Cedar Fair announces organizational changes

By | January 22, 2014

Cedar FairSANDUSKY, Ohio — Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced Carrie Boldman as the Company’s corporate vice president, merchandise and games. In addition, the Company announced the promotion of Matt Shafer to corporate vice president, strategic alliances.

“We are thrilled to have Carrie join our team and to announce Matt’s promotion,” said Richard Zimmerman, Cedar Fair’s chief operating officer. “Our focus is on continually enhancing our guest experience. We believe both Carrie and Matt possess the knowledge and drive to help us elevate the high-quality entertainment value our parks are known for. We look forward to working with both of them in their new roles.”

Boldman has 16 years of experience in the amusement park industry, all of which were with the Walt Disney Company. During her many years in the Disney organization, she held senior merchandise positions within the company’s parks and resorts segment. In her new role with Cedar Fair, Boldman will assume responsibility for all aspects of Cedar Fair’s merchandise and games operations with a focus on creating and implementing a strategic plan that enhances the guest experience.

Shafer has 14 years of experience in the amusement park industry and most recently served as corporate director of marketing where he led the implementation of Cedar Fair’s e-commerce programs. In his new role, Shafer’s primary focus will be the startup and launch of the Company’s new in-house television network.

Legoland Florida salutes active personnel in armed forces with military appreciation days throughout 2014

By | January 15, 2014

Active Military Receive Free Admission Plus Family Member Discounts

Legoland FloridaWINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Legoland Florida salutes the men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces with the continuation of Military Appreciation Days throughout 2014. As an appreciation for their continued service, all active duty military personnel including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists are now entitled to free single day admission to Legoland Florida and the Loegoland Water Park (open seasonally). Specifically geared for families with children ages 2 to 12, Legoland Florida also offers substantial savings for family and friends of military personnel so all can enjoy the more than 50 rides, shows, attractions and the newest expansion, The Lego World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network featuring an interactive family water ride, The Quest for Chi.

To redeem their free admission ticket, active duty military personnel should present their military identification card to Legoland Florida’s ticket window the day they plan to visit. Family and friends of military personnel also receive substantial discounts on admission tickets and should make purchases in advance through participating military base ticket offices.

“We are pleased to continue our Military Appreciation Days. This is a great way for Legoland Florida to say thank you for the selfless service our military men and women provide every day throughout the year,” said Kim Isemann, director of sales and marketing at Legoland Florida.

For the most current information on operating hours and special events throughout the year at Legoland Florida, visit Legoland.com.

Busch Gardens’ Falcons Fury exceeds 300-foot mark

By | January 7, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. — Construction on Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens Williamsburg surpasses the 300-foot mark on Tuesday, January 7m 2014. The first-of-its-kind Intamin drop ride will top out at 335 feet and feature seats that tilt 90 degrees forward so riders are facing the ground as they plummet from the top of the ride.

Photo courtesy of Aerial Innovations

Photo courtesy of Aerial Innovations

Photo courtesy of Aerial Innovations

Photo courtesy of Aerial Innovations

NEAAPA hosts Tom Morrow Social

By | January 7, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. — The New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) held its annual Tom Morrow Social during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo in Orlando, Fla. The late Tom Morrow was called “Mr. NEAAPA” for his years of contribution to the association. Shown at the gala are NEAAPA Past Presidents John Frantzis (left) and Ed Connor (right) with Morrow’s son, Greg, who is with Lake Winnepesaukah, Rossville, Ga. More than 100 attended the association dinner.



AIMS Safety Seminar Orlando 2014

By | January 2, 2014

Housing closes Monday

AIMS_2014_logoMacThe 41st Annual AIMS Safety Seminar is set to Kick off on Sunday January 12, 2014. Industry professionals from around the globe will gather in Orlando for five days of intensive education, testing and certification. For those that have not yet arranged housing with the host hotel — now is the time. Housing will close on Monday 1-6, so book today.

AIMS commitment to the industry is safety and education, as such, registration will not close, and walk up’s are welcome. Visit us at aimsintl.org for more information. See you in Orlando.

Amusement Today offices closed for the Holiday Season

By | December 22, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas — The offices of Amusement Today will close at noon on Monday, December 23, 2013, and will re-open on Thursday, January 2, 2014 in order to give our employees a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Years with their family and friends.

Amusement Today desktop edition will not be published on December 24, 25, December 31, 2013, and January 1, 2014.

The Amusement Today staff wish each and every one of our readers and followers a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


SeaWorld: The truth Is in our parks and people

By | December 20, 2013

An Open Letter from SeaWorld’s Animal Advocates

SEAWORLD PARKS & ENTERTAINMENT LOGOORLANDO, Fla. — Inaccurate reports recently have generated questions about SeaWorld and the animals in our care. The truth is in our parks and people, and it’s time to set the record straight.

The men and women of SeaWorld are true animal advocates. We are the 1,500 scientists, researchers, veterinarians, trainers, marine biologists, aquarists, aviculturists, educators and conservationists who have dedicated our lives to the animals in our care as well as those in the wild that are injured, ill or orphaned. Whether it’s a sea lion, manatee, sea turtle or whale, we are on call 24/7.

Here are some important facts about SeaWorld and our work:

SeaWorld does not capture killer whales in the wild. Due to the groundbreaking success of our research in marine mammal reproduction, we haven’t collected a killer whale from the wild in 35 years. In fact, only two of the whales in our care were collected by SeaWorld and they continue to be in our care today. In addition, our research has led to a much greater understanding of whales in the wild, giving researchers important scientific insights surrounding marine mammal reproduction.

We do not separate killer whale moms and calves. SeaWorld recognizes the important bond between mother and calf. On the rare occasion that a mother killer whale cannot care for the calf herself, we have successfully hand raised and reintroduced the calf. Whales are only moved to maintain a healthy social structure.

SeaWorld invests millions of dollars in the care of our killer whales. In the last three years alone, we have invested $70 million in our killer whale habitats and millions of dollars annually in support of these facilities. Our habitats are among the largest in the world today. They are state-of-the-art, multimillion-gallon environments of cooled and filtered water that allow for the highest and safest standards of care. We give our animals restaurant-quality fish, exercise, veterinary care, mental stimulation, and the company of other members of their species.
SeaWorld’s killer whales’ life spans are equivalent with those in the wild. While studies continue to define the average life span of killer whales in the wild, the most recent science suggests that our killer whales’ life spans are comparable — indeed, five of our animals are older than 30, and one of our whales is close to 50.

The killer whales in our care benefit those in the wild. We work with universities, governmental agencies and NGOs to increase the body of knowledge about and the understanding of killer whales — from their anatomy and reproductive biology to their auditory abilities. Some populations of wild killer whales have been classified as endangered or threatened, demonstrating the potential critical nature of these research opportunities. This type of controlled research and study is simply not possible in the wild, and has significant real-world benefits to the killer whales that live there.

SeaWorld is a world leader in animal rescue. The millions of people who visit our parks each year make possible SeaWorld’s world-renowned work in rescue, rehabilitation and release. We are constantly innovating when it comes to this care: Our veterinarians have created nursing bottles to hand-feed orphaned whales, prosthetics to save sea turtles, and a wetsuit to help injured manatees stay afloat during rehabilitation. Whether it’s the result of natural or man-made disasters, SeaWorld is always on call and often the first to be contacted. We have rescued more than 23,000 animals with the goal of treating and returning them to the wild.

Naturalist Baba Dioum put it best when he said, “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.”

At SeaWorld, this has been our calling since we first opened our doors 50 years ago. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly. More than 400 million guests have visited SeaWorld. We are proud that their experiences here have a lasting and positive impact on them, and on the world in which we live.

The truth about SeaWorld is right here in our parks and people. Our guests may enter our gates having never given much thought to the remarkable animals in our oceans. When they leave with a greater appreciation for the importance of the sea, educated about the animals that live there and inspired to make a difference, we have done our job.


Rick Hagen of Waterloo Tent has died

By | December 20, 2013

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — A long time employee of Waterloo Tent has passed away. Rick Hagen 49, of Cedar Falls, Iowa passed away Wednesday December 11, 2013 at his home. Rick began his career with Waterloo in 2005 as a Carnival business sales rep. He later became territory manager as his business volume continued to grow. Rick was well liked and a respected asset to the Waterloo family. Our prayers go out to Rick’s family and friends, Rick will be missed. Services for Rick took place Tuesday December 17th at Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls.

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CORE will be installing the revolutionary new Paydia software suite at Jersey Shore

By | December 20, 2013

CoreCashless_2013LENEXA, Kan. — Located on the Jersey Shore, Jenkinson’s South sits right on the beachfront and provides guests with everything from arcades to amusement rides. Soon they’ll be giving guests the latest in cashless technology, as they have chosen CORE Cashless to provide the park with a wide variety of mobile and revenue solutions.

CORE introduced the endlessly flexible Paydia cashless payment platform at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando this past November. It has since garnered a great deal of industry buzz. The new product suite will allow Jenkinson’s guests to use cashless payment at Midway games, Arcades, Redemption Centers, a Water Park, and Food and Beverage locations. Jenkinson’s will also be using Paydia for all online sales, including gift cards and guest account registration. By supplying the facility with one comprehensive solution, CORE looks to make a positive fiscal and environmental difference at the park.

“Jenkinson’s South is excited to work with CORE Cashless to move our operations toward the future of entertainment,” says Toby Wolf, Director of Marketing at Jenkinson’s. “Working with CORE Cashless will also allow us to take the next step into a sustainable future by helping us to reduce our carbon footprint.”

CORE will begin installation of the new solutions this winter and will look to be finished in April for the park’s operating season.

nWave Pictures’ new 3D film “House of Magic” to spin off two 4D attraction films in 2014

By | December 18, 2013

nWaveLogo01_250pxBRUSSELS. Belgium and BURBANK, Calif. — nWave Pictures is proud to announce the release of the new feature-length 3D animated film “The House of Magic” opening this Christmas in theaters in France, Belgium, South Korea, Singapore and Italy. The 85-minute film, budgeted at $34 million, is produced by nWave Pictures in association with StudioCanal and media fund Anton Capital Entertainment. “The House of Magic” is directed by renowned 3D filmmakers Ben Stassen (“Fly Me to the Moon”, “Sammy’s Adventures: Escape from Paradise”) and Jeremie Degruson, with original music by Ramin Djawadi (“Pacific Rim”, “Game of Thrones”).

“The House of Magic” tells the story of Thunder, an abandoned young cat who stumbles into a magical old mansion operated by a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos. Owned by a retired magician, the house is occupied by an assortment of his wacky assistants who don’t all welcome the new houseguest. But when the magician lands in hospital and his scheming nephew puts the mansion up for sale, our young hero and his new friends join forces to save their magical home.

nWave also confirms its plans for the 2014 launch of two new 4D attraction films designed for theme park and attraction exhibitors worldwide. “The House of Magic: The 4D Experience” and “The Haunted Mansion 4D” will be available this spring and Halloween respectively. Based on the animated characters from the feature film, and incorporating original material, the two 12-minute films are designed to maximize the impact of visual and special effects for the theme park audience.