IAAPA reported that Euro Attractions Show 2013 (EAS) held 18-20 September in Paris was a success with a sold-out exhibit floor, record numbers attending educational sessions, plus events and tours at maximum capacity. The three-day event is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). IAAPA further indicated that preliminary estimates indicate 8,500 attractions industry professionals, including 5,900 buyers from all over the world, participated in the event which was held in Paris’s Porte de Versailles Convention Centre.
InPark arrived in Paris, along with thousands of other attendees and exhibitors, for the first day in the show exhibit hall. Yesterday, tours of Disneyland Paris were available to registered ticket holders.
Copies of InPark Magazine’s Technology issue were available at IAAPA Central on the show floor (pictured).
Electrosonic’s Paul Kent spoke with Judy Rubin about his upcoming SATE ’13 conference presentation on lighting history and advancing technology.
Hang Fast brought a version of its cave adventure system, in human-scale ant farm style.
Michael Needham of SimEx-Iwerks discusses his laid-back management style.
Some EAS show notes from Judith Rubin:
Yves Pépin, well known for his pioneering work creating multimedia spectaculars all over the world, probably best-known for the Eiffel Tower Millennial Fireworks show (2000) and a keynote speaker for IAAPA in 2009, has been working on smaller-format projects in recent years. He was creative artistic director of Cité du Cinéma, a film studio complex supported by Luc Besson that opened in September 2012 near Paris. He is currently working with Puy du Fou to create a new attraction inside the park’s 3-story castle. It will open in spring 2014. Pépin recommended that everyone in the industry should take a closer look at Puy du Fou and how it has thrived despite tough economic times.
Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides in Baltimore, Maryland, sits on the IAAPA Board of Directors, IAAPA Safety Committee and IAAPA Government Relations Committee, in addition to chairing ASTM F24 and sitting on the Board of AIMS International. In the course of a day of safety sessions and behind-the-scenes tours at Disneyland the day before EAS 2013 opened, he updated us on Premier business. This American company has become an international supplier and recently announced a major installation for Germany’s Holiday Park—a 50-meter (164-foot) tall superhero-themed roller coaster opening in summer 2014. Other Premier coasters will soon rise up in Beijing and the Middle East, Seay reported, noting international work helps a company survive economic fluctuations. In addition to providing new roller coasters, Seay indicated the company also keeps busy on service projects, upgrading older coasters with new technology, and that Premier is involved in a significant technology refresh of legacy attractions at Ocean Park Hong Kong. On the ASTM front, Seay reports Bolivia has just adopted all the standards.
Nick Farmer of Farmer Attraction Development in the UK was at EAS, fresh off three recent projects that all came together more or less simultaneously over a 12-month period, including design and show production of the “Wallace & Gromit Thrill-O-Matic” attraction, which opened May 2013 at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Blackpool’s 40-year-old Gold Mine dark ride was gutted to make way for the new attraction. Farmer noted that Aardman’s creative director for Wallace & Gromit, Merlin Crossingham, was available and hands-on throughout the project,even to the point of helping to fine-tune the character sculpting. This was Aardman’s first venture into theme parks, and there may be more to come. Farmer, who is continuing “to look at opportunities for the Aardman portfolio,” noted that the Aardman character Shaun the Sheep is extremely popular in Germany… Farmer, a past president of the Themed Entertainment Association (and TEA’s first international president) also played a production role on a “gently scary” new attraction for children under age 10, a witches’ hotel at Linnanmäki theme park in Finland. His third project for the year was consulting on technology and special effects for the new iteration of the popular London Dungeon, which was relocated from beneath London Bridge Station to a building next door to the London Eye – not as authentic a location, but ideal for tourism. The project, headed by Merlin Entertainments creative director Ailsa Easton, reopened in March 2013.
Adlabs Imagica, developed by Manmohan Shetty and open in the Mumbai region since April 2013, serves its family demographic with a local flavor. At EAS, Dave Lescaut, an entertainment technology and show control specialist, talked of his experience working on the park for LEC Worldwide, along with designer Chris Lange, on a variety of rides and attractions including Rajasaurus River Adventure (the Rajasaurus is a fictional dinosaur) and Curse of Salimgarh (a scary dark ride through dungeons). Lange went on to join Dan Pearlman’s themed entertainment design group, whose projects include Yukon Bay at the Hanover Zoo; Lescaut has worked on show systems programming for projects including the London and Berlin Dungeons.
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