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Quick Hits - October 2012

Quick Hits

Indonesia’s New Bugis Waterpark Adventure Expects 700,000 Visitors per Year

Children enjoy a splash at the new Bugis Waterpark Adventure in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The park—which also features Indonesia’s longest fast body slide, a 150-meter-long (452-foot-long) aquatube—cost 150 ­billion rupiah (US$15.8 million) to construct and is expected to attract 700,000 visitors a year. The park’s serene theme is meant to be reminescent of South Sulawesi’s rural heritage, while the names of the park’s rides and zones pay homage to the Bugis people, who first settled the area about 4,500 years ago. The attraction is a joint venture of Indonesian conglomerate Kalla Group and Turkey’s Polin Waterparks.

Fruit Festival Draws Crowds at Vietnam’s Suoi Tien Amusement Park

Giant fruit sculptures—like this massive “Starfruit Head”—are among the attractions at the 16th annual summer “Southern Fruit Festival” at the Suoi Tien Amusement Park outside Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The three-week event attracts more than 1.5 million visitors, who consume some 1,500 tons and 65 varieties of fruit. More than 100 travel firms promote the festival, which includes performances by artists from across the region, including those disguised as monkey kings, fairies, and fruits. Suoi Tien, which means “the fairy stream,” is said to be the world’s first theme park based on Buddhist themes. The park features dragons, phoenix, tortoises, and unicorns, while workers in golden monkey suits roam the park causing mischief.

Sea World Australia Unveils Ropes Course

A young boy traverses the “Sky Trail Ropes Course” at Sea World in Australia. The course consists of nearly 40 ropes and three suspended platforms, the highest of which is about 45 feet in the air. Prime Play, the designer of the course, is building another Sky Trail in Chengdu, China, at the new Paradise Island water park, which opens later this year.

Child’s Play for Ravensburger

Ravensburger Spieleland, the German park owned by leading children’s toy and games company Ravensburger, welcomed its 5 millionth visitor this season.

New for 2012 is Wasserwald (Waterforest), “a playground for children with creeks, locks, and other attractions that make water come alive,” says press officer ­Stefanie Stiefenhofer. The park opened in April 1998 in the company’s hometown of Ravensburg and offers more than 60 attractions. It is designed to “give families the experience of a pleasant and active time together,” says Stiefenhofer. 


An Italian Love Affair

Gardaland offered people the chance to find love at the Italian theme park this summer. More than 200 brave-hearted visitors signed up for a singles event on July 19, 2012. So were they swept away by suitors or simply by the rides? “Lots of people found new friends, but we don’t know yet whether some of them fell in love,” says Paolo Viarengo, ­marketing manager at Gardaland. He was thrilled with the media coverage and social media buzz the event attracted on the park’s 37th birthday.


Danes Go for Gold

Danish park Sommerland Sjælland, near Copenhagen, has salted one of its fields with gold nuggets, giving lucky guests the chance to get rich quick. Visitors are free to dig for the 24-carat nuggets, 10 in total, each worth e130-200 (US$160-247). “Imagine digging for real gold and perhaps going home with more money in your pocket than you came in with. It’s a fun way to use our westernthemed Silver City area,” said park owner Kåre Dyvekær at the launch of the Guldbakken (Golden Hill) activity on Aug. 4. 


Doubling the Fun

Schlitterbahn Vacation Village in Kansas City, Kansas, doubled the footprint of its park this summer with an expansion that’s been in the works for a year. Added attractions include the longest rapids-river ride in the Midwest, a surf ride, three large slides, a ride-up Aqua Veyer, and a fast-flow tube chute.

The rapids-river ride, called “King Kaw Rapids River,” takes riders in tubes through rushing rapids and swift currents and over a series of waterfalls along a 3,000-foot course. “Whirlwind” is a tube ride in the dark inside a fully enclosed slide, and “Mighty Mo” is a fast-flowing tube chute. “Boogie Bahn” replicates ocean surfing and is the only ride of its kind in the Kansas City area.

The expansion also includes new food and beverage locations, private cabanas, shade structures, and picnic tables. 


New Big Wheel Goes Round in the Emerald City

The new Seattle Great Wheel opened on the city’s waterfront, offering spectacular views of Mt. Rainier, the Seattle skyline, the Olympic Mountains, and Elliot Bay. The wheel soars 175 feet above Pier 57 and actually extends 40 feet over Elliot Bay. Created by Chance Rides, the Seattle Wheel features 42 climate-controlled gondolas, each having a capacity of eight riders.


Yuletide Spirit to Blanket Sunny Tampa

For the first time in the 53-year history of Busch Gardens Tampa the theme park will present a special evening Christmas celebration every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from Nov. 30 through Dec. 23. The separately ticketed event will feature holiday-themed attractions, shows, food, and shopping, while Christmas decorations will abound throughout the park.