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Regional Updates - September 2016

Safety First at New Thai Water Park

The RamaYana water park, which opened 20 minutes outside the Thai resort town of Pattaya, hopes to welcome 2 million guests a year. But it’s not just the 21 slides, lazy river, dual wave pool, and elephants that are expected to attract visitors. “The best possible water filtration systems and crystal-clear drinking water from our own wells will make a visit to RamaYana not only enjoyable, but also safe,” says the attraction’s marketing and sales director, Johannes Pattermann. “According to our market research, local Thai people rate safety as their most important aspect with visiting a water park.”


Hong Kong Celebrities Promote Marine Conservation

Hong Kong Cantopop star Raymond Lam “Steps Up for Our Oceans” along with fellow Hong Kong star Ken Hung and China’s record-setting Olympic diver Guo Jingjing in a new campaign by the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) to raise funds and awareness of conservation efforts.  Along with children and OPCF chair Judy Chen, the stars sport colorful headdresses and pretend to be coral and coral fish to highlight the importance of biodiversity and marine ecological balance.


World’s First Commercial Vertical Skywalk in Singapore

Singapore’s Sentosa Island has commissioned AJ Hackett International to build the world’s first full-time commercial Vertical Skywalk. Facing the beach below, adrenaline-seekers will walk 44 meters down the side of the tower’s center shaft, using ropes and techniques more commonly used by military special forces. The tower will also house Singapore’s first bungie jump, two giant swings that will race toward each other at speeds topping 100 kph, and a skybridge for onlookers.  Construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year.


The Undead Rise at Movie Park Germany

Movie Park Germany has opened “The Walking Dead Breakout” this year. The new, 700-square-meter attraction brings to life AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead,” which returns for a new season in October 2016. The park invested in “The Walking Dead Breakout” after seeing “high demand for a permanent horror attraction,” says General Manager Thorsten Backhaus. “Now horror fans can come to the park throughout the entire season and not only during our ‘Halloween Horror Festival’ in October.”

The huge public response when the attraction was announced on Facebook confirmed the park’s team was on the right track. “We reached over 2.2 million users and had 105,000 reactions, comments, and shares,” says Backhaus.

Jora Entertainment was responsible for designing and building the attraction, working with the park and AMC. “It’s the first time that we’ve made a haunted experience together with a brand,” says Project Manager Marjolein Smids.

The attraction re-creates key settings from the television series, including the hospital, the prison, and Terminus. Guests—over 16 years old—will face more than 15 themed rooms and zombie “walkers” played by live actors. There’s a €5 surcharge for the experience.


Wild Night at the Movies in the UK

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in the United Kingdom premiered its first “Silent Cinema” weekend last month, serving up a double bill of blockbusters over two nights (Aug. 26-27).

Audiences could forget about their worries with open-air screenings of “The Jungle Book” and “Jurassic Park.” Before the shows began, guests could enjoy “Zoorassic Park”—the zoo’s summer dinosaur experience featuring life-size animatronic dinosaurs—and “Birds of the World” flying displays.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo provided moviegoers with headphones to ensure the 2,000 animals in its care weren’t disturbed by the entertainment. Vendors provided food and drink. The zoo offered 600 tickets per night, at £18.50 for adults and £13.50 for children, with discounts for members.


Ubatuba Aquarium Returns 150+ Sea Cucumbers Back to Their Habitat

Brazil’s Ubatuba Aquarium, located approximately three hours from São Paulo, helped rescue and reintroduce 153 sea cucumbers to their natural habitat after they had been confiscated from smugglers. Although the animals are not on the endangered list, the demand for them in certain cuisines around the world has caused a drastic decrease in their population. The aquarium worked for 48 hours to rehabilitate the 587 sea cucumbers that were delivered to them by the government, but only 153 survived due to damage endured during their transport by the smugglers.


Neverland Opens New FEC in Argentina

Argentina’s Neverland, a family entertainment center (FEC), opens its seventh location, at the Carrefour San Fernando store, in Buenos Aires. The opening of this new location marks the 26th outpost in Argentina for this FEC brand, which has been in business for 40 years. The new 150-square-meter location boasts 20 video and electronic games, as well as a play area for young children.


Huge New Kalahari Water Park Coming to the Lone Star State

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, headquartered in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, announced plans to open its newest attraction in Round Rock, Texas, a city of 105,000 located 15 miles north of Austin. The resort will be Kalahari’s first in the Southwest United States and the fourth location overall. The announcement was made by company owner Todd Nelson before a crowd of more than 100 state and local dignitaries, business owners, and media representatives. He noted the company will invest at least $250 million in the project and said it would be “a very big resort.”

The Round Rock park will be similar to Kalahari’s other resorts and include African theming, up to 1,000 guest rooms, both indoor and outdoor water parks, a family entertainment center, restaurants, a spa, and a convention center.

The 200,000-square-foot water park will be situated on a 355-acre site the company purchased across from the Dell Diamond minor-league baseball stadium. The resort will open in 2020.


Legoland Florida Hotel Gets 7-Year-Old CEO

Legoland Florida Resort introduced 7-year-old Tommy Parker as the “Kid CEO” of its on-site hotel, which he terms “The Five Gazillion Star Hotel.” In a TV ad that began appearing Memorial Day weekend, Parker takes viewers on a tour of the 152-room hotel and highlights some of its features, like a pirate-themed room, a lobby crater filled with Lego bricks, and a disco elevator, all while dispensing what the resort calls “his nuggets of kid wisdom.” The TV ad is supported by a campaign showing additional hotel rooms and amenities and offers the opportunity for kids to win actual items from Parker’s TV shoot.


Guests Fight for Cedar Point—Playfully

Guests of Cedar Point now can combine the enjoyment of playing a video game with the fun and action of the amusement park at the same time, as both have been merged into a new interactive gaming experience, “The Battle for Cedar Point.” Developed by UK-based Holovis in partnership with Cedar Point, the free game lets guests compete against one another while at the park. Guests first choose one of five “clans” to join, then earn points by scanning select ride signs, T-shirts, and game symbols located throughout the park with their mobile devices, on which these items come to life and enable the guests to see characters, signs, and symbols.