Thursday, October 27, 2016

ITPS Leisure News 10/27/2016

International Theme Park Services, Inc. ("ITPS") delivers the news you want regarding the amusement and leisure industry! 
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Thursday October 27th, 2016
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"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
International Theme Park Services Names Industry Veteran as Senior Associate
Mr. Dennis Speigel, President of International Theme Park Services, Inc. ("ITPS"), a leading leisure consulting company based in Cincinnati, announced today that Vic Nolting, former longtime President of Cincinnati-based Coney Island, Inc. has agreed to join ITPS as Senior Associate. 
In this capacity, Mr. Nolting will be involved in many facets of the firm's feasibility, design, operations planning, and on-site training and management programs.  Speigel said, "Vic Nolting is a 'sequoia' of the leisure attractions industry.  He knows the industry from top to bottom.  He has worked his way through the industry, learning all aspects of leisure planning development and management, with a strong track record of successes." 
In addition to his stellar management history, Mr. Nolting has contributed to the industry, serving as a member of the board of directors for IAAPA, the global theme park association, and is a Certified Attractions Executive.  Over the years, Mr. Nolting served as Chair of both the Membership and Small Parks Committee, and served on the Education, Strategic Planning, and Awards Committees. He also was a Moderator as well as Instructor of the IAPPA's Institute for Attractions Management.
Mr. Nolting said, "I am pleased to join ITPS as a Senior Associate. Dennis Speigel and I have known, worked with, and respected each other for more than 40 years.  I am happy to join with ITPS in their continuing effort to spread joy around the world through continued development and leisure consultation."
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1.  'I am a mother, this could have been my family,' says theme park boss as she pledges to call families

DEBORAH Thomas will donate her $167,500 cash bonus to the families of the victims involved in the Dreamworld disaster.  The chief executive of Ardent Leisure, which owns Dreamworld, confirmed she wanted the families to have the money in the wake of the tragedy, which killed four people.

Related:  Dreamworld: Australia theme park under fire from victims' families

Related:  Dreamworld accident: victims' family furious with claims company 'reached out' video

Related:  Is this Dreamworld's future? Japanese theme park was one of the country's most popular destinations for 30 years before a fatal rollercoaster crash in 2007 made it a wasteland 

Related:  Dreamworld deaths: Angry dad tears up park passes

Related:  'DREADFUL MISTAKE' Radio host suspended after making shocking joke live on air about Dreamworld theme park tragedy that killed four people

Related:  Dreamworld to stay closed: Theme park scraps plans to re-open three days after tragedy - but police deny they forced the closure

2.  Dubai's plan for Universal Studios theme park 'scrapped'

The theme park's two main backers, Dubai Holding and Universal Studios Theme Parks & Resorts, both confirmed that there are no plans to push ahead with the long-delayed project, reported Construction Week Online.

3.  Disney: New castle-projection show debuts soon

A show featuring a new set of projections onto Cinderella Castle will debut soon at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World has announced.  "Once Upon a Time" will be first seen on Nov. 4. The show will take the place of the "Celebrate the Magic" production that precedes the nightly fireworks presentation at the theme park. 

4.  Dollywood announces two new rides for 2017

Dollywood will add to its long list of attractions this summer when it debuts two new adventurous rides.  The first one is the Drop Line, which will tower over the park's Timber Canyon and give a 200-foot free falling experience to guests. "The drop tower ride lifts Dollywood guests nearly 20 stories above the Canyon's pool, before plummeting them back to the ground in a thrilling rush," according to a press release from Dollywood, which announced the new rides Wednesday afternoon.

5.  Hello Kitty theme park headed for Hanoi

The owner of the Hello Kitty brand signed an agreement with Vietnamese conglomerate BRG Group to grant licenses for its characters ahead of the facility's development. Characters popular in Asia such as Pompompurin and My Melody will also be featured. This marks Sanrio's sixth such grant for amusement parks overseas, including sites in the U.K. and South Korea.
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6.  Wanda's chairman and theme park owner Wang Jianlin visits Shanghai Disneyland

Wang Jianlin, who recently hired Hong Kong Disneyland's former chief to help him build his own theme parks, took a tour of Disneyland in Shanghai, five months after he showed his public disdain for the global theme park giant.

7.  Why Comcast's strong Universal theme park attendance numbers could be good news for Disney and SeaWorld

Cable giant Comcast posted strong quarterly results on Wednesday morning, and it may be a good sign for upcoming reports out of Disney and SeaWorld Entertainment when they step up with fresh financials in two weeks. 

8.  Woman charged with bringing loaded gun to Animal Kingdom

An Alabama woman had a loaded pistol in her backpack Monday when she tried to enter Disney's Animal Kingdom, officials say.  Baleigh Turner, 23, was the second person accused of trying to bring a concealed weapon into one of Disney's parks that day, jail records show.

9.  Six Flags to test Mardi Gras festivals in San Antonio and Mexico

Grand Prairie-based Six Flags is opening up two parks to test Mardi Gras festivities next spring, as it tries to get more mileage out of its network of North American parks. 

10.  SeaWorld San Antonio Retooling For A Shamu-Free Future

Carl Lum began as SeaWorld San Antonio's new president just weeks before the company announced it would stop breeding killer whales and end its signature Shamu orca shows, following years of public pressure and falling revenue. 
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11.  That's some tuxedo! Adorable 'naked' penguin at SeaWorld gets her own special WETSUIT to keep warm after feather loss

The ancient proverb claims birds of a feather flock together, but one SeaWorld Orlando penguin is stealing the show despite having few feathers of her own.  Wonder Twin, a female Adelie penguin at the park's Antartica: Empire of the Penguin exhibit, began losing feathers on her side and back earlier this month.

12.  Six Flags Magic Mountain Lights Up the Season Even Brighter This Year For HOLIDAY IN THE PARK®

Six Flags Magic Mountain, the "Thrill Capital of the World," lights up the season even brighter this year during its annual holiday extravaganza, Holiday in the Park®. With more than one million lights and now six uniquely themed areas — including two brand new sections, the new Gleampunk District and Santa's Star Spangled Plaza — the park is transformed into a spectacularly-lit winter wonderland for guests to enjoy this holiday season. 

13.  Tokyo Disneyland allows cosplay for Halloween but prohibits non-Disney character costumes

Japan has a passionate and unabashed love for both Disney characters and cosplay, so you might expect Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea to be packed every day with guests dressed as Mickey, Elsa, or any of the other dozens of stars of the Disney Animated Canon. In reality, though, the theme parks bar cosplay for almost the entire year (though they make an exception for little kids who want to dress up).

14.  Bollywood parks™ Dubai unveils 'Jaan-e-jigar'

Staying true to its grandeur, Rajmahal Theatre, the only Bollywood theatre at Bollywood™ Parks Dubai, part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, the largest integrated theme park destination in the region, released the much anticipated name of its musical – Jaan-e-Jigar.

15.  What are your rights at amusement park?

Florida is home to at least a dozen theme parks that are within driving distance of Tampa Bay.  Most have control over your safety.  That's because under our laws any park with more than 1,000 employees doesn't have to be inspected by the state.
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16.  Should Six Flags retire the Shock Wave? This fifth-grader insists

Have some pity for the Shock Wave.  The aging Six Flags roller coaster got stuck this summer, and it probably lacks the name recognition of its fellow elder, the Texas Giant.

17.  New shops announced for Downtown Disney

The Disneyland Resort announced on its blog that two new shops would fill the space, Pandora, a jewelry shop, and Sammy Duvall's Curl Surf, a shop specializing in items related to the surf lifestyle including fashions, sunglasses and more.

18.  'Once Upon a Time' replaces 'Celebrate the Magic' at Disney World

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is changing its night-time entertainment line-up next week, retiring Celebrate the Magic after a four-year run.

19.  Six Flags Entertainment's (SIX) CEO John Duffey on Q3 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We really have no plans to do any construction of new parks in the United States. If you look at all of the markets they are really covered by existing parks. And as a matter of fact I think the last park that was actually built in the United States was the Hard Rock Park on the East Coast. And that actually has been shut down. So we believe with all of the markets covered, we don't see anyone. - John Duffey
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Newport Aquarium - Kentucky
Theme Park - Shanghai China
Enchanted Kingdom - Philippines
SuperSplash! Waterpark - Texas
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1.  Water park unveils ride names

Scuttle's Cove, Walk the Plank and Pirates Plunge are just some of the names assigned to rides for the proposed Scuttle's Island Water Park in North Augusta, according to the park's website.  Names and descriptions of rides, restaurants and a children's area recently appeared on the park's website at It is the first known mention of specific rides by name.

2.  Wet 'n Wild to start closing Wednesdays and Thursdays

Wet 'n Wild is winding down. The water park, which will permanently close on Dec. 31, will stop operating Wednesdays and Thursdays starting next week. There will be two exceptions. The water park will remain open Nov. 23 and Dec. 28.

3.  Possible April Opening Seen for Dublin Water Park

The Wave at Emerald Glen Park may start operations as early as April 22, 2017, with an open house and facility tour.  However, the date is tentative, because weather could still affect the readiness. Staff must be trained.

4.  Kids can gain a cultural experience at Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel

When families come to Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel, kids think they're coming for a day of fun. But when they walk through the halls outside of the water park, they'll get a cultural lesson as well.
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1.  Tennessee Aquarium opens new facility in Chattanooga

Biologists at the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute carried themselves with a palpable enthusiasm Monday.  It's not every day you get to show off a new 14,000-square-foot home.  Aquarium employees and volunteers got a sneak peak of the institute's new building that formally opens today adjacent to the Baylor School campus.

2.  Perth Zoo's Puan the orangutan becomes oldest in world

An orangutan at Perth Zoo has been named the world's oldest Sumatran orangutan in captivity by the Guinness Book of World Records, as she celebrated her 60th birthday on Thursday, a zoo spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday.

3.  Ivan the gorilla statue — and his legacy — unveiled in Tacoma

Jodi Carrigan stared at Ivan the gorilla's likeness Wednesday as she fought back tears and gave in to a smile.
She marveled at the chubby fingers and soulful eyes of the 600-pound bronze sculpture of the gorilla she cared for at Zoo Atlanta until his death in 2012.

4.  N.J.'s Turtle Back Zoo Will Get Lions, Hyenas: $3.6M Exhibit Planned

A $3.6 million lion and hyena exhibit will soon be coming to Essex County's Turtle Back Zoo, officials announced Wednesday.  The new exhibit will be part of a $5.9 million package of upcoming improvements and additions to the popular attraction in West Orange, which saw an all-time attendance high of 755,239 last year, according to county officials.

5.  Shedd Aquarium names animal response team to aid in rescue efforts

Shedd Aquarium is designating an animal response team within its staff in recognition of what it says is a growing need for rescuing and rehabilitating endangered animals.  Shedd staffers typically travel to spots such as the California coast and South Africa to aid in rescue efforts of animals including sea lions and penguins, but now the work has an official name.

6.  Holiday light displays coming to Henry Vilas Zoo in "Zoo Lights" event

Madison's Henry Vilas Zoo will turn into a winter wonderland thanks to a new partnership.
More than 300 holiday light displays will be placed throughout the zoo as part of the new "Zoo Lights" event. Officials say it's the first event of its kind at a zoo in Wisconsin.

7.  Omaha zoo generated $226.22 million for city in 2015

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium generated $226.22 million in 2015 for the city of Omaha, according to a news release.
The figure includes $95.22 million in labor paid to an estimated 2,347 workers employed by the zoo and aquarium.

8.  Inside the Frozen Zoo That Could Bring Extinct Animals Back to Life

A few weeks ago, a humpback whale arrived in a FedEx box. Dr. Oliver Ryder removed the vial containing the whale from the package. He used its cells to grow more cells. Then he froze it. "And you know how hard it is to get a sample of a whale, legally?" It's hard. There are rules about this sort of thing, shipping whales across national borders. Nevertheless, more boxes—full of deer, ibis, flamingos, desert tortoises, rhinos—arrive every day. They are unboxed, grown anew. Then they go into the Frozen Zoo to be saved.

9.  Red panda at Chattanooga Zoo dies

Maina, the 3-year-old red panda at the Chattanooga Zoo, has died.
Zoo officials say employees found the red panda unresponsive over the weekend, and brought her to the animal hospital. Maina was unable to be revived. The cause of death is unclear. Her body has now been transported to the UT Veterinary College for examination. 

10.  Franklin Park Zoo's moonlight trail walk more fantasy than frightful

BOSTON - The Midnight Zoo offers a mystical Halloween experience that draws more on fantasy than fear. A creation of Brookline's Puppet Showplace Theater in partnership with the Franklin Park Zoo, The Midnight Zoo is an immersive 20-minute moonlit trail walk featuring 17 otherworldly creatures and their caretakers.
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1.  Owners of 'Barry Eye' told not to use name by London Eye lawyers

The owners of Barry Island's ferris wheel have been told they can no longer refer to the attraction as the "Barry Eye".

2.  Family settles suit in Artegon ropes course death

The family of a man killed after falling off the Sky Trail attraction at Artegon in 2014 has settled its lawsuit against the mall and attractions companies.  Penelope Belvoir sued shortly after her father Robert, 52, died on Christmas Eve 2014 after falling 30 feet from the ropes course attraction at the Orlando shopping center.


3.  Lappset Creative Designs and Delivers New Tykkimaki Activity Park, Finland

Lappset Creative, the theme park division of Lappset Group Ltd., has created and constructed a brand new activity park in Kouvola, Finland.
The 2000 square metre indoor play and sports facility has been designed to allow friends and families to spend quality, active time together.

4.  Chuck E. Cheese Pleads Case Before Oak Lawn Village Board

OAK LAWN, IL -- The Oak Lawn mayor and trustees remain skeptical that resolve chronic security problems at Chuck E. Cheese's will be able to be resolved or prevent a future violent incident from erupting, following a last ditch plea by the restaurant chain's corporate president to remain open in the community.

5.  Legoland To Become 4th Anchor at Plymouth Meeting Mall

Officials of Legoland Discovery Center, Plymouth Township, Montgomery County and Visit Philadelphia joined a passel of first-graders from nearby Plymouth Elementary School in digging into a pile of 50,000 Lego bricks delivered by dump truck for a ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 25).

6.  Aqua holds grand opening for bowling alley, laser tag center

The long-anticipated bowling alley and laser tag center in Los Banos, Aqua Entertainment Center, is now operating at full service after holding a grand opening Friday.
"This is something that's been needed for many decades," Mayor Mike Villalta said after he cut the ribbon on the center along with people representing the city of Los Banos and Los Banos Chamber of Commerce.

7.  The strange appeal of escape the room games, explained

The universe had conspired to bring our lives together in an "escape the room" exercise, the type that has recently become popular all over the country. Groups of people pay good money to be trapped in a room, slapped with a time limit, and challenged to find their way out by solving a series of puzzles as a team. Assuming they're not like me, they actually escape.

8.  Items stolen from carousel in Butte

Volunteers building a community carousel in Butte are short several thousand dollars worth of tools after getting hit by thieves -- again.

9.  George Lucas' museum designs for L.A. and S.F.: a first look at competing plans

George Lucas is hoping the third time will be the charm for his Museum of Narrative Art, plans for which have already foundered in the face of strong community opposition in San Francisco and Chicago.  Actually that's not quite right: Lucas is hoping that either the third or fourth time will be the charm. He's decided to bundle those efforts together, unveiling two different designs for the museum, for different locations, simultaneously this week.

10.  Denver Art Museum offering 'low sensory morning'

KUSA - To make their displays accessible to all sorts of people, the Denver Art Museum announced they'll have a "Low Sensory Morning" on Nov. 19.

11.  Emojis join Van Gogh and Picasso at Museum of Modern Art

Nearly two decades ago, Shigetaka Kurita was given the task of designing simple pictographs that could replace Japanese words for the growing number of cellphone users communicating with text messages.  Kurita, who was working for the Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo at the time, came up with 176 of them, including oddities such as a rocking horse, two kinds of umbrellas (one open, one closed) and five phases of the moon. He called them emojis.

12.  FIFA parts with CEO of its $140M soccer museum

FIFA says the CEO of its $140 million soccer museum in Zurich is leaving amid reports of poor visitor numbers since opening in February.
FIFA agreed with Stefan Jost ''to part company by the end of October 2016 due to contrasting views on future plans for the FIFA World Football Museum.''

13.  Hapless caterer knocks thumb off Roman statue in British Museum accident

When catering a prestigious event, any waiter may fear clumsily dropping a plate or spilling a drink on an eminent guest.   Few will suffer the indignity of accidentally knocking a thumb off a priceless Roman statue with their head.  The British Museum has admitted to an "unfortunate incident" which saw the thumb of the famous Townley Venus knocked clean off by a member of catering staff.

14.  Nashville couple bequeaths $381M in masterpieces to Paris museum

From France to Nashville and back again.
That is to be the journey of a multimillion-dollar collection of masterpieces acquired by Marlene and Spencer Hays and recently bequeathed to the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
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1.  Haunted Attraction Association Names Top Haunts in America

To celebrate Halloween, Haunted Attraction Association (HAA) has officially certified 14 haunts across the United States as the Top Haunted Attractions.  For a haunted attraction to become certified by the HAA, they must be a member of the group and meet a list of 10 criteria relating back to the mission of the association, which protects customers, promotes haunted attractions and educates industry professionals.

2.  Inside The New Tour Of Prince's Paisley Park

I wouldn't call myself a huge Elvis fan, but I do love Graceland. It's the quintessential, kitchy roadside attraction and it's hard to pass through Memphis without stepping through that famous Musical Note gate for a tour of Elvis' beloved estate, where the green shag carpeting is still in its place.

3.  Is THIS the future of caravanning? Tiny two-person cabin with solar panels, a mezzanine bedroom and drawbridge is made for roadtrips...if you've got a spare $65k

At just 340-square-foot, this two-person mobile home, is around the same size as a small New York studio apartment.  But the transportable abode on wheels - which starts from $65,000 (£53,259) - features solar panels, a composting toilet and water butt, allowing occupants to live completely off-grid.

4.  How Hipster Food Trends Are Literally Ruining the World

I've never really understood food trends. I mean, I understand them in function, but not in principle. How can food be hip? How is it that foods go in and out of trend? In fashion a designer can create a new aesthetic that catches on for a while, before it eventually becomes oversaturated and the crowd moves onto the Next Big Thing – I get that; but food is different. Kale, for example, is an oh-so-hip foodstuff that's as much a mark of hipsterdom these days as exposed brickwork walls and bushy beards, yet kale has always existed – it has always been accessible to us – but why is it that it's more hip now than it was 10 years ago?

5.  Las Vegas casinos love Chinese gamblers. So these guys built a casino just for them.

With their affinity for baccarat, the most lucrative game in Las Vegas, Chinese gamblers have long commanded special treatment — be it with private Chinese gaming salons, Lunar New Year festivities or performances from pop stars flown in from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
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