London, Düsseldorf, Genova and Paris this year - The
Euro Amusement Show, the international trade show for leisure and
amusement technology, became the second biggest fair directly
after its American antitype IAAPA. With more than 7200 visitors -
excluding the exhibitors - it was even more popular than the
successful show in Genova last year.
Wieland Schwarzkopf, president of the European
Association Amusement Supplier Industry (EAASI), was
very satisfied: "We held the biggest show ever in this field
of business in both numbers of exhibitors and visitors," he
noted, "so we are very pleased. It also appears that business
is improving, as exhibitors said the show was a success, with many
of them commenting on their good results." On more than 9.000
square meters 217 companies from 21 nations presented their
products and services, an outside area with transportable rides of
solely Italian manufacturers completed the scene. The EAS
gives the opportunity to cultivate business contacts and reports
on the state of the art in seminars dealing with product
certification, visitors behaviour or catering, but also is a place
for pleasure: This year not only the latest developments in ride
technology could be tested on the show site, but also two of the
leading European themeparks.
The EAS had pitched its tents at the Disneyland
Resort Paris for the time between the 13th and 16th of
January. Wieland Schwarzkopf sees the reason for the
increase in visitors attendance caused by the attractiveness of
the venue, even if he has to make some admissions: "Of course
we had some problems, with build-up and signage, with the lack of
information provided for directions to the venue creating problems
for visitors beforehand, but when they left the show they were
more than compensated by what they had seen." The
consistently high amount of rain before and during the show
additionally tightened the situation. In addition, on the day
before the show the theme parks of the Disneyland Resort Paris
were evacuated because of storm warnings, which also affected the
tents in the parking lot of the resort.
Despite those circumstances the EAS gave the opportunity
to examine new products and progresses for four full days -
Especially visitors that couldn't attend the IAAPA in
Orlando in November last year were provided with many novelties.
Highlights were the prototype of the X-Car by Munich-based
company Maurer Söhne or the new "seat" of
the Motorbike Coaster by Vekoma Rides Manufacturing.
The following article will give an extensive overview on novelties
and further developments with a focus on roller coasters.
Left: River Splash at Erse Park - Right:
General design suggestion
Swiss ABC Engineering develops amusement rides since
1997 - whether as an engineering office for well-known companies
or as an independent supplier. Their works cover a whole range:
Next to major rides like the impressive log flume Stormforce
10 at Drayton Manor Park in the UK or construction
design for the hypercoasters Goliath and Titan
in two US Six Flags parks now ride concepts are
increasingly marketed under their own brand. Actually three
novelties will be delivered this year.
Germany's oldest amusement park Tripsdrill will receive
the first interactive boat ride for its 75th anniversary, with the
working title "Spritztour" (which in German
means joyride, but is a composition of the two terms "splash"
and "tour" as well). The autonomous boats for four
passengers each will be operating on a newly constructed lake next
to the traditional Altweibermühle, which was the
first attraction of the park. With diverse effects like water guns
and pedals the passengers can interactively influence the ride.
The opening is scheduled for spring 2004, adding to ABC
Engineering's mini log flume Mühlbach-Fahrt
(German for "millstream ride") for the smallest kids
that debuted in 2003.
John Silver Twist Tower
Another novelty regarding water rides is River Splash,
due to open at German Erse Park Uetze near Hannover in
April. On a footprint of 40 x 60 meters round boats carrying up to
nine passengers are lifted to a height of 12 meters. They then go
down a 145 meters long slide with several shifts in direction,
resulting in a total length of 240 meters including the rest of
the canal. Optionally, River Splash can come equipped with
a vertical lift.
ABC Engineering booth
Completely without water, even though offering a nautic theming,
John Silver Twist Tower shows up. The stylized mast is
11.5 meters high and strongly see-saws like being grabbed by a
storm, while the attached gondola goes up and down with up to one
meter per second. The passengers take one of the eight suspended
seats in a row and experience a ride of approximately 80
seconds that can be individually adjusted.
Hydraulic actuators under the station generate a powerful
teetering of the pendulum arm which can be stopped in any
position. The same applies to the movement of the gondola.
Together with the speedy vertical agitation of the gondola very
interesting ride combinations emerge. The first delivery will be
in March to Adventure Island, Long Island, New York.
Right: Model Floorless Coaster at Tivoli
Information policy at the popular Swiss company B&M
is reserved as usual. A worthy representative of the inverted
coaster division seems to pop up at Knott´s Berry
Farm in California right now, with large parts of the track
leading over water. The only ride communicated for Europe is the
floorless coaster for Tivoli Gardens. Due to its
location in the heart of Danish capitol Copenhagen this small park
has no room to expand, so the new attraction will be one of the
shortest B&M coasters ever with only 564 meters of
track. After an initial helix the layout confines to a
quick succession of a vertical loop, an Immelmann
and a zero-G-roll. Using two trains with 28 seats each,
the coaster will have a capacity of 1100 to 1200 passengers per
hour. Lately the project name "Golden Lion" has
changed to the official name "The Demon".
At Kuwait City Park shortly the 11th version (with one
of them mirror-invertedly) of the popular Batman inverter
will open up. On a track of only 820 meters these coasters wind of
a fireworks of five inversions in just 35 seconds, giving
the passenger a chance to take breath only in the final brakes. In
Europe this frantic trip can only be taken at Warner Bros.
Movie World Madrid, but there directly next to Superman,
the big brother of the floorless coaster heading to Tivoli
Star Flyer is an interesting and very
thrilling flight adventure
Funtime is a company well-known for their spectacular
flying devices. The Sling Shot has already taken the
funfairs and some parks by assault, and now the latest development
commands its respect. Star Flyer will open already in
spring at Prater Park in Vienna. It is a mixture of chair
swing ride and observation tower, featuring impressive physical
A star-shaped rotating assembly ascends the 60 meters high steel
construction. To this device 12 seats are attached by steel
chains, swinging outwards with a maximum angle of 45 degrees due
to the rotation. The seats don't have a complex restraint
system and feel just like those of a classic wave swinger. To
put it in other words: This is a pretty intense ride offering pure
adrenaline with a very simple principle. The pictures show the
test runs in December 2003.