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May 28 2015
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This Week's News

Celebrating with Six Flags

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world's largest regional theme park company, is partnering with Coca-Cola for the third annual Coca-Cola July 4th Fest at Six Flags.

Starting today (July 3), this three-day celebration runs across all 16 of Six Flags' US theme parks and features a full weekend of fun for the entire family, including one hour of early ride time on some of its most thrilling roller coasters, in-park entertainment, Coca-Cola product sampling and fireworks.

In recognition of the country's military personnel, Six Flags has once again partnered with Operation Homefront, a non-profit charity, by offering service men and women a special package that includes VIP park tours, gold season passes and meal vouchers.

"Operation Homefront is excited to join again with Six Flags to honour our service members and their families on Independence Day weekend," said Tim Farrell, the organisation's chief operating officer.

"These military families have served our country with great dedication and are truly deserving of a great day of relaxation and fun with our friends at Six Flags."

Studio City launches Golden Reel

As it puts the finishing touches to its new $3.2bn Hollywood-themed Studio City complex in Macau, Melco Crown Entertainment has launched the resort's new film-inspired Golden Reel centrepiece attraction.

Envisioned by Lawrence Ho, CEO and co-chairman of Melco, and towering 130m above the streets of Cotai between the twin towers of Studio City, the Golden Reel was designed by Intamin Amusement Rides.

It will offer guests the chance to enjoy stunning views across Macau as they travel inside one of the 17 cabins on a 15-minute journey around the figure-eight track.

"World-class entertainment experiences are the key feature of our leisure destination offerings at Studio City," said Ho. "The Golden Reel is a world's first technological innovation that reinvents the gondola-ride and Ferris wheel experience for our visitors.

"As a new iconic landmark in Macau, the Golden Reel is a totally unique entertainment offering to Asia and, indeed, the world and we continue to deliver on our commitment to expanding the non-gaming leisure and entertainment offerings available in Macau as a continuing strategy in supporting its evolution into a highly-diversified and world-leading leisure and tourism destination."

Africa expo attracting exhibitors

Three leading suppliers to the global theme park and amusement industry have confirmed they will exhibit at the inaugural Amusement and Attractions Africa expo, which takes place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre on August 13-15.

Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla, Turkey-based waterpark attraction supplier Polin and coin-op specialist Sega Amusements Europe will all demonstrate their latest innovations to delegates in South Africa this year.

Last month, show organiser Fun & Biz Africa announced that more than 30 China-based manufacturers and suppliers of amusement equipment had already confirmed they would exhibit at the event.

Merlin launches Shrek attraction

Merlin Entertainments has launched a new themed visitor experience, Shrek's Adventure!, on London's South Bank.

The result of a unique partnership between Merlin and DreamWorks Animation, the attraction features a cast of favourite DreamWorks characters as they have never been seen before.

The 75-minute tour combines live action and iconic sets from the Shrek films, a 4D flying bus simulator, cutting-edge special effects, live action and actors.

The new attraction is situated in County Hall on London's South Bank, alongside three other iconic Merlin attractions - Sea Life London Aquarium, the London Dungeon and the London Eye.

Kevin Murphy joins Attraktion

Kevin Murphy has joined the Attraktion! group of companies as vice president of sales.

Murphy is well established in the international leisure and entertainment sectors, specialising in technology design as well as business development and sales of technology systems and creative services to attractions and museums.

He was most recently with Event Communications in London in the role of development director since 2008, and prior to that was with Electrosonic for 20 years, where he held various board level roles, started the Leisure and Entertainment team and formed Electrosonic in Dubai.

Attraktion! creates unique, media-based experience products such as service robots, dome attractions, interactive games and specialised exhibits.

The company also acts as turnkey provider and producer, developing complete attractions for the international leisure industry such as theme parks, brand-lands, FECs, science centres and more.

Sea World unveils Nickelodeon tie-up

Sea World amusement park on Australia's Gold Coast has announced a new multi-million dollar family area to be themed around some of the world's best known and most loved Nickelodeon characters.

Opening later this year, Nickelodeon Land will include four new kid-friendly rides and feature Sea World's first mini roller coaster.

The new attraction will be an extension of Nickelodeon's existing partnership with Sea World, which includes a Dora Live Show, Nickelodeon character appearances and a Nick retail store.

It will be operator Village Roadshow Theme Parks' (VRTP) third major investment into children's attractions in the last 12 months, following on from Junior Driving School at Warner Bros Movie World and Wet 'n' Wild Junior at Wet 'n' Wild Gold Coast.

Sea World's general manager, Bikash Randhawa, said Village Roadshow places strong focus on providing attractions that cater for the whole family.

"Nickelodeon Land is going to be our family area filled with fun and entertaining attractions, including Sea World's first ever mini rollercoaster and some of our guests' favourites like the iconic carousel," he said.

"This new multi-million dollar precinct will also be the hub for our Nickelodeon character appearances and shows, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and Boots."

Quassy unveils expansion plans

Quassy Amusement and Waterpark in Middlebury, Connecticut, will embark on a $6m expansion over the next several seasons.

According to park officials, Splash Away Bay, the lakeside waterpark adjacent to Quassy Beach, will see eight new attractions, including three giant waterslides with a combined length of more than 1,000ft.

In addition, Quassy will be building a new candy shop, beach snack building and replacing some rides within the amusement area of the facility.

"We're excited about further expanding the waterpark as it has become a venerable part of the guest experience here at Quassy," park president Eric Anderson said of the project.

ProSlide Technology will provide the new slides at Splash Away Bay, and the first phase of the expansion is targeted for opening in 2016.

IAAPA toasts successful AAE

This year's Asian Attractions Expo (AAE) attracted an estimated 8,500 total participants and broke its previous records for the size of the trade show floor and number of exhibitors.

According to exhibition organiser, the International Association of Amusements Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), this year's AAE welcomed the second highest number of guests in the show's history.

A record 353 exhibiting companies filled more than 9,400 net square meters of space on the trade show floor.

"Exhibitors came from 40 nations and showcased the latest innovations for the attractions industry, including high-tech multiple-dimension motion simulators, roller coasters of all shapes and sizes, next-generation video game concepts, immersive themed design elements and services and interactive waterslides," IAAPA said.

Tallest observation deck for Dubai

Dubai - home to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa - is getting ready to set a new record, as developers announce plans to build the world's largest commercial building.

According to architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS + GG), the Burj 2020 will feature a 360-degree observation deck, which will be the highest on the planet.

Although AS + GG has not yet stated how tall the Burj 2020 will be, by today's standards it will need to be at least 510m tall, in order to trump the 508m tall 101 Tower in Taipei.

New appointment for Gateway

Gateway Ticketing Systems has announced that Shawn Ridgway has joined the company as product development director.

Ridgway joins the US admission control and ticketing company with decades of product development experience from her previous position as director of engineering for a multi‐billion dollar company.

"I hope to put my 28 years of software development experience to use in helping Gateway succeed with their ambitious plans for the future," she said.