Theme Park Insider

Look into the future with IAAPA Expo show floor ride reveals

November 14, 2017, 6:17 PM · ORLANDO — Walking the IAAPA Attractions Expo show floor is like stepping into a time machine that shows you the future of the theme park industry. Every corner reveals some new ride, snack, game, or concept that its vendor hopes will soon find its way into a major park near you.

This morning, many top parks joined their partners in opening those manufacturer booths by unveiling new ride vehicles that will be debuting next year.

My favorite was the steampunk-inspired four-person car for Mack Rides' Time Traveler, which will open as the world's tallest, steepest, and fastest spinning coaster at Missouri's Silver Dollar City next spring.

The cars on Time Traveler will not spin freely, as fans might be used to on other spinning coasters. Instead, these cars will spin in a controlled, choreographed fashion, which Mack Rides and Silver Dollar City leaders hope will make the ride more family-friendly. Representing a $26 million investment, Time Traveler will be the biggest investment in Silver Dollar City history, for a ride that will feature a 100-foot, 90-degree drop, three inversions, a double launch, and a top speed of 50 mph as it skims the park's mountainous terrain.

Other reveals today included the Intamin river rapids vehicle for SeaWorld Orlando's Infinity Falls, which will feature the tallest drop on a river rapids ride...

Infinity Falls

...and the classic-car-inspired trains for Twisted Cyclone, the RMC rebuild at Six Flags Over Georgia.

Twisted Cyclone

Not every display on the IAAPA show floor features a sold new ride that's already booked into a park, of course. Some of the more fascinating displays feature attractions that remain — at least at this point — at the concept stage. Among those, Dynamic Attractions often features some of the best new products at the show, and this year's double-offering was no exception.

The Dynamic All-Terrain Dark Ride features a trackless ride vehicle that does not require a flat surface to operate. The vehicle can climb up and down steps and navigate steep, inconsistent terrain. The promo video even teased that the vehicle can get airborne, providing a new definition of "air time" in a theme park ride. Some of the promo imagery around the booth suggested a G.I. Joe theme for the ride, but Dynamic Attractions leaders — in true show-floor tradition — would not confirm anything.

Dynamic Attractions also introduced its Dynamic Flightcycle flying theater system... which should look to fans an awful lot like the ride system on Disney's Flight of Passage in Pandora - The World of Avatar.

Dynamic Flightcycle

It's common knowledge in the theme park business that Dynamic Attractions built the flying theaters for Disney's Soarin' rides, so the companies have a track record of working before... followed by Dynamic peddling a version of the ride system around the industry. (Which, to be fair, everyone else had copied within a short time, anyway.)

The company also is offering the Flightcycle ride system packaged with a "Dragon Rider" video creative for parks that want a one-stop solution for both a ride system, theming and creative. Will someone buy it and bring a Dragon Rider ride to the public? We will see.

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