Overland Park, Kan. — On Friday, June 20th, 2014, Team WLSL will usher in the first official day of summer as they attempt to set a fifth Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever conducted. The international team, made up primarily of kids, is coming together to prevent childhood drowning by participating in a global swim lesson to spread the vital message Swimming Lessons Save Lives.
Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 32,450 participants hosted by 432 facilities in 13 countries. The 2013 record saw a 30 percent increase over the previous year’s record of 24,873 and generated more than 50 million media impressions.
Tragically, drowning remains the leading cause of unintended, injury related death for children ages 1-5, and the second leading cause for children under 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4, yet many kids do not receive formal swimming or water safety training.
The World Waterpark Association supports Team WLSL in their mission and encourages waterparks and aquatic facilities to join the effort by registering as an official WLSL Host Location or volunteering for the 2014 event. More information and registration is available at www.wlsl.org.
About The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson was created as a platform to help aquatic facilities and the many different regional, national and international water safety organizations work together to communicate the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim. Visit www.wlsl.org to learn more.
Hershey, Pa. — As a result of the upcoming storm predicted for the Mid-Atlantic region early next week, the 79th annual Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Association meeting set for March 3–4, has been postponed until March 10–11. It will be held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey, Pa. The PAPA organization is assuming that everyone who previously registered for the original date will be attending the rescheduled date. The Hershey Lodge has moved the block of rooms that were reserved for attendees to another part of the resort. Participants should reconfirm with the Lodge. For more information, participants can call the PAPA at: 800-ITS4FUN x120.
— B. Derek Shaw
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Core Cashless continues it’s recent success by partnering up with North Carolina based BPR Properties to provide a variety of cashless solutions for the brand new Pooler Water Park, located in Savannah, Ga.
Core reps met with BPR at the World Waterpark Association Trade Show and Symposium in 2013 to discuss the specific needs for the new facility. Pooler Water Park will feature four water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river for guests to enjoy. Core will be equipping the park with handheld and stand-alone barcode scanners with integrated turnstiles for access control. In addition, Core will configure custom online sales portals for Pooler that will let guests go online and purchase their admissions. Lastly, Core partner Smarte Carte will be providing the co-developed Locker Link system which integrates seamlessly with Core software. Locker Link lets guests rent all-day lockers for their belongings and access them easily using a waterproof wristband.
Pooler waterpark will be managed by Innovative Attraction Management LLC. The park is looking to open in May 2014.
SEASIDE HTS., New Jersey — The New Jersey Amusement Association (NJAA) is pleased to announce that “Riders of the Storm,” an episode of the History Channel’s “American Restoration” program, featuring coverage of the hurricane-damaged Jersey Shore Beach & Boardwalk, will air Tuesday, February 25, at 10:31pm EST on the History Channel.
Episode description: When a New Jersey amusement park owner brings a Hurricane Sandy damaged 1920s Haunted House Car to the shop, the pressure is on to restore a piece of history for a recovering community. With the help of Ted and new painter Niko, Rick hopes to help this wreck-on-wheels once again take some spooky spins.
Since cable companies vary, viewers are advised to check their local cable guide to see where the History channel is located. Additional information is available at History.com.
American Restoration: Riders of the Storm
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
(9:31pm Central, 8:31pm Mountain,10:31pm Pacific)
Anaheim, Calif. — Adventure City is proud to kick off the construction of its newest roller coaster Rewind Racers, expected to open this summer. At a cost of over 2 million dollars, this coaster will be Adventure City’s largest single investment to date in its 20 year history.
Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GMBH, a well-known German ride manufacturer has been tasked with building Rewind Racers, the first family shuttle coaster in North America. The coaster will move both forward and backwards and will accommodate riders of all ages. With a mere 39″ height requirement, the coaster’s unique design comfortably seats both small children and adult passengers, allowing the whole family to join in on the fun. Themeing for the ride ride, queue, station and video production for the building interiors will be provided by R&R Creative Amusement Designs of Anaheim, Calif.
For many of our visitors, an Adventure City coaster is their first roller coast ride, said Allan Ansdell, President of Adventure City. We are so excited that this summer, Rewind Racers will be many children’s first coaster ride, in reverse!
Family owned and operated, Adventure City opened its gates in 1994 and has been known as Southern California’s
“Little Theme Park That’s Big on Family Fun.” Located on the border of Anaheim and Stanton, Adventure City boasts a variety of rides including Adventure City Express Train, Drop Zone and Rescue Ride for the whole family to enjoy. Also, not-to-miss attractions like live entertainment in the children’s theater and friendly animals to meet in the petting farm.
Cleveland, Ohio—Britton Gallagher announced the expansion of its staff with the recent hiring of industry veterans Rick D’Aprile, Gene Berger, Rodney Gerbers, David Gallace, Randy Ebens, Tammy Catterton, April Merino and Jennifer Wolfe.
The group brings decades of experience in the entertainment and specialty insurance industry and are experts in creating unique risk management solutions. This team will support Britton Gallagher’s specialty insurance division, which has already experienced large success with niche markets such as pyrotechnics, professional athletes and entertainers along with amusements and life sciences.
“The entire Britton Gallagher team is excited to welcome the new staff additions,” stated Dennis Laughlin, President and CEO of Britton Gallagher. “We are eager to develop new programs which utilize the team’s extensive experiences and expertise which will allow us to offer a level of unprecedented service to niche markets in the entertainment industry.”
Founded in 1942, Britton Gallagher, a Cleveland-based privately owned insurance brokerage firm has been providing liability and risk management solutions for a diverse scope of industries. The service-based client model has established Britton Gallagher as the leader in unique arenas including amusement, pyrotechnics, life sciences, professional athletes and entertainers, construction, employee benefits, childcare and executive risk. For more information on Britton Gallagher, please visit www.brittongallagher.com or contact the office at (800) 607-4711.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — After several weeks extensive testing and media teasing, El Loco — the acrobatic, S&S Worldwide-designed roller coaster that is only the second of its type in the U.S. — finally cut loose inside The Adventuredome at Circus Circus Las Vegas on Feb. 18.
Filling the space formerly occupied by the indoor amusement park’s Rim Runner flume ride, the undulating, expectation-defying thriller packs a lot of action into its swift 72-second running time. Its 1,300 feet of bright yellow track include a rapid, 90-foot ascent followed by a high lateral-G hairpin turn and a greater-than-straight-down diving drop.
Sudden, outwardly banked curves and dips catch riders off-guard throughout. The coaster’s concluding element, a reverse 240-degree roll that dives into an inverted drop, provides pocket-emptying upside down hang time just before returning to the loading station.
El Loco’s four-person, open-carriage cars allow for tight, fast turns. Passengers are treated to a custom soundtrack featuring Latin, Hip Hop and rock music via a surround-sound system built into each seat.
“El Loco offers our guests something they have never experienced before and is the perfect addition to The Adventuredome,” said Tom Nolan, the park’s vice president of operations. “Riders enjoy El Loco’s twists, turns and drops in such close proximity to our other rides that, for an instant, they get the sensation that they may run into Canyon Blaster or even touch the top of the dome. It creates a truly thrilling experience.”
For more information, visit www.adventuredome.com. Look for a full report on El Loco in the April print edition of Amusement Today.
— BY DEAN LAMANNA, AT STAFF / FEBRUARY 19, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas — Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, the largest water park in North Texas, is going to the races with the introduction of the all-new Wahoo Racer! The thrilling multi-lane water slide complex is the largest of its kind in the world and will complement the park’s already impressive line-up of more than 40 rides and attractions.
Standing nearly 60 feet tall, Wahoo Racer is a two-tiered slide mat racer that first sends riders on an intense, winding stretch through colorful tubes before shooting them out into six racing track-styled lanes. Riders then zoom down head first, at speeds of up to 40 feet per second, on aero-dynamically designed water toboggans for the final stretch. Each course is timed, allowing guests to challenge themselves, along with family and friends to reach the checkered flag for the win.
“This massive slide structure is a great addition to our park,” said Steve Martindale, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor park president. “No other water park in North Texas offers this much thrilling variety and we are committed to delivering a bigger, better and wetter experience to guests of all ages.”
Wahoo Racer is part of the second phase of Hurricane Harbor’s multi-year enhancement project which includes a new retail location, season pass processing facility and redesigned restrooms.
Wahoo Racer is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor opens for the 2014 season on Saturday, May 10. For more information about Wahoo Racer and the other exciting water rides and attractions, visit www.sixflags.com/hurricaneharbortexas.
Cocoa Cruiser, a new coaster from Zamperla of Italy, will give more opportunities to for adults to ride with their children. Located in the park’s Music Box Way area, the compact oval layout will feature a midcourse helix. and the six-car train will hold up to 12 riders.
Two other family favorites will open at the park for the 2014 season — a Tea Cup ride and Sweet Swing, both rides are also from Zamperla.
“Everyone at Zamperla is excited to be adding these three new rides to Hersheypark,” said Sales Director Ramon Rosario. “Our rides are designed to attract and entertain the entire family, so they will be a perfect fit.
HEWITT, Texas — It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of a member of the Amusement Today family. Bill Rea was on hand at the very beginning as the Advertising Manager when Amusement Today was launched in 1997. He passed away Friday, February 7 at a hospice in Hewitt. He was 90.
Rea retired from Amusement Today at the end of 2008, but always kept in touch with staff members and Editor-in-Chief Gary Slade.
Before joining the AT staff Rea was long-time advertising salesman at the Dallas Morning News. He was born and raised in Pottsville, Texas, where he played Texas six-man football. He would go one to attend and graduate Texas Christian University where he would become a Horned Frog fan for life.
Bess Rea, his long-time wife and love of his life, preceded him in death. Funeral services are pending
Look for a complete obituary and tribute in the March issue of Amusement Today.