The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has predicted 2012 to be a bumper year for American entertainment attractions, as 400 parks and attractions across the States prepare for the summer opening.
It’s thought that in excess of 300 million guests will be delighted with the new experiences and technological advances that have brought an added dimension to waterparks, rollercoasters and 3D attractions which have been upgraded across the country.
"The more than 135 new rides and attractions opening this year highlighted by remarkable roller coasters, exceptional guest experiences, and multiple waterpark additions makes 2012 the perfect year to rediscover your local amusement park," said Chip Cleary (right), International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) president and CEO.
The industry is constantly looking for ways to bring new experiences for guests and technology is one of the ways in which they can do so. The new rides and expanded attractions are designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of people, such as adrenaline seekers, water enthusiasts and families.
New, highly sophisticated designs, especially in rollercoasters, mean that many attractions can offer numerous different and distinct experiences with each ride. Many of the new rides opening over the summer will use this approach and this includes the “winged coasters”, which are appearing for the first time in the USA. These use a system which suspend the seats on both sides of the track and gives visitors the feeling of being in flight – choosing a different seat will enable guests to have a different experience every time they ride.
“Immersive” experiences are also thought to be a good draw and offer guests the chance to fully interact with their surroundings, in some cases. These types of attraction include theatre, in-park games and shows and 3D rides.
Waterparks have seen a lot of expansion for this season too and are the ideal way for families with children of all ages to enjoy the summer sun whilst having fun. New features this summer include a water coaster, more waterslides and children’s play structures; this year will see a lot of themed waterslides.
It’s not just in-park attractions that are likely to give the US amusement industry a boost though, technology enhancements surrounding ticketing, mobile apps and social media are all conspiring to make planning a trip far easier than it has ever been in the past.
Images: copyright 2010 Chip Litherland photography and copyright Universal Studios orlando resort.