News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

May 13, 2013 No Comments

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WhiteWater Announces Breakthrough Attraction in Latin America

WhiteWater is pleased to announce Latin America’s first water coaster featuring Linear Induction Motor (LIM) technology at Xocomil Waterpark in Guatemala. The AdrenaLIM Blaster, which features cutting-edge linear induction technology, was installed to celebrate IRTRA Xocomil’s 50th anniversary and features the largest drop in the world.

Xocomil’s newest addition is based on WhiteWater’s award-winning Master Blaster® water coaster and utilizes LIM magnetic propulsion to blast riders up six hills with a stunning mega drop at the end. It accommodates four passengers in inline inflatable boats and is unique in that riders can opt to wear bathing suits or street clothing, and stay relatively dry.

“The AdrenaLIM Blaster is a perfect example of WhiteWater’s continuing evolution as the leading, most innovative waterpark and attractions supplier in the world,” said WhiteWater CEO Geoff Chutter. “The ride in itself is thrilling and adding LIM technology takes it over the top. Plus, as both a ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ ride, the value to riders and parks is essentially doubled.”

Hersheypark Entertainment Plans Expanded Offerings for the Summer of 2013

This summer, Hersheypark entertainers are offering 13 live shows including six new offerings. Guests will be entertained by everything from dueling piano performers to an array of other high-energy acts in the theaters and midways. These entertainment options are the perfect complement to the park’s more than 65 rides and attractions.

In addition, the Hersheypark Summer Concert Series, sponsored by Famous Famiglia, continues throughout the summer with an exciting line-up of local and national artists every Sunday in the Music Box Theatre. Shows are seated on a first-come, first-served basis and are included in the park’s one-price admission.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas Announces More Details in Advance of Grand Opening

Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas is in the final stages of construction and recently announced additional details regarding park operating hours, special days for Gold Pass and Season Pass holders and information on other services being offered inside the park. Gold Pass and Season Pass holders will be among the first to try the more than 25 slides and attractions at the new waterpark beginning Memorial Day weekend.

“We’re excited to welcome our Gold Pass and Season Pass holders with special days starting Memorial Day weekend to be among the first to enjoy all our slides and attractions,” said Takuya Ohki, Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas’ general manager. “Our pass holders’ support, eagerness and excitement since the waterpark was first announced has been tremendous, and providing them with exclusive time in the park is one way we can show our appreciation.”

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Dippin’ Dots Signs Sales Agency Agreement with RockTops; New Revenue Stream Created for Stadiums, Amusement Parks and Theaters

RockTopsTM, a New Mexico-based company dedicated to changing the way the world snacks, announced recently the signing of a sales agency agreement with Dippin’ Dots, a Kentucky-based company that invented the beaded ice cream concept, for the sale of its top-of-the-cup trays.   Dippin’ Dots will represent RockTops’ entire line of proprietary food trays, which allow patrons at stadiums, amusement parks and movie theaters to easily carry and eat sodas, hotdogs and other snacks at the same time.

The RockTops line of carrier trays  includes the “Dippin’ Dots 5 ounce. RockTopTM” container, which allows Dippin’ Dots ice cream to be served atop a fountain drink. The agreement introduces RockTops products to approximately 2,000 Dippin’ Dots concession locations nationwide and allows the company to extend its focus to airports, convenience stores and fast food outlets.

“RockTops is thrilled to announce a sales agreement with Dippin’ Dots, the leader in premium ice cream.  The agreement represents the expansion of the RockTops’ product line to concessions throughout the country and provides greater value to Dippin’ Dots’ food service partners,” said Randy Asselin, RockTops’ president.  “RockTops’ trays allow food service operators to increase guest satisfaction while greatly boosting revenue per transaction.  Our innovative top-of-cup trays enable consumers to purchase full combo meals, including food and beverage, and carry them in one hand without the need for a cumbersome cardboard tray.  Once seated, RockTops enhance the eating experience by functioning as a seat-side table top,” he added.

Curt Jones, CEO of Dippin’ Dots, said RockTops’ solutions-oriented approach and strong sales data facilitated the sales agency agreement. “RockTops and Dippin’ Dots serve the same customer base, so it makes sense for us to work together.  The agreement gives Dippin’ Dots customers in the amusement and food service industries access to RockTops’ innovative food carriers.   And, perhaps most importantly, RockTops carriers are ideal for Dippin’ Dots consumers since they remove the juggling aspect of managing multiple foods and beverages in a busy park or theater setting,” Jones added.

The Dippin’ Dots RockTop container was introduced November 2012 by Premiere Cinema 14 in Rio Rancho, N.M., at the debut of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2”.  The container won positive customer reviews for its convenience and technology.

The patented RockTops containers are made from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 100 percent recycled material.  For more information about RockTops, go to www.GoRockTops.com.  For more information about Dippin’ Dots go to www.dippindots.com

Gold Medal Offers Hands-Free Popcorn Topping Dispenser

GoldMedalPushing a dispenser “bump bar” is obsolete, messy and inefficient. Now, your customers can let a new automatic eye do the work as they hold the popcorn bag or cup underneath. The new #2499A Automatic Popcorn Topping Dispenser has an infrared beam that guides the dispenser to release topping when it “sees” popcorn or the container. The dispensing speed is also adjustable, so operators can tailor the time to fit the customers’ needs. The device holds one 35-pound bag of product, includes an LED sign, a precision stainless steel pump and manual push button. The #2499A is the perfect way to increase popcorn profits, cut down on waste, and serve the delicious, buttery topping that keeps customers coming back for more.

Special Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine eNewsletter Feature

Adding Active and Interactive Attractions at Leisure Entertainment Facilities

Perceptive owners and operators of leisure entertainment facilities are always looking to introduce, or at least remain open to introducing, new attractions to generate additional business and keep  existing clientele coming back for more. And many are reaping the benefits of opting for attractions of the active and interactive variety.

In some cases, such attractions serve as a “draw” for clientele that might otherwise not frequent an entity of a particular type. Kenn Schurek, founder, LaZer Runner Laser Tag Systems, pointed to a trend among bowling alleys and family entertainment centers to add laser tag as a means of bringing in the tween set.

“It is their number-one request for birthday parties,” he asserted. That is what Dan and Barbara Holder, owners of two Holder Family Fun Centers, achieved when they rolled out laser tag to round out the bowling offered at their Gallatin, Tenn., facility. Laser tag was also included when the couple opened a second facility in Hendersonville, Tenn., last year.

Similarly, the rollout of laser tag at All Star Bowling & Entertainment in Toole, Utah, has helped to bring in a new crowd of young adults, many of whom have no interest in bowling and would prefer to “play laser tag all evening,” a manager said, noting that profits have increased by mid-double-digits since the addition.  For its part, Sea Base Family Fun Center, in Greensburgh, Pa., has expanded its market “from children to teens and adults” by adding laser tag. “Although children also love to play laser tag, our teen and adult market clearly is the area in which we have experienced our most significant growth,” noted Timothy Fedele, owner.

At other facilities, introducing a new active or interactive attraction lends an element of the unexpected to the lineup, generating excitement among visitors and prospective visitors alike. This, in turn, boosts guest counts and profitability. For example, Adventureglass has been experiencing heightened demand for its paddleboats and larger boats among a wider spectrum of facilities, from family entertainment centers and zoos to amusement parks, according to Dan Thystrup, president.

The Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City, Okla., is receiving enthusiastic responses to its acquisition of two 50-passenger boats on which guests can enjoy a 15- to 20-minute cruise through Zoo Lake, stated Tara Henson, director, marketing and public relations. In keeping with a safari theme, the electric-powered fiberglass vessels were built to resemble the African Queen from the feature film of the same name. A fee of $4.50 for adults and $3.50 for children and senior citizens buys unlimited rides on the day of ticket purchase. A boat captain accompanies each run, sharing facts about the zoo, the animals, the boat and any upcoming events at the facility.

Craig Wescott, vice president and co-owner of four The Track Family Fun Park locations in Branson, Mo., cited a similar reception to Heavy Metal High Rise, a go-kart attraction at The Track’s Track 4 facility. Heavy Metal High Rise differs from the parks’ other go-kart attractions in that it features steel and concrete construction rather than wood construction for a completely dissimilar riding experience. “I liken it to a steel roller coaster versus a wooden roller coaster,” Wescott explained. “They are both exciting, but they just have a different feel from each other as you ride them.” Heavy Metal High Rise is 1,200 linear feet long and incorporates more than 200 tons of steel and 700 cubic yards of concrete. After spiraling up four stories, riders zoom down a three-tiered slope back to the ground. This track offers single- and double-rider go-karts.

But no matter why an active or interactive attraction is being added to a leisure entertainment facility, one issue that cannot be ignored is whether it will truly appeal to guests. For example, the Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom in Lake George, N.Y., recently introduced two new attractions with an objective of offering more fun in riding and watching to thrill-seekers, said Don McCoy, president, Six Flags Great Escape Properties.

Screamin’ Eagles, which made its debut at The Great Escape in time for the 2013 season, is an interactive flying ride in which guests pilot their own open-air vehicles as the ride rotates; moveable front wings permit dipping, diving and plunging at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Additionally, Alpine Freefalls, a two-level waterslide complex, opened at Splashwater Kingdom last spring. Its Cliffhanger waterslide component takes riders six stories above the ground, where the floor drops out from underneath them and they are plunged down an 80-degree drop into six inches of water at speeds of up to 32 miles per hour. The Twisted Racer component offers a four-story, four-lane race through enclosed tunnels. Participants move through the pretzel-shaped tunnels while laying prone on mats, hurtling forward more than 25 feet per second before the tunnels open into a straight final drop.

Had either attraction been less exciting for spectators than for participants, management may have thought twice about these investments, McCoy said.

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