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22 November 2011

Tidbits from IAAPA Expo 2011

Another IAAPA Expo has come and gone. While I spent a large chunk of time at the InPark Magazine booth, I did manage to get out a bit and find some interesting tidbits on the show floor. Of course, some news happened to come to the booth too.
Extreme Rusher at Beijing Happy Valley
Courtesy rcdb.com. Photographer: Hang Xun
S&S Worldwide and Birket Engineering have been partnering on building roller coasters and roller coaster controls (respectively) in China. Four coasters are built or in the works, while another one possibly looms on the horizon. Several of the rides utilize a pneumatic launch system designed by S&S with sophisticated safety and control systems engineered by Birket. Watch for more info on these projects in InPark.

ProSlide happily showed off models of their first Mammoth HydroMagnetic Rocket slide being built at Holiday World. Towering over the first HydroMagnetic Rocket slide (Wildebeast) the new, larger slide will feature circular 6 person rafts that can spin. ProSlide also plans on offering larger 8-person rafts that feature in-line side-by-side seating in the future. Those even larger rafts will engage two of the magnetic motors at a time to pull riders up the slide.

Their marketing manager, Brad Goodbody, also said they had developed less splashy versions of the ride for dry-park installation, which IPM editor Judith Rubin suggested might be more accurately called a "moist park."

Expo Expert Gordon Linden reminded me that while the Shanghai Expo is finished, it still lives on in digital form. Virtual tours for a number of the pavilions are available online, some with striking 3D imagery and interactive information. http://en.expo.cn/index.html
Guests walk through the water maze at Technifex
Special effects and theming company Technifex showcased their latest water technology, which combines water curtains, fountains, projection, audio and sophisticated controls to create fountain shows and even a walk-through water-wall maze.
Courtesy National Geographic
Louisville area based The Weber Group shared with us photos and videos of some of their latest projects, including their work on the National Geographic Treasures of the World exhibit. They created life-size models of the famous Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors. I asked how much advertising InPark would need to trade out to get a terra cotta warrior for my backyard.

Finally, several people stopped by the InPark booth and talked about health problems they had in the past year. Here's hoping the holidays bring much health and happiness to everyone and a new year full of the same!

-Martin Palicki