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.

ProSlide wins First Place IAAPA Brass Ring Award 2023

By | November 16, 2023

ORLANDO — During IAAPA Expo 2023, ProSlide announced the receipt of the prestigious IAAPA Brass Ring Award in the category of Best New Water Park Ride. The company’s groundbreaking creation, Saifa – Dueling RocketBLAST Water Coaster, has been recognized as the epitome of innovation and excellence in the realm of water park attractions.

This esteemed award is a resounding testament to ProSlide’s unwavering dedication and hard work in the dynamic field of water ride design and manufacturing. We are profoundly grateful to the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) for this recognition, which reinforces our commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity in the industry.

The company extends its sincere appreciation to everyone who contributed to the success of Saifa and it shares this remarkable achievement with the incredible team at Siam Water Park, the company’s esteemed partner in this endeavor. The park’s collaboration and passion for delivering exceptional experiences have played a pivotal role in bringing this innovative water ride to life.

Siam Water Park’s commitment to excellence aligns seamlessly with ProSlide’s vision, and together the two have created a water park attraction that not only thrills but sets a new standard for excitement and innovation. This collaboration has been instrumental in shaping Saifa into the award-winning sensation it is today.

As ProSlide celebrates this milestone, the company renews its commitment to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible in water ride design. The IAAPA Brass Ring Award serves as motivation to uphold our standards of excellence and innovation, inspiring us to create even more thrilling and unforgettable experiences for water park enthusiasts around the globe.

ProSlide offers a sincere “thank you” to everyone who has been part of the company’s journey and has recognized ProSlide’s dedication to setting new benchmarks in the industry. The company looks forward to continuing to redefine the future of water park entertainment and delivering unparalleled excitement to audiences worldwide.

Zamperla redefines amusement experiences with Integrated Rides

By | November 16, 2023

ORLANDO — In our unrelenting pursuit of delivering unforgettable experiences, we know that the key to success lies in understanding the ever-evolving needs of park-goers. Through research and direct conversations with our clients, we’ve come to a profound realization: park-goers are in search of more than just rides; they crave experiences.

Customer Feedback Drives Our Innovation: At Zamperla, we’ve always been driven by our customers’ feedback. Their invaluable input has propelled our quest to introduce new concepts, including Integrated Rides.

Integrated Rides: A fusion of Zamperla’s world-famous collection of flat rides combined with Zamperla’s roller coasters to create an immersive experience that maximizes the capacity. This transformative concept takes traditional rides and turns them into narrative adventures, captivating audiences from the very beginning to the finish.

With a rich history of delivering exceptional attractions to amusement parks worldwide, Zamperla proudly stands as a one-stop shop offering the industry’s most extensive portfolio of rides.

“Our unique advantage allows us to provide our clients with a diverse array of attractions, fostering shared and unforgettable experiences within their parks,” said Michael Coleman, Sales Manager at Zamperla.

Proven Success Stories: Zamperla’s commitment to delivering memorable experiences is not just a promise; it’s a track record. Our success stories include collaborations with renowned parks such as Ferrari World, Walibi Holland, Luna Farm, Adventureland, and Luna Park in Coney Island.

Key Elements of Integrated Rides:

  • •Shareable Moments: Integrated Rides create memorable experiences that visitors can’t wait to share, extending the park’s reach.
  • Increased Customer Spending: By creating entire themed areas with a handful of rides, parks can boost revenue through additional opportunities like food and beverage or themed retail, enhancing the overall guest experience.
  • Kinetic Energy: Achieve more rides within the same space, maximizing the park’s attractions and enhancing overall visitor satisfaction.
  • Broad Demographic Appeal: Integrated Rides cater to a wide spectrum of visitors, accommodating both families and thrill-seekers within the same area.
  • Integrated Rides are transforming the amusement park experience by leveraging Zamperla’s exceptional theming capabilities, a diverse portfolio of attractions, and a continuous dialogue with the preferences of park-goers.

Dollywood finds perfect partners on road to increased sustainability

By | November 16, 2023

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Today, millions of people will celebrate America Recycles Day, the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. With the Great Smoky Mountains literally at Dollywood’s doorstep, the overwhelming beauty of nature is always top-of-mind for both park guests and hosts. It is this natural atmosphere that inspires some of Dollywood’s newest ways to maintain that splendor for years to come.

Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (KTNRB) recently was named “2023 Nonprofit Recycler of the Year” by the Tennessee Recycling Coalition for a program launched at Dollywood. Through the program, approximately 350,000 cigarette butts have been recycled and turned into items like plastic outdoor furniture. That effort is just one of the recycling programs in place at Dollywood Parks & Resorts, and it takes place under the watchful eye of Dollywood’s Grounds Manager, Bobby Johnson. 

Johnson has grown the park’s recycling efforts during his tenure and has recently launched his most-ambitious program yet, one that he hopes will see the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, park reach a goal of ultimately having 100% of its refuse not reach a landfill. Dollywood, along with partner The Coca-Cola Company and Tennessee-based recycling company iSustain, are working as a team to increase recycling efforts to help eventually achieve that goal.

After searching for a recycling partner that could help with the unique needs of the theme park environment, Johnson found Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee-based iSustain. Founded by Dawn and Mark Huber, the company works with companies to identify the best and most effective recycling plans based on a number of factors.

“As a National Recycling Solution Provider for industry, it is exciting to be partnering and helping Dollywood make an impact right here in our home state and our treasured Smoky Mountains,” said Mark Huber, Vice President of Business Development for iSustain, Inc. “Dollywood faces unique recycling challenges due to their expansive property size and the sheer number of guests visiting each day, along with a diversity of waste. Across North America, implementation of creative recycling, zero landfill programs and full circularity solutions is the specialty of iSustain.”

iSustain helped Dollywood source a specialized PET bottle baler to ensure the many collected beverage bottles were baled and ready to sell to companies able to recycle the polypropylene caps and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Additionally, the partnership with The Coca-Cola Company provided more than 65 new recycling bins, which allow a convenient location for park guests to recycle bottles. A Dollywood host sorts through the bottles, removing all contaminants placed into the containers. 

“We are proud to partner with Dollywood to bolster recycling and awareness across the park,” said Pete Lucic, Director of Strategic Partnerships & On-Premise for Coca-Cola North America. “Together, our partnership serves as a great example of how we can join forces with our customers to drive sustainability initiatives forward to create real, meaningful change.”

Once the bottles are sorted, they are compacted into 700 lb. cubes by the PET bottle baling machines. iSustain coordinates the logistics and the sale of cardboard and plastics on Dollywood’s behalf to maximize recycling rates and create the best market value. The revenue generated from the cardboard and plastic sales is donated into Dollywood’s Share It Forward, a program which helps employees during times of need.

iSustain arranges transport of the baled recyclables, which may wind up at a number of locations. For example, several shipments have been sent to Dalton, Georgia, for recovery of the PET to be reused in carpeting. The rest of Dollywood’s household garbage and waste is sent to Sevier Solid Waste, Inc. (SSWI) in Pigeon Forge. All organic waste from homes and businesses in Sevier County is composted at the facility, with more than 50,000 tons of compost produced each year. 

Growing Dollywood’s recycling effort is something Johnson takes seriously. He studies trends and observes guest behavior daily to determine the most effective solutions to the problem.

“When Big Bear Mountain opened, I was walking in the queue line and noticed a lot of bottles sitting around, because guests couldn’t take them on the ride,” Johnson explained. “We had a number of trash cans but not as many recycling cans in the queue. We put more recycling cans in the lines, and now those fill up faster than most others in the park.” 

When the new bottle bundling program started, it took 31 days to have enough bottles to create the first bundle. Johnson says it now only takes about 10 days due to the increased number of recycling cans, thanks to The Coca-Cola Company and the strategic locations of those cans. With momentum moving in the right direction, Johnson remains focused on his overall goal.

“One hundred percent landfill diversion is our ultimate goal,” Johnson said. “We’re already looking at adding new hosts due to the increase of needs associated with the program. My outlook is that we continue advancing the types of materials we are recycling. Next would be plastic wraps and buckets and move from there. Our next step is to start working with our operating teams to help them determine specific items already in use which may be easily replaced with different items that are compostable or more easily recycled.”

Story Land announces 70th Celebration plus new additions to all-moo water play area coming for 2024 season

By | November 15, 2023

GLEN, N.H. — The cow-down is officially on, as Story Land announced its official 70th Celebration coming in 2024, highlighted by the addition of the all-moo, all-new Moo Lagoon. The completely reimagined farm-tastic-themed area will feature an interactive water play area, three water slides, a new food and beverage stand, new retail location and a brand new bath house. The udderly amazing, fully immersive farm-themed area is set to open to guests in 2024.

The brand-new Moo Lagoon will offer refreshing family fun until the cows come home. Complete with an interactive water playground as its centerpiece, the new thematic area will also include a triple slide tower offering three unique body water slides, Cob CruiserSilk Slider and Husk Runner. After a day of play, the whole herd can enjoy a bite at the Barn Yard Pizza offering slices from the barn-themed restaurant, and take a break in the brand new farm-inspired Bath House. The park’s newest retail location, The Stock Yard, will also open within Moo Lagoon and will be a one stop shop for swim essentials.

“Construction on the new Moo Lagoon section of Story Land is well underway as we prepare for 2024 and our 70th season,” said Story Land Marketing Director, Lauren Fullerton. “This new farm-themed area will be a fully immersive experience offering our visitors a chance to cool off and refresh after a day of play here at Story Land.”

Moo Lagoon is the centerpiece of the park’s 70th Celebration coming in 2024. In addition to the new water play area, the park is also unveiling a refreshed whimsical logo and will celebrate its birthday in June in style. A massive birthday cake will be on display along with additional activities to mark the momentous year will be announced soon.

The Moo Lagoon water play area will offer fun for kids of all sizes in the new multi-level sprayground featuring a dumping bucket, interactive water features and a zero-depth spray zone. Moo Lagoon is the next themed addition to join the park and will transport guests to the farm featuring cow structures, large tractors throughout, a large entrance portal and more.

To celebrate the announcement of all that is moo and 70 years of fairy tale fun, Story Land is kicking off Black Friday early. Starting now, guests can get Season Passes starting at just $69.99 or day tickets for just $29.99. Season Passholders can take advantage of unique discounts and additional perks like unlimited visits, free friend tickets, discounts on food and beverage and much more. 

JW Winco: Signal feedback included

By | November 15, 2023

Intelligent standard parts from JW Winco ensure greater safety, higher efficiency, and increased stability. Setting bolts with a cable. Cabinet U-handle with signal light. A fluid level indicator that provides visual information and sends an electronic signal thanks to a REED contact.

Undoubtedly, JW Winco standard parts are becoming even more functional – multifunctional, to be precise. Suitable for a wide range of applications, such as remote monitoring of the fill and temperature levels in hydraulic tanks, displaying process situations, or reporting the position of parts in machines.

For example, the smart GN 251.2 stop bolt reports whether workpieces are precisely positioned in the machining process thanks to the integrated end position switch. The GN 817.6 indexing plunger and its pneumatically-operated, fully compatible counterpart, the GN 817.7, send a high signal as soon as the plunger is successfully engaged. Information on safety-related opening operations is provided by the safety hinges of the GN 139 and EN 239 series, which are available in zinc die-cast, stainless steel, and fiber-glass-reinforced polyamide. The angle-dependent switching point can be adjusted individually, and a combined closing and locking query can be made in conjunction with the above-mentioned indexing plungers. This improves safety and saves energy. For example, when the doors need to be closed to ensure effective cooling in control cabinets. The GN 893 proximity switches are equipped with inductive sensors that are installed in power clamps and report that a workpiece is clamped in the machine properly.

There are other control elements in JW Winco’s portfolio in addition to such sensors: GN 331 and GN 332 machine tubular handles provide status information via a light signal, the push button can call up further functions, and the emergency stop switch, which is also integrated, interrupts the system’s safety chain and safely stops it to protect the operator from injury and protects the machine from damage.

The GN 422 and EN 628.4 cabinet U-handles use a push button, but do not have an emergency stop. The GN 3310 switches provide immediate feedback in the form of a red or green illuminated push button.

JW Winco relies on cable-based connections over radio transmission, as this simplifies integration into control systems while improving reliability at the same time.

Dutch Winter Wonderland ipens Saturday with 10 all-new experiences

By | November 15, 2023

LANCASTER, Pa. — Dutch Wonderland, the World’s Best Family Park, debuts its largest and most entertainment-filled Dutch Winter Wonderland ever beginning this Saturday, November 18. The USA Today 10Best Nominated Best Theme Park Holiday Event will welcome guests to the best Dutch Winter Wonderland in the park’s history offering 10 all-new ways to enjoy the holiday season with the entire family.

More festive than ever before, families can expect all that is merry and bright at the all-new Dutch Winter Wonderland in 2023.This season will feature an all-new light show in Merlin’s Magical Forest, a new meet and greet experience with the big man in red at Santa’s Jolly Lodge, an all-new dining offering complete with all the holiday fixings with Dine with Duke, Santa and Friends, a new puppet show in Melody Medow, A-Chris-Mouse Carol plus six other fun-filled entertainment options to make spirits bright throughout guests visit to Dutch Winter Wonderland.

“We’re thrilled to make everyone’s season sparkle more than ever before at the kingdom as Dutch Winter Wonderland begins,” said James Paulding General Manager. “This year, we have invested in our holiday event, making spirits bright with dazzling lights and 10 all-new ways to enjoy the holiday season at the park.”

Dutch Winter Wonderland begins with a weekend of giving in partnership with Toys for Tots of Lancaster. Guests are encouraged to get into the spirit of the season of giving back to the local community with a donation of one unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more. Those who bring a donation will receive one free child ticket per donation valid for admission any one day of Dutch Winter Wonderland. The park will continue its partnership with Toys for Tots in celebration of Giving Tuesday. For every 2024 Season Pass sold on Tuesday, November 28, Dutch Wonderland will donate a 2024 single-day ticket to Toys for Tots.

The holidays are even more festive as Dutch Winter Wonderland also offers more than 20 rides and activities throughout the park, including Frog Hopper, Joust Family Coaster, Kite Flight, Merlin’s Mayhem and more. Plus, guests can expect to find delicious holiday treats including Merlin’s Holiday Feast, holiday funnel cakes, holiday paninis, hot chocolate and more. Dutch Winter Wonderland will run every Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. November 18 – December 31, and Fridays from November 24 –December 29 from 4 – 9 p.m. with bonus days after Christmas and for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

To get into the holiday spirit, the park is kicking off its best sale of the season early, that’s right Black Friday deals start now! With savings on 2024 season passes up to $50 off. Select passes also include unlimited admission to Dutch Winter Wonderland and the 2024 season and perks like free friend tickets, discounts on retail and food and beverage and so much more. 

Zamperla and Cedar Point reveal Lightning train for Top Thrill 2

By | November 15, 2023

ORLANDO — In 2016, during its 50th-anniversary celebration, Zamperla made strategic investments in roller coasters. Six years later Top Thrill 2 stands as the symbol of the company’s progress.

“Reaching this milestone is not coincidental; it is the outcome of hard work done over the years,” comments Antonio Zamperla, CEO of Zamperla Group. “We’ve made substantial investments in technologies and people. Zamperla now has a Roller Coaster Business Unit comprised of qualified and highly experienced professionals, as well as passionate young engineers.”

Since the change in direction Zamperla’s Roller Coaster Business Unit has been dedicated to researching new technologies, materials, and technical features. The ongoing work includes collaborations with prestigious entities like the University of Padua and the University of Perugia, which has been a research partner with Zamperla.

“Zamperla chose to partner with the University of Padua and Perugia for the exploration of new solutions in this project. The university dedicated 500 hours to studying new materials and technologies, contributing to the innovation process” affirms Alberto Ferri, Roller Coaster Division Director.

TT2 showcases the longstanding collaboration between Zamperla and Cedar Point. Zamperla’s relationship with Cedar Fair, the parent company of Cedar Point, mirrors the growth the Italian company has seen in the past three decades. Zamperla started as a manufacturer of kiddie rides and grew so it could deliver over 90 different types of attractions.

During the early 1990’s Zamperla opened its first park model Crazy Bus at Knott’s Berry Farm. Cedar Fair later turned to the company to provide entire children’s areas themed to the Peanuts® IP. Soon Zamperla was providing 5-8 attractions to one park at a time across the Cedar Fair chain.

As Zamperla grew into larger rides like the Disk’O, Cedar Fair again chose the Italian manufacturer. For instance, they selected the Skater to anchor its award-winning children’s area at Kings Island. More recently, Cedar Fair chose Zamperla for 4 large, highly themed attractions at their multi-million-dollar expansion of the Aeronautica area at Carowinds.

The company purchased several Family and Powered Coasters over the years from Zamperla but took larger steps with Pony Express at Knott’s Berry Farm and 2023’s Wild Mouse at Cedar Point. This Twister Freeform coaster was the Italian firm’s biggest coaster project with Cedar Fair and the centerpiece of the new boardwalk area of the park.

All of this growth and innovation turned Zamperla into the attraction industry’s only “One Stop Shop”. Clients worldwide come to Zamperla for every type of attraction, from family rides to record-breaking coasters.

“For two years in a row, we’ve trusted Zamperla to bring world-class ride experiences to Cedar Point,” said Tony Clark, Director of Communications at Cedar Point. “In 2024, high-thrill roller coaster fans worldwide will journey to Cedar Point to take on the

record-breaking Top Thrill 2, thanks to the collaboration, innovation, and ambition of the Zamperla team – we’re excited to add this sophisticated coaster to our ride lineup.”

Top Thrill 2 is a benchmark exemplifying cutting-edge advancements in roller coaster technology and design:

Total Cost of Ownership: TT2’s aluminum-milled chassis exemplifies Zamperla’s commitment to a reduced cost of ownership. This design reduces the amount of time and money required to operate and maintain the vehicles over the life of the ride.

Cutting-Edge Construction: TT2 features carbon fiber elements, which dramatically lower the train weight. With the goal of introducing cutting edge materials to coaster design Zamperla partnered with a leading company that produces carbon fiber for F1® cars.

Wheels, Testing, and Compounds: The company went through several iterations of wheel sizes and linings before finalizing the design of a 530 mm (20.8 in) wheel, one of the largest in the industry.

Collaborative Success: Zamperla’s long-term partnership with Cedar Point culminates in the refurbishment of Top Thrill 2.

“This project redefined how large roller coaster projects can be successful and is a blueprint for how we want to work moving forward,” said Adam Sandy, Zamperla’s Roller Coaster Sales & Marketing Director. “Both teams broke down the walls that traditionally stand between parks and manufacturers and created a new type of partnership.

Collaborating on such a mammoth project allowed Zamperla and Cedar Point to approach this world record-breaking coaster in a new way.”

“Working with Zamperla on such a challenging project has been a great experience for all of us,” said Mike Maney, vice president of maintenance and construction at Cedar Point. “Taking a landmark ride and reimagining it with new trains, a technologically advanced launch system and additional features like the spike tower was no easy task. The entire process from engineering to construction has been very rewarding and we look forward to taking that first record-breaking ride in 2024.”

Zamperla’s dedication to theming, innovation, and artistic craftsmanship set the company apart. From cutting edge materials, to a vehicle inspired by high-performance racing, to record breaking thrills, Top Thrill 2 showcases why parks of all sizes turn to Zamperla to turn their dreams into reality

P’Sghetti Bowl Children’s Coaster from Skyline Attractions wins “Best New Product Award” at IAAPA Expo 2023

By | November 15, 2023

ORLANDO — Amusement ride designer and manufacturer Skyline Attractions was awarded the Best New Product Award (with a cost under $3 million) during IAAPA Expo 2023 in Orlando, Florida, for its P’Sghetti Bowl Children’s Coaster.

“This award makes for an exciting start to our week here at IAAPA Expo 2023,” stated company partner and Vice President, Chris M. Gray. “We park enthusiasts at heart, and we put our inner kids to work when we strive to innovate new rides. The P’Sghetti Bowl being recognized by our peers here at IAAPA Expo 2023 is a delight for all of us here at Skyline Attractions as well as our inner children.”

Current children will be delighted with the ride’s 36-inch minimum height requirement. The new coaster design truly expands ride offerings for families and young thrill-seekers.

“There’s been extremely limited innovation from American manufacturers regarding children’s coasters over the past two decades, and P’Sghetti Bowl Children’s Coaster addresses this. It introduces a single-rail, weld-free track design that streamlines fabrication and makes the product ideal for parks, zoos and FECs of all sizes,” said Tyler Mullins design engineer for Skyline Attractions. “It uses an incredibly inclusive train design that allows children and adults to ride together. And the ride is ideal for any location, with its low price tag and compact footprint. The ride experience also caters to all ages, with its zippy transitions and dueling nature offering a fun, exciting ride without being too intense for younger riders.”

The highly anticipated attraction recently debuted at both Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags Over Georgia. Dubbed Kid Flash: Cosmic Coaster at both parks, the Skyline Attractions installations offer a single rail-style track system that features trains on a pair of tracks which intertwine and cross over and under each other.

Silver Dollar City reveals all-new Fire In The Hole vehicle in Orlando

By | November 15, 2023

ORLANDO — Silver Dollar City brought the Ozark Mountains to Central Florida today when the 1880s internationally-awarded theme park, together with Idaho-based Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), revealed an all-new custom-designed pumper wagon ride vehicle on Tuesday at the IAAPA Expo, the largest trade show in the world for the attractions industry. The unveiling was in support of the new FIRE IN THE HOLE, the Heartland’s largest indoor roller coaster, opening spring 2024.

Silver Dollar City Company president Brad Thomas and Darren Torr, CEO of RMC, presented the one-of-a-kind roller coaster vehicle design that includes high-resolution onboard audio, custom drive system and special provisions for riders with disabilities. Named number one amusement park in the U.S. in 2023 by Tripadvisor, this is the second time Silver Dollar City has collaborated with RMC, with the first being 2013’s award-winning and record-breaking Outlaw Run roller coaster, the only wooden coaster in the world to flip riders upside-down when it opened. FIRE IN THE HOLE marks the first time RMC has developed an indoor coaster.

The design is driven by Silver Dollar City’s commitment to utilize state-of-the-art design and technology while staying true to the park’s Ozark Mountains heritage. The custom-engineered vehicle provides maximum comfort while immersing riders in the coaster’s story with details drawing inspiration from fire pumper wagons of the 1880s.