IAAPA opened for its second day Wednesday at 10am to a vast amount of industry professionals seeking the newest and greatest the amusement industry has to offer. Crowds Wednesday were considerably steadier than opening day.
Zamperla had one of the largest indoor displays, displaying their spectacular Air Race ride, new Fiesta Balloon Ferris Wheel, and a children's swing ride. Sales representative Ramon Rosario was excited about the company's new family attraction, a 33ft tall balloon gondola wheel. "The gondola was a project in the works since 1993 and is based on the Tivoli wheel" explained Rosario. "It is well suited for a medium carnival for use as the shows ferris wheel or a large show for use in a kiddieland." The attraction all racks on one semi trailer and features a direct drive motor gear box as opposed to a rim driven application.
"Having a direct drive enables operation in wet conditions or cold temperatures where as rim driven rides sometimes have trouble operating in these conditions" said Rosario.
The Balloon Gondola Wheel on display is a prototype, and the final version will have a large sign across the front as well as additional lighting on the balloons themselves. Zamperla has several delivery spots available in 2015 for the balloon ride and will have one on display at the upcoming IISF Trade Show this February in Gibsonton. The 33ft tall attraction sells for $215,000.
For larger attractions, Zamperla is completely sold out for 2015 production and was busy selling for 2016 deliveries. Ramon was pleased with the current state of the market and found that a lot of show owners had an exceptional 2014 season and are excited about 2015.
A new program Zamperla was particularly excited about was the company's "All Access" program. Being a manufacturer and also an amusement park operator, Zamperla saw a big need for the industry to go above and beyond the standard ADA compliance when it comes to handicapped individuals attending amusement parks and attractions. Zamperla has hired a team of doctors in New York to help develop ways for not only people who cannot walk, but also people with hearing issues, eye sight issues, etc to have the same experience from getting out of their car to accessing rides, stores, and facilities within the park. "We wanted to go above and beyond the standard ADA requirements" said Rosario.
Zamperla has partnered with Give Kids the World to bring their new all access program to their facility. Zamperla donated a brand new Magic Bike ride to the company complete with two handicap accessible ride vehicles - one that allows for a wheel chair transfer and another that allows for a wheel chair to be locked on the ride. Give Kids the World is a 70-acer, storybook resort where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to week long, cost free fantasy vacations. The facility is located in Kissimmee Florida, just outside Orlando.
A familiar name to the amusement industry, Chance Rides, is actively pursuing the development of portable amusement rides once again. With the debut of the Free Style two years ago, company president Mike Chance saw an opportunity for the company to begin developing portable attractions for the carnival industry. This fall, the company hired long time Fabbri sales representative, Jeff Miller to head sales in the carnival market. Miller, who represented Fabbri in the US for over 25 years, saw the opportunity for him to work for Chance and sell rides to the carnival industry looked better from a product development standpoint and commitment to the market. "If I was going to make a move, it would be for good" said Miller of his change from representing Fabbri to Chance.
Miller has already seen a good amount of interest from the carnival market at the IAAPA show. While some deals were still in the works, Jeff was pleased to announce that the company would be building its first portable Zipper in over a decade. Pat and Doug Skinner, of Crystal lake, Illinois based Skinner's Amusements purchased a new Zipper with a LED Lighting package from Denny's Electronics at the show. Prior to that, the last piece Chance sold to a portable show was the Free Style for Ray Cammack Shows in 2013.
Chance Rides is open to building almost anything under their product catalog from Zippers and Pharaoh's Furys to classics like the Toboggan. "With some reengineering and updating, some of the older retro pieces could become a unique booking piece for a show. Not a lot of people see Toboggans anymore" said Miller.
For the first time in years, Chance will have a booth at the IISF Trade Show in Gibsonton and also a table top display at the Showmen's League Exhibitors Lounge in Las Vegas next month. While the show does not have any portable attractions produced and available for display in Gibtown for this upcoming trade show, displaying equipment in the future may be something the company would look at doing.
Miller is no stranger to the amusement industry. Prior to working with Fabbri since 1989, he spent four years building and selling amusement rides for his dads manufacturing company. Together they developed several popular fun house attractions including the Persian Camel, Steeple Chase, and Magic Carpet.
After Hours Receptions
Several after hours receptions were held Wednesday night including the Outdoor Amusement Business Association's annual reception at the Convention Center and Rides 4-U's annual party held at Fun Spot Park on International Drive. From 7-9pm, current and former customers of Rides 4-U was invited to the park for complimentary rides, food, drinks, and entertainment.
IAAPA Trade Show - Brass Ring Awards
At the end of the day, IAAPA announced the winners of the brass ring awards for best booth at the trade show. The image award is awarded to the best exhibit based on booth design, branding, staffing and overall appeal at IAAPA Attractions Expo.
The overall winner was Rhode Island Novelty. In the 100-399 sq ft booth category was The Works Unlimited; 400-499 sq ft winner was Honolulu Hot Dog Company; 500-899 sq ft winner was Sally Corporation; 900-1,200 sq. ft was Cruden B.V.; and 1,200+ sq ft was Mack Rides.
The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards ceremony was sponsored by The Holy Land Experience, Matt Davenport Productions, Ocean Park Hong Kong, and RWS & Associates.
2014 IAAPA Expo Media Coverage