Sunday, 30 Aug, 2015

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This Week's News

Catch the Penguins on Parade

Guests at Chimelong Penguin Hotel, the newly opened hotel attached to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom Resort in China, can now enjoy a brand new attraction developed by Sally Corporation.

Located near the hotel's Emperor Penguin restaurant, Penguins on Parade features 16 life-size animatronic penguins on an icy stage. It includes two eight-minute long musical revues, with the entire show being conceived, designed, built and installed by Florida-based Sally Corporation.

"After completing the 'White Tiger Mountain' show for Chimelong Paradise [a theme park in Guangzhou] we were asked to create another show for the new Penguin Hotel at the award winning Ocean Kingdom," said Sally Corporation CEO, John Wood.

"We worked with the talented team of designers at Bruce Robinson and Associates to create the ice castle setting and compose the production. After writing and producing all soundtracks, the entire production was translated into Mandarin and talent was brought in from around the Guangzhou area to bring the appropriate personalities to our characters."

Located on Hengqin Island, next to Macau, Chimelong Penguin Hotel opened with 2,000 rooms in February. The world's largest penguin-themed hotel resort feeds the wider Chimelong International Ocean Resort, which includes Chimelong Ocean Kingdom and attracted eight million visitors in the nine months to December 2014.

New attractions for Disney

At the D23 Expo earlier this month, the Walt Disney Company announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to its theme parks around the world over the coming months.

Taking place on August 14-16, D23 Expo is pegged as the "ultimate Disney fan event", featuring conference sessions and interviews with celebrities.

During the event, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek gave 7,500 fans a behind-the-scenes look at what's to come.

Among the many announcements Chapek shared were new and enhanced Star Wars experiences coming later this year to the Florida and California theme parks; plans for a new Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios; and more details on Pandora: The World of Avatar, which is already under construction at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  

Chapek also shared that Soarin' Around the World will make its US film debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure taking guests to new places around the world.

Additionally, fans were given a preview of exclusive video of the first Marvel attraction planned for Disney parks, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016.

"From Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration to the anticipation of Shanghai Disney Resort, we're in the midst of unprecedented growth and expansion around the globe," said Chapek.

"With these new announcements, we continue our legacy in creating innovative attractions, worldwide entertainment, and magical lands that take our guests into the worlds of stories they love."

IAAPI selling out fast

Exhibition space at the 2016 IAAPI Amusement Expo in India is quickly selling out, according to the show's organiser.

In an industry release earlier this week, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI) said 75 per cent of expo's the floor area has already been booked out.

IAAPI Amusement Expo takes place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai on March 3-5, 2016.

The event is a showcase for manufacturers and suppliers of amusement rides, waterpark equipment, admission systems, animated productions, simulators and playground equipment.

St Lucia waterpark opens

Splash Island Water Park on the Caribbean island of St Lucia opened its doors on August 1, welcoming more than 1,300 guests in just over a week.

The Caribbean's first floating, inflatable waterpark features over a dozen attractions, including monkey bars, The Ice Berg XXL, The Action Tower and climbing wall, The Cliff, a trampoline, volleyball court, hurdles and a bridge.

Electrosonic: new technology focus

Electrosonic will once again be hosting its 'New Technology' event at the company's EMEA head office in Dartford, UK, on September 9-10.

With over 30 leading audio-visual companies participating, the free event is designed to provide visitors with an in-depth look at the latest technology solutions for the corporate, control rooms and entertainment markets.  

During the event, guests will be guided by a member of the Electrosonic team who can discuss how new technologies can be integrated into the visitor's current and future facilities.

There will also be a series of education sessions taking place over the two days from Google, Paradigm Audio Visual and SiliconCore Technology.

Click here for more information.

Cross-channel expansion for Picsolve

Picsolve, a leading global provider of photo and video installations for the leisure industry, has expanded its European presence through the acquisition of Maxifoto in the Netherlands.

Maxifoto is a European leader in the event and ride photography sector, and UK-based Picsolve said the acquisition marked an important step in the company's global expansion and European market share growth.

Although financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Picsolve has inherited eight new sites from Maxifoto, including Europe's third-largest theme park, Efteling.

Coen Bertens, director of operations for Efteling, expressed his support of the acquisition. "The demand for technology that enhances the visitor experience is increasing, and it's vital for European theme parks to recognise how important this can be to their offering," he said.

"We're excited to be working with the Picsolve team who have the best digital image capture technology and retail skills in the industry and we are confident that the partnership will a have a very positive effect on both guest satisfaction and revenue to the park."  

READ: Dutch Attractions Industry Report 2015

Malaysian attractions giant to float

Themed Attractions Resorts and Hotels, a Malaysia-based investment group whose properties include Legoland Malaysia, two KidZania attractions and several resorts, is looking to float on its domestic stock exchange, according to local reports.

"We are working towards a listing," Themed Attractions director and CEO Tunku Ahead Burhanuddin told New Straits Times. "What we have done in the last two to three years is to expand out portfolio and broaden our value creations within our hotel and theme park business."

The group, which is owned by Malaysia's state investor Khazanah Nasional, has a property portfolio valued at $1.27bn, New Straits Times said.

New research director for IAAPA

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has created a new position focused on building the group's inventory of attractions industry information.

The amusement trade body has hired Melissa Teates as director of industry research and analysis.

She will oversee economic impact studies for the global attractions industry, financial and benchmarking reports for the association's constituencies and industry performance reports and forecasts.

"Our members have expressed the need for more attractions industry information, and we responded," said IAAPA president and CEO, Paul Noland.

"Melissa will play a vital role in providing research findings and data that will aid members in their decision making and allow the association to more effectively represent the industry to governments and press."

Teates has 20 years of experience in business research, analysis, writing and project management. Most recently, she was director of research for the American Society of Travel Agents.

Waterpark planned for Harmony ship

The world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, will feature a large-scale waterpark when it sets sail next May.

Splashaway Bay will have a play area with sea creatures, a drench bucket and an expansive water-play area.

The park's signature slide, The Ultimate Abyss, begins five decks above the landscaped Central Park area at the centre of the ship.

Gateway appoints new EVP, COO

Gateway Ticketing Systems, the access control and ticketing systems company, has announced the promotion of Don Eash to executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Eash, who joined the company in 2014 as director of operations, brings with him more than two decades of industry experience in strategic IT leadership, systems implementation and technology support.

He joined Gateway from Universal Orlando where he was senior director of information technology.