Site-Info: Editorial > General Topics > Euro Attractions Show 2006 : Page 1
The modern convention center in Vienna
The Euro Attractions Show has become the most important
European trade show for the attractions industry. Originally founded and
conducted by the European Association Amusement Supplier Industry (EAASI), a
federation of European manufacturers, in 2005 the International Association of
Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), an association of the leisure industry
with a strong focus on the US, has joined in. As a joint venture of both
organizations, the show benefits from the experience of IAAPA in conducting
such an event and EAASI´s knowledge of the European market. As a result
of the collaboration the show was renamed from Euro Amusement Show to Euro
Attractions Show. So the name alone shall indicate that the show is not only
aimed at claasic amusement parks and showmen, but also at operators of zoos and
After the rather disastrous conditions in the temporary, leaky
tents in Paris 2004 the Messe Wien offered a perfect infrastructure the next
year, and so the capital of Austria was chosen for the 2006 show, too. From 3rd
to 5th of February 220 exhibitors, 30 less then the year before, offered their
goods and services. The number of attendees, too, fell from 7200 to 4000, but
almost all exhibitors were satisfied with the show. Especially a trade show
like the Euro Attractions Show does not need quantity but quality, and
quality was quite high according to unanimous opinion.
But many companies are less satisfied with Sevilla, the host for
the EAS 2007. The majority appreciates a changing venue, but the city in
southern Spain seems to be too far from anywhere. The distances are too large
for most exhibitors and visitors, and there are direct flights from only a hand
full of cities. The date, from tuesday to thursday, is a renunciation from the
well known, too, which will surely result in a further shift of the attendees
towards business customers. But most likely the theme park Isla Magica
close to the convention center will be open. Rumors on the show floor say that
the park is supposed to receive a new major attraction for the 2007 season -
even though the type of the attraction and the manufacturer are not announced
So the choice of Sevilla is most likely the biggest surprise of
this year´s EAS, while the manufacturers see more of an evolution than a
revolution. The new trend towards launch coasters started by Intamin dominates
the market of "classic" roller coasters, and rides with motorbike vehicles get
increasingly popular, too. In addition, attention is drawn towards new seat and
restraint systems. On the following pages the new concepts and latest news from
various manufactures are presented.
Left: Ground view of the Baby Flume Ride at
Legoland Germany - Right: Maypole tower ride for Tripsdrill
In the last years abc engineering could establish
themselves as a manuacturer of innovative attractions for kids and families
aiming at small and medium parks. So it is no wonder that Tripsdrill in
southern Germany near Stuttgart is one of the regular customers. As the third
abc-made attraction the park will receive the Maibaum (maypole) for the
2006 season, a 16.5 meters high tower ride that will be the signature of the
new town square. Eight gondolas with two seats each hang from an annulus with
steel ropes, with the passengers sitting next to each other facing outwards.
After boarding, the annulus slowly ascends and starts rotating with varying
speeds, thus resulting in a tumbling movement of the gondola. With a joystick
the passengers can influence the height of their gondola and thus intervene
with the ride.
The mini flume ride Mühlbach-Fahrt in
Tripsdrill will see a sister ride with identical layout at the
Freizeitpark Neusiedlersee in Austria for the 2006 season. The 147
meters long channel is composed of steel troughs, thus leading to less concrete
works. The boats will show a crocodile design. In addition, the park receives a
250 meters long tractor ride from abc, where the riders can influence the speed
of their vehicle within defined limits.
A further development of the stationary mini flume is a
semi-portable version. At Kids-Dinoworld, belonging to Rastiland
near Hannover, Germany, such a ride with 105 meters of channel on a footprint
of 16x28 meters will open during the next weeks. Matching the theme, the boats
are designed as crocodiles. The ride needs neither foundations nor a water
reservoir, since the water is held in a closed circulation. An almost exact
copy is supposed to open on April 1st at Adventureland, Long Island, New York,
but the boats will have a sack-like theming like at Tripsdrill.
Left: The River Splash for Steinwasen Park -
Right: Prototype at the Erse Park near Hannover, Germany
With the baby flume ride a water ride is now available even for
the smallest kids of nine months. Up to a certain size a baby seat is provided
which is installed in the boats using a special mounting. The parents can
accompany the 89 meters long ride on a path next to the channel and thus
oversee their kids all the time. The ride will debut with the park opening at
Legoland Germany, the boats will be designed as Lego canoes according to
the park theme.
The next concept with water as the dominating element is River
Splash for Steinwasen Park. With a height difference of 14.3 meters
the ride is slightly lower than the prototype at Erse Park. Directly
behind the station the round boats for nine people are lifted vertically by a
platform. At the same time the lift rotates by 180 degrees around the vertical
axis. At the top the boat is released into a spiral trough where it rotates
freely before it splashes into the adjacent channel. Due to the closed water
circulation a water basin is not necessary. A second platform is attached to
the same lift and moves down in the opposite direction than the active lift
Left: Prototype of the John Silver Tilt Tower in
the US - Right: Study of the 30 meters high portable Horror Tower
The Belantis amusement park will receive the second
delivery of the John Silver Tilt Tower that is already in successful
operation at Adventureland, Long Island, New York. The row with eight
seats is attached to a driven rope and brought to an initial height of eight
meters. The ride consists of an up and down with various stops where the
gondola can be braked with varying intensity. In addition to this vertical
movement, the tower sways sideways and thus creates an ocean going feeling. The
opening at Belantis is planned for the end of may.
A ride based on the John Silver Tilt Tower is the Horror
Tower. This is a portable version with a total height of 30 meters (as
compared to 13 meters of the John Silver Tilt Tower) which can be
completely stored on just one transport. Erecting the ride is supposed to take
six hours with two persons without the need for a crane. The gondola of the
Horror Tower has two rows of eight seats each to increase capacity.
Here, too, the gondola is attached to a driven rope leading to a similar ride.
The concept sketches show the ride as a burning castle impending to collapse.
But the first delivery that will go to Swiss showman Eugen Zanolla will
have a different theming that is not yet revealed.
Study of the 650 meters long LSM launch
The Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH, too, has seized the launch
coaster trend and developed an own concept. It is based on a new generation of
high efficiency LSM modules catapulting the train from zero to 90 kilometers
per hour in just three seconds. Despite the progress in LSM technology, the
peak demand on electricity - depending on train weight and launch speed - is
still too high to be provided by the mains supply. So as an optional feature
Gerstlauer uses a flywheel that is continously accelerated by an
electric motor. But unlike the Schwarzkopf shuttle loops the rotational
energy is not transfered to a catch car in a mechanical way, but reverted into
electrical energy that powers the LSM modules. This method lacks the main
disadvantage of the Schwarzkopf system: The mechanical clutch was a
maintenance nightmare. The generator used by Gerstlauer, however, is
maintenance friendly and long-living.
For the new propulsion system Gerstlauer has presented two
launch coaster layouts. The "small" version with 485 meters of track launches
the train into a big helix, followed by a combination of curves and bunny hops.
The variant with 650 meters track length begins with a horseshoe and some
camelbacks with the track forming a rectangle-like footprint. The first part
reminds of an out-and-back design with a second twisting part within the
Layout of the tallest Gerstlauer Eurofighter at
Welsh Oakwood Theme Park
Also developed for the launch coaster were new cars offering six
seats each. Two cars can be combined to a train thus doubling capacity. This
still enables compact layouts, and with a train weight of less than four tons
the power demand of the LSM modules is still moderate. The three rows of each
car are not just arranged in an inclined way to offer stadium seating, but also
becoming wider in a V-shaped manner. This gives a better view and some wind in
the passengers´ hair - both important factors for a coaster experience.
The open train design is further emphasized by the new one-armed lap bar. The
bucket seat supporting pelvis and shoulders is provided with bumps between the
riders´ legs, so intense airtime and even inversions are no problem.
Unfortunately, no sale of the launch coaster can be announced yet.
But the Eurofighter with its vertical lift and the 97 degrees steep drop
has established itself: The new coaster for the Oakwood Theme Park with
its 35 meters high lift is to be opened soon, and for 2007 already three rides
could be sold. Two of them are park versions, while the third one will be
portable. This is interesting news, since the time for new large traveling
coasters seemed to be over.
Die Input Projektentwicklungs GmbH gestaltet und entwickelt
als hundertprozentige Tochter der Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH
touristische Angebote für die Bergwelt unter Verwendung der Technik der
Muttergesellschaft. In letzter Zeit wurden die Aktivitäten in Richtung
Freizeitparks erweitert. So ermöglicht seit der Saison 2005 im Fort Fun
der Sky Glider Wild Eagle seinen Fahrgästen einen imposanten Flug
über den Park. Für dieses Jahr steht die Weltpremiere des Mountain
Glider in Walibi Belgium an.
Left: Rendering of the gondola - Right: Track
ayout of the Mountain Glider at Walibi Belgium
The Input Projektentwicklungs GmbH as a hundred percent
daughter of the Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH designs and develops
proposals for mountain regions, using the technology of the parent company.
Recently the activities towards amusement parks have been broadened. So since
the 2005 season the Sky Glider Wild Eagle provides an impressive flight
over the Fort Fun park in Germany. This year will see the world debut of
the Mountain Glider at Walibi Belgium near Brussel.
At a Mountain Glider a suspended gondola with four seats
abreast is brought to the starting height by a vertical lift from where it
negotiates the track hanging from a single track pipe. At Walibi Belgium
the lift is 55 meters high, the track is about 700 meters long. The pipe is
equipped with a leading fin for the carriage, rotating the chassis around the
pipe, for example in curves. In addition, the gondola can swing sideways as
well as forwards and backwards. The track pipe isn´t just rugged in
itself, but also hangs from a steel rope. This is supposed to permit distances
between the supports of up to 300 meters - at Walibi Belgium it will be
up to almost 200 meters. This impressive value offers totally new possibilities
for integrating the ride in a given and covered area.
In addition to the leading fin there are brake fins attached to
the track pipe. A trim brake limiting the speed for certain sections is based
on the electromagnetic technology, while there are also additional friction
brakes. The brakes are attached to the carriage, so the gondola can be stopped
everywhere on the course. This enables the Mountain Glider to differ
from the usual block system: The ride control monitors the actual positions of
the vehicles - the ride in Belgium will have four gondolas - and automatically
commands the car to stop if it falls below a specified safe distance.
The model of the Mountain Glider on display at the
EAS shows the ride above the central lake at Walibi Belgium. But
since protected animals nestle there and a maximum noise level by the riders
can´t be guaranteed, the ride will be built in another location but with
the same track layout. The station will be located at the former site of the
Vekoma Corkscrew and the track will lead over covered and accessible
areas of the park, so the whole ride had to be jacked up by two meters using
3D model of Stealth at Thorpe Park
With the hydraulic launch coaster, Intamin has a very
sucessful concept at hand. The catapult start offers a first kick before the
ride has actually begun. In addition, there is no need for a classic lift hill,
which enables record heights on the one hand and compact layouts on the other.
So Intamin launchers with the most different characteristics spring up like
In Europe there debut two such rides in 2006: Speed Monster
at Tusenfryd and Stealth at Thorpe Park - and the
rumor mill is buzzing for two other installations in 2007, one with complete
new trains, featuring a new ride experience dimension. So it is no wonder that
other manufacturers jump on the bandwagon and offer their own launch coasters.
But Intamin do not see their market leadership challenged: "With regards
to roller coasters with hydraulic launch we have by far the most experience.
Reliability and quality are key features of our products", says Sascha
Czibulka, Sales Manager at Intamin. "In addition, our technology is
covered by several patents, so our competitors have to develop their own
Due to the popularity of the hydraulic launch coaster the Ball
Coaster concept, which was presented on Coastersandmore in the
context of the EAS 2005, took something of a back seat. Many potential
customers are put off by the LSM drive that is ill-reputed as expensive since
it needs an infrastructure for short-time electrical peak demands.
The Ball Coaster prototype at the factory near
That is different with the Ball Coaster: "The Ball Coaster
incorporates small and lightweight vehicles, so the LSM modules have a rather
low power consumption. In addition, the cars´ momentum is built up slowly
instead of a launch from zero to maximum speed", explains Sascha
Czibulka. Last but not least the small footprint for the given thrill is a
huge advantage of the concept. So chances look good to see the first ball
coaster at a European park for 2007.
2006 seems to be a very successful year for Intamin. A
giant wooden coaster is currently under construction at Six Flags Great
Adventure, based on the new track system invented for Colossos at
Heide Park, as well as three launch coasters. The water rides section,
too, is quite active: Recently a couple of log flumes and rapids rides have
been delivered to parks in Asia. A new element is the vertical lift for rapids
rides that is used at the ride for the Ravensburger Spieleland for the
first time. Further raft rides will open at Legoland Billund in Denmark
and an American park.
Lino Ferretti of Preston & Barbieri in front
of a Splash Battle vehicle
Italian companies L&T and Preston & Barbieri
had a shared booth at the EAS. Preston & Barbieri has shown a
vehicle of the Splash Battle that has successfully debuted at Walibi
World , The Netherlands last year. The interactive water ride concept has
obviously found a good response from patrons as well as other parks. So there
are currently four further rides being built at Legoland California,
Walibi Aquitaine in France, Indiana Beach in the US and
Guangzhou Chimelong Canton in China.
L&T´s first portable Water
The ride at Legoland will be the signature attraction of
the new Pirate Shores area with a total of four water attractions. The design
sketches promise an elaborate theming with a damaged pirate ship, a treasure
island and a multitude of water effects. Unlike the other Splash
Battles, the one for Legoland will have water cannons that are
operated at the push of a button instead of a manual pump.
The Splash Battle at Walibi Aquitaine will be the
biggest investment since the park is in existence, totalling a sum of 1.85
million Euros. The comic style ride will be part of a new area. A water basin
of 900 square meters will hold the 120 meters long track as well as several
traps like fountains and giant water taps. The passengers have to eliminate the
traps with their water cannons in order to keep dry - if this is what they want
considering the temperatures in Southern France.
The mechanical components of the vehicles, which are powered by
kicker wheels, as well as the track of the Splash Battle is manufactured by
L&T. This company could make some experiences with water rides with
the portable water coaster. The concept was presented at the EAS 2005, the
prototype is now operated by Spanish showmen Miguel Angel Banuls Lopez
and Enrique Banuls Bajo. A video presented at the booth has shown how
thoroughly the design studies have been implemented - especially regarding the
boats. Further sales of this ride that surely is interesting for small and
medium parks have not been announced.