IAAPA Expo 2022 recap: part 2 of our look at the wonders of the show floor

IAAPA Expo 2022 recap: part 2 of our look at the wonders of the show floor

Premier Rides held two press conferences as well, with the first being announced in advance, and the second a surprise on Thursday, November 17th.  Premier Rides promised that things were going to get wild and they did:  they are collaborating with industry legend Wieland Schwarzkopf, son of legendary ride designer Anton Schwarzkopf.  They are bringing back the classic Wildcat, intending to occupy the traveling ride circuit with a reimagined version twice as tall as the original while keeping the family-friendly aspect.  It was an incredible announcement, bringing a lot of attention to the company.

Jim Seay and Wieland Schwarzkopf.

In addition, on Thursday, Premier Rides announced their first ever Spinning Coaster, coming to the famous Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ.  Steel Pier ran the original spinning coaster in the United States from 1999 to 2021. Sadly, that Reverchon Crazy Mouse reached the end of its service life.  Premier Rides is bringing that back in a new way in 2024 and, again, shocked everyone with a second ride for Steel Pier.  Opening in 2025, Steel Pier will open the first Sky Rocket II on a pier.  With that challenging location, Premier Rides is introducing advanced monitoring technologies for wind, rain, and other weather conditions that happen at a seaside pier.  A massive video wall will also occupy the visual space, making the ride a great billboard.

The Sky Rocket II on the left and the new Spinning Coaster on the right.

Over on the waterpark side, Polin held a press conference, showing off new massive waterslide complexes with unique shapes.  Those show off Polin unique capabilities with fiberglass fabrication.  On that topic, Futura Form, another branch of Polin, supplied fiberglass figures and theming elements for the Jumanji – The Adventure dark ride at Gardaland (Castelnuovo del Garda, Italy.) 

The Polin press conference and the Stingray, one of the new concept unveiled at the show.

Brogent had a split booth arrangement this year, with the Mi-Ride and fighter jet demo on one side and the traditional booth on the other.  The MiRide is the evolution of racing simulators, where the sitting portion of a formula race car is mounted on a 6DOF (Degrees of Freedom) motion base.  Rather than using multiple LCD screens as you commonly see in racing simulators, Mi-Ride used a large LED mini-dome screen.  The LED screen filled the racer’s field of vision, making this the most immersive racing sim seen on the show floor.  This unit will open in 2023 at the Hockenheim race track in Germany. 

Brogent MiRide

Earlier, Brogent opened an interactive fighter jet virtual reality attraction in Taiwan.  Called the “Super Hornet Hero”,  they brought a similar seating unit to IAAPA and created a demo of their virtual reality capabilities.  It turned the user controlled experience into a brilliant movie, with excitement and many twists and turns along the way.  The VR experience was a great surprise and felt like a finished product that would bring massive revenues to an FEC-style venue. 

Brogent Super Hornet Hero demo.

Zamperla held three press conferences on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022.  The first was to introduce the new Lightning roller coaster train, which will premiere on an LSM-launched coaster at Playland at the PNE (Vancouver, BC.)  The train was designed to fit on both Zamperla’s track and the refurbished track of the Intamin “Senzafiato” roller coaster that is moving to Playland.  Capable of high speed with a design allowing for less maintenance, combined with a new seat and restraint design, the possibilities are endless for this roller coaster train. 

Zamperla Lightning train.

Zamperla next unveiled the coaster car for Wild Mouse, the first Zamperla Freeform Twister coaster in the world that will open in 2023 at Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH.) The car looks like an appetizing block of cheese, and if you look past the food aspect, a whole new seating configuration and lap bar restraint can be seen.  Unlike the previous Twister cars, guests now sit in a straight line, and the molded seat bottom a little wider to accommodate larger riders.  A more comfortable padded individual lap bar will secure riders . Still, there is one question remaining for the author: where will Cedar Point install their signature seatbelts that they have on most of their attractions?

The new Zamperla Spinning Coaster car that will premiere on Wild Mouse at Cedar Point.

Zamperla last unveiling was of one of the boats for Draken Falls, a new Super Flumez opening in 2023 at Adventureland (Altoona, IA.) Zamperla strength is its fiberglass fabrication and it can be seen in the pretty colors and design of the boat.  The boat features three rows of two passengers, each restrained by an individual t-shaped lap restraint. 

The new Super Flumez boat and the seating area with individual lap bars.

Lagotronics Projects had a working model of the GameChanger, where guests sit in four-person units in separate rooms.  Those units are mounted on a turntable, which creates a dark ride in a minimal space since the turntable will rotate when required to move guests from scene to scene.  Depending on the park’s budget, the rooms can be exquisitely themed or focus on the screens.  Guests use cannons or other devices to interact with the screens.

Lagotronics GameChanger model.

In addition, Lagotronics announced that in partnership with ART Engineering from Germany, they are introducing the “Battle Arena.”  This concept takes the compact dark ride to 3 levels, as riders sit in one of twelve ride vehicles.  Those ride vehicles can move up and down as they rotate around a central axis and spin on their own.  Targets in the scenery on the ride and around the room provide many opportunities for riders to score points.  To make things more interesting, the gondolas riders sit-in have targets, and when hit, the other participants will steal their points.  We’re looking forward to seeing where this innovative concept will appear.

Lagotronics Projects showed those concept arts of the Battle Arena.