News Flashes from Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine

July 3, 2013 No Comments

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LEGOLAND® Florida Celebrates Opening of The LEGO® World of Chima Presented by Cartoon Network

Expansion Features Interactive Water Ride and Play Areas

LEGOLAND® Florida recently celebrated the opening of The LEGO® World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network. The World of Chima is a highly-themed area with thrilling and interactive rides and attractions for visitors of all ages, adding to the park’s already exciting line up of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions.

The centerpiece attraction, The Quest for CHI, features an interactive water ride where guests will set off on an otherworldly and super-wet adventure. After boarding watercraft, families can use water cannons to activate the story in each of the scenes along their journey as well as have a chance to battle other boats and guests along the shore line.

Those interested in even more splash and water fun can experience Cragger’s Swamp play area that features playful bubbles, intermittent water spouts and interactive elements that trigger swamp water effects.

At the Speedorz Arena, kids will enjoy a super-charged, super-fast competition where multiple players battle against each other using rip cord-powered LEGO vehicles.

The World of Chima also features a character meet and greet and a merchandise location that carries the latest LEGO Legends of Chima building sets. All of these areas are complemented by the park’s 4-D movie experience, The LEGO Chima Movie Experience, an exclusive to LEGOLAND parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers.

“The World of Chima will become a signature land for LEGOLAND Florida and provides an experience unlike any other in our park today,” said Adrian Jones, LEGOLAND Florida general manager. “Developing and opening yet another expansion is a prime example of how LEGOLAND Florida continues to provide unique guest experiences, rides, shows and attractions for families with children ages 2-12.”

The World of Chima features:

  • 2 million LEGO bricks, (bringing the total of LEGO bricks found in LEGOLAND Florida to an astounding 58 million)
  • Nearly 150 LEGO models
  • 219,000 gallons of water in The Quest for CHI
  • Capacity for approximately 1,200 guests per hour to experience The Quest for CHI ride
  • Mount Cavora, which stands 55 feet from the ground

Jungle Island Announces New Management Company

Jungle Island recently announced that Iconic Attractions Group will assume management responsibility for the park. The announcement coincides with Jungle Island’s 10th anniversary in the heart of Miami, Fla.

Jungle Island’s owner, Bern Levine DVM, made the decision to bring in a team that could best carry out his original vision for the park and take Jungle Island into the future.

At the helm of Iconic Attractions group is John Dunlap. Dunlap will take on the title of president of Jungle Island.

Prior to joining Jungle Island, Dunlap was director of the San Diego Zoo, one of the most renowned zoological attractions in the world. Dunlap also brings numerous years of customer service experience from his tenure at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He is best known for his skills in operations and the ability to create strategies that improve processes and enhance the guest experience.

As the new President of Jungle Island, Dunlap will be responsible for all aspects of the park’s operations and will oversee daily administration of all departments, helping to chart the course for the park’s promising future.

Dunlap envisions a new era for Jungle Island that will solidify the park as one of Miami’s “must see and must do” iconic attractions. “Jungle Island is part of the fiber of the dynamic city that is Miami. The park’s intimate setting and up-close interactions with the animals are what sets it apart from the rest. I believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for Jungle Island to continue to grow and further become one of the premiere attractions in the world,” Dunlap said.

Jungle Island has been a tradition in South Florida for more than 75 years. The move to the park’s current location in 2003 has facilitated the growth and evolution of the attraction.

Simple Solutions for Sizzling Sales

lemonatorLocations can serve items that get noticed and have universal appeal like money-making, freshly squeezed Lemonade Shake Ups. The innovative, heavy-duty lemon squeezer – The Lemonator (#5314), from Gold Medal Products, features cast aluminum, durable construction and suction cups to hold the squeezer in place. Plus, the new-and-improved height easily accommodates up to a 52-ounce souvenir cup, and it’s easier than ever to squeeze the lemons thanks to the powerful lever. See this machine in action on the gmpopcorn.com website.

Also available is mouth watering, new pre-packaged cotton candy: #3054 Sour Apple and Lemon and #3056 Tropical Fruit Pre-Packaged flavors. Bagged cotton candy can increase the bottom line anywhere, anytime, and help test the waters before buying a machine. The bags are easy to store and simple to market. Sour trends are still hot in markets around the world, especially with children. Reap the sweet rewards from these tongue-tingling flavors (#3054). Or, customers can enjoy the taste of sun-drenched fruits in a sweetly spun treat. The Tropical Fruit cotton candy incorporates some of the world’s most popular fruit flavors in a convenient, any-time snack (#3056). The pre-packaged flavors are sold 24, 3.1 ounce bags per case.

Celebrity Artist Autumn de Forest Addresses Crowd at Morey’s Adventure Pier in New Jersey

As part of the opening celebrations of Morey’s Piers’ newest attraction artBOX, 11- year-old celebrity artist Autumn de Forest unveiled a giant replica of a tribute painting she created to honor the rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy.

Joined by Jack and Will Morey, Autumn signaled a crane to reveal the 8-foot-by-30-foot commemorative piece of art displayed on artBOX’s vertical shipping container. Coinciding with Autumn’s exhibition at Ocean Galleries in Stone Harbor, N.J., the original painting will be auctioned with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund.  During the event, Will Morey read a letter from Governor Chris Christie thanking Autumn for the beautiful and generous donation.

Morey’s Piers, located on the boardwalk in the Wildwoods, N.J., embarked on new artistic journey this summer with the introduction of artBOX, a 10,000-square-foot interactive artists’ colony crafted from 11 re-purposed shipping containers featuring five local artist studios, a café serving fresh sushi, a museum shop and live musical entertainment.

A cultivated departure from the traditional seaside amusement park offering, artBOX has “curated” a selection of handpicked local and regional artists to bring texture to the visitor pier experience this summer from showcasing paintings and handmade crafts to live demonstrations that include surf art, glass blowing, artisanal jewelry and speed painting. Guests will enjoy live, nightly musical performances by the School of Rock, starting late June through August.

Steve Plate, director of World Trade Center Construction places a LEGO US Flag on a LEGO® replica of One World Trade Center during the model's unveiling at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester on June 28, 2013. Photo Credit: Port Authority/ Mike Dombrowski

Steve Plate, director of World Trade Center Construction places a LEGO US Flag on a LEGO® replica of One World Trade Center during the model’s unveiling at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester on June 28, 2013. Photo Credit: Port Authority/ Mike Dombrowski

Special Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine Newsletter Feature

Tips for Business Success: Adding to the Fun with Mobile and Special Attractions

From moveable zip lines and rock climbing walls to laser tag games and photo booths, mobile and special attraction can be very effective in adding to the fun at leisure entertainment facilities.

The Fun Center in Chester, N.Y., installed Laser Maze Challenge ™, a laser beam dodging game from Funovation, to complement such other options as mini-golf, go-karts, mini-bowling, an arcade and a driving range, to name a few. The game offers a “new excitement and challenge” to activities available to guests and has been very well received, according to Brian Leentjes, owner. The same has rung true at Fun ‘N Stuff in Macedonia, Ohio, where Laser Maze Challenge is now the highest revenue-generating attraction per square foot, said Bob Switalski, general manager.

But just because an attraction can be labeled “mobile,” “special” or both does not automatically yield the measure of success enjoyed by these two operators. Rather, there are a myriad of practical considerations that come into play. For instance, special effort should be made to ensure that there is sufficient space for a mobile and/or special attraction, advised Cody Sorensen, a member of the sales staff at Spectrum Sports. This is not only for safety reasons, but because “cramming in” attractions just takes away from the fun.

Many vendors, including Spectrum Sports, will assist prospective customers in assessing whether or not a given attraction is a “match” for their facility based on space parameters. Some vendors, among them Funovation, will also custom-design attraction floor plans to suit individual operations’ needs. Current installations of Laser Maze Challenge range from 188 to 450 square feet; for a standard installation, the company recommends setting aside a minimum of 10 to 12 feet to 18 by 20 feet of space, plus an additional 20 percent of space for an “Excitement Pit” for spectators and individuals waiting to use the attraction.

Another way to ensure that the fun from mobile and special attractions can be maximized is to work with a vendor that provides a comprehensive cadre of services, including upgrades and training, if applicable. Spectrum Sports, which manufactures mobile and stationary zip lines, rock climbing units and a coconut tree climb, offers on-site product training when its units are first installed and on a refresher basis; items covered include operations, safety and maintenance. Training can be executed in a one-on-one or group format, depending on individual operators’ preference, and is also available simultaneously with on-site service to save customers money, Sorensen stated. For its part, Digital Centre services its photo booths for the entire product lifetime. A company spokesperson noted that the use of a 10Mp, full HD camera in Digital Centre photo booths paves the way for quality images now and for future upgrades.

Placement, too, can make or break the attention paid and degree of fun experienced by visitors to a new mobile or special attraction addition. “We recommend that mobile attractions like our zip lines and climbing walls be placed where they get the highest degree of visibility, as close as possible to the entrance to a facility, for example,” Sorensen said. Signage that draws attention to the new addition is a good idea as well, he added.

At larger leisure entertainment facilities, such as zoos, aquariums and amusement parks, sites near the concession areas and gift shop, which almost every guest visits at one point or another during the day, are prime spots for special attractions like photo booths, according to Digital Centre. So, too, are areas adjacent to high-traffic exhibits. At the Bronx Zoo in Bronx, N.Y., photo booths are situated near the front of the Children’s Zoo, which is popular with younger visitors. At the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, N.J., visitors can find photo booths near the front entrance, as well as in the concession stand/gift shop area on the opposite end of the park. The Turtle Back Zoo has also added a ropes course and zip lines; this area is positioned in a prominent spot rather than hidden in a corner.

Finally, while it is important to choose mobile and special attractions in line with visitor demographics and facility type (e.g., an art museum would not install a laser maze game), a bit of experimentation is sometimes in order. The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Wash., has a high-performing photo booth that occupies space within a museum exhibit dedicated to artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol. To bolster their interest in using the photo booth, visitors are invited to post a snapshot from their strip of photos on an “Andy Warhol Wall of Fame” board that flanks the exhibit. And Aviator Sports & Event Center has, in addition to two ice skating rinks, a rock-climbing wall and a bungee jump.

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