Feld Entertainment Expands Brands to Parks; Sally Corporation Introduces New Dark Ride
Walking the halls of the IAAPA Trade Show reveals plenty of new and novel rides. The industry, with all the competition among manufacturers, and buyers seeking new thrills, is constantly inno-vating and looking for the “next big thing”.
One manufacturer that has had a string of success in both the park and carnival worlds is KMG.
KMG took the world by storm with the Afterburner (Fireball), the Speed, the Inversion and giant swing rides. Many companies develop new rides over the years with varying degrees of suc-cess, but it is rare that one company has such a long string of winners.
In 2009, KMG began plans for a new family ride that would travel on one semi—trailer. The at-traction, dubbed “Project 2009”, was shelved when the industry took a downturn and buyers were unwilling to take a chance on a prototype, preferring to use their resources for proven at-tractions. The company continued to sell Freak Out, Speed and Inversion rides, shelving the new attraction.
In 2016, as the industry recovered, and buyers were looking for new family rides and novel attractions, KMG decided to take “Project 2009” out of mothballs and apply new technologies to the 7 year-old concept.
The result was the “Surf Ride”, an attraction that simulates the motion of riding the swells and breaks of waves.
After an announcement was made in the media, potential buyers began calling, want-ing to see drawings, designs and technology used in building the ride. The ride fea-tures two gondolas that hold eight people each. The gondolas spin clockwise and counterclockwise while the platform is in motion, but the platforms always stay upright. Once the sweeps start rotating, the ride simulates a swinging motion. The ride also has a brilliant display of LED lights.
The ride can be erected by 2 people in 30 to 40 minutes. The platform is lowered and the counterweights are lifted, then the ride is ready to use.
The first ’Surf Ride’ was ordered by Mike Klinge, a showman from Germany. He named the ride ’X-Force’ and themed it with super heroes. The ’X-Force’ was an instant suc-cess upon arrival.
The second ’Surf Ride’, named ’Wipe Out’ will make its debut at the Winter Wonder-land Event at Hyde Park, London. The ’Wipe Out’ was ordered by Golden Way Amusements, headed by Broderick Pavier, from Australia.
The ’Wipe Out’ will get a temporary Christmas theme so it will fit in with the Holiday event. When the Winter Wonderland ends in January 2019, the ride will get shipped to its owner in Australia.
A third ride was bought by a Dutch showman and the fourth by a Norwegian Show, Svensk Tivoli.
According to Peter Theunisz, KMG’s US representative, he has been speaking with several interested US buyers and he is hopeful the fifth ride will be sold to a US-based buyer by show’s end.
Lambrink Dutch Wheels & New Rides Europe
In addition to his work with KMG, Theunisz also represents Lamberink with their Dutch wheel line.
The newest addition to the wheel lineup is a 22m meter version (72’). The ride has 16 gondolas with a round shape. The wheel travels on one 53’ semi-trailer with two axles. The ride will weigh about 65,700 pounds.
The ride, dubbed the RL22, has a spectacular LED light package on the spokes, a cen-ter sign, front entrance, and rear exit. With the use of hydraulics, the ride will only take 4 men 5 hours to set up and the steel sweeps stay attached and don’t have to be dis-mantled from the hub.
Theunisz was happy to announce that the first of the RL 22 series was sold to the Drew family, operators of Drew Expositions. The ride is projected to be completed in September and delivered to the US in October of 2019.
According the Theunisz, there has been heavy initial demand for a ride of this size and he hopes the first sale will lead to many more.
Feld Entertainment held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the future of some of its properties including Monster Jam and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey properties.
Feld is the world’s leader in live, family entertainment with an estimated 30 million visi-tors to its shows and attractions each year.
Recently, the company entered into a partnership with NBC/Universal. The first fruit of that relationship is Trolls: The Experience, which opened in New York City on Wednesday, November 15th. The 12,000 square foot building will house a completely interactive experience including the opportunity to be made over as one of the charac-ters. Tickets are being sold through May of 2019.
The second new show will be a Jurassic World Live Tour. The arena show will feature amazing dinosaurs and an immersive VIP experience where guests can get up close and personal with the star attractions.
Feld will initially have one unit of the show touring beginning in September of 2019.
During the press conference, Feld extolled its Monster Jam and Ringling Brothers brands and announced they are seeking additional ways to bring the properties to the public in a new way.
Monster Jam has 7 touring units that play 350 events each year in arenas and stadi-ums. The show travels to 30 countries and has a popular retail line. Feld envisions other opportunities for the brand, showing renderings of a possible amusement park roller coaster-type ride to simulate the experience of driving a Monster Truck. While no deals are in the works, Feld is actively pursuing opportunities.
The same holds true for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey brand. While the circus is gone, Feld is hoping to use the brand and assets such as the costumes and memorabilia to explore new ways to bring the iconic 150 year old property to new audiences around the world.
In other trade show announcements, Sally Corporation, the dark ride specialists of Jacksonville, FL, announced the first Sesame Street-themed European dark ride for PortAventura World, one of the largest European family destination resorts.
The announcement was made with a life-sized animatronic Big Bird on display, telling guests about the new adventure the Sesame Street characters were about to embark on.
“This partnership with the internationally recognized global leader in children’s
education and entertainment Sesame Workshop, along with the collaboration with Sally Corpora-tion, as a dark ride specialist, will contribute to create an attraction that will be unique experience within the range of the family entertainment offer, said Fernando Aldecoa, General Director of PortAventura World.
The near six-minute long dark ride attraction will be housed in a newly constructed 14,000 square foot building and will feature a 10 minute pre-show and 5:50 minute ride experience. Detective Grover is the guide through the interactive adventure, urging guests to collect clues that will help solve a mystery happening on Sesame Street. With numerous animatronic characters, immersive scenery, and interactive gameplay, the mixed media attraction is geared to guests of all ages.
The Sesame Street dark ride features 8 projection screens including; 4 projection-mapped screens on dimensional sets with practical target integration; one ninety-degree curved screen with ani-matronic and show element synching; two one hundred eighty-degree curved, fully immersive screens to allow guests to fly through Count’s Castle and dive down into Oscar’s Trash can and one Hall of Fame scoreboard. The ride will also have over 2,000 visual and practical clues/targets.
Also new in 2019, the company will be opening Reese’s Cupfusion at Hershey Park.
The Sally Corporation has had great success with Justice League themed rides over the last sev-eral years, according to Greg Eccles, Sales Manager. The rides, featuring 3-D imagery have been installed in numerous Six Flags parks as well as Warner Brothers Movie World in Australia.
2018 IAAPA Coverage