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NEWS| Global Parks Investment Roundup

Global Parks Investment Roundup


The industry's rebound following the new crown epidemic has been stronger than ever, and with it have come brand new rides, innovative technology, milestone anniversaries, and more initiatives from some of the industry's giants.

Looking back over the past year, what stands out most is the desire and demand for immersive theme parks and attractions. In the aftermath of the New Crown epidemic, a return to 'normality' sometimes felt impossible, but cosy parks filled with neon lights and the scent of deep-fried doughnuts were sought after by those looking for a ysense of nostalgia and the desire to create lasting family moments.
  • Disney
Disney is celebrating a milestone 100th anniversary in 2023. Founded in October 1923 by brothers Walt Disney and Roy Disney, Disney is now a global leader not only in animation, but also in the theme park industry. To celebrate the company's 100th anniversary, a new attraction, Mickey's Toontown, has been unveiled at the company's Disneyland Resort Anaheim.
The attraction opens with the first new ride, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a family-friendly attraction similar to the ride at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios. In this ride, guests will hop aboard a train driven by Disney star Goofy and enter the animated world of Mickey Mouse. The rest of the attraction opened in early March 2023, providing a place for families to play together.
  • Legoland Korea
Legoland Korea also welcomes a brand new ride this year - the LEGO Factory Adventure Tour ride, a turnkey attraction created by UK-based Holovis.
The unique ride utilises Holovis' DeepSmarts and HoloTrac platforms to recognise and analyse the different characteristics of each guest on the ride, accurately tracking and replicating their hand and upper body movements. It does this through HoloTrac sensor arrays hidden in the ride system and in scene elements throughout the outside of the attraction. These sensor arrays are integrated with HoloTrac's computer vision and artificial intelligence systems to transform guests into life-size LEGO minifigures.
  • Legoland New York
WhiteWater Canada has equipped LEGOLAND New York's new water playground with water play toys and the AquaZone Model 1050. The highly themed AquaPlay 1050 is the realisation of a LEGO dream. The playground features four fun water slides, 95 rides and a 318-gallon bucket.

Showboat Island Waterpark
Showboat in Atlantic City, New Jersey has launched its new Island Waterpark. With 100,000 square feet (approximately 9,290 square metres) of indoor space, the US$100 million project is now the largest indoor waterfront waterpark in the world. Offering a comprehensive water play experience, plenty of space for relaxation and socialising, Island Waterpark is a destination with true inter-generational appeal.
To appeal to visitors across all ages, Whitewater offers the perfect mix of rides including 11 waterslides, 2 interactive water rides and a FlowRider surf simulator.
  • Sea World San Diego
At SeaWorld in San Diego, USA, Intamin completed the launch of the Arctic Rescue roller coaster programme. Passengers on the coaster raced through the "North Pole", with each of the three launches being faster than the previous one, reaching a top speed of approximately 65 kilometres per hour (40 miles per hour). Snowmobiles swoop, turn and whizz around the track, which is more than 850 metres (2,800 feet) long, providing an exhilarating ride for every rider.
  • Abu Dhabi Sea World
Zampella Italia has unveiled four new rides for SeaWorld Abu Dhabi over the past year, including WindstarZ, Rocking Tug, Junior Coaster and Jumpin' Tower. The company combines technology and art through high-quality "theming" that pushes the boundaries of creativity and immersive experiences to appeal to families and fans.
  • Meridiana Adventure Bay, USA
ADG opened Adventure Cove, a large two-acre waterpark facility in the residential community of Meridiana, Iowa Colony. Adventure Bay features a wave pool, tidal river, fitness centre, large pavilion, food truck park, etc. ADG served in a design/construction role on the project and supplied all of the property's dedicated wave equipment.
The new tidal river is 550 feet long and can create waves up to 2.5 feet every five seconds. The river has an average width of 16 feet and includes a zero-depth beach access. Adventure Bay also features a 9,300 square foot wave pool with ADG wave technology. The wave pool features a gradual beach entry and offers family-friendly waves for all visitors and residents. In addition to these two main attractions, there is a 2,600-square-foot Island Adventure Pool where guests can swim in the flat water or play a game of water basketball on the basketball hoop in one corner of the pool.
  • Wahoo Water World, Indonesia
In Indonesia, Canada's Empex Watertoys completed a marine-themed water spray park for the newly opened Wahoo Waterworld. The management wanted the area to cater for young families, so the marine-inspired Aquadek climbing and slide structure was designed as the main centrepiece of the 650m2 area.
The pre-school area is separate and features a toddler slide, Aquadome, Aquabow soft spray tunnel, Aqualab water play station, Aquawiggle and Aquabloom with spiral jets. into the older children's area, the pool gently slopes downwards to a depth of 20cm, increasing the height and activity level of the water feature. tippin' Whales whale boats are a great addition to the area. Whales whale boat is highly interactive as it fills with water and opens randomly to players below, the Aquatee shoots out a soft curtain of water and the Aquazig shoots out a horizontal laminar jet of water for interactive play.
  • Furuvik, Sweden
Furuvik, Sweden, has introduced a new ride to Vekoma, an electromagnetic catapult coaster called Lightning. As the park's largest ride ever, Lightning has a top speed of 75 km/h. The 430-metre long track is designed so that riders will experience a unique experience during the ride. With a 430-metre track design, riders will experience a high-speed adventure with high-speed catapults, twists and turns, fast corners and floating slopes.
  • MSC World Europa Cruises
RWS USA is another company dedicated to providing one-of-a-kind experiences. This year was no exception. For the premiere of MSC Cruises' Europa Universalis, RWS and Ted conceived and implemented a new guest experience through the development of two new, immersive performance venues. The two venues featured a total of seven interactive shows per night, all created by RWS Global's design and production team.
  • PortAventura, Spain
Spanish theme park resort PortAventura has opened the world's first dark roller coaster dedicated to the Uncharted action-adventure game series, "Uncharted: The Enigma of Penitence". This thrilling world-first roller coaster was developed by Sally Dark Rides (USA) and Intamin.
In line with Uncharted's theme of exploration, treasure hunting and adventure, the new attraction features elements never before experienced on a roller coaster, including: the world's first indoor quintuple / quintuple (5x) LSM launching coaster, the world's first sideways launch, Europe's first sideways drop on a coaster, Europe's first coaster drifting manoeuvre, Spain's first cliff-based backward freefall element, Spain's first backward launch and Spain's first launch spike element.
  • Lost Island, Waterloo, Iowa
Alterface, known for its work in interactive technology, also partnered with Sally Dark Rides to develop the Volkanu dark ride at Lost Island in Waterloo, Iowa.
The dark ride is named after the great Vulcan - the legendary lava beast god that lurks within the Lost Island. Visitors must find six statues, including the sacred Ora-Tika, and return them to the Vulcan Temple. Shooting technology and the ride's interactive system were provided by Alterface.
  • Le PAL Theme Park, France
Triotech and BoldMove Nation have teamed up this year to launch Champi'Foles, a dark ride at the Le PAL theme park in France. This interactive media-based dark ride features state-of-the-art circular shooting Smash&Reload and TooMush themes.
Located in the heart of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, with more than 1,000 animals and 31 attractions, Le PAL is recognised as one of France's premier theme parks and zoos, and the addition of Champi'Folies further strengthens its reputation as a must-see family attraction.
  • Nanjing Happy Valley
The past 12 months have seen countless new rides launched in parks around the world, and the Giant Frisbee, built by Huss Park Attractions in Germany for Nanjing Happy Valley in May this year, is another notable new attraction. The ride has a maximum flying height of 43 metres, which means it can be seen throughout the park.
The Giant Frisbee has a 25-metre-long pendulum that swings 120° to each side. Visitors are seated in a gondola at the lower end of the Pendulum in suspended seats facing outwards. When the Great Pendulum reaches its maximum swing, visitors will enjoy a flight time of -0.5g and a maximum speed of approximately 110km/h at +4.5g, which is equivalent to the parameters of a large rollercoaster. 40 seats are configured, and a large loading platform ensures fast loading, with a capacity of 1,000 passengers per hour.
  • Albury Botanical Garden
This year, another eye-catching attraction has landed in Albury - the spectacular sound and light experience Aurora, created by Laservision. Located at the picturesque Albury Botanical Gardens, Aurora, which runs from Friday 23 June to Sunday 16 July 2023, redefines the natural landscape and unveils mysterious creatures through the use of holograms, lasers, interactive projections, light sculptures, immersive soundscapes, and many other sensory mediums.
  • Binder Park Zoo
Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan, opened its $2 million Sky Lark Ridge and Little Lark attraction last summer with the help of RCI Adventure Products. The three-story attraction covers 15,000 square feet and reaches 36 feet at its highest point. The Sky Lark attraction includes a weaving trail, log rolling, tightrope walking, a five-rail zip line, and a computer-controlled canopy tour. The canopy tour ziplines to a tower and then returns to the main skywalk zipline.
The zoo has also added the Little Larks Sky Tykes zipline, where the Sky Rail zipline is designed for smaller adventurers up to 48 inches tall. The attraction uses the same design techniques as the larger Sky Trail, but is scaled down for smaller participants. The platforms are three feet off the ground, allowing children to build coordination and self-confidence with the help of an adult or guardian.
  • Huis Ten Bosch, Japan
We conclude our list of park investments with Christmas-themed rides, which have a fun atmosphere in line with the park. The performance of the Italian company I.E. in the field of "Carousel in the Sky" is definitely worth mentioning. The ride opened in December 2022 to mark Christmas and the 30th anniversary of Huis Ten Bosch Park in Japan. It consists of 68 characters and vehicles, including 22 large horses, 22 medium horses, 8 ponies, 2 pumpkin carriages, 4 covered gondolas, 2 uncovered gondolas, 4 carousel cups and 4 horse-drawn carriages.
It's obviously been a very busy 12 months for the theme park and attractions industry. From the world's first roller coaster to Disney's 100th anniversary, there's plenty to explore around the globe. As we approach the end of 2023, we're looking forward to the peak park season next year, with many manufacturers launching even more new products for boisterous visitors over the next 12 months. As always, you'll find more industry news and updates in future issues of the magazine.


Guangdong Foreign Economic Trade Enterprise Association
Guangdong&Hong Kong Economic and Trade Association For The Advancement of Information Communication
Guangdong Grandeur International Exhibition Group
Association for the Development of Urban Parks and Public Spaces (Association of Parks)
Zhongshan Gaming Amusement Association(ZGAA)
World Waterpark Association (WWA)
The Indian Association of Amusement Parks & Industries(IAAPI)
Russian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (RAAPA)
Kirmes&Park Revue
Games&Parks Industry