August 2010

The Magic of High Technology

54    How Lighting and Sound Immerse Visitors to Zoo and Aquarium Exhibits – Installing the right lighting and sound to enhance visitors’ appreciation of the exhibits is a challenge for zoos and aquariums, as the effects must not upset or disturb the living creatures on display. Still, facilities around the country are creating immersive experiences with such extras as plasma and projection screens, and other elements, to create memorable interactions between guests and animals.
58    Special Effects: Augmenting Low Tech to Awe Audiences – Some of the most effective displays at science museums may be decidedly low tech, but these centers are also embracing complicated special effects in an effort to simply explain often complex concepts and messages.

Food Service Spotlight / The Large Park Report

62    Making Magic of Dining: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Three Broomsticks Restaurant – The landmark attraction that is Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter includes the Three Broomsticks restaurant, where fans of the books and films can have an authentic, immersive experience along with their meal.

Food Service Spotlight

66    Arenas and Stadiums: Why the Old Ball Game Is Serving Up New Menu Choices – Arena and stadium food staples of hot dogs, popcorn, burgers and soft pretzels are still what guests crave at ball games, but new, delectable items are also always being created to tantalize fans’ taste buds.


16    Legoland Water Park, Carlsbad, California: The World’s First Lego-themed Waterpark – The story of Legoland® Water Park, the world’s first Lego-themed waterpark, which opened on May 28. Perfect for its demographic of minivan moms and kids aged 2 to 12, Legoland’s Water Park provides small-scale fun that is reminiscent of bigger park thrills.

Industry Owls

24    Are You Shrinking Your Market?: For Birthday Party Success, Take a Hard Look at Your Practices – Why do some family entertainment/leisure entities with more, do so much less with their party programs?  Owners and managers are actually the cause of their market reduction.  This is due to a lack of understanding of the market’s needs and developing or holding onto outdated party concepts that are destined to be mediocre, from start to finish.
28    Getting the Timing Just Right: Which Comes First, the Site or the Feasibility Study? – Location-based entertainment (LBE) entrepreneurs are faced with a dilemma when it comes to developing an LBE project: Do I prepare my business plan and obtain financing before securing a site, or does securing the site come first? The challenge, or should we say quandary, comes about due to the development timeline.

Bowling Report

30    Sound, Lighting and Special Effects Keep the Balls Rolling at Bowling Centers – Whether the music is disco or country, the lights black or energy-efficient, adding special effects and sounds to a traditional bowling center can transform a night of pin busting into fun beyond the strikes and spares.

Mini-Golf and Go-Kart Report

34    Spotlight on Safety and Maintenance: How Miniature Golf and Go Kart Centers Keep the Profit Machine Oiled – Keeping staff and patrons safe takes priority when operating activity parks where people are playing miniature golf courses with water hazards, driving go karts or trying out a zip cord. Maintenance is key to ensuring everyone has a good time without incident, even if they’re only playing a video game inside the gaming area.

RSA Report

42    Making Roller Skating Memories with Light and Sound – Lighting and sound systems for skating centers represent huge financial investments. Read about the options centers have and the choices they face when installing new packages or refurbishing existing ones.
44    Skating into Fun: Arcades Entertain While Offering a Break in the Action – Arcade games, and especially redemption machines, offer roller skaters an opportunity to keep having fun and playing as they rest and recharge for more skating. Skating centers around the country reveal their strategies for keeping arcades fresh and earning.

ILTA – International Laser Tag Association Report

48    A Message from the Executive Director – Shane Zimmerman, executive director of the International Laser Tag Association, discusses the importance of sound, lighting and special effects.
50    Facility Focus: The ILTA Section profiles Perfect Games in Ames, Iowa.
52    Shining Light on Playing in the Dark – Lighting, music and sound effects, and smoke, tie all of the elements of laser tag together and truly take a satisfactory experience to a new level.  Read how, in the end, the game should take your guests’ breath away.

Street Beat

72    Why For Street Operators, Photo Booths Are a Solid Option – In recent years, rentals for events have generated the bulk of profits to be garnered from photo booths. However, a subtle shift is occurring, with interest in street locations picking up speed as operators seek alternatives to video and redemption machines.
76    Industry Update: Inside the Ever-Changing Business of Jukebox Vending – Today’s jukebox vendors, most of whom also distribute video games and other entertainment components for business and home users, are always looking for new ways to meet client demand. And for some, the business has proved challenging in recent years.

Annual Special Supplement

82, 92    2010 Profiles in Excellence – Profiles of several of the top businesses in the industry.

Amusement Rental/Inflatable News

94    Selling the Perfect Party: Trends and Tips from the Amusement Rental Business – People of all ages like to join in the fun at parties, and companies in the amusement and inflatable rental business are able to meet the demand through an ever-expanding selection of products on the market.

Haunted House Association Section

98    The Haunt Trifecta: Sound, Lighting and Special Effects – While a new room, a new cool animation or even a new theme might make for an exciting build, the biggest impact to a new or existing haunt can be achieved through the “Haunt Trifecta” of sound, lighting and special effects.

Safety and Security Report

102    For Amusement Parks, A Visible Security Presence Is Now Essential – How security officers at amusement parks walk a fine line between making sure guests feel secure and not interfering with the fun that the attraction provides.

Foundations Entertainment University

105    Foundations Entertainment University is an educational seminar held at locations around the country that offers a blueprint for success, growth and profit in the entertainment industry. The seminar covers topics such as feasibility costs, games and attractions, financing, design, operations, food and beverage and more.

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