Revisiting IAAPA Expo 2015

Ah yes, IAAPA…The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.  Every year they take over the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida for the biggest attractions exposition ever.  This year was no different; with over 9 miles of vendors and 31,000 attendees, there wasn’t anything “small” about it!  This was my 4th year attending and I’ll touch base on a couple of announcements, both in and out of Florida.

First, our ACE Booth.  Over at Booth 3219, we had our display ready for visitors of all kinds; anybody from prior members, to future members, and even a lot of Park VIPs would visit us throughout the week!  This year, we were showing off the new Arrow Documentary set for release on January 23rd of next year and also showcased many coasters on our display board.  The foot traffic this year was incredible, we even had Tim Baldwin interview for Six Flags right within our booth.

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Cobra’s Curse Layout – Photo by Michael Christopher

Now onward to the announcements that we all love to look forward to.  Hands down, the biggest announcement of the year was from Dollywood and Rocky Mountain Construction.  Lightning Rod was the highlighted event of the Expo as it will become the first ever launching wooden coaster.  Lightning Rod will open at Dollywood in 2016.  Now, onward to Florida, Mack Rides got to show off the modeled layout of the new Cobra’s Curse opening at Busch Gardens Tampa next year.  This was the first time the entire layout was shown to the general public.  It was such a beautiful display piece, and made me even more excited to ride this new coaster.  The designers also stated that Cobra’s Curse will feature a very dynamic coaster train.  Part one of the ride will be forward facing, part two will be completely backwards, and then part three will be a free spin back into the station.  Intamin AG had since become the new builder of the Skyplex Tower Coaster possibly coming to Orlando in 2018; their booth showed of the newest rendering of this attraction.

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TRex Track by RMC – Photo by Michael Christopher

Sally Dark Rides gained some attention with their new Walking Dead themed shooter dark ride concept.  Fully named The Walking Dead, Battle for Survival, this 3-D shooter attraction will be toned down from the extreme nature of the TV series, but will still feature plenty of bloody and gory effects.  As of now, no major theme park has taken a bite out of this juicy attraction yet, but I personally can’t wait to see it come to life.  Rocky Mountain Construction unveiled their newest coaster track type, the monorail box type that they call the TRex track.  Finally, Extreme Engineering allowed riders to experience their new Cloud Coaster. An attraction that was part Coaster, part Zip Line.  All of these attractions definitely catch the eyes and I can’t wait to see them all progress out into the world of Theme Parks.

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Cloud Coaster Concept – Photo by Michael Christopher

IAAPA is always fun and exciting with press releases, stunning technology, and new discoveries.  The ACE Florida Region likes to plan a get-together event around the week of IAAPA and we definitely had the place this year!  Thank you to Brickhouse Tavern on I-Drive for an outstanding turnout of our ACE Members.  I like to take this last moment to introduce our new blog site for the Florida region.  We plan to post trip reviews, news releases, and even photo share events on this site so make sure to follow us on twitter and keep checking in for more articles!

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