The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) conference in Orlando is creating a lot of industry buzz around new thrill rides, immersive games, technology, and fun foods. The 2014 IAAPA Attractions Expo is currently underway through November 21st at the Orange County Convention Center.
The Expo is the largest annual conference and trade show for the $39.5 billion global theme park and attractions industry. Attendees glimpse the future of amusement rides, games, food, and fun showcased by nearly 1,000 exhibitors from five continents, including companies specializing in ride and attraction design, theming, ticketing, zip lines, and more. An estimated 27,000 professionals from theme and water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, and family entertainment centers are at Expo to shop, build relationships and learn about new trends and innovations for 2015 and beyond.
The IAAPA Attractions Expo fills 540,000 square feet of exhibition space, converting the Orange County Convention Center into a multi-sensory marketplace of thrills that may debut soon at popular destinations worldwide, or even here in Orlando.
In addition to all the excitement, the Expo also includes behind-the-scenes tours of Florida’s popular destinations including Fun Spot America, Busch Gardens Tampa, Walt Disney World Resort, The Holy Land Experience, The Orlando Eye, Aquatica at SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Orlando Resort. The event will also feature a keynote presentation by Ripley Entertainment President Jim Pattison Jr.
The Expo show floor is host to announcements related to new rides debuting in 2015, including ride vehicles for Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags St. Louis, Cedar Fair Entertainment, Holiday World, Fun Spot, Legoland Florida, Madame Tussauds, The Orlando Eye, and Sea Life Orlando.
Yesterday, Six Flags made a major announcement about a new partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, unveiling a behind-the-scenes look at new components of the 4D interactive dark ride experience named Justice League: Battle for Metropolis 4D. Six Flags announced the attraction will feature custom-designed, state-of-the-art animatronics as well as interactive laser blasters. “An enormous amount of detail and creativity has gone into producing what will be one of the most exciting and immersive dark rides experiences in the industry,” said Tom Iven, senior vice president of U.S. park operations for Six Flags.
The new attraction will be the first motion-based, interactive dark ride in North America. The new rides are headed to Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Over Texas in 2015.
Earlier this week, the track design for the world’s tallest roller coaster, the Skyscraper, was released by developers, who added the design is totally unique to Orlando. The Skyscraper will be an anchor of the new $250 million complex on International Drive and aims to be opened in 2017.