Saturday, November 22, 2014

World's Tallest StarFlyer Coming to Orlando in 2016

Mixed among this past week's many IAAPA related announcements was one of gargantuan proportions, namely the world's tallest StarFlyer ride to be built in Orlando.  The StarFlyer will be a part of Vue at 360, which will be a dining/entertainment area located adjacent to the new I-Drive 360 complex.

The StarFlyer will smash the current 400 foot record by twenty feet, swinging riders 420 feet above the ground below.  Looks like Six Flags will have to go a bit higher if they want the record back!  Riders will be seated in pairs on one of twelve seats, for a total of 24 riders per cycle.  Tickets for a ride are expected to be around $10.

The StarFlyer, and Vue at 360, will be just North of the I-Drive 360 complex, which will have the Orlando Eye observation wheel.  You can see that new development under construction above, the shopping center (contain a steak house, dinner show and more) above it will become Vue at 360.

The entire complex is just south of Universal, and just North of SeaWorld, smack dab in the middle of the busy tourist trap along International Drive.

There's a chance the new ride could open at the end of 2015, but probably in early 2016.  The StarFlyer will be manufactured by Funtime.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Scott And Carol Present - AirSurfer From Ride Entertainment Group

The AirSurfer offered by Ride Entertainment is a new way for guests to soar above any type of attraction. With almost unlimited theming options, guests do not have to ride a surfboard, though that would be the best element of cool for their participation. The ability to use an onboard battery powered electric motor to climb up hills adapts the AirSurfer to any terrain.

Adam Sandy and Andy Greenberg, the "A" team from ride entertainment explained how utilizing proprietary turning technology, unlimited course layouts are available. A soft blocking system keeps riders safely separated and the motor recharges the battery during braking similar to the systems used in Formula One racing cars.

Here is their presentation.

Here is the animated ride experience. Notice how guests are attached with an ASTM harness.

With an estimated capacity just under 100 people per hour, AirSurfer is projected as an  up charge attraction that can utilize any terrain, such as zoos, water parks, or any spot where stimulating vertical imagery can give guests a new perspective on the attractions. Adam and Andy are ready to help anyone "catch the wave," with AirSurfer.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scott And Carol Present -The IAPPA 2014 Hall of Fame and Applause Awards

IAAPA inducted two of its legendary industry veterans into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. Bob Cassata, creator of Bob’s Space Racers, and Dick Knoebel, recently retired from Knoebels Grove.

Bob Cassata created his first game in on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk but he named his company after the first Apollo Lunar Mission. He has continued to develop games, the embedded diagnostic and accounting software, but most important thing they had in common is that they are fun to play. He improved the reputation of game operations, and his games were the first to be installed in an amusement park.

Richard “Dick” Knoebel grew up in the amusement business. His parents established Knoebels Grove in 1926, and until his retirement, Dick never left the business. He has created living history by moving famous rides, like the Rocket from Texas, recreating the Twister from Colorado, and most recently, the Flying Turns. Knoebels Grove is a living amusement history park where you can still grab the brass ring, and walk through the woods on a gravel path in the shade. Good fun and good food are the hallmark of this eastern Pennsylvania park, and the next generation is continuing the legacy. 

The French theme park Puy du Fou is the recipient of the 2014 Applause Award, presented by Liseberg. Puy du Fou has created a new business model, consisting only of extravagant shows based on French history.  For daring creativity, this park has no peers, for everyone thought they could not prosper with this type of entertainment offering. Instead, they are expanding into new countries, and doing it their way.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.

Scott And Carol Present - Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Alan Schilke and Fred Grubb are teaming up yet again to repurpose and iconic wooden roller coaster, this time at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The Colossus is no more, being replaced by Twisted Colossus.

Bonnie Rabjohn, President and General Manager of Six Flags Magic Mountain talks about the latest to her park, continuing their dominance as the park with the most roller coasters in the world. She wants everyone to come and ride all four trains.

Les Hudson is responsible for theming and generally making the parks somewhere you want to visit. He explains how Rocky Mountain Construction accomplished the correct vision of the train.

Here is the leaders of the team that put Twisted Colossus together.

Alan Schilke talks about the layout of Twisted Colossus, and of some of the twists in the creative process journey he took to bring the project to fruition. It's not easy to convert a racing coaster into a Mobius coaster, with many interacting elements.

No people, just some Twisted Colossus train goodness. Opening this coming spring, this remake of Colossus will combine new technology with classic airtime. With this to wait for, it's going to be a long winter, even if it should be warm in Southern California. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scott And Carol Present - The Unveiling of the New Batman: The Ride Train at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Yesterday IAAPA was having "A Six Flags Day!" with not one, not two, not three, but four press events on the IAAPA Trade show in Orlando. Recently appointed Six Flags Fiesta Texas Vice President and General Manager Neil Thurmond  kicked of the ceremony

After which the black cape was removed from Batman: The Ride's massive train.

The 4D Spin Coaster is provided by S&aS-Sansei We talked with AlaSchilke to find out more of the details on the coasters design.

Neil Thurmond lets us know Batman: The Rides location and how excited he is about the newest addition to Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

S&S-Sansei also presented Mr Thurmond this awesome concept drawing of Batman: The Ride's train, which we tried to convince Neil would look better in our family room than his office. It was not a subject that was up for discussion.  Congratulations on your promotion Neil and your new coaster!

Scott And Carol Present - Knott's Berry Farm's Voyage to the Iron Reef

Just last week Knott's Berry Farm let the steampunk-sea-creature out of the bag and announced Voyage to the Iron Reef, a new "3D adventure enhanced with 4D effects and interactivity."

Now though a presentation at the IAAPA Trade Show the company behind the ride, Triotech, has revealed some additional details and artwork. 

These beautiful images are from the attraction's scenic development, creating the underwater setting of the ride.  Triotech will design and produce the ride's animation and gaming system, which will feature a high level of clarity when compared to their prior attractions.

Ernest Yale, Triotech's President and CEO states that they are "thrilled be recognized as the industry leader when it comes to interactive media-based attractions. This vote of confidence from the Cedar Fair group and specifically the team at Knott’s Berry Farm confirms this recognition and motivates our team of over 100 creators, software specialists, and engineers to surpass guests’ expectations and give them an experience that will make them want to come back over and over again."

During the Voyage to the Iron Reef riders will board four person submarine-inspired vehicles and head to the bottom of the ocean to fight steampunk looking sea creatures that are trying to destroy Knott's.  Above is a rendering of one of those, a large mechanical (and evil) looking crab.  Riders will blast at this and other creatures using a freeze ray, and earn points as they do.

Triotech also released this short animation study, showing how they have created the undersea creatures.  This, of course, is just one of the Kraken Queen's many soldiers that riders will 'freeze' as they move though 600 feet of track, past eleven separate scenes and other special effects.

The Voyage to the Iron Reef represents the largest contract ever awarded to Triotech in their 15 year history.