Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sarner wins bid to create the "Dr Who" experience for BBC

Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK -- Leading creative design and AV installation company Sarner will design, create, produce and build the first ever immersive Doctor Who Experience for BBC Worldwide.

Sarner, known for concept, design and creation of themed visitor attractions around the globe, was awarded the contract following a competitive tender at the beginning of 2010 and is currently working on the pre-build prior to going on site at the beginning of December. The exhibition will officially open at London’s Olympia on 20th February 2011.

BBC Worldwide’s Head of Exhibitions and Events, Paula Al-Lach, has been working closely with Sarner on the project since its inception. Commenting on Sarner’s creativity she says, “The brief was to create an immersive experience based on the popular TV programme that would capture and celebrate the essence of Doctor Who. We felt that Sarner’s creative vision for the project matched the brief and that they proposed something completely different, all encompassing and a little bit scary.”

The main element of the exhibition will be an immersive timed dark walk experience in which visitors will become involved in their very own Doctor Who adventure. The ‘show’, which has been devised with input from Doctor Who executive producer and show runner Steven Moffat, will feature spectacular special effects and exclusively filmed footage. Visitors will be put at the heart of the action helping the Doctor and will go on an exhilarating journey through time and space, fending off threats from iconic monsters along the way. Following their adventure, visitors will enter a freeflow exhibition which charts the success of the show from the first series in 1963 to the most recent episodes starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. This will comprise interactive areas, displays and some classic memorabilia from the TV show, including several generations of the Daleks and original costumes.

“Doctor Who is a part of British culture and this bespoke project is an extremely exciting and prestigious one for us to be working on”, comments Michael Bennett, Sarner’s Creative Director. “Our idea was to put the visitor into a Doctor Who adventure and to achieve this mission we had to use all of the immersive skills and techniques we’ve developed over the years. The Doctor Who Experience is set to take exhibitions to another level for BBC Worldwide and has been designed to appeal to everyone, across the ages, regardless of how much they know about the history of Doctor Who. The show section features powerful scenic recreations, including a TARDIS interior, and uses a storyline featuring the current Doctor, Matt Smith, who we’ve been fortunate enough to work with, along with executive producer and show runner, Steven Moffat, and key members from BBC production in Cardiff.”

Images courtesy Sarner.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

BRC Imagination Arts looks back on a good run at Shanghai Expo 2010

Shanghai, China -- With the Shanghai 2010 World Expo drawing to a close, BRC Imagination Arts, renowned for the design and production of immersive brand, entertainment and cultural experiences, looks back on its successes at the Information & Communications Pavilion and the USA Pavilion.

Information & Communications Pavilion (ICP)
BRC congratulates China Mobile and China Telecom for embracing new technology that made their jointly hosted Information Communications Pavilion one of the most popular and highly praised corporate pavilions at the Expo. The Pavilion has greeted and engaged more than 3 million guests since it opened on May 1.

BRC conceived and produced the Pavilion experience, which combined immersive digital media with interactive wireless technologies and tactile 4-D special effects. Each visitor was leant an interactive mobile device designed and manufactured by BRC that accompanied them throughout the exhibits and shows, allowing them to personalize their experience and interact with the story. The theme of the Pavilion was “Dream Big,” and the device let visitors capture and store their dreams throughout the show so they could continue their voyage later from home.

“BRC took a whole new approach to the Information Communications Pavilion’s visitor experience, one that fulfilled the long-standing industry dream of combining a shared full-immersion story with interactive mobile technology, while at the same time facilitating huge hourly capacity – as many as 24,700 visitors per day,” said Christian Lachel, Pavilion Creative Director and Vice President, BRC Imagination Arts. “The result was an experience that created a deep emotional connection with the audience. Families and children absolutely loved it.”

BRC’s achievements at the Information Communication Pavilion won the Pavilion two gold 2010 Event Design Awards: Best Interactive Element and Best Use of Media/AV. The Pavilion also won three Honorable Mentions in Exhibitor Magazine’s awards for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo: Best Use of Technology, Best Presentation and People’s Choice. In addition, the Pavilion has been nominated as one of the winners of 2010 China’s Most Successful Design Awards.

USA Pavilion (USAP)
BRC congratulates the hosts of the USA Pavilion for attracting and delighting more than 7 million visitors since the Expo opened its doors nearly six months ago. BRC was responsible for producing the Pavilion’s three-act narrative, an uplifting, sensory experience that touched visitors’ hearts and left them with a sense of wonder and a connection with the people of the United States.

“With over 42,000 visitors every day, the USA Pavilion attracted some of the biggest crowds at the Expo, a major triumph for the United States,” said Bob Rogers, founder and Chief Creative Officer of BRC. “But what truly proved the success of the pavilion were the looks of delight and wonder on the faces of visitors as the show ended. BRC is proud of the role we played in immersing these millions of visitors in a story and production that clearly touched their hearts.”

A recent study by Shanghai’s Fudan University showed that the USA Pavilion met visitors’ high expectations and generated positive perceptions of Americans and American companies. Ninety-five percent of respondents agreed that "visiting the USA Pavilion was worth my time and effort." More than 93 percent said the Pavilion faithfully represents the American spirit, and more than 90 percent agreed that "Chinese corporations have learned about advanced technologies and managerial skills from American corporations."

“There is no doubt we exceeded our expectations for the USA Pavilion in terms of attendance and positive messaging about the U.S.,” said Greg Lombardo, Creative Director, Brand Experiences at BRC and the Creative Director for the USA Pavilion. “BRC would like to thank and congratulate our partners who made the Pavilion possible, most notably USA Expo Commissioner General José Villarreal, USA Pavilion President and CEO Martin Alintuck, co-founders Nick Winslow and Ellen Eliasoph, the U.S. Department of State and our 68 sponsors. In keeping with the Pavilion’s theme, this was an effort of tremendous collaboration and teamwork.”

Commissioner General José Villarreal said, "BRC lived up to the USA Pavilion's theme of Rising to the Challenge by creating an inspiring show that allowed millions of visitors to take a journey into the heart and soul of America that they won’t soon forget."

All photos courtesy of BRC Imagination Arts and (c) BRC Imagination Arts.

Related stories from InPark Magazine, InPark News and InPark blogs:
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Saudi pavilion at Shanghai Expo used Sky-Skan digital cinema products

Shanghai, China -- A 1,600 square meter (17,000 square foot) video screen — one of the largest ever—for the Saudi Arabia Pavilion’s “The Treasure” show is finishing its run at Expo Shanghai 2010. The show highlights the wonders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was created for the Saudi Arabia Pavilion at the Expo. Recently the 4 millionth visitor to the Pavilion was recognized with two round-trip tickets to Saudi Arabia. The Expo's six-month run concludes Oct 31.

Visitors to the Saudi Arabia Pavilion’s theater showing “The Treasure” are taken over the giant wraparound screen on a suspended moving walkway. The show immerses the audience in the various regions of Saudi Arabia, exporting their distinct features and following their path of development in the various urbanization, industrial, and economic areas.

“The Treasure” is powered by Sky-Skan’s DigitalSky software and Definiti graphics computers. Using 25 projectors, blended together using Sky-Skan’s proprietary techniques, the audience experiences an incredible 35 million unique pixels of resolution compared to 2 million for HDTV. The stunning video screen was installed by Sky-Skan Europe for GPD S.A. of Spain, with GPD working closely with Sky-Skan to produce content for the show.

About Sky-Skan
In 1967, Sky-Skan began creating unique special effects projectors for planetariums. In the 1980s, SPICE Automation synchronized planetariums and giant-screen theaters. In the late 1990s, SkyVision was a pioneer of the fulldome (digital dome video) revolution. Today, Definiti theaters with DigitalSky 2 software present immersive, real-time astronomy presentations in addition to other sciences, entertainment, and art. Definiti theaters include Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, University of Notre Dame, Horizon Planetarium in Australia, the Queen Mary 2, Beijing Planetarium (first 8K fulldome theater), ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i (first 3D stereoscopic planetarium), and the Macao Science Center (8K and 3D stereo).

Images provided by Sky-Skan

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi opens to the public Nov 4

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -- Ferrari World Abu Dhabi announced it would open its doors to the public at noon on Nov 4. There was a VIP pre-opening party at the park 27 October 2010.

”The waiting is over, now it’s time to immerse yourself in the world of Ferrari,” said Andy Keeling, Park Manager, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. “October 27th is a key milestone in the entertainment calendar as we welcome our first guests into the Park.”

Claus Frimand, General Manager, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi said, “I know I speak for the whole team at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi when I say we are very enthusiastic to finally be able to share the thrill and excitement of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi with the public. We hope our guests will enjoy being first to experience the legendary Ferrari passion, history and culture through our rides and attractions in what promises to be an unforgettable evening.”

Ticket prices range from AED 225 for guests above 1.5m, and AED 165 for guests below 1.5m. Guests can upgrade their experience with a Premium Ticket, which will give them priority on all attractions and access to an exclusive lounge with refreshments, as well as other benefits. Premium Tickets cost AED 375 for guests above 1.5m and AED 270 for guests below 1.5m. All tickets provide unlimited use of rides and attractions inside Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. The Park will be operating on a six-day a week schedule from Tuesday to Sunday, welcoming visitors from 12 noon each day.

About Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a world-class development by Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi’s leading property development, management and Investment Company and will be managed by Farah Leisure Parks Management LLC, a joint venture between Aldar Properties PJSC and ProFun Management Group Inc., an international leisure facilities management and operating company.

Photo: G-Force coaster, Ferrari World, courtesy Ferrari World

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meet French Amusement Park specialists at French Pavilion at IAAPA

Ubifrance will host a French Pavilion at IAAPA 2010 in Orlando, Nov 15-19. Some 10 French flagship companies will gather together at the French Pavilion, booth 3506, to present their expertise in special effects equipment, water parks, wind tunnels, and other technologies for theme parks and amusement parks.

French IAAPA participants:

AIR2TUNNEL EUROPE designs standalone wind tunnels for recreational and professional use, but can also design indoor skydiving facilities in existing buildings. The flight chambers are entirely made of curved glass allowing a 360-degree visibility and the feeling of indoor skydiving for all customers visiting the facility.

Amazone Adventure creates eco-adventure parks also known as canopy tours. The company designs and installs outdoor entertaining courses in natural and primitive settings. Participants can swing from one tree to another using various fully secured challenges made of ropes, cables, and wood.

CREATIME specializes in two key areas: The creation of attractions combining natural effects, and cinema. Creatime created the STORM THEATER© for the French theme and leisure park TERRA BOTANICA, which opened in 2010.

KLIMA is specialized in the manufacture and international sale of collectible porcelain miniatures. For 30 years, it has been the world leader with a collection of more than 8,000 models. All porcelain products are designed in France and made in Klima's own manufacturing plant in Thailand.

Mobi-Mat RecPath is a portable and removable rollout access pathway that can be used for pedestrians, disabled persons and wheelchair users. Mobi-Mat RecPath can also be used for strollers, bicycles, ATVs, motorcycles and maintenance and emergency vehicles.

PHOTOFINISH is the European leader in “on-board video” solutions dedicated to leisure parks and motor/extreme sports industries. A partner of prestigious racing schools and sporting events and competitions, the company specializes in on-board cameras.

The Rolba-Loisirs company has over 15 years’ experience in the design, creation and installation of its "Techno-Loisirs" brand of water parks and theme parks throughout Europe and to some extent North Africa and Asia. Its clients are located worldwide and include major hotel resort chains, water parks and theme parks. Recently, the company installed what is said to be the largest wave swimming pool in Europe, located in Spain.

Universal Effects is a leader in special effects machines. Its products are used on the biggest national and international events: concerts, tours, theatres, operas, festivals as well as big sporting events such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Orlando's New Amway Center uses RipBang Studios' wayfinding system to guide visitors

VENICE, Calif., USA -- At nearly three times the size of the facility it replaces, Orlando's new Amway Center arena needed a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand approach to directional signage. The Orlando Magic brought in California-based RipBang Studios to devise a system to effortlessly guide fans to their destination.

RipBang's solution divides the arena into two color-coded sides, with each side's color referenced on the ticket. Upon entering the main lobby, guests are immediately sorted to the orange East or green West side of the Amway Center. Within each level, anchor destinations (many designed by RipBang Studios) serve as landmarks to help orient guests. Much like a shopping center, directory signs highlight these anchors (amenities such as bars and restaurants) to help make navigation more intuitive.

RipBang Studios created a consistent brand and harmonious graphic language for all signage throughout the building so that concession stands, bars, restaurants and sponsor zones work together and reinforce the arena's brand, instead of distracting from it. "Our experience has been that by the time you start looking for a sign, you're probably already lost," said RipBang Studios designer Rowena Macaraeg. Combining sponsor integration and visual landmarks, RipBang also worked with Amway to seamlessly incorporate their brand into the event experience.

RipBang Studios also designed signage that could actively participate in the entertainment experience. The south end of the arena features two sculptural LED "turrets" in one of the fan interactive areas known as the "Ozone." With computer-controlled animations, pyrotechnics, and a platform for the Magic Dancers and mascot STUFF, the "Ozone" is sure to become a signature feature of events at the arena.

RipBang Studios' wayfinding system at Amway Center demonstrates how sponsor and team branding, directional signs and thematic graphics can work together to enhance the game experience by offering easy access to seats, amenities that integrate sponsors and operational efficiency.

RipBang Studios creates "experiential branding" to build strong connections between consumers and brands. Since 1999, RipBang Studios has delivered innovative permanent and temporary solutions for stadiums, arenas, event venues and entertainment destinations that integrate graphics with venue amenities.

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Royal Caribbean Offers Smooth Sailing With Motorola Enterprise Solutions

SCHAUMBURG, Illinois USA -- The Motorola Solutions business of Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced that it has deployed a mobility solution to help Royal Caribbean International enhance the guest experience onboard Oasis of the Seas – the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. In an effort to provide travelers with the most memorable experience, Royal Caribbean has equipped its employees with Motorola enterprise mobile computers to empower them with the information they need to ensure customer needs are taken care of on-the-spot anywhere on the ship.

"Oasis of the Seas is a revolutionary cruise ship that transforms the way Royal Caribbean interacts with its guests," said Bill Martin, VP and CIO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "By aligning with Motorola, we are now able to address guest needs in real-time while increasing the productivity of our staff – ultimately raising the standard for guest experiences and satisfaction."

As mobility becomes increasingly more important for hospitality organizations to maintain competitive advantage, Royal Caribbean turned to Motorola to provide a reliable solution to help drive revenue, improve service and enhance the customer experience. Mobile applications running on Motorola MC55 and MC70 enterprise mobile computers carried by the Oasis of the Seas staff include, mobile point of sale (MPOS), mobile mustering, work order management, show ticketing and asset management.

Throughout the guest entertainment area of Oasis of the Seas, staff are equipped with MC70 mobile computers and snap-on mobile payment modules to more quickly respond to and complete guests' credit and debit solutions. This MPOS solution reduces the amount of time guests wait in line for shows, as well as speeds order-taking poolside to not only improve the guest experience but increase beverage sales.

Equipped with an MC55 with integrated voice and data capabilities, Royal Caribbean maintenance staff can receive tasks in real-time, providing managers with visibility into progress of work orders and ensuring any issues are addressed immediately. The MC55s are also used to manage assets within its dining room.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Charlie Bray Resigns as IAAPA President and CEO

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) announced today that Charles W. (Charlie) Bray has resigned as president and CEO effective Dec. 3, 2010. Bray is leaving the association for an exceptional opportunity in the Washington, D.C. area. An announcement with the details on his new opportunity will come in the weeks ahead.

“IAAPA has made tremendous progress under Charlie’s leadership,” said IAAPA Chairman Chip Cleary. “IAAPA has realized its goal of operating globally; we now have offices in Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. We could not have done this without Charlie’s vision and guidance.”

“With Charlie’s expert management, IAAPA was able to weather the impact of the economic downturn. He was instrumental in negotiating the agreements to host IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando for the next 10 years. He leaves the association poised for a very bright future and we wish him continued success as he moves on to his new opportunity,” said IAAPA First Vice Chairman Bob Rippy.

Bray was hired as IAAPA’s chief financial officer in June 2004. He was appointed president and CEO in February 2006. Prior to joining IAAPA, Bray was with the nonprofit division of RSM McGladrey, a business consulting firm. Bray began his career with Arthur Andersen, spent five years with American University, and 17 years with the Food Marketing Institute, where he rose to senior vice president and chief financial officer. He also served as president of two associations, the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers (IAFIS) and the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA).

The IAAPA Executive Committee will define and lead the search process for Bray’s replacement.

IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions worldwide and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries.

In Washington DC, groundbreaking for new Nat'l Law Enforcement Museum

WASHINGTON -- The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) today formally broke ground on the new National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC. The groundbreaking ceremony took place at the future site of the Museum in the 400 block of E Street, NW, across the street from the existing National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in historic Judiciary Square, the symbolic seat of the nation's criminal justice system. Today's ceremony marked the official start of construction work on the Museum, ten years after Congress authorized the project.

The Museum is being designed by Davis Buckley Architects and Planners, the DC firm that also created the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which was dedicated in 1991. Exhibit design is being led by the Boston firm of Christopher Chadbourne & Associates, whose work also includes the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center at Mount Vernon and the National Museum of the Marine Corps, in Quantico, VA. Clark Construction of Bethesda, MD, has been selected as the project's general contractor and Design and Production, Inc. will serve as exhibit fabricators.

Exhibit Highlights: From Interactive 911 Emergency Center to Al Capone's Bullet-Resistant Vest
One of the key artifacts to be displayed in the Museum, a U.S. Park Police helicopter, "Eagle One," is the aircraft used in the law enforcement response to the Air Florida Flight 90 crash into the 14th Street Bridge on January 13, 1982.

Scheduled to open in late 2013, the 55,000-square-foot, mostly underground institution will be a world-class experiential Museum with high-tech interactive exhibitions. The Museum will include a vast collection of law enforcement artifacts and dedicated spaces for research and education.

Visitor experiences will range from assuming the role of a police dispatcher in the Motorola 911 Emergency Call Center; to making split-second, life-or-death decisions posed by the use-of-force judgment simulator; to solving crimes in the Museum's Target Forensics Lab. Other major exhibitions will focus on the history of law enforcement, corrections, tools of the trade and a fascinating look at a day in the life of an officer. The "Reel to Real" exhibit will give visitors the opportunity to compare real-life law enforcement with depictions in movies and on television. The National Law Enforcement Museum will offer a wide range of educational programs for school-age children, families, adults and law enforcement professionals.

One of the most comprehensive collections of law enforcement artifacts found anywhere in the world will be used by the Museum for its exhibitions, educational programs and research activities. The Museum's collection already comprises more than 14,000 objects, including a sheriff's writ from 1703, the earliest object in the collection; artifacts associated with infamous crimes, such as the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case, and infamous criminals such as gangster Al Capone; handcuffs, nightsticks and other tools of the trade dating back to the 1850s; and pop culture items, such as the RoboCop movie costume and one of Jack Bauer's sweatshirts from the television show, "24."

The Museum has also been designated as the official repository for oral history transcripts from members of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and, earlier this year, the Museum acquired the J. Edgar Hoover estate, which includes thousands of personal and professional objects belonging to the legendary director of the FBI. The Museum will also feature material from the Memorial Fund's files on the nearly 19,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers in the United States who have died in the line of duty since the first recorded death in 1792.

Museum Fundraising and Support
Funds for the construction and development of the Museum, which was authorized by a public law enacted in 2000 and authored by U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a former deputy sheriff, are being raised privately by the Memorial Fund. The cost of the Museum, which is scheduled to open in late 2013, is approximately $80 million. To date, law enforcement organizations, corporations, foundations and individuals from across the country have donated over $40 million toward that goal. The District of Columbia Government has also been a strong supporter of the project, authorizing up to $60 million in industrial revenue bonds to help with financing, and providing a 20-year sales tax credit for the Museum worth up to $10 million.

Major donations of $1 million or more have come from Motorola, DuPont, Target, the Verizon Foundation, Mag-Lite, Advanced Interactive Systems, Panasonic Solutions Company, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Police Unity Tour, whose $5 million donation is the single largest to date. The campaign is being spearheaded by Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who serve as co-chairs of the Museum's National Honorary Campaign Committee.

The mission of the National Law Enforcement Museum is to tell the story of American law enforcement through exhibits, collections, research and education. The Museum seeks to build mutual respect and foster cooperation between the public and the law enforcement profession in an effort to create a safer society and to uphold the democratic ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

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Wild Adventures Receives International Award

Valdosta, GA – Wild Adventures Theme Park is the recipient of a major industry award for Splash Island, the region’s largest water park. The award, presented by the World Waterpark Association (WWA) during its annual convention, named Splash Island the winner in the Brochure category for parks with 250,000 and up in annual attendance. This is the first WWA award for Wild Adventures Theme Park and comes on the heels of the park’s announcement to expand Splash Island for the 2011 park season.

Wild Adventures is currently in the beginning stages of its Splash Island Water Park expansion which will increase the size of the water park from seven to ten acres. It is the water park’s largest expansion, since opening in 2002. Scheduled to open April 2011, the expansion includes two new giant family water slides and nearly a dozen private cabanas.

“Designing materials to showcase the park’s endless family adventures is fun and rewarding, and we are truly honored to be recognized by WWA in this category,” commented Linda Jensen, vice president of marketing. “Considering we were measured against nearly 300 others entries, it makes it an even more meaningful award for us.”

Images courtesy Wild Adventures Water & Theme Park


Calypso Waterpark Ready to Turn on the Taps
InPark Magazine's 2010 Waterpark Issue

USA Presence at Largest World's Fair in History Strengthens Chinese Views of the U.S.

Fudan University research shows USA Pavilion met high visitor expectations and generated positive perceptions of Americans and American companies

SHANGHAI -- A research study initiated by the USA Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai indicates that the U.S. message at the Expo improved perceptions of America, American culture and American businesses among Chinese visitors to the Expo. Key findings include:

* 95 percent of respondents agreed that "visiting the USA Pavilion was worth my time and effort."
* 93.4 percent felt the USA Pavilion "represents the American spirit."
* 90.1 percent said that "Chinese corporations have learned about advanced technologies and managerial skills from American corporations."

In early 2010, independent research identified the USA Pavilion as the second most anticipated participant at Expo, behind the China National Pavilion. "We knew before Expo began that we had significant expectations to meet among Chinese visitors, and our research shows we more than delivered," said Ambassador Jose H. Villarreal, U.S. Commissioner General to Expo 2010 Shanghai. "The fact that more than 7 million visitors will experience the USA Pavilion means we have taken advantage of a great opportunity to introduce America to so many who have never been to our country."

Prior to Expo, goals for the USA Pavilion focused on: 1) improving perceptions of the United States in China; 2) using "people-to-people" diplomacy to help Chinese and other Expo visitors better understand America's multicultural and open society; 3) ensuring that visitors to the Pavilion appreciated the U.S. tradition of grassroots, citizen participation to improve lives and communities.

Other Key Findings:

* More than 95 percent of those surveyed agree that Americans are friendly.
* More than 94 percent agree that America is a culturally diverse and innovative country.
* More than 92 percent believe that Chinese companies should use American companies as role models.

"The research clearly shows that the USA Pavilion succeeded in increasing understanding of what many call the 'American spirit,' and communicating that much of America's success is driven by collaboration, diversity and innovation," said Dr. Xiongwen Lu, Dean of School of Management, Fudan University. "The USA Pavilion effectively improved perceptions of America among millions of Chinese visitors and that, in and of itself, is a great measure of success."

Other Research Highlights:

* 98.8 percent were "most impressed with the performance of the Student Ambassadors" (160 Mandarin-fluent college students from 38 U.S. states).
* 95.2 percent said they "want to travel to the USA."
* 86 percent "agree with American values."
* 79.8 percent "want to work for an American company."

The research study, which randomly sampled more than 660 Chinese guests at the Expo over a three-day period in August, sought to measure changes in perceptions of the U.S. before and after visiting the pavilion. The study was conducted by the Chinese Marketing Research Center (CMRC) at the School of Management, Fudan University in Shanghai. Fudan University was established in 1905 and became one of the national elite universities after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

At more than 60,000 square feet, the USA Pavilion is one of the largest national pavilions at the Expo, in one of China's most dynamic cities. With the theme of "Rising to the Challenge," the United States presence showcases American culture, values, innovation and business while celebrating the friendship and cooperation between the United States, China and the rest of the world.

USA Pavilion official website

USA Pavilion official Facebook page

Information provided by Newsmaker Group on behalf of Shanghai Expo 2010 Inc., a non-profit corporation authorized by the State Department of the United States of America to conduct the planning, design, fundraising and operation of the USA National Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Names Dan Brown New COO

ORLANDO -- SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment today promoted Daniel B. Brown, President of the company's three Orlando parks – SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica -- to Chief Operating Officer, SeaWorld Parks.

Brown, 56, will oversee the operations of SeaWorld parks in Florida, Texas, and California, as well as Discovery Cove and Aquatica. He will assume his new responsibilities in October 2010. The company's remaining five parks – Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Adventure Island, Water Country USA and Sesame Place – are under the corporate supervision of Donnie Mills, Chief Operating Officer, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place.

"Dan is among the most respected and experienced executives in the theme park industry," said Jim Atchison, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer. "His contributions to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment span more than three decades and have benefitted every park and virtually every aspect of our business."

Brown started his career at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 1975. He has occupied a variety of progressively responsible corporate and park roles. Brown was tapped to manage the company's Tampa water park, Adventure Island, in 1984. He relocated to St. Louis, Mo. in 1990 to oversee the company's business analysis program and serve as Executive Assistant to then-President John B. Roberts.

Brown later was promoted to Corporate Vice President Operations and in 1999 to Park President of Busch Gardens and Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Va. He moved to Tampa in 2003 to lead Busch Gardens and Adventure Island and to Orlando in 2007 to head the company's flagship park, SeaWorld Orlando.

Brown's replacement will be named later this week.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates 10 parks across the U.S.: SeaWorld Florida in Orlando, SeaWorld California in San Diego, SeaWorld Texas in San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Adventure Island in Tampa, Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Aquatica and Discovery Cove in Orlando, and Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs more than 20,000 people. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group.

Photo: PRNewsFoto/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Discovery Cove Adds The Grand Reef in 2011

Discovery Cove, the ultimate, all-inclusive tropical retreat where guests swim with dolphins, takes immersion to new depths when it opens an all-new addition -- The Grand Reef -- in June 2011.

The new reef features multiple levels of exploration, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures, from white sandy beaches and hammocks swaying in the breeze, to snorkeling among canyons inspired by reefs from around the world.

“The Grand Reef takes Discovery Cove’s world-class animal encounters to an all new level -- several, actually,” said Stewart Clark, the park’s vice president. “It’s what our guests expect from us, unforgettable connections with the sea and making memories that will last forever. This could only be created by Discovery Cove.”

Visitors just need to get their feet wet to enjoy The Grand Reef, or they can choose to go deep. They can step into tranquil, shallow waters to discover a below-the-surface world teeming with sea life, or they can snorkel in deeper waters as thousands of exotic fish and graceful rays swim around them.

Surprises abound. Families can seek discoveries along the water’s edge or cross a bridge to see sharks swimming below. They’ll play hide-and-seek with thousands of beautiful fish, from small colorful wrasses to large spotted eagle rays. Further out in the reef, stunning habitats create the feeling of swimming right alongside venomous lionfish and sharp-toothed reef sharks, each safely behind glass. Guests can take paths and bridges to the reef’s islands and hidden grottos as they delve into the reef from above, around and below.

Those looking for an even more exhilarating adventure can take part in The Grand Reef’s innovative experience, SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour. Wearing dive helmets, guests find up-close excitement around every corner, each step yielding a new discovery. They’ll come across lionfish and sharks (safely behind massive panoramic windows), one-on-one touches with unique animals and schools of fish and gentle rays swimming by. SeaVenture is a once-in-a-lifetime, undersea experience available for a nominal fee.

The Grand Reef is the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation, a fully immersive tropical escape, new to discover in Orlando in 2011.

Discovery Cove is a full-day experience where guests can swim with dolphins, hand-feed exotic birds, snorkel through beautiful fresh and salt water lagoons and relax on pristine, white-sand beaches. In addition to the park’s one-of-a-kind animal interactions and lush natural beauty, Discovery Cove delivers superlative, personalized service, and unlimited access to an unparalleled array of first-class amenities.

Discovery Cove amenities include meals, snacks and beverages throughout the day’s adventures, towels, wet suits and swim gear, plus a pass for unlimited admission* to either SeaWorld or Aquatica in Orlando or Busch Gardens in Tampa to be used surrounding a Discovery Cove visit. Guests can upgrade to the Ultimate package which includes admission to all three sister parks for an additional fee. Advanced reservations are required.

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Motorbikes, scuba and human chandeliers: Dragone’s new aqua spectacular at City of Dreams Macau

Macau -- Sharks puppeteered by SCUBA divers, heart-stopping high dives, motorbike stunts symbolising time travel, pagodas and boats that emerge from submarine theatre ‘wings’ and 77 performance artists from 18 countries around the world; Franco Dragone’s newest spectacular has been 5 years in the planning, 2 years of rehearsal and cost approximately £160 million. Surrounded in mystery and much anticipation, The House of Dancing Water launched on 16th September, before opening its doors to an eagerly-waiting public the following day, at the City of Dreams, Macau.

The Dancing Water Theater was designed by Pei Partnership and is a 270-degree theater-in-the-round, with a central stage diameter of about 20 metres. The theatre houses around 260 automated fountains that spurt water up to 18 metres in the air, and a total of 11 hydraulic stage lifts and vomitory lifts that enable an artistic flow in performance from aquatic to conventional stage. Contracted by Theatre Projects, Stage Technologies provided a 141-axis whole house control and engineering system for the purpose-built venue. The system includes a 40-unit track and trolley system, which can transport up to 250kg at 3.5m/sec, allowing mobile flying axes to pitch aerialists over the heads of the audience and launch performers from Russian swings into the watery depths below. Stage Technologies lineset winches are rated to 2,000kg at 2½m/s, resulting in the capacity for incredibly fast changeovers of Dragone’s characteristically complex and beautiful, but sometimes load-heavy sets.

The 100m by 60m grid mirrors the entire theatre area, which is almost completely covered by ‘the world’s largest commercial pool’. This circular pool holds approximately 3.7 million gallons of water allowing the latest genre of aqua performance art to reach new creative horizons. The technical side of the performance required plotting and control from two fixed Acrobat∙G6s and two portable Nomads and the show control is further enhanced by an additional four handheld Solos.

In parallel with the installation in Macau, Stage Technologies also provided equipment for Dragone’s rehearsals which were taking place at their home base in Belgium. The rehearsal studio contained two tracks and trolleys and eight point hoists, mimicking the main system’s functionality and allowing the automation programmers to rehearse and programme the show act by act, both with real world movements and also in an offline, virtual, 3D configuration. The rehearsal control system used six local control joysticks that allowed simple and safe control of any winch within the system by touch screen selection of the axis number. The Stage Technologies teams, both in Macau and at the training venue in Belgium, worked in close conjunction with each other, the Dragone technical staff and Steve Colley, the head of automation and rigging at Dragone, now technical director at the venue.

Images: City of Dreams

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Harkness Screens Digital Screen Selector aids theater operators

ORLANDO — Harkness Screens, the world’s leading manufacturer of projection screens for cinema applications, will showcase its Digital Screen Selector at the motion picture industry convention ShowEast 2010 (Booth 518), held 24-27 October.

Intended as an aid to theater operators seeking to optimize their investment in digital cinema, Harkness claims that the Digital Screen Selector can help to:

· Reduce operating costs for 2D
· Optimize light levels for both 2D and 3D

Available through the Harkness Screens website, the Digital Screen Selector has a user-friendly interface with no software download required and uses industry-accepted standards and vendor data to compare different operating scenarios. The Selector is intended to be a guide for theater operators when consulting with projector, lamp, and 3D technology providers.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer our new Digital Screen Selector to cinema professionals around the world,” says Andrew Robinson, managing director of Harkness Screens. “By answering a few quick questions about the screen size and equipment being used in a particular theater, the Selector suggests Harkness screen options to optimize performance and cost.”

According to Harkness the company's Perlux® gain screens reduce digital cinema projector brightness requirements significantly relative to matt white screens, enabling the use of smaller lamps that are cheaper, last longer, consume less power, roughly halving operating costs. For new builds and digital retrofits, the claim is that a Perlux® screen can pay for itself in under a year, and in less than two years for existing digital installations. The company describes gain screens as a potentially “green” investment because they can help reduce theater energy consumption and can help exhibitors meet building codes for energy efficiency.

Founded in 1929, Harkness recently celebrated its 80th year in business and has screens in place in over 60 countries. With its corporate office located in the Ireland, other offices and factories are located in UK, France, Beijing and Fredericksburg, VA.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Three Shanghai Expo Pavilions with Electrosonic AV systems

Shanghai -- As Expo 2010 Shanghai China approaches closing day, Electrosonic looks back on the extensive role it played in three popular pavilions at the international event: the China State Shipbuilding Pavilion, the Information & Communications Pavilion and the USA Pavilion. As of the end of September, Expo 2010 had welcomed close to 60 million visitors to its futuristic theme of Better City, Better Life.

Electrosonic is no stranger to international expos. From Expo 67 in Montreal to the last major Expo in 2005 in Aichi, Japan, the company’s credits stretch from Brisbane and Osaka to New Orleans and Lisbon. Electrosonic’s participation in Expo 2010 Shanghai pushes the number of projects it has completed for these fairs to over 50.

“This has been a challenging but great Expo experience for us. While faced with tight schedules, we worked hand-in-hand with our clients and demonstrated how to bring dynamic attractions to the public,” commented Chris Conte, Electrosonic’s General Manager, Systems Integration.

At the China State Shipbuilding Pavilion, Electrosonic provided audio, video and show-control systems that enable visitors to explore the role of shipping in China’s past, investigate exciting concepts for future floating cities and farms, and simulate navigation. Electrosonic was challenged to deliver multi-image and edge-blended displays onto unusual surfaces and furnish immersive interactive experiences for visitors. An additional challenge was to ensure that installed elements were easily expandable in the future since the pavilion is one of several that will continue to operate as a permanent museum and exhibit after the Expo concludes.

Among the elements Electrosonic supplied for the Shipbuilding Pavilion were fog screens that served as projection surfaces, giant media walls, a domed Aqua Nook projection system displaying the launch of a new vessel, a unique interactive aquarium gallery, glass projection tables with floating-farm ship models, a simulated ship-steering attraction, and an HD theater-in-the-round. Working directly for the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), Electrosonic will continue designing the museum expansion in 2011 with exhibit designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates.

Electrosonic was contracted by BRC Imagination Arts to design and install the audio, video and control systems for the Information & Communications Pavilion featuring multiple, large-scale projection systems, HD displays, customized show control and multi-channel audio playback systems. Presented by China Mobile and China Telecom, the pavilion is designed to give visitors a taste of future cutting-edge information and communication technologies.

At the core of Electrosonic’s brief for this venue was creating a custom 802.11 wireless network for the ICT Mobile Device, a handheld, personal communications device that accompanies each visitor on their interactive journey through the pavilion. The Medialon show-control master controller sends cues via the wireless network that allow the ICT-equipped visitors to follow in sync with all the shows. Show control knows where each visitor and their ICT Mobile Device are at any given time and plays synchronous content related to their location.

Electrosonic also provided the equipment and multi-track surround sound system for the pavilion’s pre-show as well as the Dream Big Multi-Dimensional Interactive Network Theater where the cinematic main show takes place.

For the USA Pavilion Electrosonic again worked for BRC Imagination Arts and provided system design, engineering, fabrication, installation, and show programming for the AV and control systems in the lobby, preshow and main show theater.

Specifically, Electrosonic supplied screens, projectors and video playback for the lobby’s elevated welcome displays; the preshow’s trio of huge side-by-side screens; and the main show’s five, 30-foot tall displays each with a trapezoidal or hourglass shape oriented in portrait mode and rimmed with LED light frames choreographed to the show.

Electrosonic is also providing technical maintenance and service for all three pavilions during the run of the Expo.

Images courtesy Electrosonic. From top: Shipbuilding Pavilion, Information & Communications Pavilion, USA Pavilion.

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Monday, October 11, 2010


SANTA CLAUS, Indiana, USA -- Holiday World finished its 64th season by setting a new seasonal attendance record, up nearly 14 percent from the previous record, set last year, the park announced on Oct 10.

“This is the fifth year in a row we’ve topped one million in attendance,” says park president Dan Koch. “We’re very grateful to all the families who came to visit our parks.”

With a final count of 1,182,636 guests, Koch credits the season’s growth with the addition of Wildebeest, the world’s longest water coaster, plus the parks’ budget-friendly free soft drinks, along with a continued concentration on cleanliness and friendliness.

“So much of the credit for our growth goes to the incredible service and hospitality provided by our Hosts and Hostesses,” Koch says. “As far as we’re concerned, it takes more than great rides and shows to make a park worth visiting. We are very appreciative of our hard-working staff.”

Over the weekend, the World Waterpark Association (WWA) inducted Will Koch into its Waterpark Hall of Fame. According to the WWA, their Waterpark Hall of Fame “honors the water leisure industry's most important pioneers and innovators.”

“This is a great honor for a great man,” says Dan Koch. “I am thankful for my brother’s life.” Koch became president of the park in June, following the unexpected death of his brother Will, who had guided the park’s successful growth and development for more than two decades.

Holiday World will open its 65th season on May 7, 2011. Splashin' Safari will open for the season on May 13, with the debut of Safari Sam’s SplashLand, a children’s water-play area with eight new water slides.

Logos and photo of Will Koch courtesy Holiday World and Splashin' Safari

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Halloween experience in US theme parks: IAAPA's list of 20

“The Halloween season goes hand-in-hand with the amusement park and attractions industry’s goal to provide thrills along with family fun,” says Charles Bray, president and CEO for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). “Our industry is filled with brilliant and innovative minds constantly creating new experiences more special, or more exciting, or more frightening than the last, and this season is no different.”

Most events fall into three categories: frightening haunts and terrifying experiences designed for teens, young adults, and thrill-seekers; fun-filled family events designed for children and parents to enjoy together; and fall festivals, that offer something for all ages.

* Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., opens “Haunt Nights.” Teens and adults take a spine-tingling river ride through the Bayou or face zombies and pirates infesting a Southern plantation.

* Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Va., introduces three new ways to experience “Howl-O-Scream,” as “All-Access Insider,” “Eerie Insider,” and “Monster Stomp Revamped Insider” offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Halloween event. These packages include cast introductions, an opportunity to have makeup done just like the performers, front-of-the-line access to a haunted house, or reserved seating to a show.

* “Terror Behind The Walls” at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pa., launches “Eastern State After Dark VIP Tour.” Guests experience an hour-long flashlight-guided tour of cellblocks, including Al Capone’s cell, underground isolation cells under Cellblock 14, and Death Row.

* Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colo., opens a new haunted house, “Bloodlust: The Homecoming.” Guests tour a high school’s maintenance room home to a deranged janitor who enacted revenge on the student body at the Homecoming dance.

* The 38th annual “Halloween Haunt” at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., opens three new mazes: “Fallout Shelter,” an abandoned shelter filled with toxic mutants; “Sleepy Hollow,” a trail filled with ghosts, ghouls, and witches; and “Virus Z,” a town of zombies and bloodthirsty corpses. Also new this year is “Necropolis,” a scare zone city of the dead.

* New to “Fright Fest” at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., is the haunted maze “Slasherville.” Guests are terrorized as they make their way through dark corridors filled with ghostly residents and gruesome experiences.

* Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles, Calif., adds a new maze, scare zone, and two shows to its annual “Fright Fest.” Guests try to avoid werewolves out for a bite as they wind through the twisting maze, “Bite II.” During “High Sierra Hypnotist” audience members are chosen to participate in the show and be put “under hypnosis.”

* The Castle Fun Center in Chester, N.Y. debuts “Pure Terror Scream Park.” Four haunted houses — “The Butcher Shop,” “The Trail of Terror,” “The House of Terror,” and “Terror in The Dark” —fill more than nine acres with chilling terror and thrills.

* Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, Fla. transforms into a horror-filled realm with menacing creatures. Guests experience intense Halloween entertainment as they walk through the ruined gates of Hades, become prey to blood-craving zombies, or tour a Parisian catacomb. This year’s event during “Halloween Horror Nights XX” features eight all-new haunted houses, six scare zones, and two live shows.

* Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, Calif., unveils new “Halloween Horror Nights” mazes “A Nightmare On Elm Street™: Never Sleep Again,” “Friday the 13th™: Kill, Jason, Kill!,” “Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses in 3D Zombievison,” “Saw: Game On,” and “Vampyre: Castle of the Undead.” Among the six new scare zones is a “La Llorona” experience based on the timeless Mexican legend.

* There are several new experiences at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Mo., this fall. Guests try to avoid the evil lurking in the corn as they make their way from one end of “Corn Stalkers” to the other. “Master McCarthy’s Doll Factory” is home to a serial killer roaming the twisted halls of this abandoned toy factory. Also new this year is “Bloodshed,” “CarnEvil,” and “Asylum Island.”

* Children 12 and younger enjoy a “Hallo-WEE Party” and celebrate the fall at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., with a crafts, games, face painting, and a costume contests.

* At the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, guests are greeted by Batman, Robin, Joker, Wonder Woman, and the Green Lantern as they enjoy not-so-scary family events.

* “Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party” moves from Disney California Adventure to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Kids of all ages can scare up their favorite costume and enjoy an evening of spirited attractions and treats. Guests are also invited into “Haunted Mansion Holiday,” ghoulish grounds marked by gravestones. Once inside, guests ride a Doom Buggy into the darkest corners of the mysterious house packed with 999 ghosts, ghouls, and goblins.

* Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., hosts “Snoopy’s Costume Party” in Camp Snoopy. This celebration of cheer, not fear, is filled with trick or treating, “Monster Dance Party and Costume Parade,” “Peanuts Halloween Spooktacular,” “Haunted Harvest,” a cornfield maze, and “Linus’s Foam-tastic Pumpkin Patch.”

* Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif., expands “Brick-or-Treat" to include interactive “Mail Order Monsters,” where guests help Princess Playwright break the spell over her monster. Also, a new “Brick-or-Treat Trail” opens atop Model Shop in Miniland USA.

* “The Maze” at Paradise Park in Lee Summit, Mo., is the park’s first new outdoor attraction in six years. Guests will try not to get lost as they explore the twists and turns of the 9,500-square-foot labyrinth.

* SeaWorld San Diego adds a hilarious adventure to its “Halloween Spooktacular.” In addition to the friendly Halloween-costumed characters, cookie decorating, and trick-or-treating, “Pirates 4-D” makes a long-awaited return. Guests experience bursts of air, vibrations, wires against their feet, and shooting water as they join the buried treasure adventure featuring actor Leslie Nielsen.

* Walt Disney World Resort’sMickey’s ‘Boo-to-You’ Halloween Parade” in Orlando, Fla., includes Disney characters and the stars of the “Haunted Mansion” attraction in a parade that begins with a spooky ride by the Headless Horseman.

Fall Festivals

* Ober Gatlinburg in Gatlinburg, Tenn., adds a new 4,600 square-foot maze, “Amaze ‘n Maze” to its traditional Oktoberfest event.

* Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., introduces “Crafts in America Exhibit,” “Craftsman Reunion Showcase,” “Caricature Carvers of America Showcase,” and “Learn How-To-Do-It-Yourself Craft Workshop” to its National Harvest Festival. The two-month event features nearly 200 demonstrating craftsmen, hundreds of musicians, dozens of shows, and culinary classes.

Photos of Eastern State Penitentiary, top to bottom: Tom Bernard, John Van Horn, Randall Wise.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pro Sound CA and L-Acoustics help King Kong roar at Universal Studios Hollywood

LOS ANGELES -- Following the loss of its popular King Kong ride to a fire in 2008, Universal Studios Hollywood spent the past two years turning up the heat on its newest and most exciting attraction, “King Kong 360 3-D” created by Peter Jackson. A collaborative effort between the celebrated film director and Universal Creative, the attraction transports Studio Tour guests to Skull Island for an immersive guest experience amid the battle between King Kong and a number of huge dinosaurs.

Working with professionals from Weta Digital and Park Road Post on the complex video and 22-channel sound design, Jackson and Universal turned to Pro Sound CA for the sound reinforcement system design and implementation. “We’ve worked with Paul Cuoco, Universal Studios’ technical manager, on a number of attractions in the past and he requested that we bid on this project,” says Arron Szabo, vice president of Pro Sound CA. “The creative and technical service teams dictated that the loudspeakers must be visually unobtrusive, capable of producing good levels and fidelity at a distance, and not be self-powered for ease of serviceability. With that in mind, we ran a number of SOUNDVISION models and ultimately recommended an L-ACOUSTICS system comprised of compact KIVA and KILO enclosures augmented by SB28 subs.”

When entering “King Kong 360 3-D” aboard the Studio tour, guests don 3-D glasses while surrounded on both sides by a custom pair of 187-foot-long compound curved screens that stand 40 feet tall. Evenly spaced out just above the top edge of each screen are three loudspeaker clusters comprised of a single KILO low-frequency extension cabinet with two ultra-compact KIVA line source systems mounted just below it. On the bottom edges of the screens, five identical clusters are spread out on each side. For ample LF reproduction, a single SB28 enclosure is positioned at the two lower corners of each screen. All systems are powered by L-ACOUSTICS’ LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers.

“We had used KIVA in another project a few years ago and they performed really well,” Szabo recalls. “They’re extremely small, capable of high SPLs, and the fidelity is phenomenal, especially considering that the upper arrays on this attraction are flown nearly 60 feet high. Despite the distance, two KIVA and one KILO per location was more than sufficient to meet the required decibel level and coverage requirements.”

Universal Studios Hollywood is a unit of Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

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Martin provides lighting control to Danish Pavilion and Polish Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010

Shanghai -- The Danish Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 is a technically sophisticated installation, including the Martin lighting control solution. Lighting control is handled by two separate artnet systems, one for the LED facade and one for the rest of the Pavilion’s lighting. The LED facade is controlled via a project-built media server developed by Aarhus University’s Centre for Advanced Visualization and Interaction (CAVI, Denmark). The CAVI media server controls the look of the facade by triggering timings using sensors mounted around the building.

The non-facade lighting areas include 25 other areas of the Danish Pavilion which are illuminated and controlled individually - a social bench, bike ramp, Mermaid Bar, shop, and storytelling boxes to name a few, but most notably Denmark’s icon “The Little Mermaid” sculpture, on loan to the expo.

Virtually every area of the Danish Pavilion incorporates energy-efficient LED light sources and the entire system (more than 20000 DMX channels on 45 DMX universes) is run from a single touchscreen MaxModule Cerebrum™ lighting controller with a second Cerebrum available as a backup with an auto-switching system. The MaxModule Cerebrum is a compact and powerful touchscreen computer that has proved exceptionally stable over the first four months of the Expo. The MaxModule Cerebrum triggers looks from the sensors through the CAVI media server.

All lighting is controlled locally and, if needed, the complete system can be monitored remotely via a secure vpn connection from half way around the world at Martin’s Danish headquarters or a nearby location. Even complete resets, troubleshooting and any software upgrades are handled remotely and control can even be done from an iPad. The MaxModule Cerebrum was programmed by Martin’s Johan Colméus. Facade programming was completed by CAVI.

Martin’s handy iPhone MAXRemote™, which allows for remote control of lighting devices straight from an iPhone, iPod or iPad, is used to walk around the Pavilion and make adjustments. Lighting for weekly concerts can even be handled via a webpage or iPhone.

Additionally, there are eight Martin Ether2DMX8™ boxes used (one spare) to handle the large number of DMX channels. The DMX router translates Artnet protocol into DMX in/out universes but can also be used as a DMX merger, DMX splitter hub, fail safe device, cue playback, and DMX viewer monitor. The Martin MaxNet architecture combined with the Ether2DMX8 boxes has allowed for thousands of dollars in savings compared to traditional console networking with expensive DMX processor nodes.

The Pavilion runs in automatic mode, e.g., light settings change on their own from daylight through dusk to evening. Actual lighting conditions influence the system in real-time via the light sensors installed around the Pavilion. A blue sky produces a different setting than a cloudy day for example, so no matter what the weather the lighting is always perfectly adjusted to the surroundings.

Key personnel are able to control individual settings, e.g., for events outside normal operating hours, test runs, fixture cleaning and other proactive maintenance. The lighting system is even employed outside opening hours as the Pavilion’s cleaning personnel use it when they go about their work.

Martin Professional and CAVI, in collaboration with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) architects, have designed, developed and installed the dynamic façade and auxiliary areas for the Danish Pavilion.

Polish Pavilion
Martin control systems can be found at other pavilions around Expo including the Polish Pavilion where a Martin Maxxyz Compact, supplied by Flashlight and programmed by Tibbe Warnier, is used to control an automated light show.

“I have had many good experiences with the Maxxyz and programming the show for the Polish Pavilion was definitely one of them,” Warnier commented. “The Maxxyz Compact is a great lighting controller – it’s not only easy to use but it can do everything from events to theatre to architecture, all in one system.

“For the Polish Pavilion, I took various cue lists and brought them together in one simple program to control LED fixtures and automated luminaires with gobo projection.” Lighting design for the Polish Pavilion is by Marc Heinz with set design by Boris Kublicka.

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