North America Quick Takes | May/June 2021
Funplex Expands with Outdoor FEC in Myrtle Beach
The Funplex family entertainment centers (FECs)—which have locations in East Hanover and Mount Laurel, New Jersey—will open their first location outside the state in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in May. The new FEC will feature seven outdoor family thrill rides and will be Funplex’s first all-outdoor park location. The company hoped to expand outside of New Jersey for years. Construction began in October 2020 inside a former 100-space parking lot.
One of its rides, “Fun in the Sun,” is an SBF Visa Big Air Coaster that debuted at IAAPA Expo 2019. The ride features vehicles that look like hamster wheels—and spin like them too—as they roll along a coaster track. Funplex Myrtle Beach will also feature a two-sided walk-up bar and restaurant named Off-the-Coast Beach Bar & Grill that offers eight local beers, frozen drinks, and a seafood menu.
New Experiential M&M’s Store Opens in Orlando
For many years, M&M’s have ranked at the top of the best-selling candies in the United States, and now the famous 80-year-old brand has a new store in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Owned by the Mars Retail Group, the shop includes the colorful M&M’s “Wall of Chocolate,” where visitors can dispense candies made from rare and unique colors; areas where shoppers can take selfies during M&M’s character appearances; and the opportunity for guests to create their own custom M&M’s candies.
Mars Wrigley, maker of the chocolate candy, says the new 10,000-square-foot shop is one of five M&M’s experiential stores and part of the company’s retail expansion strategy to bring the brand to life in North America, Europe, and Asia. In doing so, the company says it chooses culturally vibrant locations to delight its customers and notes that Disney Springs is “the perfect backdrop” for the candy. Among the store’s edible offerings are co-branded Disney and M&M’s merchandise.