Launch - Regional Updates - October 2017


171-_ASIA_CAMERA_MUSEUMVintage Camera’s Museum Launches in Singapore

A building shaped as a massive camera, with the entryway set inside the lens, is the stage for one of Singapore’s newest attractions, the Vintage Camera’s Museum. Inside, visitors can view more than 1,000 cameras, including oddities like walking-stick cameras, pigeon-mounted cameras, and pistol cameras. “I want to bring the evolution of the camera to the younger generation. Everyone uses mobile phones, but they don’t know how difficult it was to take photography in those days,” says the museum’s founder, Solaiyappan Ramanathan, who also runs a commodities trading company. The Singapore attraction is the world’s second Vintage Camera’s Museum, following on the heels of a sister venture in Chennai, India, which opened in August 2016.

1710_ASIA_HYPERCOASTERAustralia Opens Southern Hemisphere’s Largest Hypercoaster

Village Roadshow is opening Australia’s largest roller coaster this month at Warner Bros. Movie World in the Gold Coast. The “DC Rivals HyperCoaster” climbs more than 200 feet, and reaches speeds in excess of 70 mph along a 4,600-foot track that is nearly twice the length of any other ride in the region. The coaster is “the longest, fastest, and highest in the Southern Hemisphere,” says Village Roadshow Theme Parks CEO Clark Kirby. The Mack Rides attraction is one of only a dozen coasters in the world to have a non-inverted loop, according to Roller Coaster DataBase (, though its most unusual feature for a coaster of its size is a backward-facing last row that seats two riders.

1710_ASIA_QUEENSLANDMajor Water Park Planned for Queensland Sunshine Coast

Sanad Capital, an Australian investment firm with roots in the region and financial backing from Dubai, is building an A$450 million adventure water park called Actventure in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The integrated resort will feature water rides never before seen in Australia, the world’s first “wave reservoir,” an outdoor adventure park, a lawn for hosting major events, and 6,000 square meters of retail and dining space. The water park, designed by WhiteWater, is expected to open in summer 2019 and attract 1 million visitors each year.


1710_EMEA_BERLIN_MUSEUMMerlin’s New Attraction Highlights Berlin History

Merlin Entertainments premiered its newest family entertainment brand, Little Big City, in the heart of Berlin, Germany. Located beneath Berlin’s landmark TV Tower, it is a new twist on a miniature city and presents historical events and the people who shaped Berlin from medieval to modern times.  

The attraction showcases the capital’s iconic architecture, from the Brandenburg Gate to the Berlin Wall. The largest exhibit is the Reichstag, which is “set alight” with projections simulating the fire that burned down the building in 1933. 

Visitors also have the opportunity to see through Berliners’ eyes. The Merlin Magic Making team populated the city with more than 5,000 individuals, each of whom has real-life stories to tell. The diminutive residents include royalty, celebrities, infamous bank-robbing brothers, a pioneering aviator, and inhabitants who tried to escape over the Berlin Wall. 

“We are delighted to bring this amazing new interactive attraction to Berlin,” says Anja Nitsch, Little Big City Berlin’s general manager. “We are bringing guests closer than ever before to this great city by incorporating incredible technology and state-of-the-art effects in a way that will surely delight, educate, and, more importantly, entertain.”

This is Merlin’s fifth attraction in Berlin, following Madame Tussauds, Legoland Discovery Centre, Sea Life, and The Dungeon.

1710_EMEA_POLANDPoland’s Legendia to Open Dark Ride

Polish theme park Legendia is hoping for a monster hit when its new interactive dark ride, “Bazyliszek” (“Basilisk”), debuts in spring 2018. 

Alterface and Jora Vision are combining their respective interactive ride technology and design and production skills to create the attraction for the park in Silesia. Ben Cornet, founder and CEO of Alterface, says they were “enjoying crafting this new ride experience.” It blends folklore-inspired theming with technologies including video mapping, show control, shooting devices, and animatronics.

Visitors will become part of the Monster Hunters Guild, fending off fearsome creatures during a four-minute ride through ancient villages, caves, forests, and ruins. The quest culminates in an encounter with the beastly Basilisk, based on Polish legends. 

The dark ride will beef up Legendia’s rides lineup and follows the launch of the “Lech Coaster” this year. Both fit into Legendia’s upgrading strategy, based on a masterplan for the park (formerly known as Śląskie Wesołe Miasteczko) created by Jora Vision in 2015.,



1710_LA_SELVASelva Mágica Expands Virtual Reality

Selva Mágica amusement park in Guadalajara, Mexico, continues to add to its virtual reality (VR) repertoire. Recently, the park opened “Cantinflas Presents: The Time Machine,” its second VR experience after “Titan VR.” When visitors enter “Cantinflas Presents: The Time Machine,” they pass through a small museum displaying art, photographs, and memorabilia dedicated to Cantinflas, an iconic comic actor from Latin America. Then, they embark on a seven-minute ride aboard a train for up to 50 passengers and don a VR headset, whereby an animated Cantinflas leads riders on a journey through Mexico’s history.



1710_NA_GREAT_WOLFGreat Wolf Stalks Chicago Market

Next year, Great Wolf Resorts will open a Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park resort in the third most populated market in the United States: greater Chicago. Called Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, it will be located in Gurnee and is scheduled to open in mid-2018. In announcing the company’s 17th indoor water park, Great Wolf noted it already has an established fanbase in the Chicago area that for many years has patronized its Wisconsin Dells lodge, about three hours away.

The lodge will open in a structure that previously served as another indoor water park, Key Lime Cove. But Great Wolf said it would almost double the size of the existing water park to 80,000 square feet and debut several new water park attractions, which are currently under development. The park will also feature popular branded attractions traditionally found at the lodges, like the “Fort Mackenzie” multi-level interactive water fort treehouse, the “Otter Run” twisting body slide, the “Alberta Falls” high-banking tube slide, and the “Crooked Creek” lazy river.  

The resort will offer 414 suites of varying categories, sizes, and styles. The non-water-park portion of the lodge will feature more than a half-dozen entertainment options, including the successful “MagiQuest” live-action adventure game and “Oliver’s Mining Company,” where kids pan and sift for gemstones. Dining options will include Barnwood, a new restaurant concept that will feature small plates and craft cocktails.

1710_NA_SCHLITTERBAHNSchlitterbahn Participates in Worldwide Effort to Prevent Drownings

In an effort to promote the importance of water safety, all five Schlitterbahn water parks in the United States participated in the “World’s Largest Swimming Lesson” this past summer, joining around 600 simultaneously participating locations in more than 20 countries worldwide. The American Red Cross found that 54 percent of Americans cannot swim, and drowning is both the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 4, and the second leading cause of death of kids under age 14. The World Waterpark Association started the “World’s Largest Swimming Lesson” in 2010 to help members of the global aquatics industry work together to raise awareness of the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim, thereby reducing the number of drownings.