Friday, September 23, 2016

ITPS Leisure News 09/23/2016

International Theme Park Services, Inc. ("ITPS") delivers the news you want regarding the amusement and leisure industry! 
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International Theme Park Services, Inc.
Friday September 23rd, 2016
Thank you for reading ITPS Leisure News

"We work in a great industry. We don't pollute the skies and we don't contaminate the streams. At the end of the day, what we really do is put smiles on people's faces."
Dennis Speigel, President of ITPS

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Amusement / Theme Park News

1.  Shanghai Disneyland's first 100 days: crowds, queues ... and some complaints after theme park's opening

Yan Qi, a visitor from Shenyang in northern Liaoning province, said employees at the park were also unfriendly, making him feel unwelcome and questioning whether the expense of getting in was worth the money.  Zhang Yan, a migrant worker visiting the park with six members of his family, was also concerned about high prices.

2.  Disneyland brings back Southern California annual passes at a higher price

The increase may reflect efforts by Disney executives in the past few years to adjust ticket and pass prices in ways that maximize revenue while keeping lines and crowds at a minimum, said Dennis Speigel, a theme park consultant at International Theme Park Services. 

3.  Is SeaWorld Entertainment's Dividend Cut the Start of a Turnaround?

Last year, Dennis Speigel, president of leisure-industry consulting company International Theme Park Services, said that SeaWorld will need a complete "reconstitution of their parks" to have a shot at renewed long-term growth. During SeaWorld's most recent earnings call, Manby said that "we are seeing improved results driven by the capital investments we have made in new rides and attractions," citing that one particular new ride, Mako and Cobra's Curse, has received positive reviews in Florida. Still, attendance in the most recent quarter was down nearly 8% from a year ago.  

4.  Looking At Six Flags 6 Years Into Current Management's Tenure

 management took over following the company's 2009 bankruptcy. According to Macquarie analyst Matthew Brooks, the new regime has completely changed the focus of the company, but that doesn't necessarily make the stock a buy.

5.  Disney seeks to upgrade animatronics in theme parks, film

Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents is one of the few places you can see the U.S. presidents "alive" and conversing at once, thanks to Disney animatronics, but that may be getting a major upgrade.
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6.  Six Flags employee rescued while erecting inflatable gorilla

Six Flags Great America crew worker involved in erecting the park's inflatable gorilla for the upcoming Fright Fest needed to be rescued Thursday from the top of the Sky Trek Tower after suffering a back ache, officials said.

7.  Wolves versus tiger: Wanda to open China park to duel Disney

Hefei Wanda City, about 500km west of the US$5.5 billion (S$7.5 billion) Shanghai Disney Resort, will open to the public on Saturday (Sept 24). Besides theme park facilities, the 35 billion yuan (S$7.1 billion) development will include hotels, a movie theatre, a shopping mall and residential apartments across 1.6sqkm, according to Wanda.

Related:  China's Wanda Group accused of funneling foreign money into Beverly Hills ballot measure

8.  Kings Island's Halloween Haunt opens Friday

MASON, Ohio -- It's not even October, but the haunted houses are already prepared to terrify the Tri-State. Halloween Haunt at Kings Island is no exception -- it opens Friday.

9.  Legoland now taking reservations for new Beach Resort

Legoland Florida is now taking reservations for its Legoland Beach Resort, a bungalow-style complex set to open next year.

10.  Virtual reality roller coaster experience unveiled at Six Flags theme park in Vallejo

Built to integrate seamlessly with the existing roller coaster "Kong," "Rage of the Gargoyles" uses Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus to transforms riders into fighter pilots as they are hurled through a post-apocalyptic landscape of broken skyscrapers and city ruins.

Related:  Sinfully Evil Monsters and Fully Interactive Virtual Reality Coaster to Debut for Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Georgia
ITPS Design
ITPS Does Design & Masterplanning
Ocean Park - Vietnam
Hopi Hari - Brazil
Adventure Island - Qatar
Newport Aquarium - Kentucky
Playcenter - Brazil
Cincinnati Zoo - Ohio
Well's Dairy - Iowa
Cebu Theme Park - Philippines
and more!  Contact ITPS for details

11.  Disney preps for 'largest-ever' Swan & Dolphin food fest

The seventh annual Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, scheduled for Oct. 28-29, will have an expanded venue, as events will spill out from the resort's lakeside causeway onto the private beach for the first time.

12.  Here are all the big Halloween attractions in Southern California for 2016

From horror movie-themed mazes and choose-your-own-adventure attractions with frightful twists to family-friendly pumpkin patches, there are plenty of options for fun and scares for everyone this Halloween.

13.  Robert Niles: Is taking kids out of school to go to Disneyland worth it?

You might think that school days would be the best days for grown-ups to visit Disneyland, with so many parents off at work and their children in school. But thanks to Disney's wildly popular Southern California Select annual passport – the lowest-priced annual pass, which is valid pretty much only on school days – it's hard to find a truly uncrowded day at the parks anymore.

14.  M&D's will welcome Transformers robots to the theme park this weekend

Transformer stars Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be joining a fleet of around 50 trucks and lorries who will descend on M&D's this weekend.

15.  SeaWorld flamingos play in pumpkin patch to celebrate first day of fall

ORLANDO, Fla. - Flamingos at SeaWorld Orlando were greeted with a big surprise Thursday: a bountiful pumpkin patch to celebrate the first day of fall.
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Hopi Hari - Brazil
Lotte World - South Korea
Newport Aquarium - Kentucky
Dino Kingdom FEC - Pennsylvania
Theme Park - Shanghai China
Enchanted Kingdom - Philippines
SuperSplash! Waterpark - Texas
ORA Theme Park - Turkey
and more!  Contact ITPS for details

16.  How theme parks can leverage VR to solve capacity issues


VR has been dubbed the future of theme parks. Creating a truly immersive experience for visitors; the thrill of the twists and turns of a roller coaster synchronised with a virtual view of an imaginary world. 


Over the last three years, we've opened an incredible array of new venues at Universal CityWalk. But none quite compares to The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, which officially opens today.

18.  Kings Dominion's Pride Night Returns This Weekend

Some people go to Kings Dominion to ride roller coasters and bumper cars. Others go to eat cotton candy or funnel cake. On Saturday, Sept. 24, the LGBT community can do all that, plus dance their way down International Street, when the park's annual Pride Night returns.

19.  Knott's Halloween attraction gets a name change after backlash from mental health community

Knott's Berry Farm has changed the name of a virtual reality attraction built around the psychiatric ward of a hospital after an uproar from mental health advocates who say it propagates the stigma of mental illness.

20.  Long Lost Proposal Shows Plan for EPCOT's Cashless City of the Future

Before Walt Disney's Epcot was a theme park, it was supposed to be an actual city. With actual humans inside of it around the clock. After Walt died in 1966, the plans for Florida slowly changed. But in a newly uncovered proposal for the park's computer and communications system in 1968, we can see what might have been.
ITPS Management
ITPS Does Management
Hopi Hari - Brazil
Lotte World - South Korea
Beijing Amusement Park - China
Newport Aquarium - Kentucky
Theme Park - Shanghai China
Enchanted Kingdom - Philippines
SuperSplash! Waterpark - Texas
ORA Theme Park - Turkey
and more!  Contact ITPS for details
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Ripley Entertainment Inc. offers "unbelievable" opportunity in traveling show/ temporary exhibition development. Ripley's can assist by providing show element design, original artifacts, interactive design and development as well as intellectual property, media rights and the use of the world famous trademarks that can be licensed to your facility for temporary exhibitions.  
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1.  WhiteWater makes a splash

A Richmond company with a Kelowna connection has been honoured by its peers by sweeping the top three awards for best new water park rides.

2.  Kingsbury Water Park gnome village 'massacred' by vandals

Vandals broke into a miniature railway and "massacred" dozens of its trademark gnomes.  More than 40 of the figurines were smashed and strewn across the track at Echills Wood Railway in Warwickshire.

3.  City manager: Waterpark deal possible in 2 months

Manteca City Manager Elena Reyes is optimistic that a deal will be reached within the next few months for an operator of a 500-room hotel and indoor waterpark/conference center being pursued by McWhinney Development on 60 acres owned by the city along the 120 Bypass and west of Costco.

4.  Enjoy themed weekends at Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel

It's Leap into Fall Weekend at Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel. On Friday kids can make their own button tree along with other crafts. The next day on Saturday, there will be two story times in addition to all the other activities happening on Friday.

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"Fun is a SERIOUS Business!"

1.  Blackpool Zoo expert's groundbreaking research shown on BBC show 

How do sea lions catch their prey in pitch darkness? That's the question Blackpool Zoo's Alyx Milne answered on BBC One's Ingenious Animals last night. The 29-year-old, who is studying marine animals for her PhD while working full time at the zoo, has cracked the mystery after three years of research.

2.  Elmwood Park Zoo, Norristown Fire Co. Team Up For 'Fire Smart'

NORRISTOWN, PA -- The Elmwood Park Zoo and the Norristown Fire Department are teaming up for a "Fire Smart" program on Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

3.  Mill Mountain Zoo loses accreditation due to financial uncertainties

Mill Mountain Zoo will lose its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums because of aging infrastructure and a lack of reliable funding.

4.  SEA LIFE Michigan hosts 'Evening Under the Sea'

SEA LIFE Michigan invites adults to experience an "evening under the sea."  This event will feature appetizers, beer and wine samples from Fenton Winery and Brewery, and entertainment at the aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.

5.  Photos, video: Omaha zoo tiger cubs check out their new outdoor space

The Omaha zoo's three Amur tiger cubs explored their new outdoor exhibit at the Cat Complex for the first time Thursday morning, and, well, it was pretty darn cute.

6.  A Nature Play Adventure's coming to the aquarium

The Aquarium of Niagara and the Buffalo Zoo will be hosting Nature Play Adventure days on Oct. 15 thanks to a national grant.  The Buffalo Zoo's event will take place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 15 and feature a scavenger hunt with nature play activities, keeper talks, and enrichment displays with local species.

7.  Nashville Zoo's Bartoo shares facts with MJ Chamber

Jim Bartoo, with The Nashville Zoo, spoke on Wednesday to Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce members during their monthly luncheon, held at Rutland Place.

8.  Seneca Park Zoo invites inspiring artists, photographers to try out their skills

The zoo will host "Art at the Zoo" on September 25. For the event, the zoo is inviting people to learn how to draw the different animals with help from DNO Art Collective artists.
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presented by:  Ripley Entertainment

1.  Beyond October: Ghostly Manor Thrill Center takes its business plan to thrilling level

Billy Criscione's dad was always obsessed with Halloween.  As a kid, he remembers his dad, Bill, scaring everyone in the neighborhood.  "It progressed from handing out candy to putting decorations outside and turning the music up really loud," Billy said. "After awhile, my dad would have the kids come in the house to get candy, and we would scare them and they would run down the driveway."

2.  Family entertainment center to open next year

tUPELO – A family entertainment center is scheduled to open next year in the busy Barnes Crossing Shopping District.  Construction of Event Zona is expected to begin next month.

3.  Ninjago comes to life at Legoland Discovery Centre

Prepare your Wu-Cru for the best Ninjago event the world has ever seen, as Legoland Discovery Centre at the Trafford Centre Manchester prepares to battle the villains of the past with Master Wu and his ninja team.

4.  Johnson County park board sets admission fees for relocated museum

When the Johnson County Museum reopens at its new location next May, visitors will have larger exhibits to enjoy.  They also, for the first time, will have to pay to get in.

5.  National Black History Museum Could Spur Interest Locally

The dedication and official opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture won't just be celebrated in Washington.

6.  Mini-train at Slate Belt park derailed by bent tracks

Steel tracks for the amusement park-sized train that circles a Bangor park have been bent out of shape in a possible act of vandalism.  The train tracks at Veterans Memorial Park were installed in 1959 and have provided enjoyment for generations of local visitors. They were found damaged Tuesday.

7.  Stepped-up Killer Heels Attendance Has The Frick Pittsburgh Poised for Its Next Leap in Fashion

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Frick Pittsburgh announces that its summer exhibition, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe—the first in a series of fashion-focused exhibitions planned by the museum—was attended by more than 24,000 people during its twelve-week run. Killer Heels attracted more visitors than any other exhibition presented by the Frick in the past decade.

8.  ​Sports Museum of LA closes after 2 months

The Sports Museum of Los Angeles, which opened to the public in July, has closed due to the rising cost of real estate around its location south of downtown L.A.

9.  Twist of Luck: Highland Park Bowling Alley Restored to its Former Glory

Located on North Figueroa, in a quickly gentrifying stretch of the block in Highland Park, it is one of many new businesses in the area drawing crowds. Behind the bar, Jared Mort, operations director, moved quickly from one task to the next, explaining that the masterful $2 million dollar renovation of the space, ripe with secrets and surprises, had attracted a lot of bowling alley-history aficionados, renovation buffs and preservation nuts as well. 
International Theme Park Services, Inc.

presented by: MR. THEME PARK

1.  Miami Beach tourism takes a hit from Zika: demand drops, cancellations rise

Miami Beach's tourism industry has been able to swerve each time Zika has tried to deal it a major blow — until now.  Last week, Zika hit the $24 billion industry with an uppercut.

2.  Former Flight Attendant Dishes Advice On Airplane Seats

It's time to talk about seats, arguably the most important part of an airplane.  OK, that distinction may go to the wings. But for the frequent flyer there is perhaps no more important part of the airline experience than the seat, which is where you will spend most of your time on those excruciating long flights across the globe.

3.  Frozen in time: Fascinating 360-degree tour of the eerie Cypriot airport that was abandoned almost 40 years ago

Almost 40 years ago, this airport was a hub of activity in era where commercial flight was finally taking off with the masses. 
Now, Cyprus' Nicosia airport is a derelict site with dilapidated planes abandoned on the tarmac that hasn't seen a commercial flight since 1977.

4.  The future of social media marketing

The future of social media marketing looks bright. And tomorrow's social media-savvy travel agent is learning how to incorporate new tools such as Instagram Stories, live video streaming and 360-degree photos to benefit his or her travel business.

5.  10 of the best US road trip stopoffs – readers' travel tips

Winning tip: Freight car motel, Pennsylvania
Visiting Amish Country on our road trip from Philadelphia to Chicago, we stayed in an old caboose (railroad wagon): the Red Caboose Motel in Ronks. The motel consists of a string of old carriages in bucolic countryside. On the farm beside our caboose we watched Amish men in wide-brimmed hats farming with old-fashioned tools; we bought produce from women in bonnets and long dresses, and waved to Amish children peering from buggies. 
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