IAAPA 2016 Recap

Last week, Mac Lundie, a Coaster Hub writer, headed out to Florida to check out the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo (IAAPA). IAAPA is a place where various companies amongst the amusement park industry come together to showcase new and/or future projects for potential buyers and fans. We had the ability to talk with several major manufacturers from the industry during the event and were able to witness the unveiling of several new concepts and even trains that will be featured on new coasters for 2017.

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One of the first things that was released during the event was the two trains for Invadr Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Invadr is a new Great Coasters International ride being constructed in 2017. As seen by the photos above, both of the trains are quite well themed and they will look fantastic on the coaster!

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One of our personal favorite booths was that for MACK Rides. MACK released a new full circuit shuttle coaster which has the capabilities of spinning trains and/or BigDipper trains (as seen on Lost Gravity).  As seen by recent coaster models, MACK Rides’ triple launch coasters are becoming a real hit in the industry. This model has a different twist on the classic spinning coaster because not only does it have multiple launches but it also inverts. We would love to ride one of these unique coasters and see them popping up worldwide.

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While we were stopping by the S&S Sansei booth, the company unveiled brand new family invert trains which will be featured on Merlin’s Mayhem at Dutch Wonderland in 2017. The family invert coaster types seem to be appearing at more and more locations each year and nobody is complaining. Similar to other new generation family inverts as seen by Vekoma and now Intamin and S&S, it features the over the shoulder lap bar restraint system to provide a more loose feeling resulting in a more comfortable ride.

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A new themed train design was also released at the Gravity Group/Gravity Kraft booth. No coaster was announced to accompany these awesome trains, but yet again Gravity Group does not fail to impress with the intricate train design and theming.

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Not much was going on at the Rocky Mountain Construction booth other than the display of multiple track styles such as I-Box, Topper Track, T-Rex, and Raptor track styles. We talked about their future projects but very few things could be released other than that many parks are very interested in the Raptor track design and we should be seeing a few in years to come. We are all personally excited for the future that RMC has planned and can’t wait to see more Rocky Mountain coasters coming within the next few years.

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Skyline Attractions also had a model of their new product. It seems to be a step up from Larson Loops and would be an all around fun ride as it features a dueling aspect and a unique variation in elements as opposed to a constant circle as the ride cycle.

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Polin Waterslides, as always, has a very intricate model showcased, which includes new and unique slide complexes and designs which will likely be built in years to come.

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Gerstlauer also had some interesting designs on display at their booth. The photo shown above is a model of The Smiler at Alton Towers with a variation in the color scheme.

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Intamin and SeaWorld have also unveiled the ride vehicles that will be used on Wave Breaker at Sea World San Antonio in 2017. This ride has similar seating to the classic motorbike design, but with a more comfortable and less restricting seat design.

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One of the final designs that was released during the expo was the new generation Zamperla Thunderbolt trains that will be featured on Rolling Thunder at OWA Amusement Park in Alabama. While talking with Zamperla, we learned that several parks around the world have been looking into or have purchased this model. Expect these to be popping up at more parks around the world!

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That’s a wrap for our 2016 IAAPA coverage!  We definitely look forward to attending the trade show in years to come. If you are looking into getting a foot into the industry or just love theme parks, we highly recommend coming out to the Annual IAAPA event in Orlando. Special thanks to our writer Mac and Theme Park Review for helping us and providing photos from the event.

What are your thoughts on the amusement industry’s new concepts and ideas released this year at the trade show? Let us know below!

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