IAAPA Expo Asia 2019 Show report

IAAPA Expo Asia 2019 Show report

IAAPA held its renamed IAAPA Expo Asia (previously: IAAPA Asia Attraction Expo) at the New International Expo Center Shanghai.  The show floor was open June 12-13-14 while conferences took place at the official Expo hotel, the Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai, on June 11th as well.


Special events were unique at the Expo, with IAAPA members having the chance to attend behind the scenes EDUtour at Shanghai Disneyland, Hello Kitty Shanghai Times, and the Shanghai Natural History Museum.  Two tours were offered at Shanghai Disneyland, allowing participants a rare glimpse at the efficient Disney Way of running a busy theme park safely, efficiently and providing delicious meals to its guests.  The Young Professional Forum followed by an event at the London Dungeon was quite popular for those 35 and under who went to break in into the industry.

The show floor was the largest in the history of IAAPA shows in Asia.  It was also the most attended with over 8100 qualified buyers out of 11400 attendee total.  A few press conferences took places, and we will look back at those along with other news announced during the show.

First, Zamperla unveiled the ride vehicle for a brand new Factory Coaster coming later this year at the new Sunac Land Wuxi (previously, Wanda Theme Park Wuxi).  Located a few hours south of Shanghai in the Jiangsu province, Sunac Land Wuxi is part of a new resort that includes the theme park, a mall, waterpark along with housing complexes.  The theme park is divided into various themed areas with the new Factory Coaster going in the Steam Era zone.  We had the chance to visit the park for a preview after the Expo and the massive show building for the ride is already up with construction still going on.


The ride will feature 1739 feet of track entirely indoor, with a soft launch, chain lift, and a backward section.  One innovation for Zamperla is their first ever drop down section, where the train will stop on a piece of track, which then falls down a short distance.  The large 16 passenger cars will reach a maximum speed of 28mph during the ride.

In addition to the Factory Coaster, Zamperla spoke about three other rides: Nebulaz, Super Air Race (Luna Park Coney Island, New York) and the Z-max in Finland.  The Super Air Race is the taller and faster version of the famous Air Race, with guests reaching heights of 48 feet.  The center lifts after the ride start to a height of 23 feet in a gradual motion.

Next, WhiteWater held one of their traditional IAAPA press conferences where they invited media to sit in their comfortable booth, and they go over recent events at the company.  The first point was announcing that they had reached a deal with Wiegand-Maelzer to license the award-winning SlideWheel.  The first installation was installed at the pioneer Chinese waterpark, Chimelong Waterpark in Guangzhou to worldwide attention and great feedback.  As a result of this, WhiteWater will, under the new agreement, be the sole seller and manufacturer of the SlideWheel.

In addition to the SlideWheel, WhiteWater welcomed Rainer Maelzer, who was part of the team that brought the moving slide to life.

WhiteWater press conference

Vantage, the unique solution that helps run a theme or water park had its first large scale launch at Island H2O Live! At Margaritaville Resort near Orlando.  On some WhiteWater water slide attractions, Vantage wristbands will customize the visual and audio experience as guests will have preselected songs and synced up their profile with their wristband once they arrive at the park. Once guests start going down a slide, a scanner reads the wristband info and delivers the custom experience.  It also allows them to have photos and videos taken, which can be uploaded to Social Media.  It is truly the first ever Social Media park and goes further along then what other parks have done so far.  It also allows guests to accumulate loyalty points, earning them prizes as well.

Last, WhiteWater spoke about the incredible evolution of the Spinning Rapids Ride.  Marketed to dry parks, this unique attraction features proprietary technology that send the closed bottom inflatable rafts into an intense spin down the wide flume.  Existing versions start with a long lift hill and then consist of turns and dips before splashing down into a river that take it back to the loading station.

For Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, a unique version incorporating the best features of traditional river rapids, the spinning rapids ride and water slide was all merged together to create a fantastic water ride.  The 1 kilometer long journey (3200 feet long) includes four lift hills, white water rapids, drops, helixes and concludes with a tall Manta element.  At 11 minutes long, it is one of the world’s longest water slide and using multiple rafts, features great capacity.

WhiteWater provided us with those great photos of Lava Drifting, the record breaking at Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park.

In addition to the one in Shanghai, two more Spinning Rapids Ride will open at Sunac Land Wuxi (the one pictured above) and at Sunac Land Guangzhou.

The Polin Group concluded the press conference schedule with a significant announcement regarding the China market.  Polin announced that they are partnering with noted Chinese corporation MCC (Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd.) to create Kunming Indoor Rainforest and Snowpark in Yunnan, China.  This three phrase projects will start with an indoor snow park, featuring a themed IP to tie the snowy area and snow-capped areas together.

The second phase of the project will consist of rainforest themed water park, playing to Polin first core business and also feature a spa, sauna, and folklore as the theme.  The last portion of the project will be an outdoor adventure park featuring elevated attractions.

This project plays on Polin new diversification approach where the company is adding more branches to its portfolio under new brands.  PolinWaterpark is the name of the water slide division that focuses on design, engineering and turnkey projects while the wave pool and river aspects of water parks are now branded as PolinWaveParks.  Spray pads are an expanding market worldwide, so Polin created the PolinSprayParks division to handle that segment.

Outside of water parks, their primary market, Polin is going into non-traditional areas for them.  Polin created a master planning office (PolinDesignStudio), flume rides (PolinAttractions), next-generation attractions (PolinGameTechnologies) and Aquariums/Safari Parks (Polin Aquarium and PolinSafariParks).  They can even conduct feasibility studies with the PolinGroup division and operate theme parks as funtastic.

Also, Jialong Parks signed a letter of intent with Dynamic Attractions for nine possible rides.  Dynamic Attractions is one of the world’s leader in high tech ride systems, helping bring some of the world’s most celebrated attractions at Disney and Universal to life.  Jialong Parks is a conglomerate based in Beijing who will launch theme parks across China.  Looking for the highest quality and ease of maintenance for their rides, Jialong Parks sought out Dynamic Attractions, and Fu ShuQuan, CEO of Jialong Parks and Guy Nelson, CEO of Dynamic Structures (parent company of Dynamic Attractions) signed the Letter of Intent at the show.