IAAPA International Attraction Expo 2017: Part 1 of our recap

IAAPA International Attraction Expo (IAE) 2017 was a resounding success last November.  There were many press conferences such as the unveiling of a massive new project in Mexico, a wrestling legend creating a significant buzz on the show floor and companies unveiling unique concepts.

First, SeaWorld unveiled one of the raft’s that will be used on Infinity Falls at SeaWorld Florida.  Coming from the inventor of the river rapids, Intamin AG, Infinity Falls will mix both live animal enclosures along with the world’s tallest drop on a River Rapids attraction in the world.  The raft that was shown was quite colorful and covered in many details.

Infinity Falls SeaWorld Orlando Intamin (3)

Infinity Falls raft.

Infinity Falls SeaWorld Orlando Intamin (4)

A close-up at the eight passenger raft.

Next, SeaWorld then unveiled the lead for Oscar’s Wacky Taxi, coming to Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA.  This hybrid structure roller coaster from The Gravity Group features a green metal structure supporting traditional wooden roller coaster track.  As the park focus is on families, the ride dimensions resemble more those of Wooden Warrior at Quassy than other The Gravity Group attractions like Voyage at Holiday World.  Standing around 40 feet tall, it will pack a lot of action in its 1200 feet long course.  The lead car features Oscar from the Sesame Street TV show.

Oscar Wacky Taxi Sesame Place Gravity Group (1)

A side-view of the front car for Oscar’s Wacky Taxi.

Oscar Wacky Taxi Sesame Place Gravity Group (3)

Front view and notice the appropriate license plate.

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A close look at the comfortable Timberliner seats.

Last, at Falcon’s Creative Group, the makeover of the existing simulators at Busch Gardens Williamsburg was unveiled.  Battle for Eire is a first for VR attractions as it will use permanently fixed VR headsets mounted to seats.  The movement for the VR will be provided by the large motion simulators that were repurposed.

Speaking of VR, one awe-inspiring exhibit was the Q-Ride, shown at Brogent Technologies.  Brogent Technologies is from Taiwan and is one of the leader’s in the Flying Theater market.  Their i-Ride was first seen on Vekoma’s website as the “Panoramic Flying Simulator” and since the first installation in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 2010, the i-Ride has taken the world by storm with further installations in Canada, USA, Japan, China, Spain, Germany, Netherlands among others.

The Q-Ride comes from the same group who created the i-Ride, and their goal was to correct some of the issues seen in other VR installations, such as uncomfortable equipment, lack of immersion and insufficient coordination between the VR content and the movements.  Two ride films were shown at IAE: a calm submarine trip in the Ocean and an action-packed alien hunting mission.  The Ocean Experience got rave reviews from everyone who experienced it as the immersion was perfect and a near five minutes long film felt like it was too short, a feeling that is not usually felt after doing a VR attraction.

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Andy, the creative genius behind the Q-Ride along with the technical information for the attraction.

Brogent Technologies Q Ride

A look at the incredible visuals Brogent created for the Ocean Experience.

Brogent Technologies Q Ride (3)

The attraction is composed of a twelve seat triangular unit on which riders sit four to a side.  To provide the best highest quality for visuals possible, the VR headsets are wired to high end computers and that change the game.

Brogent Technologies Q Ride (4)

For the Interactive Alien Hunting game, a different set of VR goggles was used and you were handed a gun shaped controller.

It was a year where some newcomers to the show decided to host press conferences.  First, we have QILE Inflatable Company from Guangzhou, China.  The inflatable market is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry, and QILE Inflatable took an innovative approach to differentiate themselves from other companies:  they had rented a warehouse in Florida and were using it to store inflatables for fast and efficient shipping to clients in the Americas.  The show was very successful for the company, and they announced at the show that they are renting another warehouse, this time in the Los Angeles area.  The reason for that is that since Los Angeles is closer to China, there will be a faster turnaround for orders that are not in stock in Los Angeles.  Having product in the United States is a lot easier for clients to order since they don’t have to deal with customs and trans-oceanic shipping.  QILE is very successful and is expanding their production capabilities.

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The small well decorated booth where QILE Inflatable conducted business at the show.

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The hard working staff and manager in the middle.

Qile Inflatable CO

As they did not have a demo unit at the show, QILE was nice enough to provide us with this example of their original Inflatable unit.  They can be built as small or as big as the client needs.

Another Inflatable company from the Guangzhou area present at the show was Guangzhou Huale Inflatable Products Co. LTD.  The booth was registered to them, but to save on costs, they partnered with Sunflower Amusement, a company that manufactures redemption games, small rides and a lot of unique video games.  Sunflower brought a few games to the show floor so that clients could try them.  Both companies had a very successful show, and Sunflower sold all their demo machines on the show floor.

Guangzhou Huale Inflatable Co.jpg

Guangzhou Huale Inflatable Products provided us with this picture of the two units they had on display at the show.  The use of an inflatable to advertise their company was quite brilliant and made them stand out on the show floor.

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Banner advertising the services that Sunflower Amusement offers.

Sunflower Amusement (1)

A look at their booth and various units that were on display.

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Two of their very fun machines.  One thing we noticed is that the Chinese suppliers all go for flashy and attractive games and those were not an exception to that.  Those two machines were very simple to use.

Who enjoys seeing a beautiful LED light package on rides?  This is one of the latest trends in the industry where in addition to saving electricity versus regular light bulbs, you can program them to show patterns, advertisements, and other things.  In the newcomer pavilion, we discovered an amazing company from China that provides all kinds of lighting solutions for structures and rides.  Shenzhen Aidisen Optoelectronic Co., Ltd had many of their products on display at their booth, and their staff was hard at work presenting what their LED’s could do to make your attraction stand out at night.

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A look at the many LED and light displays that Shenzhen Aidisen Optoelectronic Co. Ltd had at their booth.

Mack Rides along with Hershend Entertainment unveiled one of the cars for Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.  Opening on March 14th 2018, this is the world’s tallest, steepest and fastest spinning roller coaster in the world.  It also features two launches, a first for a spinning roller coaster.  The car features amazing details that reminded the writer of a steampunk device.  One major innovation is the rotations are controlled, ensuring that riders don’t feel nauseated as they navigate the course that features three inversions.

Time Traveller Silver Dollar City Mack Rides (1)

Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City and another staff member trying out the Time Traveller seats during the press conference.

Time Traveller Silver Dollar City Mack Rides (2)

The unveiling was done quite well, with smoke machines and many gifts for attendees.

Time Traveller Silver Dollar City Mack Rides

A close-up of the rich details on the car.

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