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New Thrills and Chills Debuting across North American Parks in 2013

More than 200 Rides and Attractions Offer Families Thrills and Chills this Summer at Parks and Attractions Throughout North America

Wood Coasters with New Twists and Turns, Popularity of Water Park Attractions, and More Immersive Experiences Cited Among Trends in New Attractions for 2013

(April 16, 2013) – Nearly 200 new rides and attractions open this summer at more than 80 theme parks, water parks, family fun centers, zoos, aquariums, and museums in the United States and Canada, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the worldwide trade association for the global attractions industry. 

More than 300 million people will visit U.S. amusement parks and attractions this summer as the attractions industry provides 600,000 jobs and helps pump more than $57 billion into North America’s economy.

Trends identified from the massive list of new attractions for 2013 include new and even more thrilling wooden roller coaster experiences, expanded and refreshing water park additions, and increasingly immersive experiences designed to take guests into new worlds for unique adventures.

Wooden roller coasters have been entertaining guests for more than 125 years, but in 2013, there is a noted trend toward coasters that go beyond the traditional hills, dips, and curves associated with wood coasters. Thanks in part to new technologies and designs, several wooden coasters opening this summer offer guests a choice between the traditional wooden coaster ride experience and a hybrid that gives riders the ambiance of a wood coaster while providing inversions, twists, and turns only previously experienced on steel roller coasters.

Families can cool off this summer at one of more than five new water parks opening in North America or at one of more than 20 water parks introducing gigantic expansions that include massive new wave pools, water coasters, water slide complexes, lazy rivers, spray grounds for young visitors, and more.

Dreamers and designers in the attractions industry continue to create amazing, immersive experiences. This summer, those adventures take guests into the worlds of penguins, princesses, and more.

“If it’s new adventures families want, this summer is going to deliver,” said IAAPA President and CEO Paul Noland. “The rides and exhibits opening at amusement parks and attractions throughout North America range from wooden roller coasters that turn riders upside down, and cool new desert oases, to amazing animal safaris, and high-tech interactive adventures. There’s something new for everyone."

A list of these new attractions, consumer tips for summer fun, and other information is available at

Editor’s Note:
For images corresponding to certain new attractions, visit IAAPA’s What’s New Image Gallery at www.IAAPA.org/whatsnewpic

Here is a listing of some of the new attractions opening this summer:


Waterville USA in Gulf Shores, Ala., debuts a six-lane water slide that allows up to six guests to race one another side-by-side to a thrill-filled finish. watervilleusa.com

Magic Springs in Hot Springs, Ark., introduces “Splash Island,” a four-story water play structure featuring 10 colorful water slides, a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket, bubbler jets, water wheels, water curtains, net climbs, pools, waterfalls, and more, providing more than 200 new ways to get wet. www.magicsprings.com  

Wild River Country
in North Little Rock, Ark., has refurbished a bridge near the wave pool for guests with disabilities; resurfaced and repainted all water slides; created new landscaping; added new cabanas; and introduced new events. www.wildrivercountry.com

The new Aquatica San Diego combines family fun with wildlife education on the former site of Knott’s Soak City in Chula Vista, Calif. The re-envisioned park features dozens of slides, rides, and animal attractions, including the 500,000-gallon wave pool, “Big Surf Shores”; the open-air “HooRoo Run” water slides; and “Loggerhead Lane,” where guests can swim or float down a 1,250-foot-long lazy river enjoying views of more than a dozen Caribbean flamingos. seaworldparks.com/seaworld-sandiego/Aquatica-California

California’s Great America
in Santa Clara introduces the 3,197-foot-long wooden “GoldStriker” roller coaster, which features a 103-foot first drop and top speed of 54 mph. The ride, inspired by the 1849 California Gold Rush, lasts more than two minutes and is located in the Celebration Plaza area of the park. www.cagreatamerica.com

Fantasy Faire
, the latest expansion of Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., is a half-acre village that gives visitors an opportunity to meet and greet Disney princesses from classic animated films such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Tangled,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Fantasy Faire is designed to envelop guests in the princesses’ world and includes shops, dining, and a theater playing two new shows — one with Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” and the other with Flynn and Rapunzel from “Tangled.” disneyland.disney.go.com

Knott’s Berry Farm
in Buena Park, Calif., debuts two rides and reopens two others focusing on family fun. “Coast Rider” is a 1,339-foot-long and 52-foot-tall roller coaster that gives guests the feeling of riding the California coast with hairpin turns, twists, and spins. “Surfside Glider” allows guests to pilot their own two-man aircraft from a height of 28 feet, providing a bird’s eye view of the Boardwalk area as they glide over Boardwalk Bay. The park also reopens the “Timber Mountain Log Ride” log flume – restoring classic scenes, upgrading ride figures and sets as well as adding new scenes and characters while maintaining the original theming and storyline of the attraction – as well as the classic spinning ride, “Pacific Scrambler.” www.knotts.com

The new
Legoland Hotel opens at Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad, Calif. Legoland Hotel immerses families in the world of Lego with play areas, a family pool, children’s entertainment, and 250 themed rooms. Guests can choose which Lego set is the theme of their hotel room – Pirate, Kingdom, or Adventure. The Legoland California Resort also debuts a new 4-D show, “LEGO: Legends of Chima.” The show features tribes of animal warriors competing in epic battles for “CHI” – a mystical energy source of limitless power and destruction. california.legoland.com

The Rainforest of the Americas,” a new exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, surrounds visitors with a lush, tropical s
etting where mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects are presented in seamless exhibits that protect the individual needs of each animal while providing a more naturalistic experience for guests.  A key element of the exhibit is the central theme of water and how it is one of the most essential ingredients to the health and welfare of the rainforest environment.  www.lazoo.org

Monterey Bay Aquarium
in Monterey, Calif., opens a new $2 million, two-level sea otter exhibit.  On the second floor of the exhibit guests can watch the otters swim at the surface, while first-floor windows give an underwater view of their lively acrobatics. The aquarium also debuts “Luna: A Sea Otter’s Story,” a new 15-minute auditorium program that follows a sea otter`s journey from rescue to release. www.montereybayaquarium.org

Mulligan Family Fun Center
in Murrieta, Calif., opens phase two of its water park expansion. The newest additions include three new body slides, multi-level slide platforms, spray nozzles, and the Big Splash Pumping Station. www.mulliganmurrieta.com

Undertow,” a new steel roller coaster, debuts at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Calif. The ride features a unique spinning four-seat vehicle and plenty of sharp curves. Weight distribution in the vehicle determines how the vehicle rotates during the ride, so the rider experience may be different every time. beachboardwalk.com

SeaWorld San Diego
is one of two SeaWorld Entertainment parks to debut the new live musical show “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation.” The original 20-minute show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort, and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-sandiego

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
in Valejo, Calif., opens Cirque Dreams Splashtastic,” a dynamic visual spectacle combining the Cirque Dreams acrobats’ amazing feats of strength with the graceful leaps and bows of the popular marine mammals at the park. www.sixflags.com/discoveryKingdom/index.aspx

Full Throttle,” a triple launch steel coaster featuring a 160-foot loop and Top Hat track configuration, debuts at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. The sleek trains, launched twice forward and once backward at speeds up to 70 mph, take riders through a special effects tunnel, up and over the Superman Plaza, and through the park’s diverse terrain.  www.sixflags.com/magicMountain/index.aspx

Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colo., opens a new family roller coaster, “Blazin’ Buckaroo.” This 360-foot steel coaster is designed with children in mind and reaches a top speed of 15 mph. The park also debuts seven new shows: the “Raptor Project” features up-close animal interactions; “Cirque Conjure” exhibits magical illusions and inspiring music; the “Do-Right Duo” superheroes get kids active; the “Mapapa African Acrobats” showcase amazing feats of agility; “Motorcycle Mania” thrills the crowd with extreme stunts; and two wacky shows that feature “Professor Norm” are designed especially for kids.  elitchgardens.com

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
in Glenwood Springs, Colo., expands its cave tours. The Historic Fairy Caves Tour now includes sections of the cave that have never been open to the public, with a stop at Exclamation Point overlooking the Roaring Fork Valley. The Kings Row Tour takes guests into Iron Mountain on lighted walkways revealing the most highly decorated cave room in Colorado, complete with stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, and cave bacon rock formations. www.glenwoodcaverns.com

Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn., introduces “Bayou Bay,” a wave pool located in the newly developed Crocodile Cove Water Park. This wave pool is more than double the size of its predecessor. The area also adds a second bathhouse, with more restrooms and changing areas. www.lakecompounce.com

Quassy Amusement Park
in Middlebury, Conn., adds three new water slides and doubles the size of its water park, which has been renamed Splash Away Bay. Splash Away Bay includes a “BulletBOWL” tube slide, two “FreeFall” body slides, and a children’s play area featuring the “Fish Pond” splash pad. The park also introduces the “Quassy Quest Laser Maze Challenge,” where players maneuver through a web of light beams in a race against time. www.quassy.com

Busch Gardens Tampa debuts “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation,” based on the characters from the hit children’s movies. The original 20-minute live music show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort, and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. seaworldparks.com/buschgardens-tampa

Fun Spot America
, formerly known as Fun Spot Action Park, in Orlando, Fla., unveils a $40 million expansion, adding the more than 2,000-foot-long “White Lightning” roller coaster, a 1200-foot suspended coaster, a 250-foot “SkyCoaster” steel cable swing attraction, and other rides such as “Tilt-A-Whirl,” “Ripcurl,” and “Enterprise.” www.funspotattractions.com/pages/orlando-park.php

Jungle Island
in Miami, Fla., unveils “Critter Tales,” a unique encounter featuring some of the Jungle Island’s most interesting reptiles. Guests receive a behind-the-scenes look at the critters that take up residence in the Serpentarium, including different types of snakes, lizards, and frogs. As part of the experience, guests will get the chance to feed an alligator in its enclosure. www.jungleisland.com

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
in Orlando, Fla., introduces “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas.” Guests will use a pirate map and a magic talisman to help them complete five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland. Also, as part of the continued expansion of Fantasyland, Disney introduces “Princess Fairytale Hall,” where guests are immersed into the world of Disney princesses and fans can meet and mingle with their most admired role models. disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/magic-kingdom

An exhibit featuring the
NASA space shuttle Atlantis opens at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Orlando. The $100 million attraction gives guests a close-up view of the space-flown vehicle. Atlantis is on display as if orbiting Earth with the 60-foot-long payload bay doors open. The attraction includes a variety of space activity simulators where visitors experience the challenge of grappling a satellite or moving through a model of the International Space Station. www.KennedySpaceCenter.com

DinoQuest 2: A Jurassic Journey” at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is an outdoor exhibit featuring 22 lifelike and life-size dinosaurs that move, blink, and roar. The exhibit includes a Zoo School program featuring the primitive predators, and opens after dark for “Dino Nites,” which gives nighttime visitors the opportunity to enjoy seven rides, select areas of the zoo, and “DinoQuest 2: A Jurassic Journey.”  www.LowryParkZoo.com

Rapids Water Park
in West Palm Beach, Fla., debuts the “FlowRider.” The continuous, simulated wave system moves 30,000 gallons of water per minute, keeping the waves in one location and allowing riders to take turns in the curl riding waves over a fixed surface at 35 mph. www.rapidswaterpark.com/index.cfm

SeaWorld Orlando
unveils “Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin,” an immersive experience that gives guests a close encounter with more than 250 species of penguin in a chilly simulation of their actual environment.  Guests are introduced to one penguin and, through his story, learn about the life of a penguin. The attraction includes a trackless adventure experience with four routes—varying in intensity—for guests to choose. seaworldparks.com/seaworld-orlando

Transformers: The Ride – 3D” debuts at Universal Studios Florida and puts riders on the front lines of an intergalactic war between the Autobots and Decepticons. This ride immerses guests in a fictional world by fusing high-definition 3-D media and flight simulation technology. www.universalorlando.com

SkyScreamer” opens at Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta, Ga. The massive swing ride rises 24 stories above ground and rotates guests in a 98-foot-wide circle at 40 mph. “SkyScreamer” is the tallest attraction introduced in the park’s 45-year history. www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia/index.aspx

Typhoon Twister” makes landfall at Six Flags White Water in Marietta, Ga. Four guests at a time experience a thrills and chills with a five-story drop, then blast into a 67-foot wide bowl before finally dropping out through a corkscrew chute into a splash pool below. www.sixflags.com/whiteWater/index.aspx

Stone Mountain Park
in Stone Mountain, Georgia, debuts a new restaurant concept, Campfire Grill, in the park’s Crossroads section. Campfire Grill features an in-restaurant “camping adventure” accentuated by “campsite” dining tables and seating, “camp counselor” servers, outdoor ambiance, and decor encouraging young diners to explore. Signature menu items include open flame-cooked Coca-Cola-infused ribs, Campfire Skewers, and Campfire S’mores Skillet dessert. www.stonemountainpark.com

Wild Adventures
in Valdosta, Ga., introduces “TailSpin,” a rocking and spinning ride on a half-pipe that takes riders more than four stories high while facing outward on a motorcycle-like seat. For younger ride enthusiasts, the park adds “Wacky Wheels,” a whirling, teacup-like ride featuring funky cars. wildadventures.com/Default.aspx

Roaring Springs Water Park in Boise, Idaho, debuts “Cliffhanger,” a six-story, high-speed water slide that drops riders from a trap door launch capsule straight into a nearly vertical drop. www.roaringsprings.com

Silverwood Theme Park
, located near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, opens two new rides in 2013. “SpinCycle” is a 104-foot-tall thrill ride with a cylindrical-shaped vehicle that seats 24 people facing outward, with legs dangling and wearing only a harness. The vehicle rotates 360 degrees at 13 revolutions per minute while at the same time swings like a giant pendulum all the way upside down. “Barnstormer” rotates two 20-person vehicles on swinging arms as the ride climbs higher with each swing. www.silverwoodthemepark.com

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill., adds the most technologically advanced show in the park’s 37-year history, “igNIGHT.” This nighttime production features singing, dancing, pyrotechnics, video, and laser elements. The grand finale takes place in the newly remodeled Hometown Square section of the park. In addition, park visitors can now ride “Batman: The Ride” backward. Riders reach top speeds of 50 mph and travel through 2,700 feet of track, all while maneuvering hairpin turns, vertical loops, corkscrews, and a head-over-heels roll without knowing what is coming next. www.sixflags.com/greatamerica

Santa’s Village Azoosment Park
in Dundee, Ill., introduces the new “Wildcat Roller Coaster and “Ding ‘em Dodge ‘em Bumper Cars.” The steel coaster climbs more than four stories high and sends guests on a thrill-filled ride with plenty of airtime twists and drops. The new bumper car attraction provides fun for the whole family. Other new attractions include games, exotic animals, and magic shows. santasvillagedundee.com

Hyena Falls,” a new water slide complex at Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., includes four in-the-dark water slides. The longest slide is 350 feet long and also features a half-pipe element, while the remaining three slides are 327, 302 and 297 feet long. Holiday World also debuts “Kitty’s Tea Party,” a new teacup ride designed for the young and young-at-heart. www.holidayworld.com

Following a two-year hiatus, butterflies have returned to White River Gardens at the
Indianapolis Zoo as part of the all-new “Butterfly Kaleidoscope” exhibit. This limited-engagement exhibition includes nearly 40 different species of native and exotic butterflies and many brand-new features and experiences, like a one-of-a-kind giant mobile suspended overhead, colored glass windows and scenes, handmade glass feeders, and build-a-butterfly activities. www.indyzoo.com/SitePages/home.aspx

The new
Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland, located in northwest Indiana, features 15 water slides, including four 70-foot freefall drop slides and a giant half-pipe tube ride. The water park also features a 500,000-gallon wave pool, a quarter-mile lazy river, and two areas designed specifically for kids, with splash features, water slides, group pavilions, cabanas, and more. www.sevenpeaks.com/WaterParkDuneland/Home.aspx

The 17,600-square-foot Helzberg Penguin Plaza at the Kansas City Zoo features a 100,000-gallon cool pool and snow for cold-water penguins as well as a 25,000-gallon warm wet area with sand for warm-water penguins. Each exhibit provides child-friendly views showcasing the black-and-white birds in a natural environment. www.kansascityzoo.org

Beech Bend Park and Splash Lagoon in Bowling Green, Ky., opens “Vortex.” This revolving swing takes riders 60 feet in the air and reaches a maximum swing angle of 240 degrees. Riders sit facing one another, and at the max height of the swing are suspended upside down. www.beechbend.com

The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md., debuts “Blacktip Reef.” This coral-filled exhibit, replicating Indo-Pacific reefs, is active with life that guests can experience from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows guests to virtually come face to face with 15 species of marine life, including Blacktip Reef Sharks. www.aqua.org

Six Flags America
near Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., opens “Bonzai Pipelines,” a 65-foot-tall water slide complex that includes six intense drop-launch looping body slides. www.sixflags.com/america/index.aspx

Six Flags New England, near Springfield, Mass., opens “Bonzai Pipelines.”  The water slide complex includes six slides, all featuring a 50-foot freefall, 200 feet of darkness, and a 360-degree loop. www.sixflags.com/newengland/index.aspx

Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Mich., opens “River Canyon Run,” a whitewater rafting attraction that takes three to four people at a time sliding and winding down a long indoor tunnel that stretches out of the resort and then back inside, culminating in a final splash. The water park resort also adds “Ten Paw Alley,” a bowling alley designed for kids, and expands “Scooop’s Kid Spa,” where young girls enjoy ice cream-themed manicure and pedicure services. www.greatwolf.com/traverse/waterpark

Michigan’s Adventure
in Muskegon, Mich., unveils “Lakeside Gliders.” The flying vehicles have a stationary rear wing and a moveable front wing which allow guests to control their flight experiences as the vehicles rotate faster and faster, fanning out over a large area. www.miadventure.com

Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minn., opens its new “Gorilla Forest.” The exhibit includes a 10,000-square-foot outdoor area and a 2,000-square-foot indoor area where gorillas can play, climb, forage for food, and display their extraordinary family and social dynamics to the public in immersive natural habitats. www.comozooconservatory.org

Dinosaurs Alive!” debuts at Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minn. The attraction includes a multi-sensory and interactive dinosaur park with more than 30 life-sized dinosaurs on five wooded acres (two hectares). www.valleyfair.com

Branson Tracks family fun and go-kart center in Branson, Mo., upgrades two of its tracks, and adds a new arcade, children’s rides, a kiddie go-kart track, a four-station batting cage for both baseball and softball, and a newly expanded birthday party facility. www.bransontracks.com

Worlds of Fun
in Kansas City, Mo., celebrates its 40th anniversary with the completion of the largest expansion of the Oceans of Fun water park in the attraction’s history. Guests can now enjoy both Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun with a single admission ticketSix new slides are housed on a 65-foot-tall complex overlooking “Surf City Wave Pool.” At the peak of the complex, guests climb into the “Aqua-Launch,” a chamber with a floor that suddenly drops out, sending riders down one of three slides into a high-speed, near-vertical drop and a series of loops and S-curves in a translucent flume. Known as a “constrictor” slide, the fourth slide features double tubes spiraling down an enclosed slide with four 360-degree turns. Two additional enclosed tube slides offer guests thrills and chills with high speed drops and banked turns.  www.worldsoffun.com

Schlitterbahn Kansas City Water Park
opens “Meg-a-Blaster.” The four-person raft speed slide stands more than 130 feet tall, includes uphill travel, and reaches speeds of more than 65 mph. www.schlitterbahn.com/kc

Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., introduces “Outlaw Run,” a wooden roller coaster comprised of six layers of wood stack equal to 450,000 board feet of lumber, completed with new “Topper Track” technology. The ride features an 81-degree drop, three inversions – including a one-of-a-kind double barrel roll – and reaches a 68 mph top speed. The $10 million attraction is Silver Dollar City’s largest investment in a new ride in the past decade.  www.silverdollarcity.com

Six Flags St. Louis introduces the 125-foot-tall “Boomerang,” which hurtles riders along 1,650 feet of twisted steel track at speeds of up to 50 mph. Guests race through a half loop, careen into a right half cork screw followed by a left half cork screw, then another half loop, and finally blaze through a full loop before climbing a second lift hill – all in anticipation of the same ride experience in reverse. www.sixflags.com/stlouis/index.aspx

Australian entertainment conglomerate Village Roadshow opens Wet ’n’ Wild Las Vegas, located in southwest Las Vegas near I-215 and Sunset Road. The 41-acre water park is home to more than 25 rides and attractions including the “Hoover Half Pipe,” a slide that drops riders 57 feet into a giant half pipe, and the “Colorado Cooler,” a 1,000-foot-long lazy river. www.wetnwildlasvegas.com

Cowabunga Bay
is a new water park located near Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev. The park, managed by Huish Entertainment, features the 35,000-square-foot “Surf-A-Rama” wave pool, the “Cowabunga Kid’s Cove” children’s play area, several new thrilling water slides such as “Good Vibrations,”” Zooma Zuma,” and “Wild Surf,” and more. shanehuish.wix.com/las-vegas

New Hampshire
Santa’s Village in Jefferson, N.H., celebrates its 60th anniversary season with the addition of three water slides to expand the Christmas theme park`s Ho Ho H2O water park. Guests can wind their way down three 200-foot serpentine body slides, beginning from a height of 25 feet. The new Elf’s Lodge contains dining options, changing rooms, rest rooms, and a first-aid station. www.santasvillage.com

New Jersey
Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, N.J., introduces three new features and attractions. “WildTrax,” a new thrill-tracking app for iPhone and Android users, allows guests to view statistics, earn badges, share photos, and more. “ArtBox,” a new attraction inspired by the works and wares of local artists, features art studios, galleries, and a café. “The Zoom Phloom,” a classic log flume ride, receives a full makeover and has been re-themed into “Sea of Life,”  complete with seals, star fish, turtles, and an octopus all hand-carved out of the existing rockwork. www.moreyspiers.com

Six Flags Great Adventure and Wild Safari
in Jackson, N.J., introduces “Safari Off Road Adventure.” Guests enter the fictional world of the Wilds Family, who traveled the globe to bring the most interesting and exotic creatures to their home. Up to 35 passengers board Jeep-like vehicles and travel off-road through ponds, hills, and rugged terrain to see 1,200 animals from six continents up close and personal. www.sixflags.com/greatAdventure/index.aspx

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor,
in Jackson, N. J., unveils “Big Wave Racer,” a four-story-tall slide complex that sends riders headfirst down multiple lanes that stretch more than 1,800 feet in a race to the finish line. www.sixflags.com/hurricaneharbornj/index.aspx

New York
The Castle in Chester, N.Y., now includes an Event Center and hosts parties, corporate events, and more. www.thecastlefuncenter.com

Darien Lake
in Darien Center, N.Y., debuts two new attractions. “Blast Off,” a ride designed to simulate a rocket launch, sends riders straight up a 185-foot-tall tower. Cutting-edge water technology, pyrotechnics, and high-value production have been added to the park’s “Ignite the Night” laser show. darienlake.com

The Great Escape
in Queensbury, N.Y., debuts “Screamin’ Eagles,” a new interactive flying swing ride that allows guests to pilot their own flights. Each vehicle has a stationary rear wing and a moveable front wing, allowing guests to dip, dive, and plunge at speeds of up to 40 mph. www.sixflags.com/greatEscape   

Legoland Discovery Center Westchester
, a $12 million, 32,300-square-foot indoor attraction designed for children ages 3-10 and their families, opens in Westchester, N.Y. Its range of educational and interactive experiences includes hands-on play areas, a 4-D cinema, Lego master classes led by Master Model Builders, two Lego amusement rides, and Miniland -- the venue’s signature re-creation of landmark locations and buildings throughout Westchester County and New York City, made out of more than 1 million Lego bricks. www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester

Splashdown Beach
in Fishkill, N.Y., undergoes a $13 million expansion that adds two attractions to the water park. “Dizzy’s Water Whirler” is a spray pad featuring more than 30 interactive water elements and is part of the Bob the Builder Splash Works attraction. “Arctic Plunge,” the first of six planned slides on the “Arctic Adventure” water slide complex, debuts this summer. www.splashdownbeach.com

Splish Splash
, a water park in Calverton, N.Y., near Long Island, opens “Bootlegger’s Run,” a new ride that uses hydromagnetic technology to create an experience that combines elements of a roller coaster and a white water raft adventure. The ride takes a four-person raft uphill and downhill for a series of drops, including one that is nearly five stories high. www.splishsplashlongisland.com/_site/attractions.html

North Carolina
Dinosaurs Alive!” premieres at Carowinds near Charlotte, N.C. The animatronic attraction includes a multi-sensory and interactive dinosaur park with more than 30 life-size dinosaurs on five wooded acres of land. www.carowinds.com

Great Wolf Lodge
in Concord, N.C., opens The Great Wolf Kids Store, which features exclusive Great Wolf Kids souvenirs and gifts. The store includes “Creation Stations” where children stuff their own Great Wolf Kids character and decorate “Like Me” shirts – one to wear, and one to share with their new stuffed friend. The park also introduces a new family-style restaurant, Hungry as a Wolf. www.greatwolf.com/concord/waterpark

The Beach
water park in Mason, Ohio, undergoes a $5 million renovation which includes construction of the “Kiddie Cove” kids interactive play area, featuring a dumping bucket and spray grounds, as part of its “Big Surf” wave pool. The renovation also enhances the Emerald Bay activity zone that includes the “High Tide Hoops” water basketball play area and anchored floating lily pads. www.thebeachwaterpark.com

Cedar Point
amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, debuts “Gatekeeper.” Guests will sit on either side of the track on this winged roller coaster and travel along the 4,164-foot ride as it takes them down a 170-foot drop, up a 105-foot-tall camelback hill, through two keyholes, and around a 360-degree giant flat spin curve at speeds up to 67 mph. www.cedarpoint.com

After the completion of phase three of its construction, the
Cincinnati Zoo’s “Africa” exhibit now includes a wider vista that offers visitors a new opportunity to see African lions and cheetahs. When fully completed, “Africa” will be the largest exhibit in the zoo’s history. cincinnatizoo.org

EnterTRAINment Junction
in Cincinnati, Ohio, debuts a miniature working replica of Cincinnati’s historic Coney Island Amusement Park. The new exhibit, covering more than 1,000 square feet, features working rides from Coney Island’s past, such as the “Shooting Star” roller coaster, the “Lost River,” the Ferris wheel, “Flying Rockets,” “Tumblebug,” carousel, haunted house, and numerous other attractions. All rides and attractions are being made from scratch by hand, based on historic photos and dimensions, with most items created in a 1/24th scale. www.enterTRAINmentjunction.com

Great Wolf Lodge
in Mason, Ohio, debuts a new indoor glow-in-the-dark mini-golf experience, “Howl at the Moon Glow Golf.”  Families use glow-in-the-dark golf balls to putt their way through a forest filled with woodland creatures. The Great Wolf Kids Store, which features exclusive Great Wolf Kids souvenirs and gifts, also opens and includes “Creation Stations” where children can stuff their own Great Wolf Kids character and decorate “Like Me” shirts – one to wear, and one to share with their new stuffed friend. www.greatwolf.com/mason/waterpark

Kings Island
in Mason, Ohio, expands its “Dinosaurs Alive!” attraction which already includes six scenes depicting different aspects of dinosaur life and features 56 lifelike animatronic dinosaurs. More details on the expansion will be announced at a later date. www.visitkingsisland.com

The “Robert J. LaFortune WildLIFE Trek” debuts at the Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa, Okla. The newly renovated complex focuses on animals from around the world and their unique adaptations to life in the cold, desert, forest, and water. The attraction includes a grizzly bear exhibit, which features an interactive keeper chat area and training wall, as well as a naturalistic habitat featuring a two-story waterfall and wading pond for the bears. www.tulsazoo.org

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa., opens a dinosaur-themed animatronic exhibit, “Dinosaurs Alive!” The attraction features life-size dinosaurs in five separate scenes depicting different aspects of dinosaur life. www.dorneypark.com

Great Wolf Lodge
, in the Pocono Mountains, opens The Great Wolf Kids Store, which features exclusive Great Wolf Kids souvenirs and gifts. The store includes “Creation Stations” where children can stuff their own Great Wolf Kids character and decorate “Like Me” shirts – one to wear, and one to share with their new stuffed friend. www.greatwolf.com/poconos/waterpark

in Hershey, Pa., introduces a new spray park, “Shoreline Sprayground.” The 7,000-square-foot water play area includes 12 play structures and 16 dancing fountains, perfect for chilling down on a warm summer day. The park also adds two new water slides to its Boardwalk.  www.hersheypark.com

Float Away Bay,” a 605-foot-long lazy river, debuts at Idlewild and SoakZone in Ligonier, Pa.  The 185,000-gallon “endless” river is designed for families with young children. The attraction includes a large zero-depth entry bay and an overall depth of 2 feet 4 inches. It features kid-sized tubes along with adult tubes and fun spray features to keep families entertained. www.idlewild.com

Knoebels Resort
in Elysburg, Pa., debuts the “StratosFear,” in which up to 12 guests ascend in a circular motion 148 feet in the air to the top of the tower then drop at speeds up to 47 mph. “Crazy Submarine” also opens, allowing families to ride together as the submarine rises up and down on a circular arm. www.knoebels.com

The “
Music Express” thrill ride debuts at Waldameer & Water World in Erie, Pa. Seating 60 guests, the ride spins forward and backward at 25 mph while playing Top 40 pop music hits over five large speakers. The ride provides a different experience when illuminated with more than 3,000 LED lights. www.waldameer.com

South Carolina
Family Kingdom in Myrtle Beach, S.C. opens four new rides. Guests can experience the new “Twist 'n Shout” Wild Mouse-style steel roller coaster, lay down with feet dangling for the free flight sensation on the “Kite Flyer,” scream with delight as the “Flying Tigers” whip around, and bounce along with the “Frog Hopper” on its journey to catch flies. www.familykingdomfun.com

South Dakota
The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, S.D., opens a snow monkey exhibit as part of the “Monkeys, Magic and More” project. The zoo also debuts a new summer pond for flamingo viewing. www.greatzoo.org

SoakYa, a 5-acre water entertainment complex, is the first major expansion of Lake Winnepesaukah since the 1960s. The multimillion-dollar water park features a lazy river, wave lagoon, flume body slides, enclosed tube slides, a multilane racer slide, and a shallow splash park with pint-sized slides and water play fun for toddlers. www.lakewinnie.com

River Rush,” Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, debuts at Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Adventure Park. The ride combines the same powerful climbs, twists, drops, and turns of a traditional roller coaster with rushing water for thrilling and refreshing summer fun. www.dollywood.com/waterpark.aspx

Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, introduces two new dining options: a new family-style restaurant, Hungry as a Wolf, and the Grill, an American-style bar and grill overlooking the outdoor pool. www.greatwolf.com/grapevine/waterpark

The San Antonio Zoo unveils its augmented reality app, which prompts zoo visitors to play an interactive and educational 3-D game on their smartphones or tablets at 10 exhibits throughout the zoo. Users can download the app before or during their visit, and when they arrive at certain exhibits, they are instructed to point their device’s camera at a specific object, which prompts an interactive game.

SeaWorld San Antonio
opens “Pets Ahoy!,” a new comedy show featuring a menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, rats, pot-belly pigs, and other animals performing a series of uproarious and amazing skits. Nearly all of the animals used in the show have been rescued from animal shelters. http://seaworldparks.com/seaworld-sanantonio

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
in San Antonio, Texas, premieres a new hybrid wood and steel roller coaster, “Iron Rattler.” The thrilling ride takes guests down a 171-foot-drop at an 81-degree angle, up to a top speed of 70 mph, and shoots them through four overbanked turns and an inverted barrel roll. www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas/index.aspx

As part of its 30
th anniversary celebration, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Arlington, Texas, transforms its “Black Hole” experience into the all-new “Black Hole of Doom 4-D.” The new attraction sends riders down 500-foot-long dark, enclosed water slides filled with special effects such as holographic projections and spine-chilling sounds. www.sixflags.com/hurricaneharbortexas/index.aspx

Six Flags Over Texas
debuts “Texas SkyScreamer,” an elevating swing ride. Riders spin in a 124-foot-wide circle at 35 mph as they rise up to a breathtaking view 400 feet above the park. www.sixflags.com/overTexas/index

The State Fair of Texas
presents Summer Adventures in Fair Park, a new entertainment facility designed for families with children ages 5 to 13. Summer Adventures includes the new “Top O’ Texas” observation tower ride, which stands 500 feet tall and accommodates up to 100 riders at a time. www.fairparkfun.com

Kings Dominion in Doswell, Va., expands its Peanuts-themed children’s area, Planet Snoopy. The multimillion-dollar project doubles the size of the park’s children’s area and features 12 new and refurbished attractions, including a family balloon ride, classic teacup ride with a new twist, and a train adventure. In addition, the park debuts two new family-friendly shows based on the world-famous cartoon strip, and young guests have the opportunity meet Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and Snoopy in a memorable meet-and-greet experience. www.kingsdominion.com

Great Wolf Lodge
in Williamsburg, Va., opens The Great Wolf Kids Store, which features exclusive Great Wolf Kids souvenirs and gifts. The store includes “Creation Stations” where children can stuff their own Great Wolf Kids character and decorate “Like Me” shirts – one to wear, and one to share with their new stuffed friend. www.greatwolf.com/williamsburg/waterpark/

Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Wash., debuts an indoor glow-in-the-dark mini-golf experience, Howl at the Moon Glow Golf.  Families use glow-in-the-dark golf balls to putt their way through a forest filled with woodland creatures. The Great Wolf Kids Store also opens, featuring exclusive Great Wolf Kids souvenirs and gifts and including “Creation Stations” where children can stuff their own Great Wolf Kids character to take home and decorate “Like Me” shirts – one to wear, and one to share with their new stuffed friend. The water park resort also introduces two new dining options: a new family-style restaurant, Hungry as a Wolf, and the Wake Up with Wiley (and Friends) character breakfast buffet. www.greatwolf.com/grandmound/waterpark/

Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park transforms its traditional wooden roller coaster, “Hades,” into “Hades 360,” an all-wooden roller coaster with an upside-down roll. www.mtolympuspark.com 


British Columbia
The “FlyOver Canada” experience, a $15 million destination attraction, opens at Canada Place in Vancouver, B.C. Sixty guests at a time can fly coast-to-coast across Canada on a breathtaking aerial journey using simulated flight ride technology. www.flyovercanada.com

Vancouver Aquarium’s new exhibit, “The Secret World of Sharks and Rays” gives guests an inside look at the sharks, scates, and rays that call the waters of British Columbia home. www.vanaqua.org

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opens in Toronto, Ontario, and includes more than 45 exhibits in 1.5 million gallons (5.7 million liters) of water and features thousands of marine animals. www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/

The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” a 6,000-square-foot (557-square-meter) highly interactive traveling exhibition, allows visitors to delve into the science behind the unbelievable using experiments, challenges, touchable specimens, computer interactives, and multimedia experiences. The exhibit debuts at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario. www.sciencenorth.ca/exhibitsales

LaRonde, located in Montreal, Quebec, opens “Aqua Twist,” a new family interactive ride. Up to six passengers use water pistols to soak other riders as they travel in boats around a circular track. www.laronde.com

Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States, and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. www.IAAPA.org


Contact Information
Press Office: +1 703/299-5127
Colleen Mangone: cmangone@IAAPA.org
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org