Monday, November 29, 2010

Ferrari World grand opening ceremony Nov 30


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -- the soft opening period for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will culminate in the Grand Opening ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday 30 November 2010.

“We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from guests. Attendance in the soft opening period has surpassed all expectations,” commented Claus Frimand, General Manager Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

The park will be closed to the public on 30th November for the Grand Opening and will reopen on 1st December, in time for the National Day weekend celebrations.

During its soft opening period, the Park saw a number of high profile celebrity visitors pass beneath its iconic red roof. Kanye West, Prince Albert of Monaco, Jeremy Renner, the Jonas Brothers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were just a few of the first people to visit the world’s first Ferrari theme park.

The park features 20 rides and attractions designed to bring to life the Ferrari story as well as six food and beverage outlets presided over by four Michelin starred chefs. It is said to be the world’s largest indoor theme park.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a world-class development by Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi’s leading property development, management and investment company and is 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.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

“Beyond All Boundaries” Honored with Thea Award by the Themed Entertainment Association

“Beyond All Boundaries,” the new multi-sensory cinematic experience at The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, was selected to receive a prestigious Thea Award by the Themed Entertainment Association. Tom Hanks served as executive producer and narrator for the 4-D presentation, which was commissioned by The National WWII Museum. Concept, design and production were led by The Hettema Group and their creative design team in conjunction with Museum staff and top historians.

“We are honored to share this award with the museum, and especially Nick Mueller, president and CEO of The National World War II Museum, whose bold vision first launched “Beyond All Boundaries” in our imaginations,” said Phil Hettema, President and Creative Executive, The Hettema Group. “We’re proud to have played a role in bringing that vision to life.”

The challenge was to tell the story of World War II in a dramatic new way that would resonate with audiences of all ages.

“In order to capture the imagination of the younger generation, we used state-of-the-art technology and special theatrical effects to create an immersive, emotional experience,” said Hettema. “For older Americans, we absolutely made sure we got it right,” he added, “by working with leading historians, doing extensive research, utilizing archival photographs and footage, and ultimately paying homage by telling the story in the very words of those who were there.”

The five-year project incorporates state-of-the-art special effects immersing the audience in a unique cinematic experience. With life-sized props, animation, and atmospherics, as well as archival footage and sound effects, audiences feel the tank treads rumbling across North Africa’s deserts, brush snow from their cheeks during the wintry Battle of the Bulge, and flinch at anti-aircraft fire as it tries to bring down a B-17 on a bombing run over Nazi Germany.

Since 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence and achievement within the themed entertainment industry. Significantly, the Thea Awards honor the vision and dedication of project owners while also recognizing the vital work of talented designers, technicians, vendors and suppliers who realize the vision.

The Thea Awards will be presented on March 12, 2011, at the 17th Annual Thea Awards Gala, at the Globe Theatre, Universal Studios, Hollywood. The event is open to the public - tickets may be purchased online at the TEA website.

The Hettema Group, located in Pasadena, California, specializes in creative design, production and architecture for the world of experiential entertainment including museums, visitor centers, theme parks, and resort destinations.

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front.

· View the “Beyond All Boundaries” trailer here.
· Complete credit list.

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Themed Entertainment Association President Rick Rothschild Congratulates New Board Members


Orlando, Florida, USA - “I am pleased to announce the election of new board members, and to thank our outgoing members for their service over the past years,” said TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) International Board President Rick Rothschild, of FAR Out! Creative Direction. “We’ve made great progress in the past year thanks to our many volunteer leaders, and I look forward to working with all our volunteers and staff in the year ahead.”

“To all the candidates in this year’s election, thank you for your willingness to serve,” said Rothschild. “A special thank you to outgoing Europe & Middle East Division President, Alan Wilkinson, of Electrosonic Ltd as well as a welcome to recently elected Phil Hartley, of Phil Hartley Associates. Other big thank-you’s to Brian Morrow of SeaWorld and David Aion, of The Aion Company, for their willingness to serve a second year as Presidents of the Eastern and Western Divisions. And finally welcome to the new volunteers joining our International Board and our divisional boards. This is going to be an exciting year for the TEA.”

Elected to the TEA International Board of Directors for Three Year Terms:
Louie Allen, Adirondack Studios
Alexander Bresinsky, flying saucer
Christine Kerr, BaAM Productions – Re-elected to second term
Michel Linet-Frion, Center Parcs
Jeff Mayer, Jeff Mayer & Partners
Rick Rothschild, FAR Out! Creative Direction – Re-elected to second term
Elected as Associate Member Representative to the International Board:
George Head, Savannah College of Art and Design

Elected to the TEA Eastern North America Division Board of Directors For Three Year Terms:
Tommy Bridges, Alcorn McBride
Al Cross, PGAV Destinations
Bernie Mosher, Walt Disney Imagineering

Assuming the Presidency of the TEA Europe & Middle East Division Board:
Phil Hartley, Philip Hartley Associates

Elected to the TEA Europe and Middle East Division Board of Directors For Three Year Term:
Bill Gorgensen, Unique Visions International
Leila Schembri, KCA London
Evelyne Villame, Loisirs & Marketing

Elected to the TEA Western North America Division Board of Directors For Three Year Terms:
Bill Butler, Garner Holt Productions
Jill Gilbert, One Plus Productions
Brian Hinckley, Electrosonic, Inc.
Carlos Miranda, Methodology
Dale Sprague, Canyon Creative
Becky Watson, SG Studios

Elected to the TEA Western North America Division Board – Associate Member Representative
Lynn Allmandinger, Wells Fargo Insurance

About new TEA President Rick Rothschild
On Nov 17, 2010, Rick Rothschild of FAR Out! Creative Direction took office as the new president of the Themed Entertainment Association, succeeding Steve Thorburn of Thorburn Associates, who had served for two years. A creative executive with Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) for 30 years, Rothschild currently heads FAR Out! Creative Direction, consults for WDI and is also part of Global Immersion’s creative technology team. More on Rick Rothschild here.

About TEA
The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit alliance founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. TEA represents some 7,000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in more than 650 firms in 30 US states and 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE conference (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology, Experience). TEA also produces a variety of print and electronic publications, including the TEA/AECOM Theme Index, TEA Project Development Guidelines, and TEA Annual & Directory.

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Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Announces 17th Annual Thea Award Recipients

Beyond All Boundaries
Annual awards for the themed entertainment industry seek, gauge and celebrate excellence in storytelling that supports the creation of compelling places and guest experiences

Orlando -- “The annual Thea Awards, presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), recognize and honor excellence in the creation of extraordinary visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places,” says incoming TEA president Rick Rothschild of FAR Out! Creative Direction. “Storytelling and teamwork are the heart of the Experience Design Industry and its projects. TEA’s Thea Awards celebrate storytelling across the globe - educational and entertaining stories of heritage, history, fiction, fantasy, magic and even hard science – delivered with artistry and the appropriate use of technology at museums, theme parks, world expos, special events and other settings. The Thea Awards also honor teamwork at its very best – the creative handshake between the visionary project owner and the multidisciplinary collective of designers, artisans and technicians who realize the vision. Also, this year we commemorate the late Harrison “Buzz” Price, who at the very first Thea Awards in 1994 was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In his honor, we’ve renamed it the ‘Buzz Price Award, recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements.’

The Exploratorium

The Thea Awards Nominating Committee recommended the current slate of 15 Thea recipients, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors. The Awards will be formally presented March 12, 2011 at the 17th Annual Thea Awards Gala, to be held at the Globe Theatre, Universal Studios Hollywood. The Awards Gala, sponsored by Economics at AECOM, is an elegant, black-tie dinner event and is open to the public. Tickets/more information: www.teaconnect.org.

ICT device, ICP, Shanghai Expo
17th Annual Thea Award Recipients

The Buzz Price Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements
(formerly the Thea Lifetime Achievement Award)
Kim Irvine, Art Director, Disneyland

Thea Classic Award
The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement
Along the River During the Qingming Festival, China Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010 (Expo Pavilion Exhibit)
The National Infantry Museum, Columbus, Georgia USA (Museum)
The Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, USA (Museum)
Science Storms, Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago USA
(Museum/Science Center Exhibit)
Beyond All Boundaries, Solomon Victory Theater, National World War II Museum, New Orleans USA (Museum Attraction)
Glasnevin Museum, Dublin, Ireland (Museum)
World of Color, Disney California Adventure, Anaheim USA (Nighttime Spectacular)
ICT Mobile Device, Information and Communications Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010 (Integration of Technology and Storytelling)
“Flynn Lives,” ComiCon 2010 San Diego, Calif. USA (Promotional Event)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Resort Orlando, USA (New Theme Park Land)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Resort Orlando, USA (Thematic Integration of Retail, Food & Beverage Experiences)
“Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” Universal Resort Orlando, USA (Feature Attraction)
“Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” Universal Resort Orlando, USA (Technical Achievement)

Full details and project descriptions can be accessed here.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Antares wins award at Astro Projection International Film Festival

Barcelona -- The Antares FullDome show ¨Astronomy: 3000 Years of Stargazing¨ was awarded 3rd prize at the ¨Astro Projection International Film Festival¨ hosted by the Gwacheon National Science Museum in Gwacheon-dong, South Korea.

The festival was celebrated from October 29th to November 7th 2010, and over 10,000 visitors attended. The submitted films were voted on by the audience; nine countries were represented and 26 contributions were showcased during the event.

Facts about ¨Astronomy: 3000 Years of Stargazing¨;
Duration: 34 min.
Audience: General audience
Synopsis: In the learned company of a cartoon Einstein, this show takes audiences on a tour of the major astronomical milestones of the last 3,000 years -- from the cosmological models of antiquity, through the Ptolemaic system of epicycles, to the contributions of Copernicus, Newton, Hubble and many others. We explore the discoveries made possible by the use of technology -- from the first telescope used by Galileo -- to modern ones in use on Earth and in space. All have revealed the beauty of the cosmos. An exploration of nebulae, pulsars, and black holes and 3,000 years of astronomy exploration.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company Announces Sale of Dutch Wonderland to Palace Entertainment

(Hershey, Pa.) – Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (“HE&R”), in conjunction with Palace Entertainment, the U.S. subsidiary of Parques Reunidos (“Palace”), today announced the completion of a Sales Agreement for the sale of Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park and related properties in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Palace.

Formal negotiations regarding the potential sale have been ongoing since the parties entered into a Letter of Intent in May of this year. HE&R purchased the Dutch Wonderland complex, including the Old Mill Stream Campground, in 2001 from the Clark family, who founded Dutch Wonderland in 1963.

“We were attracted to Dutch Wonderland because of its position as an outstanding family amusement park – especially for families with younger children. It is our goal to continue to operate the park in a manner which maintains its impeccable reputation, focusing on the highest level of customer care and memorable experience for which Dutch Wonderland is known,” said Fernando Eiroa, CEO of Palace Entertainment. “We are very sensitive to the unique position that Dutch Wonderland has within its community. We will strive to maintain and enhance the Dutch Wonderland brand, while keeping the special family appeal of the Park.”

Palace Entertainment is the nation’s largest operator of water parks and family entertainment centers. Based in California, Palace operates a total of seven amusement parks, 10 water parks and 21 family entertainment centers in 11 states. It has three theme parks and one water park in Pennsylvania: Kennywood, Idlewild, Soak Zone and Sandcastle, which are located in the Pittsburgh area. In total, Palace Entertainment hosts over 14 million visitors annually at 38 locations across the United States.
Parques Reunidos is an international entertainment operator that with this new acquisition operates in total 70 theme parks, water parks, zoological parks and family entertainment centers around the world, distributed in 10 countries mainly throughout Europe and the USA. Parques Reunidos is the second largest leisure park operator in Europe and the third largest worldwide.
“While Dutch Wonderland wasn’t advertised as being for sale, it didn’t surprise us that we received this offer from such a well regarded operator in the amusement industry, given the outstanding brand reputation that the park maintains,” said Ted J. Kleisner, CEO of HE&R. “It was a very difficult decision for us to make; however, the sale will allow us to continue to focus all of our resources and energy on our operations in Hershey.”

Over the past 10 years, HE&R has prioritized the enhancement and growth of its legacy properties in Hershey, including marquee expansions at The Hotel Hershey and Hersheypark. The proceeds from the sale will be used to continue that growth strategy for “Destination Hershey” for both the short and long term.

The change in ownership will be effective November 12, 2010.

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts is a privately held company that was founded in 1927, when Milton S. Hershey separated his chocolate manufacturing operations from his other businesses. All of these non-chocolate producing divisions were reorganized under the name Hershey Estates, which is known today as Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts and its subsidiaries own and/or operate the Hersheypark entertainment complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Club, Giant Center, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hershey Highmeadow Campground, Hershey Golf Collection, Hershey Nursery, and Hershey Laundry and Textiles.

For more information about Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, visit www.HersheyPA.com.

Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas Arrives at Port Everglades to Great Fanfare


MIAMI, Nov. 11 -- Royal Caribbean International's newest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, arrived at her homeport of Port Everglades. Eagerly awaiting and celebrating the ship's arrival amidst thousands of U.S. flags were hundreds of onlookers, including Royal Caribbean executives and employees, community organizations and residents, as well as a flotilla of maritime escorts made up of fireboats and private watercrafts. The second of the cruise lines Oasis-class ships made her U.S. debut following a 13-day transatlantic journey from Turku, Finland.

Royal Caribbean, known for building the largest cruise ships in the world and introducing never before seen innovations like the Royal Promenade of shop and dining venues, rock walls, ice skating rinks and surf simulators, launches Allure of the Seas with a refreshing new array of features and onboard amenities. In addition to the signature Oasis-class neighborhood design with seven unique spaces like Central Park and the Coney Island-style Boardwalk, complete with a hand-carved carousel and an AquaTheater, her distinct personality takes center stage presenting new features such as:

* New entertainment offerings including the launch of a partnership with DreamWorks Animation and the Broadway hit, Chicago: The Musical
* 26 dining options including the first Starbucks at sea, a new spin on fine dining at 150 Central Park conceptualized by The Culinary Institute of America alumna Molly Brandt, who was recently named Chef de Cuisine as the winner of the "Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge," as well as the Samba Grill Brazilian steakhouse, Rita's Cantina Mexican cuisine and The Boardwalk Dog House
* A wide array of retail options including a BRITTO Gallery fashioned by pop artist Romero Britto and GUESS Accessory boutique
* Innovative technology features such as a 3-D movie theater, iPod docks in suites, self service kiosks and digital way finding signage for guests

Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. With a cache of distinct onboard activities and amenities, Allure of the Seas offers one-of-a-kind entertainment performances, culinary concepts, retail venues and technology innovations. An architectural marvel at sea, Allure's neighborhoods are divided into seven distinct themed areas, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. She spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 ships currently in service. The line also offers unique cruisetour land packages in Alaska, Dubai, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and South America.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Electrosonic supplies AV wonder to FEC complex at Kuwait's 360 Mall

All images courtesy Electrosonic
Burbank, Calif. USA – An all-around immersive mall experience has come to Kuwait where Electrosonic designed, supplied, installed and programmed extensive LED lighting, digital signage, video projection, special effects, audio and show control for the new 360 Mall’s Family Entertainment Center complex. Electrosonic also provided what is believed to be Kuwait’s largest LED video wall to the circular mall, which has become a go-to destination in the desert emirate.

Created by Tamdeen Entertainment Company and designed by Concept i Design to the highest international standards of world-class leisure venues, the Family Entertainment Center offers top-of-the-line rides, the latest video games and skills tests for the entire family. Electrosonic’s scope of work in the complex spanned 18 months and included the Infunity area, Bowl Room and Freeze Club.
Infunity
Infunity
Electrosonic set the mood for fun in Infunity where 67 Studio Due LED fixtures wash the games area and generate excitement with color changes. Columns of Lagotronics LED strip lights at the entrance also rapidly change color as guests arrive.

Twelve NEC LCD displays are scattered throughout the area to deliver advertising and mall information. An entire wall of 18 displays, comprised of a 103-inch Panasonic plasma screen surrounded by smaller NEC LCD displays, form an art installation in the middle of Infunity’s large atrium.


Bowl Room
Electrosonic constructed two custom low-resolution LED video walls featuring over 5,000 Artistic License LED “pucks” attached to Plexiglas panels. Their abstract, color changing imagery amps up the energy behind two rides.

Infunity’s Yaham 10mm LED video wall, measuring 7.68 by 4.8 meters, is believed to be the largest in Kuwait. It primarily displays advertising, but is also equipped for live feeds such as the FIFA World Cup games from South Africa.

Two special-event spaces also came in for Electrosonic’s attention: the two Party Rooms sport their own audio, video and lighting systems, and the Special Event Stage features a dedicated sound system and basic lighting package.

But, that’s not all. Electrosonic furnished smoke and snow machines and strobe lights for the roller coaster, rope course and climbing wall. And in a kids’ play area, a Christie DS+750 projecting onto the floor combines with GestureTek technology to enable children to interact with content of popping balloons and swimming fish. 

Bowl Room
The complex’s 20 lane Bowl Room is designed to fulfill the desires of any bowler. Guests are welcomed to the area by a pair of digital signage systems featuring 56-inch NEC LCDs installed by Electrosonic. Behind the registration counter a low-resolution Schnick-Schnack-Systems LED wall sets the scene with visual effects, color changes and logo displays.

Pulsar LED fixtures in each lane point upward and wash the ceilings. Pulsar LEDs also shine through a Plexiglas floor to illuminate a separate gaming area with pool tables.

Chandeliers may be an unexpected addition to a bowling alley, but nine custom fiber-optic chandeliers provided by Electrosonic and suspended over the entrance, seating and food service area will dazzle guests. A Martin fixture sources all the lights for the chandeliers, which feature more than 3,500 individual strands of color-changing fiber. The tables in the dining area offer buttons, which guests can push to stop the chandeliers changing colors and start flashing a red and white pattern to catch the attention of servers.

The Bowl Room also has a separate VIP bowling area with an ultra modern, streamlined look. These lanes are energized with Pulsar LED fixtures, too; iPod docking station, integrated with a JBL background music system, enable guests to mute the soundscape and plug in their own music for parties.

Freeze Club
The North Pole motif of the Freeze Club offers a unique venue for Kuwaiti teens with arcades, video games and simulators.

Electrosonic installed 15 LCD digital signage systems in the club to display advertising and information. An interactive video wall at the entrance features two Christie DHD700 projectors and GestureTek cameras and tracking systems that permit young guests to interact with the content. A fog machine generates ground fog underneath the video wall.

A low-resolution Schnick-Schnack-Systems wall boasting over two thousand meters of LEDs wraps around the entire room and displays fire, rain, graphics and abstract patterns. A laser system, installed by Electrosonic, recreates the Aurora Borealis on the domed ceiling and is enhanced by smoke effects.

Nine sound domes create isolated audio zones over the seating areas so guests can plug in their iPods and enjoy the music they want to hear.

Throughout the complex, over 100 JBL speaker arrays provide background music. Infunity, the Bowl Room and Freeze Club each has a central control room with several special-purpose satellite EERs. The main EER for Infunity, for example, also includes a DJ booth with a window overlooking much of the facility; the DJ booth controls system power, music and lighting changes and screen content. Centrally located Medialon servers control digital signage throughout the complex.


At Electrosonic, Marcelo Videla was the original project manager for the Bowl Room and Freeze Club; Jackson Benedict came on board as project manager half way through the job’s 18-month life cycle. Stan Gilson served as project engineer and Boris Holscher and Paul Winters were the site managers. Ryan Sims performed the Medialon programming for systems control and digital signage. Nigel Holbrough and Paul Birks were the grandMA lighting programmers. Local labor and support was provided by aDawliah.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company with a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, through its 46 year history. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

Final call for papers for Society for Information Display SID Symposium May 15


The December 1, 2010, deadline for the submission of abstracts to the 2011 SID Symposium is rapidly approaching. The Society for Information Display is encouraging the submission of original papers on all aspects of research, engineering, applications, evaluation, and utilization of electronic information displays. Paper submissions are encouraged for any of the general Symposium Topics and Special Topics of Interest:

Symposium topics include: Display Systems, Organic LED Displays, Touch Sensor Panels, Liquid Crystal Displays, Projection Displays and more.

Special Topics of Interest include 3-D display technology, Solid-State Lighting, Green Technologies, and Military Applications of Displays

In addition, the Society invites papers on video-display applications, especially emerging flat-panel-television technologies; all aspects of motion-image technology, including device technology (PDP, LCD, OLED, projector, etc.); and related system technologies. Paper submissions are also encouraged that address technology developments enabling lower-power-consumption and higher-performance displays for battery-powered devices (mobile phones, PDAs, e-books, etc.).

Abstract Submissions due December 1, 2010.

Big Squirt Inc. announces winners of the 2010 Big Squirt!® Splash Awards


Torrance, Calif. USA -- Big Squirt Inc. announces the winners of their 2010, third annual, Big Squirt!® Splash Awards. The Big Squirt!® Splash Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments by amusement park retail merchandise groups during the 2010 season. Awards are given to recognize achievements in Marketing, Sales, Fun, Success and when earned, a special Million Dollar Sales award. The winners are:

Marketing Splash Award
Adventureland Park, Altoona, IA - Exceptional visual display of product and marketing Big Squirt!® through creative in-park guest programs.

Sales Splash Award
Dollywood’s Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, TN - Achieving record sales growth of Big Squirt!® over previous year.

Funtastic Splash Award
The Keller Pointe, City of Keller, TX - Best use of Big Squirt!® to increase year round guest fun and park revenue.

Big Success Splash Award
Splashway Family Water Park, Sheridan, TX - Exceeding all expectations of Big Squirt!® success and sales in their first year.

Million Dollar Sales Award
Scott’s Splash Lagoon, Erie, PA - Breaking over one million dollars in Big Squirt!® retail sales.

Joel M Schafer, president of Big Squirt Inc. states, “We are proud to recognize these parks for their hard work and success, Congratulations!”

Of note, this years Million Dollar Splash award is being given to an indoor waterpark. Scott’s Splash Lagoon, Erie, PA was the first indoor waterpark to carry the Big Squirt! and fully embrace the products legacy of success.

ABOUT Big Squirt!®
The Big Squirt!® water toy has been a super seller in the summer marketplace for over 22 years and is now duplicating that success year round in the indoor water park industry. Winner of numerous souvenir and innovation awards, Big Squirt!® is the number one seller in waterpark and water related merchandise. Based in Torrance, CA the Big Squirt! water toy is Made in the USA.

Big Squirt! will be holding a press conference at the IAAPA Attractions Expo to honor the 2010 Big Squirt! Splash Award recipients. It will be held at booth #2045 on Wednesday, November 17 at 3:30pm.

Image: courtesy Big Squirt

PREMIER AWARDED MAJOR RIDE CONTRACT FOR Trans Studio indoor theme park in Indonesia


Indonesia -- Trans Studio announced Premier Rides has been selected to build the signature attraction for the new Trans Studio Theme Park at Bundung Supermal in Indonesia. Premier was chosen after completing an exhaustive competitive search. This will be the first launch coaster in Indonesia using a magnetic system and the train will travel forward and backwards.

When the ride starts, the sleek train accelerates, reaching its maximum speed in just over two seconds. During the launch, riders will experience a maximum of one G when pushed back in their seats. After the train leaves the station it immediately shoots up, almost vertically into an inverted top hat element. The riders are inverted and race down the second half of the top hat element. For a second time the train reaches maximum before it executes a 180 degree turn to the right with riders shooting up a tower, looking straight up at the sky and experiencing an almost zero G condition. Just before the track ends, the train comes to a stop and is
accelerated backwards through the entire course of the ride. Only when the train comes to a stop in the station can the riders catch their breath.

Budiman Wijaya, Director of Trans Studio, commented on the quality of Premier’s products: “We were very impressed with the quality and reliability of Premier’s work when we recently visited “Revenge of the Mummy”™ at Universal Studios Singapore. We especially like the dedication shown by Premier’s personnel working and meeting all of the client’s goals.”

Wijaya adds, “Our mall project will be one of our nation’s most exciting destinations and we have chosen Premier’s coaster to assure we are offering the best available product to our guests.”

Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides noted “It is an incredible honor for Premier being selected for the Trans Studio project. Premier has invested a significant effort expanding into the Asian market which we see as both exciting and dynamic. Indonesia’s economy is strong and we are honored to be working with one of the leading and most respected companies in the region.”

ABOUT TRANS STUDIO
Trans Studio Indoor Theme Park at Bundung Supermal will be one of the largest indoor theme parks in Asia. The park is under construction and will open in 2011. Trans Studio Theme Park Bundung is a member of the Para Group. Led by Chairman Chairul Tanjung, Para Group, which is an industry leader in areas including banking, financial services, integrated entertainment, high end retailing and palm oil plantations.

ABOUT PREMIER RIDES INC.
Premier Rides is best known for its high-tech magnetic launch roller coasters. The company is also a global supplier of traditional roller coasters, observation wheels, towers, water rides and custom designed attractions. The company offers a service division supplying engineering support, complete ride and train rehab, and it maintains and offers a spare parts service on a 24-hour emergency basis. The company is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and has additional U.S., Canadian, European, and Asian offices.

Euro Disney S.C.A.: Reports Fiscal Year 2010 Results

Marne-la-Vallee, France -- complete report available here.

Key Operating Statistics (1) Fiscal Year
2010 2009 2008
Theme parks attendance (in millions) 15.0 15.4 15.3
Average spending per guest (in EUR) 45.30 44.22 46.32
Hotel occupancy rate 85.4% 87.3% 90.9%
Average spending per room (in EUR) 209.78 201.24 211.39

Commenting on the results, Philippe Gas, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney S.A.S, said:

"In a year marked by the difficult economic context and challenging travel conditions, we achieved 15 million in attendance at our parks and 85% occupancy in our hotels, remaining Europe's number one tourist destination. Resort revenues were stable versus the prior-year, as an increase in guest spending offset lower attendance and occupancy. Total revenues ended the year up 4%, reflecting increased real estate revenues from a property sale in Val d'Europe.

During our second semester, we launched Disney's New Generation Festival and saw a marked improvement in both attendance and hotel occupancy, while growing guest spending. In August, we opened Toy Story Playland, with three new attractions in the Walt Disney Studios Park, bringing the magic of these popular Toy Story films to life. Iconic Disney-themed attractions and entertainment, together with great guest service delivered by our Cast Members, continue to create magical moments for our guests.

On September 14, we signed an important amendment to our existing partnership agreement with the State and other public parties, which outlines the future development of Disneyland Paris and the town of Val d'Europe. This amendment marks a significant milestone in the history of our company, and enhances our ability to further develop the Resort and surrounding area over the next twenty years."

Related stories from InPark Magazine:
Remembering Harrison Price, Disney legend and entertainment feasibility pioneer
2009 waterpark attendance numbers from TEA & AECOM

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Eccentric Cartoon Fan 'The Disney Tattoo Guy' Auctioning 40-Year Disneyana Collection at William H. Bunch Auctions


CHADDS FORD, Pennsylvania, USA -- His real name is George Reiger, but to millions of TV viewers, Disney theme park employees and fellow Disneyana collectors worldwide, he's known simply as "the Disney tattoo guy."

Reiger, whose body is covered with 2,200 authorized tattoos of Disney cartoon characters and film stars, has discussed his Disney obsession – both as a living cartoon billboard and Disneyana collector – in thousands of interviews. "I've been on every talk show except 'Oprah' and Jerry Springer," Reiger said.

A former postal worker and an accomplished magician who performs 200 shows a year, Reiger has spent every spare penny earned over the last 40 years on Disney limited-edition theme park and convention collectibles. His specialty? "Everything. I have everything," he said. And that immense collection of around 5,000 theme park props, pins, bronzes, animation cels and every other imaginable Disney keepsake, is about to go to auction.

Reiger's entire Disney archive – including even the custom-designed doors, ceilings, knobs and fixtures from his 6,000-square-foot Mickey Mouse-theme house – will be auctioned Nov. 15 at the William H. Bunch gallery in Chadds Ford, Pa.

"It took our staff three days to photograph and tag the items in George's collection, which was displayed inside and on the 42-acre grounds of his home. I've never seen anything like it – I'll bet he throws a heck of a Halloween party," said auctioneer William Bunch.

Reiger has made many hundreds of visits to the various Disney theme parks, where Disneyana collector conventions are held. "The conventions I attended always had limited-edition merchandise made specifically for the event that you couldn't buy anywhere else. People would stand in long lines just to buy a $10 convention pin. I always bought everything that was available," Reiger said.

Reiger's vast collection includes many rare large-scale items from actual Disney theme park rides, like a 15-foot-long, custom-built Nautilus submarine. "There are only two others in the world – in Tokyo and at Disney's Hollywood Studios," he said. Another of Reiger's prized items is an 8-foot-tall articulated Jack Skellington figure from the Disney/Tim Burton fantasy film "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

Each item in the auction will be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price. "There are small items that may go for $20 and others that might go for thousands," said Bunch.