Introduction, ABC Engineering, B&M, Funtime

ABC Engineering
Maurer Söhne

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.


EAS 2004 Newsflash


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

Picture: ABC Engineering

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

Picture: ABC Engineering

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 Gardens

Pictures: Tivoli Gardens

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 Gardens.


Star Flyer is an interesting and very thrilling flight adventure

Pictures: Funtime

Pictures: Funtime

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 dimensions.

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.

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