EAS 2017 Recap - From the Floor - November 2017

AlterfaceConversations on the EAS trade show floor turned to key trends such as the revitalization of dark rides, the role of theming in distinguishing destinations, attractions built around IPs, and the growing interest in food and beverage concepts. Marriages between theme parks, water parks, hotels, and convention centers are on the rise, noted Michael Collins, founder and senior partner at Leisure Development Partners (LDP). Virtual reality (VR) is continuing to develop, he added, but “there’s a risk of a short shelf life for those who don’t differentiate.” 

LDP has carried out feasibility and market analysis work for The Void, which is creating “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” attractions with ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division. Two new Star Wars VR experiences will open at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts beginning this holiday season.

Alterface’s Erratic Ride to Debut at Walibi Belgium

Benoit Cornet, CEO and founder of Alterface, announced that Erratic Ride—the first non-linear, interactive dark ride—will premiere at Walibi Belgium in 2019. Alterface is collaborating with ETF Ride Systems, known for its trackless Multi Mover technology, on the ride. It is based on Alterface’s Popcorn Revenge IP. 

Cornet is excited by the possibilities of the attraction, which changes the dynamics of a dark ride, giving guests the sense of a free-roaming adventure. “We want to surprise people at every step of the story,” he said. The ride occupies a conveniently small footprint. Walibi Belgium CEO Jean-Christophe Parent called the next-generation ride “refreshing and innovative” and “a great addition to our park.” 

Alterface is riding high after a slew of dark ride projects, including seven “Justice League” installations at Six Flags parks (with partner Sally Corporation) and 20 at Legoland Discovery Centers. Alterface, which specializes in bespoke attractions, plans to deliver eight more interactive rides in the second half of 2017. It is continuing to invest in new technologies, including two augmented reality R&D programs with Belgian universities. 


Intercard Inc.

Intercard Inc. Aims to Revolutionize FEC Reservations

Intercard Inc. is preparing to roll out “Shindigger” at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 in Orlando this November. This affordable new software product is designed to help FECs maximize their reservation and party-booking business.

“We have created a system that is a better, easier, and smoother experience for the operator and the end user at half the cost,” said Lynda Brotherton, Intercard’s marketing director. “Shindigger” will allow FEC operators to collect information on guests, improving customer relationship management, marketing, planning, and revenue generation. 



Panora.me Produces Panoramic Selfies

Panora.me helped EAS visitors see the big picture using its unique selfie technology. Panora.me provides “a new kind of photo memory,” explained Raphaël de Borman, CEO and co-founder of Panora.me. 

The solution allows people to trigger a photo system located up to 250 meters from them. The result is a panoramic selfie: a short video that zooms out from people’s faces to a panorama showing the full backdrop. It’s a step on from traditional selfies, and could offer leisure and tourism venues an additional income stream, as well as marketing and branding opportunities.


TAA Group

TAA Group Goes Green for Beijing Playground

TAA Group produced the schematic design for a new concept coming to Beijing, China, called “The Green Box.” It comprises an indoor playground (2,000 square meters) and is aimed at children 14 years and younger. Guests enter through a forest, which leads to a village green where they can eat. There are slides and activities to enjoy in a safe and controlled environment, where the emphasis is on clean air, water, food, and technologies. TAA Group expects the project, which is backed by three investors, to be the first of many in the Beijing area.  


Red Raion

Red Raion Rolls Out New VR Movie Releases

Red Raion, a VR movie production studio that works with amusement professionals and hardware partners, showed off its latest CGI VR movies and a four-seat VR simulator at EAS. 

Red Raion’s movie collection includes “Aztec VR,” where viewers survive a downed flight over the jungle, only to be captured by an Aztec tribe before making a run for it. Keeping up a regular stream of content is vital. The company offers seven VR movies including “Dystopia VR” and “Nightwish VR.” “Every year we produce three brand-new productions,” said Antonio Cannata, co-founder of Red Raion. There’s also the option of custom content for themed venues. Red Raion’s clients include Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, Parques Reunidos, Holovis, Triotech, and MediaMation. Cannata confirmed two further big deals are in the pipeline. 



Interlink Continues to Win Asian Business

Interlink’s founder, John Hudd, and commercial director, John Davies, celebrated a series of Asian projects. By the end of 2018, they expect to open a dinosaur-themed Immersive Flume ride in Indonesia, inside one of the region’s biggest shopping malls. “It’s a world first,” said Davies. The attraction combines a Super Flume with an Immersive Tunnel from Simworx. Interlink is acting as main contractor for the project.

Interlink also installed a Super Flume for Bao Son in Hanoi, Vietnam, this fall. The 400-meter-long boat ride takes visitors through a savannah-style landscape and up into a mountain before dropping into the station. In November, Interlink opens a hovercraft-themed “Wild Chase Coaster,” featuring a water splash, at Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia.


ELI Play

ELI Play Jumps into TV

ELI Play anticipates an upsurge in interest when “Big Bounce Battle,” a new sports-driven television show produced by Endemol Shine Germany for RTL, is broadcast in 2018. 

ELI Play created a challenging trampoline track for the show. Contestants can expect “trampolines at different levels and angles, animated elements, and obstacles that can be changed overnight,” according to Bartek Kusztal, chief designer at ELI Play. “We can also adjust it to commercial use and different age groups.”


Simworx and Frontgrid

Simworx and Frontgrid Take the Plunge

Simworx teamed with newcomer Frontgrid to introduce “Paradrop VR” to the market at EAS. The immersive VR attraction simulates the experience of flying a paraglider, with a realistic up-and-down motion incorporating sudden drops and smooth deceleration. Players control the game play and movement as they make their way down to earth and fly through a series of rings to rack up points.

“The sensation is as close as you’ll get to hanging beneath parachute silk in real life,” said Frontgrid Co-Founder and Chief Executive Matt Wells, a former British Army paratrooper. “Paradrop VR” is a modular and scalable ride system, with linear and circular configurations, ensuring maximum hourly throughput.  

www.simworx.co.uk & www.frontgrid.co.uk

Polin Waterparks

Polin Waterparks Gives ‘Splash Cabin’ a VR Upgrade

Polin Waterparks, in collaboration with Lagotronics, added a VR dimension to its “Splash Cabin” game. The first 3-D “Splash Cabin” installation went into the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark in Selçuk, Turkey, this summer. 

The “Splash Cabin VR” version offers a 360-degree gaming experience, using high-resolution VR headsets coupled with robust, handheld water shooters. The attraction covers a smaller footprint (3.8 meters by 3.6 meters) than the 3-D “Splash Cabin.” “State-of-the-art hardware, software, and waterplay components provide the greatest interactive experience possible,” said Ali Cansun, Polin’s R&D director. 


Brogent Technologies Inc.

Brogent Technologies Brings Flight Experience to Amsterdam

Brogent Technologies Inc. is giving visitors a bird’s eye view of the Netherlands in “This Is Holland.” The new standalone flying theater attraction opened in Amsterdam city center in October. Guests will soar over palaces, tulip fields, windmills, coastlines, and “everything you’d expect from the Netherlands,” said Stefan Rothaug, Brogent’s senior marketing specialist. Special effects will enhance the realism. Brogent worked with UNESCO and EMS Films on the attraction. It features two gondolas across two floors (10 seats per gondola) and includes a preshow.