We appreciate the trust the Merlin team has placed in our long-standing partnership, and we look forward to building upon our successful relationship for many years to come,” said accesso CEO Steve Brown.

Eric German retained as GOSA consultant

By | January 11, 2022

The Greater Ohio Showmen’s Association (GOSA) announced, today, the two year contract extension for Eric German, Executive Board Liaison and Communications Director, a role he began in January 2021.

“Eric did an outstanding job,” noted David Drake, outgoing GOSA president, “helping the executive board work through many difficult pandemic-related issues effectively communicating policy in connection with the shutdown and subsequent reopening of the industry.”

German’s role with GOSA focuses on membership recruitment and retention, PR and communications, and revenue development, and has a critically important advisory role to the president and executive Board.

Underscoring his enthusiasm, Randy Kissel, incoming GOSA president,  said he looked forward to working with Eric over the course of my two year tenure. Continuing, “We will be collaborating to raise sponsorship dollars for the GOSA 75th Anniversary in 2025 and grow membership,” Kissel confirmed.

The GOSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and perpetuation of the outdoor amusement business in the State of Ohio.   The GOSA takes a proactive and supportive approach to legislation regarding regulations to the amusement business and proposals supporting tourism and growth in the State of Ohio.  The GOSA board of trustees works with other industry associations, state agencies, and private businesses to engage in Ohio’s legislation and public policy where it affects fairs, festivals, and special events.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens chooses Gateway Ticketing Systems

By | January 10, 2022

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa. — Magnolia Plantation and Gardens located in Charleston, South Carolina has chosen Galaxy from Gateway Ticketing Systems as their next Ticketing and Guest Experience solution.

Founded in 1676, Magnolia Plantation has witnessed American history from the American Revolution to the Civil War and it houses the oldest public gardens in America.

Magnolia needed a single remedy that integrated all their key profit generating centers under one solution: including onsite and online ticketing, admissions, retail, and food and beverage. While other ticketing solutions were considered, Magnolia ultimately chose to move forward with Galaxy because of the superior functionality and a recommendation from another Gateway customer in the Charleston area.

The gardens at Magnolia have brought tourists from around the world since they were open to the public in the early 1870s. The plantation has been owned by the same family for more than three centuries, and each generation adds their own personal touch. That includes the addition of Galaxy as their ticketing and guest experience solution of the future.

Galaxy will go live in the first quarter of 2022 with onsite and online ticketing, plus Galaxy Admission Control so Magnolia can admit the tickets they sell. Magnolia will also leverage Galaxy’s Membership module to manage and sell their annual memberships. They plan to continue to offer timed and capacity tickets and will leverage Galaxy Resource Management for this. Additionally, they will use Galaxy Order Entry to help manage group sales. Finally, Magnolia will use the Galaxy Upsell module to drive purchases of additional products and services both onsite and online.

“We chose Galaxy for its robust abilities and its operational, accounting, and analysis customizations. Galaxy’s tailored approach requires thoughtful configuration, and the Gateway staff provides thorough guidance in an encouraging atmosphere,” says Martina Remington, Magnolia’s Communications and Analytic Specialist. “We feel confident our business needs are being met, and we look forward to providing upgraded levels of service to our visitors and our staff.”

In addition, Magnolia will use Galaxy’s Retail and Food & Beverage modules. They’ll also use Reporting Plus, which aggregates all the information they collect from all these integrated systems and organizes the data into easy-to-understand reports. Finally, Magnolia purchased a Learning Subscription from Gateway so that their team can learn and train with courses designed by a Galaxy expert.

“It was a pleasure to work with an organization that is so forward thinking in how they find modern operational efficiencies that improve the guest experience while still maintaining the historic feel of their venue,” says Steve Bell, the Business Solutions Architect at Gateway who worked with Magnolia.

“We’re proud to provide the ticketing solution for one of America’s most beautiful gardens,” says Peter Wolf, Director of Sales and Marketing at Gateway. “And that’s not an opinion. They were recently selected as such by Travel and Leisure Magazine. But to play a small part in the successful operations of such an historic and impressive site is exactly why we do what we do.”

Magnolia Plantations & Gardens will go live with Galaxy in the first quarter of 2022.

Ice carving & fireworks highlight Six Flags Over Texas weekends

By | January 7, 2022

ARLINGTON, Texas — Six Flags Over Texas, the Thrill Capital of Texas, will welcome guests during weekends and holidays in January and February.  

In addition to the park’s roller coasters and rides, the return of Ice Carving with Reverend Butter will bring chilling live entertainment to the stage in the GOTHAM CITY. The award-winning ensemble will show off their ice carving talents by slicing and dicing 300-pound blocks of ice into amazing sculptures using chainsaws.    

The park will also have fireworks at 7:00 p.m. each Saturday night in January and February– shot from the top of the 300-foot tall Oil Derrick tower. 

Six Flags Over Texas continues weekend operation January 8 – February 27, plus Jan. 17 and Feb. 21. For more information, including operating dates and hours and to purchase discounted one-day tickets, visit www.sixflags.com/overtexas.

Experience the UK’s tallest rollercoaster like never before with Walk The Big One XL

By | January 7, 2022

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is giving guests the chance to experience the UK’s tallest rollercoaster like never before. Walk the Big One XL takes participants on a guided tour of the Big One which covers many ups and downs of the famous 235ft tall ride and will take them to places the public will have never been before.

Building on the success of the existing Walk The Big One experience, which allows guests to climb the lifthill of the ride, Walk The Big One XL takes in even more of the ride. 

As well as climbing the 420 steps to the top of The Big One, participants will also get the chance to explore the ride’s maintenance area and get a better insight into how it works. They will also have the chance to climb up two exciting new points on the ride where they will experience unique views of the ride, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and the stunning seafront.

Walk The Big One XL will be run by members of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s ride operations team who will guide guests through the experience, share fascinating facts and stories about the ride, and also share a few interesting tales about their time working with the famous ride.

Speaking about Walk The Big One XL, Andy Hygate, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Director of Operations comments, “The original Walk The Big One and Walk The Woodie events have been hugely successful so we wanted to develop a new experience to build on these and offer something completely new. 

“Walk The Big One XL will take our guests to parts of the ride they will never have been to before, and experience unique views of the ride and surrounding areas. Having tried the walk myself, I can definitely say that it’s something that all fans of Blackpool Pleasure Beach will love to take part in.”

The experience is priced at £150 per person and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Current dates available for Walk The Big One XL are Friday 29th April, Friday 6th May and Friday 17th June. More dates may be added if demand is high for the event.

For more information, or to book for Walk The Big One XL, please visit www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/events/wtbo-xl

Celebrate daily with the Peanuts gang during Knott’s Peanuts Celebration beginning January 22 through March 6

By | January 6, 2022

BUENA PARK, Calif. — The Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration invites guests to step into the iconic world of Charles M. Schulz comic strips as the characters take over the entire theme park with special activities for everyone, now taking place daily beginning January 22 through March 6. The limited-time event welcomes fans of all ages to join in on the excitement with family-friendly options for guests to play and interact with the PEANUTS Gang throughout the park. The celebration features a new stage show, a new Charles Schulz exhibit, plenty of new PEANUTS-inspired food items, and last but not least, a brand-new walk-around character to join in on the fun.

At the Calico Mine Stage, the PEANUTS characters will be debuting a brand-new musical for guests with It’s Your Life, Charlie Brown. During the day, Charlie Brown gets the shock of his life on the game show “It’s Your Life!” There will be music, fun and surprise guests, including the world’s most famous beagle, Snoopy! The stage will transform into a musical extravaganza at nightfall as the park hosts Woodstock’s Musical Festival. The musical event features the PEANUTS Gang joined by the family-friendly indie band The Jelly of the Month Club, performing a high-energy rock concert for the whole family.

The PEANUTS-inspired festivities will continue at the Bird Cage Theatre as the park offers an experience that gives both the young and the young at heart a lesson on how to draw their favorite PEANUTS characters. The PEANUTS Sketch School will include our resident art teacher, who will provide step-by-step instructions on creating the perfect PEANUTS masterpiece. At Calico’s Town Hall, a new family-friendly, PEANUTS-inspired exhibit will be open for guests to experience. The new exhibit, Take Care with PEANUTS, invites us to laugh together at the fun and foibles of the PEANUTS Gang as they grapple with some of life’s biggest questions and ideas. Guests can take a look at the inspiration behind some of the most popular themes in PEANUTS through Schulz’s comic strips, photos, and drawings.

Join in on a Western escapade with Franklin and Linus as they transform into cowboys in the PEANUTS Cowboy Jamboree at Calico Park. The boys are looking to challenge guests with some of the rootiniest, tootinest games in Calico. Also in Ghost Town is Pigpen’s Pig Pen, where everyone’s favorite messy pal will be joining the rest of the PEANUTS Gang as he hosts a special meetup at the Livery Stables with some of his favorite animal friends.

Venture into Camp Snoopy, where the Camp Snoopy Theater will now feature the Music Goes ‘Round and Aroundduring the day. Sally and Schroeder will host a retrospect of melodies sure to make the audience dance in the aisles. Don’t forget to hop aboard the Grand Sierra Railroad to experience a one-of-a-kind adventure as riders travel with the PEANUTS Gang to the Beagle Bonanza in this fun ride overlay.

While visiting Fiesta Village, guests can uncover an experience guaranteed to make everyone dance – Discoteca de Silencio or silent disco. The fun begins with guests strapping on a set of headphones and enjoying some upbeat tunes. Snoopy’s brother, Spike, hosts the party bound to be the most fun guests can experience while quiet in Spike’s Silent Disco.

The celebration doesn’t stop there! Just in time for PEANUTS Celebration, the DJs of K-NOT Radio, the hippest station on the Boardwalk, are spinning PEANUTS music. You might even hear a special guest or two, so be sure to tune in. The fun continues at Boardwalk BBQ, where you can grab a seat (and a plate!) to enjoy the smooth sounds of The James Street Trio that will transport you to the hometown of the PEANUTS Gang with their tribute to the music of Vince Guaraldi.

The best way to enjoy the expanded Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration plus all of the other Seasons of Fun in 2022 is with a Season Pass! Get unlimited visits, food and merchandise discounts, plus so much more! For more information about Knott’s Berry Farm, please visit knotts.com or download the Knott’s Berry Farm app for your smartphone. Join the conversation using the hashtag #KnottsPeanutsCelebration 

Six Flags Fiesta Texas celebrates 30 thrilling years in 2022

By | January 6, 2022

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Six Flags Fiesta Texas, The Thrill Capital of South Texas, is celebrating 30 years of excitement, thrills and history in the biggest way possible! The 30th Anniversary Celebration is a year-long party featuring special events, entertainment, food festivals, a collectible button program, historical displays throughout the park, throwback merchandise and more!

“Six Flags Fiesta Texas has been a part of the community for 30 years,” said Park President Jeffrey Siebert. “The 30th Anniversary Celebration is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the millions of guests we’ve entertained over three decades. This year we will offer our guests a nostalgic experience highlighting our rich history, while also showcasing the thrilling future of the park,” added Siebert.

In addition to traditional events like Mardi Gras, Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park, the 30th Anniversary Celebration offers several new festivities, including the following:

  • 30th Anniversary Kickoff Weekend – The first 2,000 guests on January 8 and 9 will receive a commemorative anniversary button. Also, the park will be hosting an exclusive Town Hall event on January 8, presented by Park President Jeffrey Siebert, as he provides an in-depth review of the many new park improvements and additions coming in 2022;
  • 30th Anniversary Festival – The party continues April 2 – May 30, during the 30th Anniversary Festival, with the return of the classic show Rockin’ At Rockville High, a food festival, and more;
  • Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger – This summer, the park will introduce the world’s steepest dive coaster featuring a cliffhanger hold that suspends riders as they face straight down a 95-degree, beyond-vertical drop, moments before releasing them to dive 150-feet downward at 60 mph;
  • Celebrate 30 Night Show – The park will present Celebrate 30, a bigger-than-ever nighttime spectacular that caps off a full day of thrills during the 30th Anniversary Festival.

Additional historical highlights of the Six Flags Fiesta Texas 30th Anniversary include the following:

  • 30th Anniversary Walkway – Purchase an engraved brick and celebrate 30 years of thrills by becoming a permanent part of park history on the 30th Anniversary Walkway! Each brick can include a unique message and design, with optional artwork;
  • Then & Now Trail – Seek out all 30 Then & Now placards throughout the park to rekindle fond family memories, create new ones, and view items on the 30th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt list;
  • Mini Museums – Pay a visit to all of the mini-museums in each of the original sections of the park to learn more about the rich history of Six Flags Fiesta Texas;
  • Collectible Button Program – From classic characters to your favorite rides, shows and seasonal events, be sure to gather each and every button that is part of the 30th Anniversary collection.

For more information on the 30TH Anniversary Celebration, visit sixflags.com/fiestatexas/events/30th-anniversary-celebration.

Fun Spot America breaks ground on Arieforce One roller coaster

By | January 6, 2022

ATLANTA, Ga. — Fun Spot America Theme Parks, Atlanta’s only Family-Owned theme park have a New Year’s Resolution to bring HUGE excitement to its Fayetteville, Georgia location with the addition of an action-packed custom Rocky Mountain Construction steel roller coaster, ArieForce One. With ground-breaking taking place on Thursday, January 6th, John Arie Jr. believes this is one resolution that he is sure to keep, and coaster enthusiast are sure to love. Riders will soar over 3,400 feet of track, towering 15 stories and flying at speeds up to 64 miles-per-hour. The new coaster will be located near the main gate to the park where guests will have spectacular views of the entire park.

“New Year’s resolutions may come and go, but this one is here to stay. ArieForce One is a tribute to my father’s passion for flying, and with all of the airtime moments and weightlessness this RMC coaster provides, it is sure to be a HUGE success!” said Fun Spot America CEO and Owner, John Arie Jr.

“The addition of ArieForce One is a HUGE milestone for our company and the first of many new Marque rides and attractions yet to come to the Fayetteville, GA park,” said John Arie Jr “As a one-of-a-kind roller coaster, custom designed to the topography and layout of Fun Spot Atlanta, no other RMC roller coaster has this combination of elements. The Raven Truss Dive and the Zero-G Roll over the arcade are the first-of-their-kind in the world. In both ride elements the train travels through the center of a uniquely designed truss bridge while twisting at Zero-G,” said Rocky Mountain Construction Director of Design and Engineering, Jake Kilcup.

Key Features of ArieForce One include:

  • Themed queue lines based on John Arie Sr’s boyhood passion for flight;
  • Two state of the art 20-passenger steering axle trains that just scream high speed thrills;
  • 3,400 feet of RMC’s award-winning patented steel Ibox track;
  • A HUGE tension-building ascent up a towering,154-foot lift hill;
  • Reaching incredible speeds up to 64 mph;
  • Intense ride elements including a steep, 83-degree first drop and the largest Zero-G Stall in America;
  • Four exciting inversions including a first ever Raven Truss Dive, two Zero-G Rolls and a 180-degree stall.