ORLANDO, Fla. — Officials at Universal Orlando Resort recently revealed never-before-seen details of the Hogwarts Express train ride, one of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series that will come to life in Florida this summer.
Guests will be able to experience what the film’s characters did as they were transported from the Muggle world in London to the wizarding world by passing through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾. The Hogwarts Express train will pull into the station with billowing steam and authentic. Then, sitting in one of the train’s cabins, they will commence their journey to Hogsmeade station located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.
The Hogwarts Express experience will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new themed land opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.
The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.
Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it.
For more information about the Hogwarts Express – including a new video that features a first-look at the ride experience – and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter.
— Scott Rutherford
Landmark Alabama attraction to be owned and operated by renowned industry veterans
Birmingham, Ala. — The Koch family has acquired Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark and will re-open the park for the 2014 summer season. Dan Koch, who led the acquisition, is bringing his family’s seven decades of experience in the amusement and water park industry to his new home in Alabama.
“I am thrilled to be living and working in this community,” said Dan Koch. “Our family wants Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark to be the number one choice for family fun and family memories for generations to come.”
Koch Parks, Inc. has purchased the water park with 89 acres of land, which will aid in future expansion. General Attractions, LLC, the park’s previous owner, will retain 150 acres surrounding the park for future development.
Kent Lemasters, President of General Attractions, LLC said, “We are pleased that the Koch Family are the new owners of Splash Adventure. We feel very confident that because of their very high reputation and experience of over 75 years in the amusement park industry, that they will continue to take the park forward to new, high levels of achievement for the benefit of the entire area including those who visit the park and the surrounding communities and we wish them every success.”
The Koch family has a reputation for superior customer service and will operate the park with a special focus on providing safe, family fun for all ages. New attractions include five new rides for kids including a Wacky Worm Coaster, Rio Grande Train, Junior Bumper Boats, Mini Helicopters, and Vintage Boats. A new Laser Maze Challenge will also be added for heart-pounding family fun as well as games to entertain the younger family members. All guests will enjoy free parking, free sunscreen, free access to inner tubes and free in-park WiFi. Additional expansion plans for Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark are currently being developed. The park will re-open for weekend operations beginning May 17th.
RICHMOND, B.C., Canada — WhiteWater West Industries has announced the acquisition of WaveLoch’s innovative, award winning line of products including FlowRider, FlowBarrel, FlowCurl, FlowRider Wave-in-a Box, and WaveOz. Previously, WhiteWater had been the exclusive worldwide licensee of WaveLoch’s FlowRider business. This marks the third major acquisition in the past two years for WhiteWater.
Wave Loch founder, Tom Lochtefeld will continue to market the WaveHouse and work on his surf pool business. Aquatic Development Group will continue to be the exclusive marketer and manufacturer of the FlowRider product line in the U.S. and eastern Canadian market.
In making the announcement, WhiteWater President & CEO Geoff Chutter noted, “We are not only adding another original product to the WhiteWater portfolio but also adding the creative talents of another original waterpark pioneer to the family.”
WhiteWater’s goal is not just about creating a collection of great products, but forming an invaluable team of people with amazing talent and skills.
“We are tremendously excited about the momentum this addition brings to WhiteWater’s innovative group of companies,” said WhiteWater’s Marshall Myrman who will head the FlowRider and Waves business unit. “Keep your eyes on the horizon,” he said, “because the best flowboarding is yet to come!”
MASON, Ohio — In this photo, Mark Wagers from Baynum Painting Inc., paints a section of track orange on the Bat roller coaster Friday at Kings Island. The ride located in the park’s Action Zone area carries riders through hilly wooded terrain suspended below 2,352 feet of track. The Bat, formerly known to park visitors as Flight Deck, will be operational when Kings Island opens for the 2014 season Friday, April 18.
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.