Friday, November 30, 2012

Christie Microtiles Bring Disney Magic to Barneys New York

Cypress, CA, USA -- The world of high fashion comes to life in brilliant colors as multiple configurations of 425 Christie® MicroTiles® light up the windows of Barneys New York flagship store at 660 Madison Avenue, for their “Electric Holiday” display. A partnership between The Walt Disney Company, Barneys New York, and Christie, “Electric Holiday” is a multimedia presentation highlighted by a digitally-animated, moving art short featuring Disney characters Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Daisy Duck, as they strut the runway in original designer clothes. The short is the highlight of the high tech light show, accompanied by an original score by Oscar®winning composer Michael Giacchino.

Following the world premiere on November 14, the eight-minute art short continues to loop throughout the day on the Christie MicroTiles. The window displays will be up until January 3, 2013. Visit to learn more about the display.

“We are thrilled to be working with the experts at Christie on Disney Electric Holiday Windows at Barneys New York. Disney and Barneys wanted to create a visually stunning window display unlike any other and the Christie MicroTiles – with their high resolution, shallow depth, virtually seamless canvas and true-to-life image quality - made that possible. Utilizing 565 square feet of MicroTiles and 50 million pixels we are able to create a brilliant light and video show that will light up Madison Ave throughout the Holidays,” remarked Lylle Breier, SVP World Wide Special Events, Walt Disney Studios.

“‘Electric Holiday’ is a stellar combination of state-of-the art animation, lights, music, and fashion that will encompass eight windows of Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue store and represents one of the most complex combinations of shapes, resolution, size and depth of field ever used with the Christie MicroTiles,” said Sean James, vice president, Managed Services, Christie. “From the realization of the high-concept moving art short to the multi-layered arrangement of MicroTiles, it is a triumph of technical, creative and artistic vision never seen before on a holiday window display.”

Christie’s Managed Services team provided technical consultation at every stage of the installation, from concept finalization, to pre-staging, to on-site set-up, expanding on its long history of collaboration with Disney. Christie projection technologies have powered some of Disney’s most famous world premiere events, including “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “High School Musical”. Each window will feature an array of Christie MicroTiles in a staggered, multi-layer set-up of various shapes and depths, surrounded by bright meshes of lights that will be synchronized with the music.

The shallow depth of the display windows presented an especially daunting challenge, eliminating technology that required substantial space. Flat panels were considered, but their thick bezels significantly distracted from the display, which needed to appear nearly seamless.

Christie MicroTiles were the answer. Lightweight and shallow rear projection modules approximately 16” by 12”, they are less than a foot deep and fit perfectly in the store windows. More importantly, they have a nearly invisible 1mm gap between the tiles for seamless images and can be scaled to any size, shape and orientation, forming a digital canvas of the highest brightness and resolution. As well, with a viewing angle of 180 degrees, every view from the street offers “the best seat in the house”, regardless of where one is standing.

Harnessing the strengths of both DLP® projection and LED technology, Christie MicroTiles offer substantially brighter images and a much wider color palette than conventional flat panel LCD and plasma displays. The result is a digital canvas composed of 425 MicroTiles in a combination of portrait and landscape modes, generating the equivalent of a 600 square foot image spread across 2,275 square feet of building. The complex design of the display includes:

  • 565 square feet of Christie MicroTiles digital canvas
  • 50 million pixels of resolution
  • 15 simultaneous HD video streams
  • 476 square feet of Traxon Mesh
  • 600 feet of A-Deco Pixel strings
  • five d3 Media Servers

“’Electric Holiday’ is truly a collaboration of some of the ‘best of the best’ in the world,” continued Sean James. “Achieving such a technological and creative triumph required a true partnership of trust among all the contributors. It represents the best in fashion from Barneys New York, the best in Entertainment from Disney, and the best in visual technology from Christie. ”

VP of Christie’s Entertainment Solutions group, Craig Sholder added: “Christie and Disney share a long and successful history of collaboration, staging some of the industry’s most memorable multimedia events. Our latest partnership for ‘Electric Holiday’ continues in that tradition of success. We look forward to Christie technology, the Disney magic, and Barneys’ sense of fashion thrilling shoppers from around the world during the holiday season.”

About Barneys New York
BARNEYS NEW YORK (Barneys) is a luxury specialty retailer with flagship stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale. The Company also operates a highly successful online business at Founded as a men's retailer in 1923 in downtown Manhattan, it turned into an international arbiter of high style for both women and men in the 1970s and became renowned for discovering and developing new and innovative design talent. Barneys is famous for selling the most intriguing edit from the world’s top designers, including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and gifts for the home. Barneys' signature sense of wit and style is manifested in its creative advertising campaigns, original holiday themes, and celebrated window displays. Barneys’ innovative CO-OP was launched in 1985 and has since expanded into a freestanding store concept operating more than a dozen locations in eight states across the U.S. For more information about Barneys New York, please visit and explore its luxury content site, The Window, for an insider’s look into the Barneys world: behind-the-scenes visits with exciting designers, fashion, events, and the Barneys team.

About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of about $40.9 billion in its last fiscal year.

Ever since Walt Disney founded his world-famous company in 1923, the name "Disney" has become synonymous with boundless creativity and an unbridled imagination that helped define the 20th century. Today, The Walt Disney Company and its affiliated companies remain faithful to their commitment to produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling. From television and movies, to theme parks, merchandise, virtual worlds and beyond, Disney delights consumers and guests everywhere with magical stories, beloved characters and unparalleled family entertainment and experiences.

About Christie
Christie is a global visual technologies company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., Japan, (JP:6925). Consistently setting the standards by being the first to market some of the world’s most advanced projectors and complete system displays, Christie is recognized as one of the most innovative visual technology companies in the world. From retail displays to Hollywood, mission critical command centers to classrooms and training simulators, Christie display solutions and projectors capture the attention of audiences around the world with dynamic and stunning images.

Greg Dauberger appointed Senior Vice President of Sales at FUNA International

Stedinger Str. 11
26723 Emden
Tel.: +49 4921967 0
Fax: +49 4921 967 100


Europe - Ulrich Roehrl, SAM Electronics, +49 (0) 40 8825 2110
North America - Brian Paiva, FUNA International, +1 (786) 207 2990

EMDEN, Germany – FUNA International (FUNA), a subsidiary of SAM Electronics, an L-3 company, announced that it has appointed Greg Dauberger as senior vice president of sales. In his new position, Mr. Dauberger will manage the company’s global sales operations and will report to FUNA managing director Jan Woitschaetzke. FUNA serves a variety of specialty markets with a wide range of products and services, including entertainment and communications systems, as well as safety technologies.

“Greg has the experience, insight and diverse industry background to seamlessly manage our sales efforts across all of our divisions while delivering best-value solutions to our global client base,” said Mr. Woitschaetzke. “In addition, Greg will help FUNA leverage new opportunities in themed entertainment as we continue to build our core business in maritime projects and adjacent markets. We welcome him to the FUNA family.”

Prior to joining FUNA, Mr. Dauberger served as Walt Disney Imagineering’s director of design and production for Disney Cruise Line’s new-build development. He has decades of management and project development experience, working in both the cruise and the theme park industries, and has served in various capacities for the Disney organization, including Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Cruise Line and Walt Disney Attractions Entertainment.

FUNA International
is a global design, engineering, integration and consulting firm that employs more than 200 professionals in 10 international locations. The company was founded in 1972, and its headquarters are located in Emden, Germany. FUNA has over 40 years of experience in integrating a variety of complex systems spanning numerous projects, from the cruise, mega-yacht and offshore industries to comprehensive land-based applications such as theme parks and attractions. Its extensive maritime expertise encompasses all types of vessels, including 8 of the 10 largest cruise ships currently afloat, as well as 25 of the 100 largest superyachts in the world. FUNA is currently working on several new theme park projects in China. FUNA is ISO 9001-certified in Germany and Finland, and is in the process of receiving certification in the United States. To learn more about FUNA, please visit its website at

Comprising 25 operating companies, L-3 Marine & Power Systems (L-3 M&PS) is a worldwide leader in maritime automation and control, navigation, communications, dynamic positioning, and power distribution and conditioning for the U.S. Navy, allied foreign navies and commercial customers worldwide. With over 80 locations in 20 countries, L-3 M&PS is a cohesive, global partner with extensive capabilities and a proven track record in delivering the highest level of technology, service and integration. To learn more about L-3 Marine & Power Systems, please visit its website at

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 employs approximately 51,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems, aircraft modernization and maintenance, and national security solutions. L-3 is also a leading provider of a broad range of electronic systems used on military and commercial platforms. To learn more about L-3, please visit the company’s website at

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this news release are forward-looking statements. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to events or conditions or that include words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “will,” “could” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements set forth above involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any such statement, including the risks and uncertainties discussed in the company’s Safe Harbor Compliance Statement for Forward-Looking Statements included in the company’s recent filings, including Forms 10-K and 10-Q, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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SeaWorld Introduces Mobile Game Themed to Orlando's Turtle Trek Attraction

Orlando,  FL, USA  (November 29, 2012) -- SeaWorld® announced today the company’s first mobile game, Turtle Trek™ now available from the App Store℠.

Turtle Trek is a free game download for the iPhone and iPad. Players guide an adventuresome sea turtle on a quest across the beach and into the water to find friends. They help the plucky sea turtle navigate through the perilous seascape and conquer a variety of challenges, some dangerous and some light-hearted.

With help from friendly characters such as Shamu the killer whale and Nyah the green sea turtle, players collect treasures and fill virtual sticker books with an array of ocean friends met during their trek. SeaWorld engaged Sleepy Giant through its Flying Grom label to create the new game.

Turtle Trek provides hours of fun and immersive action, and also offers an educational benefit by sharing fun facts about real sea animals. Players encounter dozens of sea creatures but when they meet a special “Ocean Friend,” they gain a collectible virtual sticker for their Trek Book. At the touch of a finger, this virtual sticker opens to reveal interesting facts and photos about the actual ocean animal that the character resembles. These facts are kept easily accessible and can be shared with family and friends.

The game’s name and theme reflect the newest attraction at SeaWorld Orlando that opened this past April. The attraction blends up-close encounters with live sea turtles and manatees with the world’s first 3D, 360 degree domed theater. In this attraction, guests get a turtle’s eye view of the world as they are surrounded on all sides – and even above – by the hyper-realistic 3D film that is journey of a special sea turtle named Nyah.

Since 2011, SeaWorld has recently begun expanding its popular brand into new media and entertainment platforms such as mobile games, movies, television and new lines of licensed consumer products.

“SeaWorld has a 50-year history of creating entertainment experiences that inspire people to connect with animals, and this type of entertainment is a natural extension for our company,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “It is engaging and fun, but also instills a greater understanding of some of the ocean’s amazing animals.”

The game is the first to be offered under the new partnership between SeaWorld and Sleepy Giant. Sleepy Giant’s Flying Grom label is focused on working with brands to create compelling, family-oriented interactive experiences.

“We are thrilled to be working with SeaWorld, an exceptional brand and partner. SeaWorld has a rich history of providing entertainment, education, and conservation in everything they do, and ‘Turtle Trek’ extends that tradition with fun and learning,” said Matt Hannus, CEO of Sleepy Giant.

While Turtle Trek offers a free opportunity to download and play, additional purchasable content is available. A portion of proceeds from the purchasable content will be donated directly to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

The game’s name and theme reflect the newest attraction at SeaWorld Orlando that opened this past April. The attraction blends up-close encounters with live sea turtles and manatees with the world’s first 3D, 360 degree domed theater. In this attraction, guests get a turtle’s eye view of the world as they are surrounded on all sides – and even above – by the hyper-realistic 3D film that is journey of a special sea turtle named Nyah.

About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
One of the most respected companies in the themed entertainment sector, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has a 50-year legacy of creating innovative entertainment experiences that blend imagination with nature. It is best known for its 10 U.S. theme parks, attractions that play host to 24 million guests each year and include the beloved SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place brands. Since 2011, SeaWorld began expanding its popular brands into new media and entertainment platforms to connect people to nature and animals through movies, television, and digital media. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also is a global leader in animal care and welfare. The company cares for more than 67,000 animals, contributes millions to conservation on every continent, and operates one of the world’s most respected marine wildlife rescue programs.

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is a registered non-profit conservation foundation that supports conservation around the world. The Fund commits 100 percent of donations to on-the-ground wildlife conservation efforts, and SeaWorld covers all of its administrative costs.

About Sleepy Giant and Flying Grom
Sleepy Giant is the leading games-as-a-service provider for game developers and publishers on all digital platforms. The company partners with creative development teams and forward-thinking entertainment companies to fund, design, launch, operate, and grow franchises. Sleepy Giant is based in Newport Beach, CA, with offices in Chicago, IL. Learn more about Sleepy Giant at

Flying Grom is a publishing label managed by Sleepy Giant. Flying Grom provides live management, marketing, and community growth to projects focused on a youth audience. Learn more about Flying Grom at

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ivan Dryer, creator of Laserium, will be featured speaker at 2013 IMERSA Fulldome Summit in Denver

Ivan Dryer announced that Laserium creator Ivan Dryer will be a featured speaker at the 2013 IMERSA Fulldome Summit & Workshops, 14-17 February at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Laserium was born in the late 1960s and early '70s. Ivan Dryer, then a film maker, inspired by a new multi-colored laser at Cal Tech, first made a film to set the patterns to music and then assembled a team of engineers and artists to design an advanced laser projector in order to produce live choreographed laser shows. Presenting the idea to Griffith Observatory and Planetarium landed Ivan a temporary concession operating permit from the city of Los Angeles, and the first Laserium show to the public premiered November 19, 1973. Laserium expanded to many locations in the United States and abroad and has been experienced by more than 20 million people. 
Laserium was important not just in terms of technology but because it introduced a new business model to planetariums - entertainment shows that extended the programming, expanded the audience and provided a new source of revenue. With planetariums now rapidly converting to digital dome video ("fulldome") systems, and science center operators likewise converting their film domes to digital cinema there is new potential for creativity and market expansion, and new interest in the pioneering example set by Ivan Dryer more than 35 years ago.

"Innovations in Immersive Storytelling" is the theme of the IMERSA Fulldome Summit, 14-17 February at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The event is attended by operators, content creators and distributors, producers and vendors serving planetariums, giant screen cinema and themed attractions - all converging markets because of digital cinema. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science will be the setting for the annual IMERSA Summit, preceded by two and a half days of fulldome (digital dome video) workshops.

Areas of focus will include sound design and audio, cross-platforming from fulldome to giant screen and vice versa, designing a fulldome curriculum in schools, scripting and story for fulldome shows, and setting up fulldome theaters as multipurpose spaces. There will be a series of curated screenings, a Fulldome Innovation Salon for networking, product demonstrations and content sharing, a Creative Video Lab and the IMERSA Fulldome Standards Committee will address audio as the next phase of its work. Workshops will range from beginner to advanced levels.

The Summit organizing committee includes Dan Neafus (Gates Planetarium), Ryan Wyatt (Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, Ed Lantz (Vortex Immersion), Michael Daut (Evans & Sutherland), Mark Petersen (Loch Ness Productions), Mark Slater, Carolyn Petersen (Loch Ness Productions), Matt Mascheri (Dome 3D), Jay Heinz (Morehead Planetarium), Ken Scott (Visual Chaotics), Claudia Cumbie-Jones (Ringling College of Art & Design), Lance Ford Jones (Ringling College), Jane Crayton, John Jacobsen (White Oak Institute), Paul Fraser (Blaze Digital Cinema Works), Markus Beyr (Attraktion!), Judith Rubin and Karen Roney. Registration for the 2013 IMERSA Summit opens in early December 2012. Email inquiries to

IMERSA - Immersive Media, Entertainment, Research, Science & Arts - is an international non-profit professional organization that celebrates and promotes immersive and fulldome media for education and entertainment in planetariums, schools, museums, cinemas, events and attractions. Mandated to raise the profile and professionalism of its members, IMERSA bridges many disciplines including researchers, artists and technicians. IMERSA is a driver and nexus for communication, collaboration, experimentation, education and promotion of digital immersive media in a variety of formats and functions.

IMERSA Board members are Dan Neafus, director of the Gates Planetarium at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Ed Lantz of Vortex Immersion, Ryan Wyatt, director of visualization for the California Academy of Sciences and Michael Daut, Director of Show Production/Marketing at Evans & Sutherland.

Electrosonic Breathes Life Into Five New Thea Award Projects

Angeles, CA, USA (November 28, 2012) -- Electrosonic is pleased to announce that it has taken part in five projects that have captured Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement. Presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), the Thea Awards recognize and honor excellence and breakthrough innovation in visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places.

The 19th annual Thea Awards will be presented April 6, 2013, at a gala dinner at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. TEA is an international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences.

Electrosonic played key roles in five very diverse Thea Award winners.

Working directly for Walt Disney Imagineering, Electrosonic performed the AV systems installation of the “Radiator Springs Racers” ride at Disney California Adventure Park. Winning in the Attraction category, the ride puts visitors in the driver’s seat for a thrilling race through the world of Disney-Pixar’s “Cars.”

Electrosonic’s close working relationship with Universal Studios has resulted in another award winning attraction. Electrosonic handled AV system design and integration for another winner in the Attraction category: “Transformers: The Ride 3D” at Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Hollywood. The attraction is an immersive, next-generation thrill ride that puts participants in the middle of the ultimate war zone with the famed Transformers.

Winning in the Museum category is Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary, for which Electrosonic provided AV system design and integration services. The dynamic new facility celebrates Canada’s sports heroes and legends in a dozen galleries with compelling media and displays.

Working for WET Design, Electrosonic performed the projection system design and integration for WET’s contribution to Living Screen display at the “Big-O Experience” water sculpture at Yeosu 2012 International Expo in Korea, a winner in the Event category. The unique multimedia installation fused a breakthrough concept and cutting-edge technology to dazzle visitors.

Finally, Electrosonic was hired by Thinkwell Group of Burbank, CA to provide design, engineering and installation services for the “Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter” in London, which netted honors in the Studio Tour category. At this venue, visitors experience the “making of” process used to bring the extraordinary characters, worlds and events of the books alive on the big screen.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

SeaWorld Orlando Announces Lineup for 2013 Bands, Brew, and BBQ Festival

Orlando, FL, USA (November 27, 2012) – SeaWorld Orlando announces the concert lineup for its Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival, Saturdays and Sundays, February 9 – March 17. This year’s event will be bigger and better with two additional weekends of authentic sizzling BBQ and concerts.

The 2013 Bands, Brew & BBQ concert lineup includes:
  • Saturday, February 9 Chris Young with Jerrod Niemann
  • Sunday, February 10 Merle Haggard
  • Saturday, February 16 The Beach Boys
  • Sunday, February 17 Styx
  • Saturday, February 23 Big & Rich
  • Sunday, February 24 Third Eye Blind
  • Saturday, March 2 Daryl Hall and John Oates 
  • Sunday, March 3 TBA
  • Saturday, March 9 TBA
  • Sunday, March 10 Josh Turner
  • Saturday, March 16 TBA
  • Sunday, March 17 TBA
For more details about Bands, Brew & BBQ – and to get the latest additions to the lineup - visit

SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with park admission.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates 10 parks across the U.S. including SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. The 10 parks play host to 25 million guests each year and employ 26,000 people nationwide. To learn more, visit 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alicia Keys Lights Up Empire State Building with LED Lighting and HIPPOTIZER Media Servers

Alicia Keys flips the switch for the Empire State Building's new LED lighting.
New York, NY, USA -- Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys helped launch the Empire State Building’s (ESB’s) new LED lighting system on 26 November 2012. The landmark building’s first-ever video LED light show, designed by world renowned designer Marc Brickman, is driven by HIPPOTIZER media servers controlled by GrandMA2.

Outputting KiNet to the ESB’s recently installed LED lighting network, six Hippo HDs drive 11,500 pixel-mapped DMX channels to four types of Color Kinetics RGB fixtures located on the building’s top four tiers. Brickman’s design was executed by Programmer Tony Fransen, assisted by Hippo Technician Darien Koop. The show, visible throughout the city and surrounding areas, ran in conjunction with a rooftop performance by Alicia Keys, on a neighboring building as she introduced her new “Girl on Fire “ album.

The pixel-mapping for this show represents a unique development: In a typical pixel-map, fixtures are visible and are viewed and mapped in their real-world locations. In this ESB show, the fixtures are not visible, instead they are viewed and mapped where they throw onto the building, turning the individual illuminated areas of the building into multiple video pixels, and expanding each pixel to HUGE proportions. This effect is consistent across all sides of the building. The show’s pixel-maps were all created by first making one master map in Hippo’s PixelMapper component, which was then split into four separate maps, one for each side of the building.

Read more about Hippotizer at

Walt Disney World Announces Highlights and Performers for 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA -- A blooming bounty of festival firsts will welcome Disney guests to the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.

New this year:
  • Epcot chefs will cook up first-time festival food and beverage fun, with special cooking stations offering exclusive-to-the-festival bites along the park’s World Showcase promenade.
  • A new circus-like “Land of Oz Play Area,” based on the Disney fantastical film adventure “Oz: The Great and Powerful” to be released in March 2013, will debut a kaleidoscope of interactive fun.
  • Disney topiary experts will grow, shape and manicure a Fab Five Disney character topiary with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) featured in a celebratory floral cookout scene in living topiary color at the park’s front entrance.
  • New illuminated gardens in the park’s Future World and World Showcase will cast a colorful glow over each festival evening.
Throughout the 75-day garden party, guests will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, colorful garden displays, a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers, interactive gardening seminars and whimsical children’s play areas. On weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960s and ’70s will perform.

Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars. During opening weekend, March 8-10, Chris Lambton of “Going Yard” will appear; other designers scheduled to take the stage include Brandon Johnson of “My Yard Goes Disney” and Meg Caswell of “Meg’s Great Rooms.”

Festival Highlights: 
  • Festival-themed flavors: Guests will discover culinary creations and refreshing libations at multiple festival-themed food and beverage locations. Chefs are tweaking the menu to include backyard barbecue and a variety of garden-inspired and global tastes. Around the World Showcase promenade
  • Fab Five topiary barbecue: 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms. At Epcot Front Entrance
  • Land of Oz Play Area: This interactive new children’s play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids’ imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, red-and-white circus-themed tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” Also on tap: fun games, photo opportunities, the “great and powerful Oz’s” crashed hot-air balloon and lush plants inspired by the movie. On the Imagination Walkway
  • Illuminated Gardens: Every night when the sun sets, many of the festival’s world-famous Disney topiaries and gardens will twinkle and shine in a new light. Throughout World Showcase and Future World
  • “Monsters University” topiary: Floral representations of Mike and Sully from the hit Disney-Pixar film “Monsters, Inc.” and stars of Disney-Pixar’s June 2013 release, “Monsters University,” will join the festivities as new topiary family members. On the Future World Walkway
  • Phineas and Ferb topiary: The popular Disney Channel animated celebs limit their shenanigans to go green for a family photo-op. Behind Spaceship Earth
  • “Radiator Springs” interactive play zone: Race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck “Mater” of the Disney-Pixar film “Cars 2″ will be the well-maintained topiary stars of this play area. On the Test Track Walkway
  • Flower Power Firsts: 1970s top disco band The Village People (April 19-21) and 1960s singer-songwriter Tommy Roe (May 3-5) bring on the Flower Power beat when they take the concert stage. At America Gardens Theatre
  • Fawn’s Butterfly House: Eight fanciful fairy topiaries of Pixie Hollow, including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence, take over the Butterfly House this year where hundreds of colorful winged beauties flit to life. On the Imagination Walkway
In all, more than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape. Daily hands-on gardening seminars, and other Festival Center events will offer innovative ideas, design tips and gardening know-how to park guests.

The Flower Power concert series kicks off March 6-10 with Micky Dolenz (“I’m a Believer”) and continues each weekend with pop favorites including:

March 15-17: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats

March 22-24: The Guess Who

March 29-31: Nelson

April 5-7: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie

April 12-14: Paul Revere & the Raiders

April 19-21: The Village People (new!)

April 26-28: The Orchestra, Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II

May 3-5: Tommy Roe (new!)

May 10-12: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone

May 17-19: Starship starring Mickey Thomas.

While Disney guests celebrate spring during their festival visit, they also can explore the reimagined, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, the hang-gliding sensation of Soarin’ and other high-tech Future World marvels. In World Showcase, where the spotlight will shine on topiaries of Disney princesses, storybook characters and even pandas and trolls, guests will discover the attractions, shops and restaurants that represent cultures and cuisine of 11 countries.

For more information about the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Thinkwell Conceived "RED" Opens at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -- Visitors to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi can look forward to a new captivating experience with the Park’s brand new show “RED: A Theatrical Spectacular of Speed and Passion”.

The 25-minute spectacle pays tribute to the passion of Enzo Ferrari and his love for speed, racing, style and everything Italian. RED joins more than 20 Ferrari-inspired rides and attractions at the world’s largest indoor theme park.

An international cast of performers keep the audience spell bound for the duration of the show with a series of shadow play, pas de deux performances, scarf dances, choreographed trampoline displays, juggling acts, German wheel sets, stunt skating, an elegant adaptation of a racing pit stop and other racing antics – all woven together in a fun, romantic storyline centred around four Italian boys and their efforts to win the affections of the beautiful Bella.

“RED is a new star attraction at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi that offers a thrilling entertainment experience with amazing acrobatics and multimedia magic,” said Andy Keeling, Park Manager of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. “More than 4000 hours of rehearsals and lots of passion went into the making of RED, with the talented cast comprising champions various acrobatic arts. The audience can expect a truly spectacular show that’s unlike any other.”

Highlights include a stirring soundtrack of popular 1960s Italian songs, state-of-the-art special effects based on video mapping, illusions and projections as well as highly stylised scenic pieces and art direction that mix fiction with reality, inspired by the distinctive style of famous Italian director Federico Fellini.

The new production has been designed and developed exclusively for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi by Thinkwell replaces the popular La Gara show that has entertained Ferrari World Abu Dhabi visitors since the Park first opened in November 2010.

For more information, visit

About Ferrari World Abu Dhabi:
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the largest indoor and the first Ferrari branded theme park in the world, with more than 20 Ferrari inspired rides and attractions. Featuring high adrenaline rides, fun attractions suitable for guests of all ages and a unique taste of Italy through its authentic dining experiences, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the premier family entertainment centre in the region. Every ride incorporates Ferrari design and technology, offering an engaging and interactive multisensory experience that truly brings the Ferrari story to life. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is one of the signature features of Yas Island, a 2,500 hectare island dedicated to leisure, entertainment and lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sennheiser Envelops Rodin Museum in K-Array Audio

Philadelphia, PA, USA (November 26, 2012) -- The Rodin Museum is one of Philadelphia's prized museums, and has been run by the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1929. The museum, which contains a priceless collection of 'the father of modern sculpture' Aguste Rodin including "The Thinker," attracts tens of thousands of visitors per year and is not only a landmark in Philadelphia, but also a major international tourist attraction. Recently, the museum enhanced its visitor experience by installing a K-array audio system, distributed by Sennheiser.

Following a major restoration project to its garden and museum facility, The Rodin Museum reopened last September with the new K-array system, which was designed to facilitate background music as well as museum announcements and other public address functions.

Considering the visual and artistic context of the museum, the project team required an aesthetically subtle audio solution that would not divert or otherwise distract attention from the art itself. From a technical point of view, the audio system had to deliver high quality audio to accommodate the program requirements, while minimizing the amount of reverberation that is common in acoustic environments containing smooth walls and marble finishing.
Four K-array KV50s were installed on the walls of the main gallery.
The system was conceived by 3rd Street Services, in conjunction with Jim Fraatz and Steve Keever of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and installed over a three-month period. K-array distributor Sennheiser, along with local AV consultant 3rd Street Services, arranged for a demo of a K-array system — which was ultimately chosen for its outstanding sound quality and dispersion qualities, in addition to its minimalist, small-footprint design.

Four K-array KV50 line array speaker elements, each containing eight 1’’ neodymium transducers, were installed on the walls of the main gallery at about six feet high, accompanied by two K-array KU36 subwoofers on the ground - which were chosen for their compactness and portability.

A similar solution was implemented in the Library, which contains a nearly 30' high vaulted ceiling. Eight K-array KT20CW point source compact speakers were recessed in the vault itself, accompanied by two KU36 subwoofers on the ground — which could be easily removed if required. The entire system was powered by four K-array KA7-7 amplifiers.
The Library features two K-array KU36 subwoofers, among other speakers.
According to Ted Sheppard of 3rd Street Services, the KV50s were selected due to their transparent sound and extreme compactness; characteristics also shared with the KT20CWs. Despite their small footprint, the KT20CWs are capable of distributing audio content at 107 dBs at a frequency range of between 150 Hz and 18 KHz.

From the beginning, the installation performed as expected and only required an additional DSP preset, which was promptly loaded on the KA7-7 amplifiers. The new preset helped align the audio dispersion of the two KU36s, making the system more congruent and even more efficient.

For more information on the Rodin Museum, please visit

The Nutcracker with Sets Designed by Danish Queen Margrethe Performs Nightly at Tivoli

Copenhagen, Denmark -- Across the world, The Nutcracker is performed at Christmas time, and for many, Christmas is not perfect without it. The tale of Clara’s Christmas Eve, when she is given the nutcracker which later becomes her savior in the battle against the evil mice in her dreams, has universal appeal and relevance for young and old alike.

Tivoli's lavish new production moves the plot to Copenhagen in the eighteen seventies. Clara’s Christmas Eve includes guests such as Hans Christian Andersen, August Bournonville and Tivoli director Bernhard Olsen. Naturally, Clara’s Dreamland is the Tivoli Gardens where all sorts of magic happen. Guests can see for themselves when stepping out into Tivoli after the performance.

Peter Bo Bendixen explains: “I have danced in several Nutcrackers and I have seen even more. Ever since coming to work for Tivoli in 2005, I have wanted to create this special Tivoli production. It is a perfect match, I think.”

The Nutcracker is Queen Margrethe’s fifth production as a set designer for Tivoli. The previous four have been for the Pantomime Theatre, and this is her biggest production yet, with costumes for 36 dancers in however many roles. The Queen’s designs are always very colourful and she has a special love of fun and surprising gimmicks, such as sets or props that change into something else.

The Nutcracker runs until 22 December

InfoComm University Returns to Amsterdam

Fairfax, VA, USA -- InfoComm International's renowned InfoComm University education courses return to Amsterdam next January, as part of ISE 2013’s Education Zone.

Run jointly with CEDIA, the Education Zone will be centrally and conveniently located, as in 2012, in the Elicium Building, with sessions taking place in a suite of rooms above Hall 12 of ISE 2013.

The 25 sessions available from 29-31 January 2013 cover a wide range of delegate needs, with topics ranging from an Update on HDBaseT to AV System Performance Verification and – reflecting the growing importance of professional audio at ISE – Setting Audio Gain.

The program is the result of a Call For Presenters that InfoComm issued in June of this year, which drew a record response from the industry. A selection of submissions from stakeholder groups such as  manufacturers, consultants and distributors was chosen and then combined with sessions led by InfoComm’s own staff or board members.

“The response to our ISE Call For Presenters was the biggest we’ve ever had,” reveals Scott Wills, CTS-D, CTS-I, InfoComm’s Director of International Education and Member Services. “In fact, it was so great that we were only able to select the top one-third of submissions for inclusion in the ISE 2013 program.”

Wills believes it is important to note that the final shape of each year’s InfoComm University program at ISE is determined not by InfoComm staff, but by a European Advisory Group comprising 14 of the AV industry’s leading subject matter experts.

“These volunteers make a huge difference to the relevance and credibility of the program,” enthuses Wills. “The Group has members from the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the Czech Republic to mention only a few, and these individuals perform a number of different industry roles, making it a very diverse and interesting panel to work with.

“We thank these volunteers for their service and commitment to education and improving our industry, and believe that their input will produce the most insightful selection of education sessions we have ever provided at ISE.”

ISE attendees will save 20% on education pricing if they book sessions in advance rather than on-site, with prices ranging from EUR 85 to EUR 125. InfoComm members receive a substantial further discount.

For more information visit:

About InfoComm International
InfoComm International® is the international trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. Established in 1939, InfoComm has more than 5,000 members, including manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, independent consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, end-users and multimedia professionals from more than 80 countries. InfoComm International is the leading resource for AV standards, market research and news. Its training, certification and education programs set a standard of excellence for AV professionals. InfoComm International is the founder of InfoComm, the largest annual conference and exhibition for AV buyers and sellers worldwide. InfoComm also produces trade shows in China, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East. Additional information is available at

PrimeTime Amusements President David Goldfarb Honored by South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA -- PrimeTime Amusements, a global operator, seller and event renter of video arcade machines and simulators, is proud to congratulate its President and Founder David Goldfarb and winning the inaugural South Florida Sun-Sentinel Top Workplaces for People on the Move awards, which recognized business leaders from around South Florida. The awards were launched in June 2012, included an interview with the nominees and judging panel, and culminated in an awards gala celebration at the W Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, November 15, 2012.

Goldfarb was recognized as an individual winner along with eight other local business leaders. According to the Sun-Sentinel, hundreds of applicants were whittled down to approximately 40 finalists and ultimately nine winners. The judging panel featured six community leaders from the private and non-profit sectors, who selected those individuals and/or businesses that best represented excellence in either developing young professionals or by the individuals’ contributions to their respective organization and community. For more information, visit Sun-Sentinel TWP Workplace.

“I’m thrilled to be named a winner by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel,” said David Goldfarb, President of PrimeTime Amusements. “As a business that’s been in the South Florida community for more than two decades, there is no greater honor than to be recognized by a publication, such as the Sun-Sentinel, that follows and understands the market as a whole.”

Goldfarb founded PrimeTime Amusements in 1992. Since then, Goldarb has turned PrimeTime Amusements into one of the most respected and successful arcade, coin-op amusements companies in the industry. Goldfarb attributes the growth and success of PrimeTime Amusements to his focus on diversifying, depending on a small but dedicated team of employees, and always looking for the next opportunity. He is also heavily involved in the South Florida community, co-founding First & Alton, a charity dedicated to helping Haiti get back on its feet. Goldfarb is fluent in Spanish, travels extensively to South America and around the world for business, and lives in Miami, Florida.

About PrimeTime Amusements
PrimeTime Amusements is a global operator and provider of video arcade machines and simulators. Founded in 1992, PrimeTime Amusements goes beyond just selling and renting equipment; the Company also offers thousands of entrepreneurs and facility owners turn-key arcade consulting, planning, installation and operations solutions. PrimeTime Amusements specializes in new and innovative machines, refurbished high-end equipment as well as classic and more traditional arcade games. Learn more at Follow the company and on Twitter @PTAmusements.

PrimeTime Amusements recently introduced subsidiary companies Prop Creations – statues, props and set-design made from foam – and PT Foam Design – architectural foam design for residential and commercial. Learn more at and

Friday, November 23, 2012

Astana, Kazakhstan Chosen by BIE as Site of Expo 2017

Paris – November 22, 2012 – At the conclusion of the voting procedure the delegates of the BIE’s member states selected Astana (Kazakhstan) as the official host of the International Expo in 2017. The choice between two candidates - Belgium (Liège) and Kazakhstan (Astana) - has been made during the 152nd General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE).

Kazakhstan received 103 votes. Belgium received 44 votes. (1 abstention)

Expo 2017 will be hosted between June 10 and September 10, 2017, on the site of 25 ha. The organizers expect it will be visited by over 5 million people from all over the world. Kazakhstan proposed “Future Energy” as the theme of Expo 2017. Nowadays, the world is facing a shortage of energy with a threat of environmental crisis, which raises a real challenge in conserving traditional energies and finding alternative energies. As oil production is declining and its value increases gradually, in the near future, a large amount of population will have to shift to alternative energy. The Expo will serve as a platform for exchanging experiences all over the world in the filed of alternative energy, a sector that is growing rapidly these years.

Astana, capital of the young nation, was awarded the “City of Peace” UNESCO reward. Kazakhstan is the first nation in central Asia to submit an application for a specialized international Expo. Organizing an Expo in Astana is another step on Kazakhstan’s plan in renewing economy type based on environmental friendly clean energy resources.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

GSCA Announces 2013 Board of Directors

Lake Anna, VA, USA -- GSCA is pleased to announce the results of the 2013 board of directors election. The following candidates will join the board for a two-year term beginning on January 1, 2013.

Representing Institutional theaters:
  • Glenn Shaver, Ontario Science Centre
  • Gordon Stalans, Tennessee Aquarium
  • Kim Cavendish, Museum of Discovery and Science
Representing Commercial Theaters:
  • Mark Bretherton, Worlds Biggest Screens
  • Berend Reijnhoudt, Omniversum
Representing Distributors:
  • Mark Katz, National Geographic Cinema Ventures
Representing Manufacturers/Suppliers/Other Related Businesses:
  • Toby Mensforth, Mensforth and Associates
  • Mike Lutz, IMAX Corporation
  • Rick Gordon, RPG Productions (one-year term to fill position vacated by Gil Perez)
Representing Producers:
  • Jonathan Barker, SK Films
  • Daniel Ferguson, Cosmic Picture
They will join the following board members, who still have one year left on their board term:
  • Steve Bishop, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
  • Jeffrey Kirsch, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
  • Michele Canto, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Tim Hazlehurst, Marbles Kids Museum
  • Laurent Dondey, La Géode
  • Bob Harman, MacGillivray Freeman Films
  • Don Kempf, Giant Screen Films
  • Paul Fraser, Blaze Digital Cinema Works
  • Lisa Truitt, National Geographic Cinema Ventures
  • Shaun MacGillivray, MacGilivray Freeman Films
  • Dennis Laws will represent Euromax in an ex-officio board position
The new board will meet via conference call in late-December to elect officers and committee chairs. Results will be announced when they are available.
GSCA extends its sincere appreciate to the following outgoing board members, who completed their terms in 2012:
  • Charlotte Brohi, Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Jackie Mollet, Saint Louis Science Center
  • Mary Nucci, Rutgers University
  • John Wickstrom, Museum of Science and Industry
  • Andy Wood, Giant Screen Films
Visit for more information.

VIDEO: Dolly Parton Shares Dollywood's Plans for 2013

Santorini Water Fantasy to Showcase Polin Attractions

Istanbul, Turkey (Nov. 20, 2012) -Santorini Water Fantasy will open next spring as an exciting new aquatics addition to Santorini Park, an amusement park adjacent to the Cha-Am Premium Outlet Mall.

Located in the southern part of the Phetchaburi Province in central Thailand, the new waterpark, as well as the existing amusement park and retail center, is the brainchild of Supoj Tantichirasakul, chairman of Pena House Public Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary. Tantichirasakul is recognized as a leader who specializes in developing concepts that have strengthened and steadily expanded the businesses he oversees. These endeavors include Tantichirasakul's original venture as a fashion-apparel maker, for which he is still well-recognized today. And while Tantichirasakul does not specifically handle day-to-day operations of these occupations, he nevertheless stays closely aligned with each and regularly passes along his guidance in their oversight.

Eight years ago, Pena House opened the Premium Outlet Mall at Hua Hin. As the business there grew over the years, Tantichirasakul and his group noticed changes that pointed to opportunities for additional development.

Tantichirasakul says, "The buying power of foreigners and people from Bangkok and its surrounding provinces who are coming here on weekends are varied and increasing every year."

He says that new businesses, housing estates, condominiums and hotels have also grown around the area. "We considered it the right time to create this project to support the increase in tourists for the near future," Tantichirasakul explains. "We dare to say that we are among the first ones to help bring growth to this area. And now it will be growing continuously."

Tantichirasakul helped kick start that growth after he saw proof of the mall's initial success. He then came up with the idea of developing the mall's adjacent land as a tourist attraction: Santorini Park, an amusement park with a variety of rides, including a giant Ferris wheel and merry-go-round, and numerous shops and restaurants.

Adding the waterpark is expected to expand Santorini Park's draw.

"Santorini Park Cha-Am's concept has been well-considered," Tantichirasakul says. "It is a place for tourist activity in Hua Hin during weekends. We can say that this is not a temporary campaign, since our target is the higher-end market, which has buying power. Therefore, the product, location, atmosphere, thrill rides and everything that we selected were of the highest quality, as well as being appealing. It should be looked at as a long-term project." Tantichirasakul adds, "Of course, we are not in Bangkok, and this is a tourist town and also a through road. But I believe that this will meet everybody's demand."

Tantichirasakul emphasizes that his management team has given a lot of thought to the project, imagining all aspects to ensure its success. "Our management team is well-prepared," he says. "Though this is not a 100-percent retail business, due to our experience in many big tourist cities, we decided to commit to this project."

To ensure both Santorini Park and Santorini Water Fantasy's success, he says they have given particular attention to details such as the marketing and overall branding. However, he says, their main focus is on quality. "Everything in the area of Santorini Park Cha-Am should look good," he explains, adding that the new waterpark is not the end of the company's plans for the area. "It will be expanded in due course. So the 60 rai (23.7 acres) on hand now is only our first phase. Three years from now, we can add more to meet tourists' growing demand."

The waterpark will sit on about 4 acres (12 rai) and will require an investment of US$3.25 million (bt100 million). The existing park sits on about 8 acres (20 rai) of an existing 23.7 acres (60 rai) available. The group plans to add another 8 acres (20 rai) adjacent to the site and also build a three-star, low-rise resort with about 150 rooms. The project is expected to be completed next year.

The existing amusement park is themed after the Greek island of Santorini. More than $US1.62 million (bt50 million) was invested in the site's architecture, sculptures and dancing fountains. It already draws as many as 10,000 visitors on its busiest weekend days. The majority of guests are from Bangkok; about 10-20 percent are tourists. The park consists of five main zones: a park, village, rest area, event area and Sunday Art Market.

Santorini Park's aquatic options will entice guests with innovative offerings from Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems, a world leader in the aquatics industry. The King Cobra slide will be among several rides Polin is supplying to the facility. The company also is installing three other heart-thumping attractions: a Looping Rocket, a Space Shuttle and a Windigo, among other amenities.

These attractions include:

King Cobra. Featuring bold red, black and white scales, the ride's imposing veneer extends along its massive 50-foot (15.24-meter) height and 260-foot (790-meter) length. The slide features fog, sound, lights and a unique configuration that enables two riders to race along a circular path of twists, turns and surprises. Riders reach speeds of up to 32 mph (51 km/h) via water pressure of 3,875 gallons (14,668 liters) per minute through open and closed tubes. The ride ends just after they endure a heart-pounding plunge of nearly 25 feet (8 meters) down a 50-degree slope. 

Looping Rocket. This high-adrenaline ride offers one of the highest drops riders can experience. The ride features Polin's exclusive "Magic Shine" technology in translucent colors. 

Space Shuttle. This waterslide features an innovative design configuration, form and ride path. Fully open, fully enclosed and half-closed versions are available. Configuration options include exit via a pool or a run-out. 

Windigo. Riders on mats begin this attraction within enclosed slides that transform into high-speed multi-racer lanes. It offers the flexibility of including "Kamikaze" or "Freefall" options, and its high-capacity capability will keep lines moving.

Other rides being installed by Polin include a Freefall, Aquatube, Rafting Slide, Black Hole, Kids Freefall, Space Hole, Kids Octopus Slide, Mini Pirate Slide, Turtle Slide, Rabbit Slide, Mini Rainbow Slide, Giraffe Shower, Mushroom, Aquatower Type 600, Frog Slide, Baby Octopus Slide.

Please visit for product information, news, events and other updates.

More on Santorini Park.
Santorini Park Cha-Am's slogan is "Amused Shopping Experience." Located about 124 miles (200 km) from Bangkok, Thailand's capital, the theme park is divided into four distinct zones:

  • Village Zone. This hip shopping area offers brand-name fashions, accessories, lifestyle products, art, decor and handmade items. Guests can relax at an array of restaurants, pastry shops and cafés.
  • Park Zone. Amusement park rides from around the world are spread out over the verdant grounds, including a 131-feet-high (40-meter-high) Ferris wheel, a double-decker carousel imported from Italy, a G-MAX Reverse Bungee and a G-MAX Giant Swing from New Zealand, an XD Dark Ride 7D interactive game from Canada and a Wallholla climbing structure from The Netherlands.
  • Event Zone. More than 9,800 square feet (3,000 square meters) of concert and performance space accommodates a standing audience of 5,000 or a seated audience of 2,000 people.
  • Weekend Market. Restaurants serve quick and delicious meals, coffee shops offer a chance to unwind and convenience stores, souvenir shops, pharmacies and a petrol station provide a variety of goods. An open-air market offers homemade products, artwork and unique local selections.
For more information, visit

More on Pena House.
Pena House is one of Thailand's leading retailers and manufacturers in the garment business, with more than 20 years of experience. Based on its retail expertise, the firm has created products under company-owned brands for target groups such as Ten & Co, Items and U-FO. Pena House has one of the highest rates of retail development, growth and expansion in the country, and it owns more than 20 percent of the country's retail shopping-center space. Pena House recently has expanded from domestic retail to the international market.

More on Polin
Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems was founded in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1976 and has become one of the world's leading companies in the design, manufacture and installation of waterparks, waterslides and water-play attractions. Polin is intimately involved in all the projects it takes on, guiding each step from concept to completion. Polin has been a pioneer in the advancement and application of closed-molded manufacturing technology in waterslide development. Since 2006, Polin has converted more than 95 percent of its annual fiberglass production to resin transfer molding (RTM). Polin offers both bowl rides and family rides featuring RTM techniques. Polin also offers its unique and patented Natural Light Effect technology, Special Pattern Effects technology in RTM and translucent RTM waterslides. Polin features a wide range of slides, including signature rides such as the patented King Cobra, Magic Spheres, Spheres, Magi Cone and Space Shuttle. Polin is committed to providing the best-quality product and service by investing in continuous research and development. The company plans to further expand its L-RTM line while introducing new signature rides and innovations. For more information, visit

Premier Rides Awarded for Best New Product at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012

Left to right: Lana Magilner, Sara Ingram, Jim Seay of Premier Rides,
CEO Jim Reid-Anderson, Tom Iven, Walt Bowser,
and John Odum of Six Flags.
Baltimore, MD, USA -- Officials at the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo in Orlando, Florida have awarded Premier Rides, with a prestigious Best New Product Award in the category of Major Theme/Amusement Park Ride for the high-tech custom magnetic launch coaster, SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight™, which debuted at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (SFDK) in Vallejo, California for the 2012 season.

The IAAPA Attractions Expo is the largest industry trade show, with more than 500,000 square feet of exhibit space, 1,150 exhibitors, and more than 26,000 attendees. Premier received the award in recognition for the groundbreaking SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight™, which features the tallest inversion west of the Mississippi and ranks alongside the tallest coaster inversions in the world. It incorporates many exciting and unique elements including multiple launches, a twisting heartline inversion, ascending and descending twists, and two vertical rolls.

Jim Seay, President of Premier Rides, said, “We are extremely proud of this product because it showcased the collaborative talents of Six Flags and Premier and brought an innovative technological perspective to roller coaster attractions. Six Flags has a coveted reputation for delivering cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind thrill rides and all of us at Premier were honored with the trust placed in us to deliver such a powerful attraction. We are grateful for the industry’s recognition.”

The ride was one of the most anticipated theme park attractions of the 2012 season and did not fail to deliver. Coaster experts from around the globe traveled to SFDK to experience SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight™. American Coaster enthusiast Nicholas Laswitch stated, “On my list, I would say it’s the best. I really, really enjoyed it. I think this ride is going to make people come from long distances to experience it. I think this ride is going to push Six Flags Discovery Kingdom over the top.”

One of the attraction’s first riders, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said, “It gets you right from the beginning. One time, I had a chance to go up in an F-18 with the Blue Angels for a ride-along. It compares more to that than it does a roller coaster ride.”

After an initial slingshot launch using Premier Rides’ signature magnetic launch technology, riders execute a vertical ascent of approximately 65 feet, and then drop back through the station where they are accelerated backwards to a height of 80 feet. After a brief cliffhanger pause, the sleek train rockets through the station and is accelerated this time to a height of 150 feet. The train then slows for dramatic effect where guests can appreciate how high they are while anticipating an amazing twisted heartline roll directly ahead. After executing the roll, the train is braked before guests enter a face-first vertical drop, ending in a twisting loop where riders will experience the force of approximately 3 ½ Gs. The riders then drop to ground level, where they are smoothly braked a final time as the train comes to a stop in the station.

Premier Rides and Six Flags have teamed up again for the 2013 season to develop Full Throttle™ featuring, amongst other thrill elements, a world record loop where the trains travel on the inside and the outside of the loop.

For more information, please visit

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. Premier’s service division offers engineering support, complete ride and train rehab, and it maintains and offers spare parts supply on a 24-hour emergency basis. The company is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and has additional U.S., European, and Asian offices. 

SEGD Offering Special Early Bird Rate for 2013 San Francisco Conference

Washington, DC, USA -- Register by the end of 2012 and pay only $650 for the entire SEGD Conference: sessions, tours, meals, the NEXPO showcase, evening events, and more.

With a theme inspired by the famous San Francisco fog, the 2013 SEGD Conference, June 6-8, will invite you to look above and beyond, be inspired, and connect with designers, artists, planners, makers, and global thinkers from the Pacific Coast and beyond.

You’ll explore design strategies, visions, and challenging new ideas that will take you Above the Fog and into blue sky through diverse conversations and innovative local and global perspectives on culture, art, and design.

But you have to register to attend

Click here to register online or dial 202.638.5555 to register with an SEGD staffer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

SeaWorld Orlando Announces Line-Up for Just for Kids Festival

Imagination Movers
Orlando, FL, USA (November 19, 2012) -- SeaWorld Orlando announces the concert line-up for its Just For Kids festival, Saturdays January 12 – February 2.

The 2013 Just For Kids concert lineup includes:
  • Saturday, January 12 Imagination Movers
  • Saturday, January 19 Laurie Berkner – Solo Performance
  • Saturday, January 26 Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve
  • Saturday, February 2 Kratt Brothers Live Featuring the stars of Wild Kratts
Concerts are included with park admission, with show times at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at SeaWorld’s Nautilus Theater. 

For more details about Just For Kids, visit

VIDEO: Cirque du Soleil Hits the Vegas Night Club Scene

Nominations Now Being Accepted for 2013 Excellence in Family Entertainment Center Awards

East Brunswick, NJ, USA -- Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine and Foundations Entertainment University will once again recognize those entertainment centers that continue to raise the bar for the industry and exemplify excellence in family entertainment.

Categories for the 2013 Excellence in Family Entertainment Center Awards are:
  • New Entertainment Center 
  • Renovated Entertainment Center
New Center must have opened between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 and have been in continuous operation since that time.

Addition/Remodel must have been completed between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 and have been in continuous operation since that time.

Center must be located in North Americas (U.S.A., Mexico and Canada)

‘Entertainment Center’ can be defined as:
Indoor and/or Outdoor FEC
Bowling Entertainment Center
Roller Skating Entertainment Center
Laser Tag Entertainment Center
Eatertainment (Restaurant-Entertainment Center)
any combination of multiple entertainment attractions in one location

You are invited and encouraged to submit your nomination on-line no later than December 15, 2012. A panel of entertainment center professionals will choose the top five nominees in each category and present them for vote to the industry.  Voting will take place in January 2013

Awards to be presented at:
Amusement Expo - March 20-22, 2013
being held in conjunction with
Foundations Entertainment University - March 18-19, 2013

To nominate a center for this industry award, go to and click on the link for 2013 Nominations. More details about the award and the criteria can be found on-line. Questions can be emailed to

The top five nominees will receive scholarships to attend Foundations Entertainment University on March 18-19, 2013, which includes admittance to Amusement Expo on March 20-23, 2013.

For Information About Foundations Entertainment University visit, For information about Amusement Expo and to Register to Attend, visit

Attractions Industry Professionals Raise $81,000 for Give Kids The World with Golf Tournament, Motorcycle Ride, and Fun Run at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012

Alexandria, VA, USA -- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and attractions industry professionals raised more than $81,000 for its 17-year charity partner, Give Kids The World (GKTW) in Kissimmee, Florida, through three events held during IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012.

Proceeds from IAAPA’s 10th annual International Charity Golf Tournament, third annual Motorcycle Ride, and sixth annual GKTW Fun Run and Walk, Footprints from the Heart, were donated to Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort that provides cost-free vacations for children with life-threatening diseases and their families.

“IAAPA’s contributions to Give Kids The World have been extremely significant over the last 17 years,” said Pam Lindwirth, president of GKTW. “We’re proud to have such generous partners in IAAPA and the attractions industry.”

IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament
One hundred and forty-three attractions industry professionals hit the links and enjoyed a day at Hawk’s Landing Golf Club at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort on Sunday, Nov. 1. The foursome of Walt Bowser of Six Flags, John Andrews of Baynum Painting, and Bill Wright and Chas Kuhn, both of Ride Entertainment, won the golf tournament, with a score of 54. The foursome of John Conway of National Ticket Company, Clark Robinson, former president and CEO of IAAPA, and John Cunningham and Randy Bagley with Encoded Guardian finished second with a score of 58.

Jordan Hurley, of Formula One Driver, and Jessica McNaulo, of Picsolve won the longest drive contest in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.

“I’m so pleased we continue to be a great international tournament—we have players from many, many countries, who enjoy this day as the opening of IAAPA Attractions Expo,” said Bill Alter, co-chairman of the event. “Nothing could be greater than making a sizable contribution to Give Kids The World while having this much fun.”

IAAPA Motorcycle Run
While some opted to spend their day on neatly trimmed Bermuda Grass, others opted for asphalt and the open road. IAAPA’s third annual motorcycle ride sent 38 riders from Orlando Harley Davidson, the ride’s start and end point, cruising through the hills, farmlands, lakes, and forests surrounding Orlando.

The ride took place in conjunction with the International Charity Golf Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 11, and was broken in to two parts, allowing riders to join golfers at Hawk’s Landing for a networking lunch.

IAAPA 5K Fun Run and 1K Walk – Footprints From the Heart
Thursday, Nov. 15, IAAPA held its third annual 5K Fun Run and 1K Walk, Footprints From The Heart to support GKTW. The event raised $6,400 for the Village.

On the men’s side, the 5K was won by Martell Munguia of American Wave Machines, Inc., who finished with a time of 18 minutes and 50 seconds. Mario Cantarinella of Parque Diversiones finished second with a time of 19 minutes and 23 seconds, and Brett Clark of Wet N Wild finished third, coming in at 19 minutes and 37 seconds.

For the women, Jenna Munguia, also of American Wave Machines, Inc., won the race with a time of 18 minutes and 17 seconds. Gina Classsen of Herchend Family Entertainment finished second with a time of 23 minutes 11 seconds, and Diane Williams of IAAPA and Chloe James of Jack Rouse Associates tied for third, coming in at 26 minutes 7 seconds.

The highest individual fundraiser was Joanna del Moral of TEA Eastern Division, who raised $675. The most successful team fundraiser was TEA Eastern Division, who raised a total of $1,007.

The top 3 finishers in the men’s and women’s race, as well as the top individual fundraiser and top team fundraiser were awarded prizes at the conclusion of the event.

Golf Tournament Sponsors
“We have to thank all of the sponsors and everyone who’s played for 10 years,” Atler said. “Most of the sponsors have been with us since the beginning, year after year.”

Gold Sponsor: Leisure Labs
Silver Sponsors: Allied Specialty Insurance, Inc.; Neptune-Benson/Lawson Aquatics & Engineered Treatment Systems (ETS)
Networking Lunch Sponsor: Intamin; Zamperla
Breakfast Sponsor: Vekoma Rides Manufacturing
Gift Certificate Sponsor: Deltronic Labs Inc.; Naughton Insurance
Hole-in-One Sponsor: Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co.
Putting Contest Sponsor: Kennedy Space Center (DNC)
Hole Sponsors: Amusement Management Partners LLC; Bay Tek Games Inc.; Bob’s Space Racer Inc.; Canobie Lake Park; Dollywood, Ellis & Associates; Europa-Park and Mack Rides; Freeman; Hershend Family Entertainment; Hersheypark; Holiday World & Splashin' Safari; IAAPA Water Park Committee; Kennywood; Morey's Piers; National Ticket Company; Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters Inc.; QBE
Patron Sponsors: Astrid Lindgren's World; Avius Experience; BALPPA; Benchmark Games Inc.; Patty and Bob Bennett; Edward Carroll; Coney Island; E.K. Fernandez Shows Inc./Fun Factory; Glynn Geotechnical Engineering; Gold Medal Products Co.; Jack Rouse Associates Inc.; JN Entertainment & Leisure Consultancy; John Collins Leisure PT; Funworld; Prima; Ralph S. Alberts, Co. Inc.; Sally Corporation; Seabreeze Park; TJ Timco Agency; Triotech; Waldameer Park, Inc. & Water World; West Midlands Safari Park; WhiteWater West Industries Ltd.
In-Kind Donations: American Locker Security Systems Inc.; Colorvision International Inc.; Freeman; The
Good Stuff Company; Orlando Harley-Davidson; SeaWorld Orlando
Golf Shirt: Ride Entertainment Systems

Motorcycle Run Sponsors
Privat Car; Chance Rides Manufacturing; Neuman Group; Premier Rides Inc.; The Sheehan Firm PC; Uremet; Water Technology Inc.

About Give Kids The World
Give Kids The World (GKTW) Village is a 70-acre, international nonprofit resort based in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical Village, donated attractions tickets, meals, and more for a weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations, and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 100,000 families from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. To learn more about GKTW, visit

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 is the largest conference and trade show in the world for the attractions industry. With its theme “Game On,” the show will take place in Orlando, Florida, and draw 25,000 industry professionals from 100 countries to the Orange County Convention Center from Monday, Nov. 12, through Friday, Nov. 16. The trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 16. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012 offers a full week of business opportunities and educational experiences, and features new ideas, products, and events.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States, and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.