From the show floor at the 2009 IAAPA Attractions Expo
Written by Robert Niles
Published: November 18, 2009 at 3:34 PM
LAS VEGAS - [*Updated throughout with photos and additional detail.]
Scenes from the 2009 IAAPA Attractions Expo:I bumped into Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro this morning, and he's trying to manage expectations for Magic Mountain's new roller coaster. We've known it will be a family coaster, bur Shapiro said to think even smaller than that.
Terminator Jr., anyone?Six Flags' bigger news, which I didn't get to ask Shapiro about, is that the chain will install an attraction from 5D International in Spring 2011. No word yet on which park, but I talked with the folks at 5D and the tech seems impressive. (Think 4D show inside a ride.)If you're mourning the loss of Big Bad Wolf and other suspended coasters, keep your eyes open for the new Free Fly Coaster from S&S. It's two four-seat verticle benches, swinging freely on either side of a coaster track. It reminds me of a milder version of X2, with a suspended coaster feel.
A prototype ran this summer in Sweden, and an S&S rep boasted that it didn't suffer any downtime. Yet she said that while several US parks have expressed interest, the economy seems to be stronger in Europe, prompting more serious interest there. The Gravity Group was showing off its new Timberliner train cars, which will be installed on The Voyage at Holiday World this spring.If you're going to ride a kiddie car ride, why not ride in style?
Chance Morgan was showing off this Ferrari ride vehicle, which will be features at the new Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi next year. Middle Eastern parks are a bit beyond my radar, but Arthur Levine has been keeping track of what will be in the new park.Mack has blended the Splash Battle and the classic Teacup spinner in its new Twist 'N' Splash shoot-'em-up soaker:Finally, because I knew someone would ask, here is the Bolliger & Mabillard booth. Not much action in the coaster leader's exhibit this year, but they did bring along a B&M Mega coaster car:
Later today, I will post a write-up of the afternoon session with five Disney theme park legends: Blaine Gibson, Bob Gurr, Harrison "Buzz" Price, Richard Sherman and Marty Sklar. The IAAPA Attractions Expo isn't held for theme park fans. It's an industry gig, where you can find vendors hawking everything from greaseless frying machines to light-up cotton candy cones.
Need thatching for a tiki hut? Non-skid surface material for walkways or rubbery pebble material for playgrounds? Tons and tons of carnival prize plush, at low wholesale prices? Someone on the IAAPA show floor can hook you up.
I enjoyed checking out the new trends in food options. Based on what I saw on the floor, look for crepes to make a bigger presence in theme parks in the year ahead. I also was intrigued by potato chips on a stick.
But the wildest food exhibit has to be one that Bob Rogers tipped to me: A vendor who combined a restaurant lobster tank with a carnival "claw" prize game. For $2 a pull, you can try to extract a live lobster from the tank.
One one hand... ewww. On the other, how did it take someone this long to combine those concepts?
Yeah, that's the IAAPA show floor.
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