Launch - Regional Updates - August 2018

asiapecific   ALTERFACE

‘Qingdao Wanda’ Coaster Recounts Ancient Tale

“Qingdao Wanda,” the new hybrid dark ride/roller coaster inside the Wanda Mall at the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, is the world’s largest such ride, according to Alterface and Pico, and the first to integrate mixed-media interactivity.

The storyline is based on a 16th-century Chinese novel, “The Investiture of the Gods.” In seven scenes across 25,000 square meters, riders battle gods to defeat tyranny and build a new dynasty. The ride features interactive targets with a variety of special effects.

“Experiences are being fed from all directions: the ride itself, video and audio, design and decoration, lighting, SFX,” says Sherman Shi, senior project executive at Pico Beijing, which worked on the ride design and theming.

Alterface, which was responsible for the attraction’s image generators and shooting system, deployed more than 40 3D projection screens across the ride.

“It’s been very challenging due to the size of this indoor attraction,” adds Alterface project manager Louis Vanhomwegen. “The highest scene is built 25 meters above the floor so special attention was given to safety.” 

The project took two years to complete.


Sea Life Sydney Launches World-First Dugong Experience

In response to visitor demand, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is offering what it says is the world’s first opportunity to experience life as a dugong keeper. The marine mammal is a cousin to the manatee and sports a resemblance, but features a longer, square face.

“We were inundated with requests from guests who wanted an experience that would allow them to learn and interact with our dugongs,” says Sea Life Sydney General Manager Richard Dilly.

Participants receive a behind-the-scenes tour, assist with feeding and enrichment activities, and get closer to the marine mammals than ever before. The aquarium’s two dugongs, Pig and Wuru, were rescued in 2008. In the wild, dugongs eat sea grass; at the aquarium, Pig and Wuru eat up to 80 kilograms of lettuce a day.

“Being a dugong keeper and being able to work with such amazing creatures is a pretty incredible job,” says Samantha Hillman, senior dugong keeper at Sea Life Sydney. “We can’t wait to give our guests insight into what we get up to every day.”



Knuthenborg Safaripark Unleashes Dinosaurs

“Dinosaur Forest” made a summer debut at Knuthenborg Safaripark in Denmark. A total of 23 animatronic dinosaurs have found a new home among the safari park’s redwood trees.

“It is a very unique attraction as the dinosaurs are portrayed in a natural environment similar to the one they actually lived in,” says park spokeswoman Miriam Hindsgaul. 

Coming in at around 2 million Danish kroner, “Dinosaur Forest” is the “biggest investment ever” for the safari park, which first opened in 1969. Knuthenborg Safaripark collaborated with Texas-based Billings Productions Inc. on the project. 

The attraction spans more than 30,000 square meters and is divided into three areas. Roaring and gnawing animatronic dinosaurs inhabit a forested area. An area staged as a dinosaur dig site features fossils and huge skeletons. There’s also a collection of emus—“today’s living dinosaurs,” according to Hindsgaul. 

“Talking about the animals of the past gives us another great opportunity to talk about the animals of today,” she says. “It increases the total experience for our guests.” 

“Dinosaur Forest” also extends the time that families spend at the park. 

The 700-acre safari park features more than 1,000 exotic animals, Denmark’s biggest natural playground, and amusement attractions including the “Congo Splash” flume ride and “Kampala Express” family roller coaster. Both rides have boosted Knuthenborg Safaripark’s visitor numbers, which have risen annually for the past seven years. The Knuthenborg team believes “uniquely themed environments, where people feel like they’re in another world, are the future.”



Tayto Park Puts Kids in the Driver’s Seat

Tayto Park is giving children the chance to test their “Top Gear” potential with Ireland’s first “Nissan Driving School” attraction. Young drivers can have a taste of the open road—and the challenge of traffic—on a purpose-built, 1,000-square-meter track. The road system accommodates 20 miniature battery-operated Nissan cars at one time.

“At Tayto Park, we’re always looking for innovative and creative ways to enhance the experience for families,” Tayto Park Founder Raymond Coyle said at the launch. The new attraction “marks a milestone” as the first sponsored attraction at Tayto Park.




Huss Explorer Attraction Coming to Amikoo Resort Destination Theme Park

Mexico’s Riviera Maya will soon have a new avenue for discovering sea life. Amikoo Resort Destination Theme Park, a new theme park currently under development, is set to open in 2019 and will feature Huss Park Attractions’ Explorer, a film-based attraction that takes visitors on an exploration of the seas surrounding Mexico. The adventure will begin with a themed boarding area, where guests will enter the 70-seat gondola, themed as a submarine, from a docking bay. The attraction is made up of a 360-degree screen, cutting-edge sound effects, and scents that provide visitors with the feeling that they are truly under the sea.


Party in Neverland

Talk about being the life of the party. Argentina’s Neverland Park recently announced the expansion of its MagiCumple program, which provides families a unique way to celebrate a child’s birthday, with party options for up to 30 children at a time. In an effort to attract new customers and continue to grow its business, Neverland now offers new financing options for the parties, including payment plans. MagiCumple offers access to the park’s attractions and games and includes the full party suite, from a cake to invitations and balloons.




The Lego Movie World Coming to Legoland Florida

Legoland Florida Resort recently revealed its largest-ever theme park investment—The Lego Movie World. The announcement follows the enormous success of the “The Lego Movie” motion picture and will open in spring 2019, shortly after the February release of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” a sequel to the original film.

Legoland Florida Resort is working closely with Warner Bros. Entertainment and Lego System A/S to place guests right in the middle of Bricksburg, the city where the lead character, Emmet, lives in the film. The park said The Lego Movie World will provide state-of-the-art experiences for kids ages 2 to 12 as they interact with the imaginative world of Bricksburg. 

The Lego Movie World will feature three new rides, character meet and greets, and a giant themed playscape. The park will incorporate its interactive boat ride, “The Quest for Chi,” into the new area. The splash battle attraction from Mack Rides was closed in May so it could be transformed into a new experience when it reopens as a key attraction in the new section of the park.



Fun Spot America Atlanta to Open New Multilevel Go-Kart Track

Fun Spot America announced an expansion to its Atlanta location that will include the construction of the “Samson Monster Track,” a new multilevel go-kart track, as part of a $2 million investment. The family-owned company recently added new bumper boats, a new laser tag venue, and new video games. As part of the improvements, there is also a new point-of-sale/ticketing system and infrastructure.

John Arie Jr., CEO of Fun Spot America, said when completed, the new go-kart track will be the first of its kind in the state of Georgia. Located in Fayetteville, Georgia, Fun Spot America Atlanta features thrill rides, arcade games, laser tag, three miniature golf courses, and go-kart tracks.