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Wildcat’s Revenge will debut at Hersheypark in 2023.

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The annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Trade Show kicked off in Orlando Tuesday, November 15th, at the Orange County Convention Center.  The show starts a week of exhibits, press announcements, educational sessions and networking for the Global Attractions Industry.

With almost 35,000 registered participants and over 1,000 exhibitors, the show looked to be back in full force for 2022, free of the Covid-related travel difficulties that plagued the 2021 event.  In fact, attendance was up more than 26% compared to last year.

Michael Shelton, vice president and executive director of IAAPA North America, said the size of this year's show versus 2021 confirms the strength of the industry. “I can say the attractions industry continues to build on its recovery and IAAPA Expo 2022 is the place to share news, meet new potential business partners, and connect in a way that can only happen at an IAAPA event,” said Shelton. 

Ken Whiting, president of Whiting's Foods at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, concluded his term as the 2022 Chairman of the Board and welcomed Jim Pattison, Jr. President, Ripley Entertainment, to take his place as the 2023 chairman. 

Outgoing IAAPA president and chief operating officer Hal McEvoy applauded the work done at IAAPA offices around the world before welcoming new president and CEO Jakob Wahl. “2022 has been a remarkable year for the global attractions industry even with challenges,” said McEvoy.

Wahl then took the stage, making his first IAAPA appearance as the association's next CEO and president. Wahl was selected for the position earlier this month, and he takes over the role in January.

The opening ceremony concluded with a record 1,116 streamer cannons launched simultaneously.  Representatives from the Guinness Book  of World Records were on hand to document the feat.

In addition to the festive opening ceremonies, several product reveals were held during the first day of the trade show.  

Bolliger and Mabillard, popularly known as B&M, unveiled the car for the new Surf Coaster, Pipeline, scheduled to open at Sea World in 2023.  The ride has over 2,900 feet of track, speeds of 60 miles an hour and a height of 110 feet. 

The ride is designed to simulate surfing on the ocean waves with plenty of banks and curves.  The new restraint system gives the feeing of freedom of movement while keeping guests secure in the cars.

Italian manufacturer Zamperla had three exciting announcements on opening day.  First, the company gave a sneak peek of the fastest launch coaster in Canada, scheduled to debut at the Pacifica National Exhibition's Playland Amusement Park in 2024 in Vancouver, B.C.

The much awaited new Lighting trains carry guests at speeds of 45 per hour over 1,250 feet of track and as high as 59'.

The $9 million (CDN) investment is the largest in the park's history and replaces the their Corkscrew coaster, which has been retired.

Also announced today was a collaboration with Cedar Point on a new Spinning Mouse coaster.  The ride will occupy the new Boardwalk expansion area of Cedar Point, the second oldest park in North America.

The ride is a nod to the 60's era Wild Mouse ride previously at the park, and it marks Cedar Point's 18th coaster. 

The ride car unveiled today was the “Cheese Car” which will be pursued by the mouse cars on the ride.  The inventive twist on the Spinning Mouse theme is sure to put smiles on the faces of families experiencing the attraction.

Zamperla said they worked hard to make the cars accessible for guests with disabilities.  For example, the side door on the car opens for easy wheel chair transfer.  The company says they go above and beyond what the ADA act requires, to provide the best possible guest experience. 

Another benefit of the ride is the relatively low 42” height requirement.   The limit gives families the ability to ride together without the taller restrictions of some of the thrill coasters at Cedar Point.

The Spinning Mouse ride offers different turns and spins with each ride, so no two experiences are alike.  Scheduled to debut in May of 2023, the ride will bring excitement to the Boardwalk expansion.

Zamperla's third announcement of the day was the unveiling of the ride vehicle for the Draken Falls ride at Adventureland in Des Moines, Iowa.  The ride, dubbed the first super flume attraction in the Midwest, is part of an intertwined, Nordic-themed experience, paired with a new Zamperla family coaster, the Flying Viking.

Riders experiencing Draken will board 6-person ships that travel over 1,200 feet on the ride's journey.  They will be met with two drops, including a 40' experience.

The ride replaces River Rapids which was removed from the park in 2005.

The second ride in the Zamperla Viking-themed area is the Flying Viking, a junior coaster with speeds of 28 miles per hour.  With a shared theme, landscaping, and even shared entrances, the two rides will work together to provide a strong presence for park guests.

Rocky Mountain Construction and Hersheypark also unveiled a coaster car design.  Wildcat's Revenge, the all new hybrid coaster designed by RMC, will debut at the park in 2023.

This is the first RMC project in Pennsylvania and the plans are exciting. This all-new wood and steel I-Box coaster climbs to heights of 140 feet, reaching maximum speeds of 62 mph.  The ride also has 4 unique inversions, including the world's largest 270 degree underflip!

The much anticipated ride replaces the original Wildcat, an all-wood coater that closed in summer 2022.  The ride, which opened in 1996, was built by Great Coasters International.

There were many announcement on the floor of the trade show today and many more are anticipated throughout the week.  Stayed tuned to and  for the latest news and information from the 2022 IAAPA trade show.

Theresa & Al Rimes were busy representing the IISF (Gibtown) Club and Trade Show

Joe Iaconna & Gary from Gloworks were busy showcasing new novelties
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