The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) released its preview of major new rides and attractions opening in 2015 at amusement parks, attractions, water parks, family entertainment centers, science centers, museums, zoos, and aquariums around the world.
IAAPA showcased the compilation during IAAPA Attractions Expo, the largest annual gathering for the worldwide attractions industry. The Expo took place Nov. 17-21, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. More than 27,000 attractions industry professionals took part in more than 80 education sessions, five days of networking, and shopped for the latest innovations displayed by 1,000 companies across a 540,000-net-square-foot trade show floor. A number of amusement parks and industry suppliers made announcements at the event related to 2015 attractions.
Below are some of the exciting thrills guests will enjoy next season, organized by continent and, for the United States, by state:
Shanghai Disney Resort opens in Shanghai, China. The 963-acre (3.9-square- kilometer) resort includes a 225-acre (91-hectare) Magic Kingdom theme park with six lands and unique areas that combine classic Disney characters and stories with cultural touches and themes tailored for the people of China, plus two hotels and a retail, dining, and entertainment complex. Highlights of the theme park include the “Enchanted Storybook Castle” at the center of the park, which features a boat ride attraction; the 11-acre (4.5-hectare) “Garden of Twelve Friends,” which includes Disney-themed zodiac murals; and the “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed Treasure Cove land, which is anchored by the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure” high-tech boat ride.
Legoland Discovery Center opens in Osaka, Japan. The indoor facility, geared towards children between the ages of 3 and 10 features attractions such as a brick pool, 4-D cinema, and Lego building classes.
Universal Studios Singapore introduces the “Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey” roller coaster in its Far Far Away zone. The ride will feature the popular Shrek characters in an all-new adventure.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi begins a three-year expansion. The project will expand the park by 40 percent and include the addition of seven new rides. Three of the park’s existing rides will also be enhanced.
Bobbejaanland in Lichtaart, Belgium, debuts “Mystery Mine/ Forbidden Cellars,” a €5 million (US $6.2 million) 1,500-square-meter (16,146-square-foot) dark-ride experience.
Le Puy du Fou in Les Epesses, France, adds Neopters, revolutionary, luminescent drones that will be used to create aerial shows over the park.
Leolandia brings Peppa Pig to Bergamo, Italy, in a new land, which features a water play area, playground, an interactive tour of Peppa’s family’s home, and a photograph area. The area will be expanded in 2016 and 2017 to include five additional attractions.
Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, opens its new €18 million (US $22.9 million) dive coaster “Baron 1898″featuring a 37.5-meter (123-foot) drop.
Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England, opens The Enchanted Village resort with 120 fairytale lodges and five luxury treehouses. The accommodations will be located in the woodland near the Alton Towers Hotel, within walking distance of the park.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, England, adds the “Red Arrows Sky Force,” a 72-foot-high (22-meter-high) 360-degree flying experience.
KidZania opens its first British location in London’s Westfield Shopping Centre. The indoor space will features games and activities that enable children to explore a number of adult jobs through role playing.
Merlin Entertainments opens “Shrek’s Far Far Away Adventure” in London, England. The interactive attraction features an adventure brought to life by live actors and special effects and is based on a new Shrek story from DreamWorks Entertainment.
Parque de la Costa brings Aquafan water park to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 3-hectare (7.4-acre) facility features an 1100-square-meter (11,840-square-foot) wave pool, water slides, an 800-square-meter (8,611-square-foot) children’s area, and entertainment and shopping areas.
“Vortex,” a six-story, multi-rider funnel slide with top speeds of 70 km/h (43 mph) opens at Wet’n Wild in São Paulo, Brazil.
Fantasilandia in Santiago, Chile, opens “Moby Dick,” a 24-passenger hydraulic moving platform fabricated by WISDOM.
“Krater,” a 1,247-foot-long (380-meter-long) roller coaster debuts at Parque Nacional del Café in Montenegro, Colombia. The three-car train reaches a top speed of 52 mph (83.6 km/h), features a 95-degree vertical drop with a 98-foot (30-meter) hill at the beginning of the ride.
Bosque Mágico Coca-Cola brings the “Zombie” roller coaster to Monterrey, Mexico. The launch-system roller coaster propels riders backward and forward multiple times and reaches a maximum speed of 60 mph (96.5 km/h). The roller coaster’s thrills also include a twisting heartline inversion, ascending and descending vertical twists, and a 360-degree non-inverting loop.
“SkyScreamer,” a 242-foot-tall (73.8-meter-tall) spinning swing ride opens at Six Flags Mexico in Mexico City. Guests revolve around a 98-foot (30-meter) circle at speeds of 35 mph (56 km/h) for a panoramic view of the park and the city below.
Recórcholis! opens a new indoor/ outdoor family entertainment center in Veracruz, Mexico. Highlights of the new play space include a 10-lane bowling alley, miniature golf, go-karts, and an area for children.
NORTH AMERICA – CANADA
Alberta’s Calaway Park, located in Calgary, introduces its new log ride “Timber Falls.” The family-friendly attraction features a zig-zag river section and three high-velocity drops.
Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) Playland in Vancouver, British Columbia, begins a 13-year, $80 million (US$70.7 million) expansion. The exhibition center will expand its footprint by 50 percent, growing from six hectares (15 acres) to nine hectares (22 acres) and introduce several new rides.
“McFeetors Heavy Horse Centre” opens at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The 2-hectare (4.7-acre) project features a barn, pasture, paddocks, a carriage shed, and walking paths and will be home to four Percheron horses throughout the year.
Canada’s Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario, adds new attractions to its 8-hectare (20-acre) water park, with the addition of the “Typhoon” slide, featuring oscillating funnels and hairpin turns, and “Splash Station,” an interactive children’s play area.
LaRonde, located in Montreal, Quebec, dials up the scares in 2015 with the addition of “Maison Rouge-Labyrinth of Terror,” a year-round, haunted walk-through funhouse.
NORTH AMERICA – UNITED STATES
Legoland California in Carlsbad, California, opens the Lego Star Wars Miniland Death Star spanning six feet across and offering guests the chance to view iconic film scenes made of Lego bricks that were filmed inside the Galactic Empire’s space station. Lego models of Stormtroopers, a Rebel X-wing fighter pilot, and an Imperial Star Ship pilot will also be on display. Guests can use their imaginations to construct their own Lego spaceships at nearby building stations.
The San Diego Zoo in California opens a new habitat for critically endangered snow leopards and Amirleopards. The 16,500-square-foot (1,533-square-meter) area includes 5,500 square feet (511 square meters) of multi-level living space with outcroppings, trees, and shrubs.
Vallejo, California’s Six Flags Discovery Kingdom introduces the “Dare Devil Chaos Coaster,” a single looping coaster that builds anticipation as riders, seated back-to-back, travel backward and forward until they complete multiple revolutions at a height of 70 feet (21 meters).
Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, near Los Angeles adds the “Twisted Colossus” wood hybrid coaster. The four-minute ride takes guests along nearly 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) of iron track and includes two lift hills as it blends with an iconic wooden structure.
Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, California, debuts two new attractions in 2015. A new The Simpsons-themed area brings the fictional hometown of the Simpsons to life with accompanying retail and restaurants next to the park’s existing “Simpsons” ride. The park also introduces the 50,000-square-foot (4,645-square-meter) “Fast & Furious Supercharged” motion simulator, which uses a tunnel-like movie screen to create an immersive 3-D experience based on the hit movie franchise.
Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut, introduces two new guest experiences in 2015. The thrilling “Frantic” swings riders back and forth, higher and higher, until it reaches full 360-degree flips. The park also adds “Collidoscope” bumper cars for children between 36 and 48 inches tall (91 and 122 cm).
The Crayola Experience opens its newest family entertainment center in Orlando, Florida, featuring 25 kid-friendly, hands-on experiences based on the popular crayons in a 70,000-square-foot (6,503-square-meter) facility.
The new I-Drive 360 brings Merlin Entertainments attractions Madam Tussauds, Sea Life Aquarium, and the “Orlando Eye,” a 400-foot (122-meter) giant Ferris wheel, to Orlando, Florida. The complex also includes “Skeletons: A Museum of Osteology,” which showcases 300 animal and human skeletons in a 7,500-square-foot (697-square-meter) exhibit space.
Miami, Florida’s Jungle Island expands the park, adding interactive environments for the park’s animals and aerial activities for guests, including ziplines, adventure bridges, and bungee swings.
Legoland Florida opens the Legoland Hotel in Winter Haven, Florida. The five-story Lego hotel features 152 family-friendly rooms, a pool, kid-sized buffet, and play area.
The Orlando Science Center in Florida expands its KidsTown area in 2015. The 11,000-square-foot (1,022-square-meter) exhibit features hands-on activities for children under the age of 7.
Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, Georgia, brings Gotham City to life in 2015. A new area features two new attractions: the spinning “Harley Quinn Spinsanity” and a looping coaster “The Joker Chaos Coaster,” on which 20 guests sit facing each other as they glide forward and backward looping multiple times seven stories in the air.
The “Dive Bomber” water slide opens at Six Flags White Water near Marietta, Georgia. Guests stand in a clear capsule with a trap door, then drop more than 100 feet (31 meters) at nearly 90 degrees in a zero-gravity experience.
Triple Play Family Fun Park expands in Hayden, Idaho, to include a laser tag arena and 32-foot-tall (10-meter-tall) indoor ropes course with attractions for all ages. The total expansion will measure 8,750-square-feet (813-square-meters).
Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, celebrates 40 years of thrills with upgrades to signature areas of the park, including Carousel Plaza. The park also reintroduces three children’s rides that existed when it first opened, including: the “Lady Bugs,” the “Red Baron Airplanes,” and the “Tots Livery Surrey Carriage.”
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, debuts “Thunderbird” a first-of-its-kind launching wing coaster. The ride features a zero-to-60-mph (97 km/h) launch followed by multiple inversions, including a barrel roll, a 14-story-Immelmann loop, and a loop soaring 125 feet (38 meters) in the air.
The Alley of Hutchinson bowling alley and family entertainment center opens in Hutchinson, Kansas, and features 20 traditional bowling lanes, eight boutique bowling lanes, laser tag, billiards, bumper cars, and electronic games.
Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville opens five rides in 2015: the suspended looping “T3- Terror to the Third Power” roller coaster, the “Raging River Raft Ride,” the “Enterprise,” Ferris wheel, the 130-foot-tall (40-meter-tall) “SkyCatcher” swinging gondola, and the 360-degree rotating pendulum “Cyclos.”
The 2,700-square-foot (251-square-meter) “Living Seashore” exhibit, featuring touch pools, a replicated beach, and 150 animals, opens at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. The new exhibit is part of a $10.5 million upgrade to the attraction.
Six Flags America near Washington, D.C., launches the “Bourbon Street Fireball,” a looping roller coaster, in 2015.
Six Flags New England brings the “Wicked Cyclone” wood hybrid coaster to the Agawam, Massachusetts, park shuttling thrill-seekers along 3,320 feet (1,012 meters) of track and reaching top speeds of 55 mph (88.5 km/h).
The new Sea Life Aquarium in Auburn Hills, Michigan, houses more than 5,000 sea creatures including, sharks, sea horses, stingrays, and more. The 35,000-square-foot (3,252-square-meter) aquarium features a 180-degree underwater tunnel and a touchpool experience with starfish and crabs.
The Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium in Minneapolis will complete a $2 million expansion that brings guests closer to stingrays with the “Stingray Adventure,” a 50-foot (15-meter), 15,000-gallon (56,781-liter) touch pool. The aquarium also changes the current touch pool from a warm-water to cold-water pool, renaming it the “Pacific Northwest Touchpool” and adds a “Shipwreck” display, showcasing new varieties of fish.
Valleyfair’s Soak City water park in Shakopee, Minnesota, adds the multi-slide “Breakers Pipeline” complex, taking guests from 65 feet (18 meters) above ground in four tube slides and dropping riders 90 feet (27 meters) on two speed slides. The park also opens the family-friendly “Barefoot Beach” splash pad, adding nearly one acre (.40 hectares) of water play attractions for young guests.
Guests of the Kansas City Zoo in Kansas City get closer to the orangutans in a new interactive exhibit that enables the popular primates to climb around the habitat. It also features observation platforms for guests and touchscreens that allow humans and the orangutans to interact in new ways.
Kansas City, Missouri’s Oceans of Fun water park debuts “Splash Island,” a 4,200-square-foot (390-square-meter) interactive, family-friendly water attraction featuring water jets and swan-shaped paddle boats.
Polar bears join the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri in a new exhibit that features a 22-foot (6.7-meter) viewing window for visitors, a 50,000-gallon (189,271-liter) saltwater pool, and a 1,000-square-foot (93 square-meters) Arctic cave room. The new exhibit accommodates a breeding pair of adult polar bears and their offspring.
The 10-attraction Fireman’s Landing opens at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, featuring six family rides and four interactive play zones, all saluting the spirit and training activities of volunteer firefighters. The park also launches a live basketball experience headlined by the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters.
Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, Missouri, launches the 3-D interactive dark ride attraction “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis,” in which guests take on the role as the Justice League Reserve Team and engage in a full-sensory journey with the Justice League heroes as they battle against villains Lex Luthor and the Joker to save the city of Metropolis.
The Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska remodels its existing Galápagos tortoise exhibit to enable guests to interact with the animals and create a more conducive environment for animals to lay their eggs.
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, adds its 13th roller coaster, “Looping Dragon,” a pendulum-style, looping coaster. The park also adds two new year-round indoor haunt mazes: a 3-D black light experience “Big Top Terror” and a prison-themed “Condemned.”
Lake George, New York’s Six Flags Great Escape introduces the Buccaneer Beach children’s area in Splashwater Kingdom water park. The fun-filled pirates area features children’s slides and interactive water attractions.
The 325-foot-tall (99-meter-tall) Bolliger & Mabillard “Fury 325” giga coaster launches at Carowinds near Charlotte, North Carolina. The coaster reaches speeds up to 95 mph (153 km/h) through a series of hills, curves, and quick transitions along a 6,602-foot (2,012-meter) track during the three-and-one-half-minute ride experience.
Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point launches “Rougarou,” a floorless roller coaster based on a werewolf-like creature that reaches speeds up to 60 mph (97 km/h).
Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, opens a 533,000-square-foot (49,517-square-meter) indoor water park. Aquatopia Indoor Water Park features six pools, the “Bombroa Flowrider” indoor surfing simulator, 13 water slides, and an indoor water coaster, “Storm Chaser.” Aquatopia opens as part of the new 453-room Camelback Lodge. www.skicamelback.com
At Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, “Cedar Creek Flyers” debuts. A Larson International ride that features eight two-person carriages sends guests flying 28 feet (8.5 meters) over the midway. Riders can take their flight from mild to intense as they control the thrill level using a moveable front wing.
The “Laff Trakk Indoor Coaster,” a spinning glow-coaster opens at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The 70-second-long Mauer Sohne spinning coaster offers a new experience during every cycle and thrills guests with a 1,400-foot (427-meter) steel track, high banked curves, camelback air time hills and curves, and an Immelman turn.
Kalahari Resort in Tobyhanna Township, Pennsylvania, opens an 800-guest-room resort, golf course, convention center, and indoor and outdoor water parks.
Knoebels in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, adds “Impulse,” the park’s fifth roller coaster. The looping steel roller coaster features more than 2,000 feet (610 meters) of track, several inversions – including a cobra roll and vertical loop — a 90-degree freefall drop, and reaches speeds of more than 55 mph (88.5 km/h). The ride has been developed by German company Zierer.
Waldameer Park & Water World adds a giant wave pool to the Erie, Pennsylvania, amusement park.
Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, celebrates the park’s 30th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the popular “Smoky Mountain Christmas” spectacular. The park also opens the DreamMore Resort, a 307-room, family-friendly resort located adjacent to Dollywood’s Splash Country water park.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland opens the Guest House, a 450-room hotel on the attraction’s grounds in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to two restaurants and an event space, the hotel also houses a 500-seat theater for live performances.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio launches “Batman: The Ride,” a 4-D spinning wing coaster that sends guests up a 120-foot (37-meter) elevator-type lift before releasing them on a sensory journey. Riders are seated on either side of the track as they experience six head-over-heels spins and two beyond-vertical freefalls.
Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington opens “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis,” a 3-D interactive dark ride attraction in which guests take on the role of the Justice League Reserve Team and engage in a full-sensory journey with the Justice League heroes, battling against villains Lex Luthor and the Joker.
Spare Time Fun Center opens in Pflugerville, Texas. The bowling alley and family entertainment center features 22 bowling lanes, a 5,000-square-foot (464.5-square-meter) arcade and a 4,500-square-foot (418-square-meter) laser tag arena.
Splash Kingdom Water Park opens in Greenville, Texas. The park includes a wave pool, lazy river, slides, and more.
Lagoon Park in Farmington, Utah, unveils the “Cannibal” roller coaster. The ride hoists guests up 208 feet (63 meters) on a vertical lift before a freefall at an angle of 116 degrees into an underground tunnel.
Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, expands its WaterWorks water park adding “Paradise Plunge,” a 65-foot-tall (20-meter-tall) water slide complex; Splash Island, a family-friendly splash zone with water slides and water jets for young guests; and various amenities to enhance the guest experience.