IAAPA 2012 Recap

The annual IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Aquariums) conference took place this past week  in Orlando, Florida.  IAAPA is a yearly colossal expo show where park representatives are on hand to try and sell or purchase new rides. This is one of the best weeks of the year for theme park fans and coaster enthusiasts as ride manufacturers display crazy new ride concepts and many amusement parks announce new additions and changes for the upcoming season. The conference was amazing this year with tons of exciting and unexpected surprises. Below is a recap of the highlights from IAAPA 2012:

  • Great Coasters International (GCI) unveiled a new wooden shuttle coaster concept called “Back Track.”
  • SeaWorld showed off their trackless  ride vehicles for the upcoming Antarctic attraction featuring multiple ride paths chosen by the riders. The vehicles are being produced by Oceaneering.
  • S&S has added some new twists to some old ride concepts. They have been purchased by a Japanese company and their new name is S&S Sansei. They announced a new coaster concept that seems to be a pairing of their 4D and free fly coasters called the Free-Fly X. They’ve also changed up the seating on their popular tower rides, increasing the capacity to twenty seats. The first version will open at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
  • Premier Rides teased a new LSM launch coaster, called Deep Space, for a theme park in India.
  • Herschend, Silver Dollar City, and Rocky Mountain Construction had an Outlaw Run car on display. Outlaw Run will be the first wooden roller coaster with three inversions.
  • Golden Horse, a Chinese ride manufacturing company, had their booth removed from the show floor due to patent infringement on Zamerla and Vekoma rides.  183 copies of Zamperla rides were built by three different Chinese based companies.
  • Schlitterbahn Kansas City is set to build the world’s tallest and fastest waterslide. The stats haven’t been released but we are told it will smash the current record of 135 feet and 65 mph.
  • Gravity Group and Mt. Olympus probably had the biggest surprise of the event with the announcement that they are adding an inversion element to Hades for next season! Hades 360 will get new themed Timberliner trains along with the new name.

Whew! What an exciting week. The amusement industry certainly has a bright future and we can’t wait to see some of these new rides and concepts appearing at the parks in the near future.